back surgery
disc replacement, microdiscectomy, laminectomy, discectomy, etc
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  I have heard from people who had the back surgery like microdiscectomy and laminectomy and had wonderful results - and others who had the back surgery and continued to have back pain.  It was really difficult to decide what to do, and surgery would have most likely solved the problem quickly, working through the exercise and everything else was a lot of work, required months of focus and dedication, and took longer than the back surgery recovery described by my doctor.

Some people think surgery is better because it is guaranteed to remove the offending disc matter. Others think it's worse because it cuts the multifidi and potentially some bone.  There's also something to be said for the fact that many people report being up and about pretty rapidly after surgery

I opted to do everything I could to avoid back surgery. Here's what I thought:

  1. I had already had surgery within the past 6 months and my body was very weak,
  2. I did not at any time loose the ability to control my foot or leg
  3. Once I got on the right path with exercise and therapy my body responded really well to the changes
  4. I could afford to not work for a little while while I attempted to fix my back myself.

During the time I was looking into surgery seriously, I was most interested in the new disc replacement surgery being trialed by the FDA right now.  With that surgery, the disc is replaced with an artificial one. My doctor also recommended microdiscectomy.

Now that I'm recovered, I'm glad that I took control of my own health and took a more active role in the decision making process.  I'm also happy that after all the experience with exercise and therapy, when I get minor back pain now, I know exactly how to take care of it and it is no longer a scary thing.

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How I healed my herniated disc without surgery