SpineUniverse Community Advice
Get help and share your story with others who know what you're going through.
Please register or log in to join the discussions!

Surgery or not? Need opinions

Started by Oreo on 02/26/2011 4:28pm

I am 45 with 2 teenage boys. I am very active. With the last 2 years of pain,my quality of life is limited. Pain in lower back and hip is constant. Sciatica comes and goes. I have tried acupuncture,chiropractic,steroid epidurals, and physical therapy. L 3 4 herniation, bulges,spondylosis,facet joints are arthritic, and moderate stenosis. Pain stays at 6 daily, 1 good day a week, and pain can go up to 8. 2 opinions and both say laminectomy and fusion. I know surgery isnt fun. I had C5 6 discectomy and fusion 5 years ago. Opinions please.

Do you find this discussion helpful?

2 Responses


Dear Oreo,
One year ago I was like you. I was very active but had increasing pain and weakness in legs which had gone on for over two years. I had tried everything including epidurals, PT, acupuncture and a chiropracter. It seemed that nothing helped so I went ahead with L4-5 spinal fusion 9 months ago. (had 5 surgeons say I should do it).

In hindsight, I wish I hadn't done the surgery. I am much worse off than I was a year ago; at least I was working and could still do everything I needed to do around the house. Now the pain keeps me awake at night and is constant during the day and I am on a real cocktail of medications. My quality of life has definitely gone downhill because of this surgery, especially the last 3 months. I am not the same person I was before surgery. Please don't do it--there must be something else you can do. Try PT water therapy or mindfulness/stress reduction classes. Mindfulness can help you deal with the pain.

Please keep in touch and let me know what you decide.
Warm thoughts,


I had pain off and on for 10 years. There was always at least some pain during the day, but when it really got bad I would take hydrocodone. At first it would go away in a week, then it took two weeks, then a month, then two.... finally last march or so it just never went away. I took medication for 6 months straight and decided it was time to act. I couldn't live on narcotics. I am 10 weeks out of my surgery now and the pain is gone. The surgical pain and some stiffness are still present, but nothing like I was experiencing before. I have just been cleared to exercise and plan on getting back into my active lifestyle fully.

My doctor told me with a Spodylo that surgery would be an eventuality, but urged me to wait as long as I could, and that when the pain got too bad, I would know it was time.

So there is my testimony. Good luck to you!

Good luck!