Physical Therapy or Surgery
for Lumbar Disc

I experience an ungodly fire-like pain, from my crotch to my toes, in my right leg when I got up from sitting on the couch. Long story short, after 4 days in the hospital and multiple MRIs and X-rays, I was told I have disc dessication present within all lumbar intravertebral discs.

At the L5-S1 disc space level, there is a marked degree of facet hypertrophic change bi-laterally. There are multiple disc hernations present throughout the lumbar spine. The most significant abnormality occurs at the L2-L3 disc. Protrusion is causing a moderate to marked degree of right-sided neuroforminal stenosis.

Since leaving the hospital with a walker, I have been doing PT exercises (3x a day) and am off the walker with about 90% muscle return in my leg.  I can walk ok, but have trouble going up or down stairs. The pins and needles on the inside of my leg, from just below the knee to just above the knee, is still present, but seems to be easing up a bit during the day. However, tt is full blown when I wake in the morning.

I am scheduled to see the orthopedic surgeon in a month and am concerned about what to do. I consider myself a partial cripple now and do not want to become a complete cripple. Surgery scares the hell out of me, but what happens if I do nothing but PT exercises?

Any input would be welcomed.

- James



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