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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hello all, I just discovered this site and am reading it with great interest and intrigue. I'm hoping for your input on my dilemma.

Symptoms: Dull pain and general weakness in left leg, with mild foot drop. Severe pain in left butt cheek and low back brought on and aggravated by prolonged sitting or standing in one place. Walking is fine, although with an abnormal gait.

MRI shows herniations at L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1. L5/S1 is smallest herniation, with a small annular tear and small protrusion from it as well. L4/5 is the worst, with the herniation protruding into and flattening the thecal sac. L3/4 is next worse with a small disc protrusion indenting the thecal sac.

Neurosurgeon #1 wants to do hemilaminectomies on L3,4 and 5, and discectomy on L4/5.

Neurosurgeon #2 wants to do hemilaminectomy and discectomy only on L4/5.

Do you think it wiser to go with the "less is more" approach of #2, or the "now rather than later" approach of #1? Although I think that I'm oversimplifying it with this question, as the approach of surgeon #2 may well stand a better chance of alleviating symptoms I have right now, not just down the road.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


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