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60 yo male in great physical condition. 5’6, 155 lbs, 13% body fat. I do a 2 hour full body strength workout at the gym twice weekly. 4 days hiking per week, 3 to 7 miles with 2000 altitude gain typical. Im actually on a 6 month training program for mountaineers climbing mt Everest. I’m planning on climbing a 20,000 mountain in the Himalaya next April.
A few months ago I twisted funny and hurt my lower back. The pain resolved within about two weeks. I was left with some numbness in my right quad that resolved in about another 2 weeks. In the meanwhile I did an MRI just to look.
Just to be clear I no longer have any pain or numbness. No symptoms at all. I feel great!
The MRI showed various disk issues. It turns out I have an L2-L3 disk extrusion. Not surprising for a 60 year old guy. The kicker is that my GP wont sign my medical release to go to Nepal until I saw a neurosurgeon.
The 1st neurosurgeon I saw recommended preventative surgery - a lumbar laminectomy and micro disksectomy. He also recommended that I terminate all my gym workouts.
Just to be clear I have no pain or numbness. In fact I was 100% perfect on the nuerological office exam.
I feel like surgery as a first option on a asymptomatic patient is going a bit too far. Other more conservative options were not even mentioned.
Right now I have a second MRI with contrast scheduled. If the first neurosurgeon still recommends preventative surgery, I will seek a second opinion.
Has anyone here done preventative back surgery, or even heard of such a thing?
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