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Surgery Decision

Good Day Everyone!

I am looking for some advice. I am a 32 year old overweight female who has suffered with Degerative Disc Disease and herniation at L4-L5 for well over 10 years now. I had a Discotomy in 2010 to repair the herniation and fix the pain going down my leg. I had a lot of success with it for a few years and am now back to chronic pain and a reherniated L4-L5 disc. I have tried SEVERAL rounds of PT, chiropractic care, spinal decompression and injections with little to no relief. Another discotomy is out of the question and for the last year and a half we have discussed a spinal fusion. I have a wonderful orthopedic surgeon who does not push the surgery on me and has always said he will wait until I am ready. His concern is my age and weight that it may result in further fusions down the road. We did discuss gastric bypass as an alternative but i am not comfortable with that option because I feel that it is still new and we don't know the long term consequences. From my research your body can no longer absorb vitamins and you will be taking them the rest of your life. i i have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight to see if it will ease the pain. I have also met several people with the same pain who are not overweight.

I am to the point where I am seriously considering a fusion surgery. For those of you who have gone through a similar experience I would like to know your opinion. Did losing the weight help? Did you have the fusion surgery? Was it worth it? Have you had to have another one? 

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!


  • Hello! I've not gone through fusion but just went through my first microdosectomy. I'm 32 female as well and have suffered through a lot of flare ups since I was 15. All my life I've been under a normal weight and I still have disc degeneration L4-L5-S-1. My surgeon had told me in future I may have to get artificial disc replacement or fusion depending on how I do with this surgery. I'm tired of the pain too but all I can be is optimistic. Good luck to you in whatever you decide :)
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