I agree with Peter you need to decide on what is appropriate for you.
I have had a bulging disc since a car accident for nearly 15 years and due to a 'system' I am in the decision to treat me conservatively has had a terrible effect on my pain.
I had neck surgery C5/6 decompression and fusion done in January this year and despite the fact that I was petrified to have spinal surgery (and I'm a nurse!!) I knew I had no choice if I wanted some chance of pain relief. The surgery went very well and to be honest the recovery was a breeze compared to the chronic pain I live with on a daily basis!
I personally feel that if I had the surgery some years ago then I would not have had the ongoing issues that I have had and most importantly I would not have needed a pain specialist to burn my nerves in an attempt to assist with the pain and then cause further damage!!
So my thoughts are that you should get a second opinion on the surgery but don't put it off through fear alone as you will always find that a pain specialist will be anti surgery and a 'good' surgeon will only operate if they think it is the best option for you. I'm on the gold coast and had a fabulous Spinal Surgeon and he was nothing if not honest with me after years of conservative treatments that did nothing but help the insurance company save money!! The last doctor my insurer sent me to said " I bet they wished you'd died in the accident as you wouldn't have cost them so much" and his opinion despite a disc bulge onto my spinal cord was to be conservative!!! Luckily for me I fought them and wanted to know how long do you treat something conservatively, because personally I think 14 years is enough when there is a perfectly safe operation that can fix a relatively easy problem!
I at least know that the structure is fixed and try and get some life back. The only downfall I have is that I didn't get the surgery done for 14 years and the affects of this is now probably permanent
Good luck and hope it all works out for you
"Just thinkin' about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow 'til there's none
When I'm stuck with a day that's grey and lonely
I just stick out my chin and grin and say, oh
The sun will come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on
'til tomorrow, come what may!"
I'm very happy that I had my double spinal fusion because I couldn't even sit in a car before my surgery however, now I can but I wish I'd had it earlier because the nerve pain had set in and that damage was done but at least I can sit in a car now for longer than before and that to me is a miracle because before my operation sitting caused me so many tears so the op alleviated that to a degree.
Everybody is different and nobody here can say what is right for someone else, we are the only person who knows what to do and the associated risks involved may be great but that's the risk we take.
For me personally the double spinal fusion was the only option for me because sitting was impossible, I just wish I'd had it sooner than I did but I worked and I tried conservative treatment for 2 years which I did because I didn't want to loose my job but I did anyway..
For me nerve damage has set in and I think there are so many here like me that have never ending nerve pain and any other injury only inflates that nerve pain to chronic pain and that's why we all end up here.
I just wish there was more research into this horrible never ending nerve pain so we all could lead better lives.
For me I've changed medications and that has given me the relief I needed, I see that people get spinal stim's and they still need their meds so I'm now deciding whether I go for that or I just plodd along taking the meds I take, it's just the thought of all the support I would need for the stim afterwards that doesn't seem worth it for a single independent woman so I'm now reconsidering that once again.
Ricky, get all the opinions you can then decide from there. I've been following all your posts for quite a few years now and it's been a rough road for you so hopefully you get all the opinions you can so that helps you decide which road you will go down.
I am trying to get into the Pain Clinic at Westmead Hospital, hopefully they will have some suggestions for me and then I will make sure I get a second and third opinion.
I am sure that I have nerve damage on both sides at S1 and I know that every day I don't do something I run the risk of it getting worse, but this was caused by a careless surgeon a long time ago, and I am scared that the same thing will happen again, I also have the concern about loosing my job, I have only just gotten back into work, and this one knows about my back,
So when I look at procedures and the recovery time, I think how can I afford to take that much time off, how will I pay my mortgage and my other bills, what will happen if it goes wrong and I lose the use of my legs, what if the pain gets worse.
Anyway I will get into the pain clinic, take some annual leave for the day's I need, none of the programs run on weekends.
But Thanks for your care and help.
“All the elements in your body were forged many, many millions of years ago, in the heart of a far away star that exploded and died. That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space. And came together to form you, you are unique in the universe.