Gransnet forums


Update/Spinal Surgeon/Sciatica

(32 Posts)
Marilla Tue 22-Dec-20 12:45:49

As I had so many kind messages about my sciatica, I thought I would update you on the consultation with the Neuro Spinal Surgeon.

Apparently the bulging disc is severe and the nerve is being squashed, hence the dreadful pain.

The good news is it can be fixed via keyhole surgery.

I can either wait 4 to six months (could be longer) for NHS slot or have the surgery done privately for some thousands of pounds.

I am thinking seriously about going private as the pain is so severe and to be honest I want my life back. But I am jumping between both depending on pain level at the time!

Any thought would be welcome.

Marilla Tue 22-Dec-20 12:47:06

Missed out: Private surgery could be done in January.

BlueSky Tue 22-Dec-20 13:05:02

My DH was put on a waiting list back in the summer for exactly the same problem as you and has recently been contacted by the hospital. The op could possibly go ahead after Christmas but with the recent Covid spike I guess it’ll be cancelled for the time being. So really in your case, if you can afford private fees, it’ll be the pain level to make you go ahead sooner rather than later. All the best.

Jane10 Tue 22-Dec-20 14:00:16

If you have savings for a rainy day this could be the time to use them. I spent my rainy day money on my new knees and that gave me back my mobility. Worth every penny.

Smileless2012 Tue 22-Dec-20 14:03:08

It's great news that the problem can be remedied Marilla and if you can afford to go private, I'd do so. Being in constant pain is miserable and bad back pain can be so debilitating.

I wish you wellflowers.

Charleygirl5 Tue 22-Dec-20 14:16:44

I personally would go down the private route then you would know who is actually doing the surgery whereas if you go NHS it could be any member of his team.

Please do not forget that when you see him as an OPD, that is private and that cost can be as much as £300 depending on which part of the country you are in.

Hopefully, the hospital can supply a care package so that you pay one price which will include, blood tests, Xrays if required etc. and the surgery.

At present, I cannot see you having it done under the NHS even next year. Good luck.

Charleygirl5 Tue 22-Dec-20 14:17:54

Marilla my apologies for being so practical!

Marilla Tue 22-Dec-20 15:15:20

Thank you so much for such positive, practical and kind replies. I really do appreciate them.

You are all absolutely right. Private seems the best option.

BlueSky I do hope your husband doesn’t have to wait much longer. It is a most debilitating condition.

BlueSky Tue 22-Dec-20 18:21:00

Marilla thanks he can’t wait either!

Nannytopsy Tue 22-Dec-20 18:36:34

My mum had private spinal surgery in her late 80s and it made such a difference to her life. X

Grannyben Tue 22-Dec-20 19:41:27

I had extensive spina surgery, lasting just under 7 hours. I understand your pain.
If you have the money, please have the surgery, as soon as you can. Fingers crossed it will give you your life back.

BlueSky Tue 22-Dec-20 19:42:44

Nannytopsy never too late for some quality of life!

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 22-Dec-20 21:40:03

If you can get the surgery done soon then get it done, I ended up as an emergency admission and spent nearly 2 years trying to walk properly afterwards and with very little feeling in one leg.

If I had been able to get the op done sooner I might have escaped not only the amazing pain ( as though my leg was on fire) but the consequent rehab.

20 years later only a part of my upper leg is numb and my back is fine.

Marilla Tue 22-Dec-20 22:40:20

You are all so encouraging and reading your own experiences so interesting.
Nannytopsy your mother sounds amazing.
Thank you for all your thoughts and I’ll keep you updated.

Marilla Tue 22-Dec-20 22:42:30

Grannyben was your surgery quite recent? Seven hours is a long time to be in surgery. Have you made a good recovery?

