I am a 48 year old female with a 5 year history of sciata. decmeber 2010 began the worst flare up I ever had. The pain was unbearable lasted until March 2011 - it was bearable by then. My MRI showed herniation. After failed attempts at epidural injection and PT surgery was scheduled. My surgeon advised that I was young, in overall good health and that this will never get better just worse over time. Surgery was scheduled. I am days away and my pain is now just discomfort. Im not sure if it is fear of surgery, no longer in horrible unbearable pain but I am not sure if I should go through with it or wait but I know flares up are in my future but I can not go through that pain again. do I have the surgery when I am not in horrible pain just discomfort (at least once a day)?
Surgery does not cut out pain. It is done to correct an anatomical problem. unfortunately, you have found out the problem with herniations. It is taught that the results of surgery vs nonoperative treatment are the same at two years. Presently, in the US, most patients don't want to put up with the symptoms for that long, so they will have surgery.
Another thing is that, a discectomy, to remove the portion of the disc material that has herniated and is pressing on a nerve root, is very good for relieving leg pain, but does not have as good a track record for alleviating back pain. Because the disc itself will still be damaged, the tear in the anulus will still be there.
Thus, unfortunately, you are in that gray area. You might want to speak with the surgeon again, discuss your concerns. Ask what the surgery is supposed to do, exactly. Spine surgery is not without significant risk. But, there are also benefits, for the right surgery for the right problem in the right patient.
thank you. I never had back pain with my issues it was pain down the back of the left thigh along with numbness/tingling down to my left foot mainly. I still feel it presenses just no pain. On one hand I want to get back to be active - it has been 5 months. I am afraid once I start being active again the problem will come back.