Hi all, I'm a 28 year old male and am on my 3rd disc herniation in 10 years. The first two times I had a pinched sciatic nerve with pain going down my right leg. Now I am finally starting to get pain down my left leg but luckily I have almost no back pain. This will be my third surgery on the same area, L4-L5. Basically my only two options are a discectomy or a spinal fusion. The first two surgeries were discectomies after 3 and 3 failed cortisone injections into the spine. I think given that this will be my third surgery, I will opt for the fusion instead of the discectomy in hopes of longer lasting relief. I've already had some nerve damage in my right leg (lost sensation in the bottom of my foot and have limited sensation in my calf).
My biggest fear is more nerve damage and the possibility of sexual dysfunction. The the fusion I'm told would be a TLIF and my surgeon said he would enter from the back because of the disc herniation. He did mention that there is a greater risk for sexual dysfunction if he were to enter through the front.
Can any of you share your successes (or failures) to help alleviate my fears? Would any of you NOT recommend the spinal fusion? Any input would be greatly appreciated.View Thread