Hi Aunt Kay,
Good to see you but terrible to hear whats going on with you. I don't go to the CD forum much so I miss seeing alot of the folks over there. Aunt Kay, I am going to be honest with you here, the CP forum is not the place to rely solely on for outcomes of surgery, many of these folks have had back surgery and did not have a good outcome for one reason or another, therefore, their stories are not the typical.
When I worked I was in the legal field over 20 yrs. We handled worker's comp claims and personal injury. A very high majority of our clients with back and neck injuries underwent various kinds of surgeries. In this field Kay, I saw the good, the bad and the ugly when it came to drs. I knew for sure who I would go to and for sure who I would not let touch me with a 10 ft pole. My recommendation would be to consult with an experienced neurosurgeon because you have nerve involvment and that is his specialty. Orthopedics deal with the bones more so in general, but one would be glad to do surgery on you if needed. The nerves are a very intricate part of our bodies. I will say this from experience, no one can guarantee surgery will relieve your nerve pain. The nerves will either heal and quieten down on their own or they won't. Some drs will throw some percentages at you on whether they will heal, the bottom line is a truthful & honest surgeon will tell you just what I did. Its also a fact that if left alone too long w/o surgical intervention, a nerve can become permanently damaged and never heal. Its a real crap shoot for sure. I have a very good friend that hurt her back and she kept putting off having anything done because of fear, by the time she made it to surgery it was too late. She drags her right leg when she walks. She is now my age 56 and still drags that leg.
Alot of success is being done in microsurgery these days at least here in Texas, particularly in the pinched nerve dept. Surgeries vary, so does the recovering time frame. Most people that have a two level lumbar fusion take a good year totally heal, you may feel better sooner, but for a total recovery a good year. There are other surgeries people can heal in 3 months but they dr will say 6 weeks, so you can see how it can go. Everyone heals at a different rate. If you are on any of the immune suppressants for your CD then you may consider having to go off of them if you end up of having surgery because they can affect the healing process. I found this out the hard way after being on Remicade and having both knees done three weeks apart.
I would get an appt with a neurosurgeon, go in and see what he thinks before doing anything else. By the way, if Eppie number 2 does you no good, I would pass on number 3. He may want to try other conservative things first.
A good surgeon can either make your surgery a success or a failure. Do your homework when looking for a good one. Hugs, Susie