3 years ago I suffered a disc extrusion at L5-S1 that was treated with NSAIDS and oral steroids. I've suffered from herniations most of my adult life, mostly healing with conservative therapy.
That is no longer the case. Since the initial extrusion, I've only managed to go a month or so without throwing it out for a day or a week. Unable to take time off, I just worked through it. January, I slipped in the shower and a few days later had significant weakness in my right leg. Being uninsured I went to the ER, had an MRI and found a herniation at the same site, in the same place. Also, moderate right sided foraminal stenosis, mild left side stenosis, and endplate spuring.
Because I had to wait for insurance, then wait for a referral, my NCS/EMG came back to show that while I did have weakness in my right leg, it was not active damage. Neurosurgeon stated the damage is permanent, and surgery is not an option for me.
He suggested I get a second opinion, as he stated he was conservative. They did not recommend PT, but did try and push injections. I was basically told to push through the pain. I'm an x-ray tech, and haven't worked since a week after I reinjured myself. I can't lift patients.
I'm not entirely sure what to do next. I feel like I'm being pushed into getting the injections, even though I've stated I'm not interested. I have left sided sciatica pain but was told my NCS stated there was no nerve damage and the pain isn't related to my back. The back pain isn't constant. Just a lack of range of motion. I can't sit for long (30 minutes) or stand long without pain.
Also, due to Chronic gastritis I'm unable to take NSAIDS or steroids.
Should I pursue the second opinion? He said I'd need a laminectomy, and fusion. He didn't feel comfortable doing this on someone my age. I'll be 42 soon.