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Microdecompression Endoscopic (Arthroscopic) Spinal Discectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,000
Hi my name is Susan, and my husband (age 53) injured his back in Jun 09. Since then he has been in severe pain down his left buttocks and leg. He has had an MRI, an it showed a herniated disc S1/L5. His neurosurgeon wants to do a Microdecompression Endoscopic (Arthroscopic) Spinal Discectomy. He tell my husband that the recovery time is around 2 weeks and then he can return to work (he is a teacher and is on his feet for most of the day). My question is this - Have any of you had this procedure done and if so, was it successful? What was your recovery like? I am very scared for my husband to have back surgury - but on the other hand, I want my husband back! Thanks for your help.


  • I see you do not take surgery lightly and that is a good idea. I know you want your husband back and I am sure he wants to be back but based upon your post I can not tell if you did enough research first. I started in Mar 09 and I can tell you that I have seen 6 different doctors over that times and only the NS recommended surgery. Have you seen other types of docs like

    1) Orthopedist

    2) Spinal Orthopedist

    3) Pain Management docs

    I can tell you that in August I was walking with a cane and could only go about 10 minutes before I had massive cramps. I am now walking for over about 2.5 miles and up to an hour. My pain is not completely done but through 2 esi, my own PT plan from here and changes in my life style that have made all difference. This takes time and there is no quick fix. The other doctors said I did not need surgery and could beat it. All docs go with what they know and NS are amazing and can do wonderful things but you should go for other opinions.


    1) How bad is the herniation? How man mm? Can he still work? Can he walk at all? I only think surgery is necessary, IMHO once you loose complete mobility. THIS IS JUST MY OPINION AND I AM NOT A DOCTOR.

    2) A PM doc is wonderful and can do things that even the orthos can do and understand it better than others.

    Also keep in mind that success for an NS is simply getting the impinged nerve freed, that does not mean the pain goes away. I also find 2 weeks very optimistic. Most people after surgery take longer. This is not an easy thing and yes the longer the nerve is impinged the more chance for never damage but you are early in this process and need to really get more info.

    Good luck and hope you get your husband back..

  • done in Dec 07. I was also told 2 weeks back to work which was not the case for me. I have seen a few members here that were able to go back to work that soon but I was not one of them. I had a nerve that was compressed for 2 years prior and that may be part of the reason that my recovery was so hard.

    The microD did help with the nerve pain (down leg) but not the back pain.

    If he has to have surgery this is the least invasive and the quickest to recover from.

    Is his doc a qualified spinal specialist? That is very important to stick with the ones that specialize in the spine and have extensive experience.

    My advice would be to hope for the best (2 week recovery) but prepare for the worst. I was totally not prepared for my recovery and it made everything so much harder.

    Take a look at the sticky for post op must haves. It is listed in the surgery section. It will be very helpful. Your husband will not be able to BLT (bend, lift, twist) and you never really know how much of your life that effects until you can not do it for awhile. Showering, using toilet, etc.

    The above post is also correct in that if he can manage to get relief from a Pm that is the way to go. Exhaust all conservative measures before opting for surgery.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
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  • I am curious to know if you have made any decisions yet? I am also considering surgery vs other treatments.
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