Hi. I have a back issue in my L4-L5. Degenerative disk disease and one of the bones is not lined up. The surgeon says he needs to enter from the front and the back to perform the minimumally evasive surgery.  ALIF is what he said. 

He sent me to a link on and it explained everything very well. 

My question is if I should have the surgery or not.

My pain is minimal now. It slightly hurts when I drive or sit too long, but it's managable.

If there is another option, I would rather do that.



  • LizLiz Posts: 2,432

    Welcome Trucker, we’re glad you’re here!

    This site Veritas-Health was previously know as Spine-Health.

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    Have you read through our comprehensive Degenerative Disc Disease Health Center on Spine-health? You’ll find a number of informative articles about DDD, including Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease Pain and Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments. It’s a great resource for those seeking more information about Degenerative Disc Disease. I hope you find these resources helpful.

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  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,182
    edited 11/30/2019 - 12:56 PM

    Have you tried physical therapy or injections yet? Usually the conservative treatments such as these are attempted first. If those fail then surgery may be considered.

    It never hurts to get a second opinion either. Some surgeons are in a rush to operate. I myself prefer the conservative surgeons. 

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  • Trucker

    Nobody here can answer the question of wether you should have the surgery or not, only you and your doctor should decide that.

    A second opinion would probably be a very good idea though, if 2 surgeons say the same thing it usually make the decision a little easier, ask a lot of questions, be informed about why you need surgery and what could happen if you don't have surgery.

    40 questions to ask your surgeon

    Take care and keep us posted


  • I did the conservative treatments first. Cortisone and cutting of nerves. There was some relief with the cortisone, but it didn't last. The cutting nerves didn't do much. Two surgeons told me the same procedure was needed. 

    What's confusing is the lack of pain I feel. It's a pressure feeling on the right lower part of my back that radiates slightly to my right buttocks. 

    I sleep fine and walk fine. Sitting is fine. Driving is annoying after 15 or more minutes.

    If I was in excruciating pain or couldn't sleep, it would be an easy decision. 

    Appreciate the input.

  • The images on the MRI show the damage clearly. Years of truck driving caught up with me.  

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  • That does make the decision harder, I guess my question would be what happens if I don't have the surgery, is there a chance of more damage and so on, that would be a good conversation to have with the surgeon.

    Take care and keep us posted


  • Just wanted to thank you for the thoughtful feedback. I'm grateful that this forum exists for people in my situation. Heartfelt appreciation for caring and sharing. 

  • You're welcome, I hope you figure out what is right for you


  • Are there alternatives to surgery? Should I look into clinical trials? Thank you. 

  • Only your doctor would be able to answer that, I will say this, my doctor considers spinal surgery as a last resort, if he thinks you would benefit from pain control or injections he will always try all that first.


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