FannyCornforth Wed 23-Dec-20 09:46:53

Hello Marilla (I've followed the trail!)
Going on what you've said, yes, I'd go private. I think that I would be in two minds any other year, but things being as they are...
Excellent advice from Charleygirl5
I'll bear that in mind when/if I'm in the same position.
What is going on with your spine sounds very similar to mine. I'll have a look for my report, I know that it mentions bulging and squashing tchsad

LadyGracie Wed 23-Dec-20 09:50:27

I had the surgery some years ago, it changed my life completely I've never looked back. Go for it, privately if you're able.

larry5 Wed 23-Dec-20 10:00:13

I had the same sort of surgery on my spine about 2 1/2 years ago after months of pain. My op was done in a private hospital on the NHS as the local NHS hospital didn’t offer the op.

I arrived in the morning at 7, went for the op at 8 and was back on the ward by 10 30. I left the hospital at 1 and I have had no pain and no numbness since.

I would suggest you get the op as soon as possible if you can afford it as I still can’t believe the difference it made to me.

BlueSky Wed 23-Dec-20 10:35:26

Good to hear such positive experiences on here!

Nortsat Wed 23-Dec-20 10:58:55

I had private surgery and treatment for cancer.
I was had all the tests and was in hospital within 2 weeks. I had my op and was home recuperating before my first NHS appointment was even due.

I waivered about the cost but my partner was resolute from the beginning, that we should get the best we could afford.
In the end we spent the money we had put aside to get a new car! No contest.

I recommend you go ahead. Your surgeon will pick his/her best people for all aspects of your care (analysing your tests and scans, your anaesthetyst, etc) and the costs are clearly spelled out in advance.
I wish you all the luck, in whatever you decide ... and do come back and let us know how things are going 💐

BigBertha1 Wed 23-Dec-20 11:09:59

Marilla I am sorry to hear about your pain and I do know a little of what you have gone through as I have spinal arthritis and a lumbar scoliosis which cant be fixed. If it could I would pay the money and go today. That would be my advice- pain is so debilitating and has no virtues. Get it done. Happy Christmas. tchsmile

Marilla Wed 23-Dec-20 12:54:16

Thank you once again for taking the time to respond to the update. I did think there would be more Grans opting for the NHS. Not one of you have gone that way.
I think it is a sign of the times!

Jane10 Wed 23-Dec-20 13:00:10

We would have if we could stand the wait which was very long in my case. I couldn't bear the prospect of wasting years of my dwindling life as incapacitated as I was. It was money well spent.

Candelle Wed 23-Dec-20 13:33:08

Poor Marilla!

Most people here have had the problem and can understand your pain. My pain was such (every second the nerve twanged to an unimaginable degree) that I would have jumped off a cliff if I hadn't had the surgery (disc very damaged and bulging).

This occurred during the summer holidays and my husband rang round every private hospital but it so happened that no surgeons were available - school holidays! Eventually he found one who was available and when I was ushered in to see him my blood ran cold as he was um, er, rather ancient! By now, I couldn't sit or stand and although I watched his hands (fairly..... steady!) I was apprehensive but went ahead as he was 'it', or wait weeks.

To be fair, this surgeon did point out to me that over a period of time, most probably six months to a year, the herniated disc would desiccate and the pain would lesson if not disappear but I felt unable to wait so had the operation soon after. I wonder if you were told this - although obviously each case is different.

We went ahead and the relief when waking up (good!) and realising that the pain I was feeling was post-operational and not nerve-related was immense. This was some twenty years ago and I can't actually remember if I was nerve-pain free immediately but I think I was more or less.

I never regretted having this operation as it restored me to my old self again and not the sniveling wreck, crying with the pain that I was prior to the operation!

Please do ensure that you have a 'total care' package including consultations, all diagnostic tests, anesthetic fees, theatre time, pain relief and a follow up consultation.

I am sorry that you are suffering and wish you well as soon as possible.

Luckygirl Wed 23-Dec-20 14:36:37

My OH (he was a doctor) used to say that if he needed this surgery he would go to a neurologist and not an orthopaedic surgeon.