Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Lumbar surgery
    mayborn posted:
    Hi all, I hope you are all doing well . I started having back pain 4 months ago. It has steadily gotten worse, and now travels into my right buttock and down my right leg. Had a MRI, which showed 2 herniated discs, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, and degenertive disc disease.My PCP sent me to a neurosugern, who agreed with me that conservative treatments were the best thing to try. Had 2 spinal epidurals They did not help, and sent my blood sugars soaring (I have type 1 diabetes). Returned to my neurosurgen, who says really the only option i have left is a discotomy. This is being done Nov. 5th.
    I know these are routine surgeries now, but I have to admit I'm still a bit scared. My neurosurgen is going to focus on L5/S1, because this is the largest herniation. However, I'm a bit concerned that the MRI may not have shown how bad the area is. ( I had a MRI in '05 of my left knee, and when the surgeon went in he said it was worse than what showed on the MRI.) I'm also concerned that it may turn into a fusion surgery, rather than just a discotomy. I know these are concerns I need to discuss with my neurosurgen. I guess it makes me fell better to vent a bit in here.Thanks for reading my post
    trs1960 responded:
    I dont blame you. MRIs show a lot more than an Xray, but they still can leave much of the sory hidden.

    I'd make sure youre out of non surrgical options. Once you start fusing discs things seems to go downhill rather badly so please do your homework. We all want to beleive our doctor when they say its a prettty straightforward surgery and when youre done you'll be better, but its worth a second opinion from another specialest.

    Good Luck to you.

    bj1208 responded:
    hi -

    I agree with Tim - try and get a 2nd opinion - Orthopedic or Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist. It's always best to go this route -

    Before deciding on my 2nd fusion I had 4 opinions - my first fusion was in 08 and they fused L5-S1 now I'm having L4-5 done.

    The lumbar spine carries so much more than the Thoracic and Cervical areas so once you start messing with the discs the domino effect starts.

    Please get as many opinions as you can. you may want to see if you can post-pone the surgery til you do. Surgeons don't mind as they want you to.

    Please let us know how u are doing~~
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~
    mayborn replied to trs1960's response:
    Thanks guys ...I have gotten a 2nd. opinion from a 2nd. Dr. who agrees with the 1st.
    I have tried every conservative option out, epidrals, meds, ...nothing as worked so far.
    I strongly agree that the conservative approach is the best 1st. approach.
    I do not want to do another epidural. The 1st 2 did not work, and the reaction to the steroid on my blood sugars was veryyy scarey.
    Thans for your replies .
    mayborn replied to mayborn's response:
    Hi again...have learned this morning it will be a discectomy and froaminotomy...apperently hes also going to remove some of the bone spurs that are also compressing the nerves.
    mayborn replied to mayborn's response:
    P.S. hopefully I won't need fusion!!!
    tlh509 replied to mayborn's response:
    Mayborn. Hello. Like you I have the same problems with my back and the same issue with L-5, but I was told by my Neuro surgeon I would not need surgery, and have had 1 epi, which has helped. So sorry to hear your have not. Thats odd, because from what I saw, people like us with ridiculopathy, nerve pain that include butt and travels down the leg, generally have the best results. You did what the others have mentioned and got a 2nd opinion. Good for you. I would have too! Hope the surgery helps. WE will all be here if you need us. Hang in there. Tom
    mayborn replied to tlh509's response:
    Thanks th509 I'm glad the epi worked for you!! From what I have read, the epi does help a lot of people. Sure wish I was one of them. Don't want to have the surgery, but I just can't take it anymore. LOL I'm tired of my house being a mess because it's too painful to do a lot of housework. Just hope the surgery helps.
    trs1960 replied to mayborn's response:
    My personal experience has been very favorable with lumbar epidurals. I've had no luck with thoracic epidurals, but the bones are so crushed it's impossible to get the needle to the subarachnoid space.

    Best of luck


    Helpful Tips

    Steps For Getting Back Pain Diagnosed And Treated
    Many people come to this WebMD Back Pain Community looking for help in getting a diagnosis of a cause and relief from their back pain. Most ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    226 of 343 found this helpful

    Helpful Resources

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center