So I’ve herniated my L4/L5 disc - again. I had a microdiscectomy/laminectomy surgery in January on the same disc after I lost feeling in my legs and finally got an MRI after waiting 5 months (Ontario/Canadian healthcare system). About 4 weeks after my surgery the disc herniated again (confirmed with an MRI). This would be the 6th time the disc has gone in the last 4.5 years.
My neurosurgeon wants to do another microdiscetomy surgery next month. However, he said if I herniate the disc after this, we should be looking at fusing the vertebrae. So I’m a bit freaked out and doubting everything right now. I have been working with my PT and a great osteo/MT to get stronger and I have started swimming along with my strengthening exercises.
I have worked with my family doc to come off of my pain meds over the last month to see where I am at. My pain isn’t terrible. Probably a 3-4 and when I’m sitting it might go up to a 1. I have had much, much worse. But it’s definitely not just muscle tightness as there is a burning sensation on the left side (disc bulged left). I am considering working with my doc to stay on some meds (where I have next to no pain) and see where I am at in 6 months and push off the surgery.
I just want to be able to live my life. There’s risks that if I go into another surgery with such minor symptoms, I’ll come out with the same or worse on the other side (let alone the possibility of re-herniation). I want to ride my horse, which I have started to do a bit for 10-15 min at a time after not riding her for 7 months and having to keep her in a full training program (and would need to do so again if another surgery happened).
Any advise or insight?