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    what to do
    proandcon posted:
    I have had back pain since I fell in July, 2011. Have had injections, physical therapy. Still in pain. Walking and standing were making me misrable. Images show pinched nerve, among other things. Surgery has been scheduled. Now I seem to have less pain?? Less pain, it hasn't gone away completely Should I go ahead with surgery? .A pinched nerve just doesn't unpinch spontaniously, right?
    bj1208 responded:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    first - what is your full diagnosis?

    second - what type of physician (surgeon) have you seen? was he/she either an ORTHOPEDIC SPINE SPECIALIST OR NEUROSURGEON SPINE SPECIALIST?

    third - what type of surgery will you be having?

    you indicate a pinched nerve among other things - mostly it's the other things that can cause pinched nerves (discs bulging and pressing on nerve roots).

    we would really need to know more about your back diagnosis before offering suggestions.

    I would suggest that before having any surgeries that you seek other opinions from both Orthopedic and Neurosurgeon Spine Specialists - this way you know 100% what your diagnosis is and all the treatment options available.

    please let us know - take care - Joy
    proandcon replied to bj1208's response:
    Thank you for your response, bj1208. You are right about the "other things." I have been seen by a number of doctors, starting with my primary care doctor. He started me out my referring me to a non surgical back specialist. He wasn't much help, actually. I had already tried his suggestions--back brace and physical therapy. He said My next move would be the pain management doctors, a neurological surgery specialist and he also recommended I see an endocrinologist. The integrity of my bones should be checked out. This took several weeks. I received injections (2) total. The first one helped a lot but the effect only lasted 2 weeks. They gave me one more which wasn't as helpful .The endocrinologist (whom I have been told is excellent) looked at my x-ray (this had been taken last summer when I fell) and said I had a pinched nerve and bone on bone due to disk damage. She gave me an extensive interview and thought my bone integrity was fine, at least no worse than anyone else my age. She thought the only thing that would help me would be surgery. During this time I also had an MRI. Sooooo...the neurological specialist. Spinal stenosis also comes into this picture. Since I had tried everything else suggested, surgery was recommended. He didn't try to pressure me about it. But by this time this misery had lasted long enough, so I said "yes."
    Since I typed here yesterday I have come to the conclusion that I will go ahead. My back is really bothering me today. So, whatever happens on days when I don't have so much pain...??? Who knows?
    Thank you for your interest. I will continue to read this page, as it is very helpful to read about the experiences of others.
    bj1208 replied to proandcon's response:
    hi again -

    I would strongly suggest that you have a 2nd opinion done - with either an Orthopedic Spine Specialist or Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist - they are the only ones that know the spine and can give a full diagnosis and also give the best treatment options - and there are other options to consider too: Spinal Cord Stimulator implants (sends false signals to brain saying there is no pain), Pain Pump Implants where the meds are sent directly to the pain site -

    A good PHYSIATRIST Pain Management Clinic is good too as they do work with you on controlling the pains with lots of different options.

    Remember one thing - surgery is no guarantee that it will fix any type of problems - especially pains - you can click on my name or pic and read my story -

    It would be beneficial not to rush into the surgery until you get more opinions - there could be other options that may not have been suggested or tried - and most surgeons (especially spine specialists) will not suggest surgery unless it's a dire emergency or all other treatment options have been tried and failed.

    please keep us posted - take care - Joy
    trs1960 replied to bj1208's response:
    Rafael Levin, MD, MSc responded:
    This is an excellent question, and one that I have to address with my surgical patients rather frequently.

    First, your symptoms do suggest nerve compression which typically responds well to surgery after failure of conservative management, however, the indication for surgery is based primarily on your symptoms, in other words, you pain. If your pain at this level is still significant and compromising your quality of life, even if diminished from prior, surgery is very reasonable. If your pain is significantly diminished to the point where you have minimal discomfort, cancel surgery for now. Although a pinched nerve doesn't "unpinch" itself spontaniously, it can become asymptomatic when the inflamation resolves. Sometimes, if the the pinching is the result of a soft disc herniation or extrusion, the herniated disc may be disintegrated by the body over time.

    In summary, let your pain and other symptoms dictate your decision. I wish you all the best

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