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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Welcome to the board.

Did you get a copy of the MRI and the radiology report? If not, I would recommend you do so and begin a personal file. You will find that it is easier to get copies at the time of service than having to retrace your steps at a later date.

It is really impossible to comment on your situation without knowing more about the large is the bulge; where is it located; does it push into the foramen or efface the thecal sac; is there enlargement of the facet joints, etc.??

I think the surgeon was a bit surprised that you got relief from the pain medication. Having you discontinue it was an easy and cost-free way to see what pain you would have without the medication in your system.

Bulging discs can and do heal without surgical intervention...and it always takes longer for the nerve irritation to go away

It is always a good idea to get more than one opinion when considering spine surgery. Surgery should always be considered as a last resort, after conservative measures have been tried and have failed. Even a small surgery like a microdiscectomy should not be entered into lightly. It is almost never a "quick fix" as some surgeons tend to suggest.

If you have already responded to taking pain medication, I would think you would do well with conservative treatments such as a course of physical therapy, oral medications for pain and inflammation, perhaps a series of epidural steroid injections. If you don't have a lot of other issues, chances are good that the disc can heal without surgical intervention.

Don't rush into a surgery in an attempt to avoid the pain you now have. Lumbar spine surgery is almost never a true "medical emergency." You have time to talk with several spine specialists -- this could be a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon whose practice is limited to the neck and back. You can also often get a good plan of treatment and diagnosis from a physiatrist -- a Doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. This specialty helps people get back to full function without surgical intervention....

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