Should I Have Back Surgery to Relieve Sciatica Pain?
About 80% of the population will someday suffer from back pain. At least 50% of them will undergo unnecessary, risky and expensive back surgery, which is best to relieve symptoms for a certain period of time, after which further surgery will be required.
Twice I had surgery for pain in ishias. In any case, I was desperate, depressed and confused by the contradictory advice of doctors and friends. Only you can answer this question yourself, but here is the evidence based on my personal observations and expert research:
A friend (quite a young man) underwent two surgeries. The second was necessary because the first one didn’t work. He is now in a wheelchair due to nerve damage during the second operation. Another friend underwent three surgeries and assured me that the third one was charming. Two years later, experiencing such severe pain and needing a walker to move around, he would rather kill himself than continue to suffer. While these may be extreme cases, they indicate a sad number of back surgeries.
Earlier this year, my back was back and I couldn’t get out of bed and walk around the room unaided. This latest incident occurred after a major change in my life when I neglected exercise and nutrition. I started the doctor’s catch again and was baffled by controversial advice that included anesthesia, epidural injections and possible surgery. I was desperate enough to see the operation as an option; Instead, I decided to do my own research.
What do the doctors think? Here are some quotes from Jerome Grugman’s article in New Yorker Magazine1: When Dr. Eugene Carraghi of Stanford was asked about the prospects of a typical patient for the future without back pain, he replied, “Pretty bad.” It performs operations only on a select group of patients who have been carefully selected. However, he estimated that less than a quarter of operations would be fully successful. For most patients, surgery does not significantly affect their pain or mobility.
Dr. Waldman of New York Special Surgery Hospital regularly receives spinal fusion patients who experience constant pain after multiple surgeries. However, few patients who have undergone spinal surgery seem to have an idea of such unfavorable statistics, and even in the surgeon’s profession there is a curious gap between rhetoric and reality.
Last December, the journal Spine published the results of an award-winning study from Scandinavia that compared patients who had undergone fusion surgery for chronic lower back pain with those who had not undergone surgery. In this randomized controlled trial, only one in six patients in the surgical group was rated “excellent” by an independent observer after two years. The fact that this study is seen as strengthening its legitimacy in the profession demonstrates the weakness of empirical support for fusion surgery.
I didn’t like the possibilities, so I started looking for alternatives unrelated to surgery, needles and painkillers. Skip the knife and find out how I’ve returned to an active, painless life through focused exercise, diet and other lifestyle changes.
My name is John Booker, I am 71 years old, I have five children, two grandchildren and three adopted children. I’ve been suffering from back pain and sciatica for ten years since I was diagnosed with stenosis. I experienced a full range of “healings,” including epidural injections, decompression therapy and exercise. Several times out of desperation I thought about back surgery.
I started looking for alternatives and found that in most cases, doctors only treat symptoms, not the root cause. Symptoms will always come back. I found solutions that eliminate the causes, and started trying them out. At first I was skeptical; Today I am a new person both physically and emotionally.