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Spontaneous recovery? Herniated disk with sequestration

Started by dalian on 10/15/2010 9:20am


I am a 39-year old female and have been recently diagnosed with L4/L5 herniation in advanced stage (sequestration). I have been having pain since July. So far, I have done physical therapy , have taken meds, and eased off on sports activities (yoga). Although the pain has lessened greatly in the last month, I saw a surgeon yesterday who recommended that I undergo surgery. He says that due to the size of the herniation, there is little chance that I will recover spontaneously from the hernia. I have a desk job, so I feel some pain when I get up after sitting for a while and feel some tingling (no numbness though) in the right foot from time to time because the hernia is pressing on the right. But that's about it! Other that that I am functional - I can work, drive, go to the gym, walk, and have no problems in most activities.

I am really not sure about undergoing surgery. My idea of surgery is that it is for people with very severe symptoms, which is not my case. But the fact that the hernia is big makes me think that I might get better ... or worse. Is anybody in a similar situation? Has anybody recovered from a big hernia with no surgery? Please help! I am not trying to be stubborn or heroic but I feel that if you go to a hairdresser, he will tell you that you need a haircut, right? Btw, I am scheduled to get a second opinion in two weeks' time.

Thank for reading,


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5 Responses


hi dalian :)

i can totally understand your hesitation in getting surgery. that should be the LAST option. you need to exhaust all other possible alternatives. it could be that you need it, but i'd definitely make sure before going there. your physician / specialist or other specialists/alternative medicine specialists, physical therapist, physiotherapist, etc. should provide you with other options. definitely get a 2nd or even 3rd opinion, as well.

keep us up to date, and best of luck to you.



I am an RN and previously before becoming an RN worked for 2 of the best chiropractors in the nation. I saw no less than miracles performed on patients frequently who were in very acute pain with herniated discs at the L4,5-S1 and who frequently had been told thy needed surgery before they came to us. While it is possible you do need surgery it seems your symptoms are not acute at this stage and I think you might benefit by getting a good one or 2 chiropractic evaluation and or treatments.

I have very significant neck problems, have been seemingly with no real interpretations for my pain and yet a few who would have operated on me and a few who said it was good I have not been operated on.

I say, explore a few other options first, including time as many skeletal alighnment issues do resolve over time.


Charlie Sheen's gut hurt so bad he ended up within the emergency room last week. Charlie Sheen's reputation led several to draw the wrong conclusion about the incident. Substance abuse was presumed to be the cause. The situation went from alarm to amusement, however, when it was disclosed that a fit of laughter and a hernia were the factors involved.


hi iv been suffering with a herniated/raptured disc 4 about 12months iv been doin physio injections +im startin hydrotheraphy next week iv stopped exercising a part from walkin when i can iv changed jobs i only work 2 days a week + try 2 get through it i wish i could tell u iv recovered yet without surgery this has changed my life iv tryed meds but didnt like them the side effects r awful i couldnt drive or function propley i stil cant do most things i have a strong big 3yr old 2 care 4 +12yr girl who now has 2 do weekly groc shop,vac,help so much im sory i cant tel good news but if u can stil function without 2 much pain mayb ur body wil heal did ur surgeon sugest steriod injection from what iv learnt a good surgeon would not go staight 2 surgery without tryin everytging else first do u have alot of foot pain ankle pain i wish u luck my friend i know sometimes its scarey +depresin just think hapy postive thoughts i forgot 2 say its l5 si dics +nerve root involved


Hi Dalian,
If I were you, I would make sure I tried everything else before surgery. I personally have injuries from L3-L4 bulging disc, L4-L5 bulging disc,L5-S1 was herniated, is now spontaneously reduced - there is DDD and Arthritis at all three areas. I've been in Chiropractic care for approx. 3 years, now in Pt also- I've had Pain Management Dr. do two Caudal injections last year. My injuries where untreated for 2 years, and became worse- and harder to fix ( this is why it's been 3 yrs in treatments ) . I've gone from working a full time job, to being out of work for 2 + years - from taking Tylenol for pain- to taking Hydrocodone 10/500 and Flexeril 10 four times a day each- with 3 Lidoderm Patches daily. All those meds do, is take the edge off my pain- I'm in constant pain daily- with many days spent mostly in bed because of muscle spasms that just won't go away ( usually landing me in the ER ) for yet another dose of something stronger( and lets not forget being labeled a drug seeker - me the person when all this started back in 06 said no to my Dr. when they offered me Darvocet for the pain .... not wanting to turn into an addict.....now I live with severe pain- and push pills into my body that will probably kill my liver at an early age!) that's what the simple minded people , that have no clue as to what real pain is, call you when you unfortunately get to where I am and so many others on this site . I also have injuries to 5 out of 7 disc's in my neck . But I believe that the Chiro Doc, has done more for me than any other treatment thus far. That lower back is hard to treat, and pinpoint what exactly will work for each individual (as we all heal differently ). I suggest you try Chiro, and possibly PM- but please do your research on PM Dr.'s - my last procedure didn't go so well - even though I have spontaneously reduced at level L5-S1- his procedure has left me with constant pain - with nothing being able to reduce my pain level there. Surgery for anyone is risky, but seeing that you're still are able to do most everything worries me that your surgeon is jumping the gun - so to speak. From what I've read on here, and seen ( as I used to work at a local hospital , on the Orthopedic Unit ) - surgery should be your last option, and really should only be done for people that are in severe pain daily- that have also tried all other options out before hand. Usually one surgery will lead to another down the road with spinal issues, that's just how it seems to work out in the end. I realize this is a bit late, as you posted on 10/15/10- I hope that your second opinion was beneficial to you and your well being . I wish you the best , please keep us updated as to what you chose to do - and how it has worked out for you.
Sincerely ,
Chris P
PS- Just a little bit of experience from my end, what ever you decide to do - always keep moving. Do as much as you can physically- any form of exercise is better than doing nothing. I've learned this the hard way- I was told NOT to do anything for the longest time, and now I can't do alot of daily activities, Two years it's taken me to get here, and I can only hope that if I keep pushing myself a bit more each day that maybe I'll be as strong as I was before ( still with the pain - that's ok ) but I need to push daily or I'll lose so much more quickly .Do what your body allows you to do, Best wishes again to you, I hope I gave you something valuable in advise here- wish I knew this much 2 years back, I'd be ahead of the game now if I had
I also just learned last week from my Physical Therapist , that cold is better than heat- should that be something you use to get some relief . Heat should only be applied in the morning, to get the muscles relaxed after so much time being still. He told me that heat applied regularly will cause chronic pain- believe me that is not something you want , if you can avoid it.. He said to use ice as often as I felt comfortable with- again hope this helps you is some way. Sorry if I rambled , it happens to us all at some point- Good Luck !