Surgery Pending-Advice?


I am a 20 year old female that has been suffering from severe arthritis in the lumbar region since 14. I recently had an MRI and it showed that I now have a severe herniated disc. I am being given the option to either just clean up the herniated disc, or do a fusion at L4-L5 and L5-S1. Any pros/cons to either of these surgeries? 




  • You are VERY young to have a fusion.  That being said, pain is pain regardless of age.  There's a couple different ways to look at it.  Cleaning it up may provide relief for a while or it may continue to herniate right after surgery.  It's a roll of the dice.  Whereas with fusion, the disc is gone and it will not herniate again.  But fusion opens a bunch of new doors regarding potential pain and discomfort.

    If I were in your shoes, I think I would try cleaning it up before going through a fusion.  In the meantime, there are some things you can try to see if it will help.  Strengthen your core muscles, lose weight (if needed), work on flexibility and even try swimming or other water activities to see if that helps.  But, discuss all of this with your doctor before you start.

    I don't envy the decision you have to make.  Just be sure you're comfortable with your decision when you make it.


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