Does my mother need to undergo surgery?
Q: My 45 years old mother has suddenly developed pain from the buttocks to her thighs. She underwent MRI, which showed that she has problem at L4-L5 and L5-S1. We visited many doctors; all gave steroids, which reduced pain considerably. The numbness also decreased a bit. We have also opted for acupuncture. We have stopped giving her medicines. But the numbness keeps coming back. Another doctor recommended a surgery? Does she need to undergo a surgery? Can numbness cause paralysis?
A:With the information given - numbness alone will alert me but I will seek two opinions before embarking upon surgery. The indication for surgery is excruciating pain because of nerve pressure not getting managed by conservative management and neurological symptoms where your mother may fit in particularly if she is developing weakness / bowel-bladder symptoms. Keep a close watch, and strictly follow the precautions advised.