U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
OH
A member asked:

I am 18 yrs old. i have a congenitaly narrow spinal canal with 3 buldging disc.(l3-4, l4-5) i already seen a spine specialist. doesn't recommend surgery because he's not sure i would get positive results. i have done pt , chiropractor, nothing worked. eve

7 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
What are symptoms: Just because you have a small canal does not necessarily mean this is the cause of your back pain. Also, disc bulges are not symptomatic but normal findings on imaging studies. If your pain is arising from multiple disc levels, there is a lower success of spine surgery. Other factors that may also hinder a good result include smoking and obesity as well as being deconditioned or out of shape.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
Anesthesiology 40 years experience
Question?: I suppose you want to know what to do. A second opinion is always useful. But if you don't have pain or the pain is recent in onset or comes and goes the literature says to wait it out for at least a year or 2 and you may improve w/o the need for surgery.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Michael Gofeld
Pain Management 33 years experience
Agree: Unless it's absolutely necessary stay away from spinal surgery. Work on flexibility, core muscles, keep weight controlled.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
What are symptoms: Just because you have a small canal does not necessarily mean this is the cause of your back pain. Also, disc bulges are not symptomatic but normal findings on imaging studies. If your pain is arising from multiple disc levels, there is a lower success of spine surgery. Other factors that may also hinder a good result include smoking and obesity as well as being deconditioned or out of shape.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Orrin Ailloni-Charas
Anesthesiology 30 years experience
Get a second : Opinion. If the second doctor doesn't think surgery is a good idea, consult with a pain management specialist.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 41 years experience
What are symptoms: Just because you have a small canal does not necessarily mean this is the cause of your back pain. Also, disc bulges are not symptomatic but normal findings on imaging studies. If your pain is arising from multiple disc levels, there is a lower success of spine surgery. Other factors that may also hinder a good result include smoking and obesity as well as being deconditioned or out of shape.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. James Henning
Anesthesiology 51 years experience
2nd Opinion: You'll probably need to get clarity and confirmation from other providers (neurosurgeons and/or orthopedic spine surgeons) about the reasons why an 18 actually has multi-level disc disease and might not respond well to surgical intervention.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Apr 15, 2019
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.