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can I heal? and continue in the army

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soldier View Drop Down
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    Posted: Feb 17 2009 at 6:40pm
I am a 30 yr old soldier that has just recently hurt my lower back , ruptured disc at L4L5 and buldging at L5S1.  I have just seen a physical therapist today who put me on a physical therapy program for a month. I was also referred to a neuro surgeon by my primary doctor.  I have been getting conflicting information from several different doctors (some whom I work with and just ask questions) and the physical thrapist. Every doctor I talked to has told me that I should really consider the surgery, but the PT strongly advises that I don't. I have been in the army for almost 7 years and have planned on making it my life long career.  However I will eventually have to do pushups and situps to pass the physical fitness test required to stay in the army. My question is, will physical therapy "cure" my condition or only help for some time untill i have to possibly put myself in the position of hurting it later on with the regular army fitness standards? Will I be able to continue for another 13 years?
 
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Rehab Guy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rehab Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 21 2009 at 10:30pm
I was just wondering what the thoughts of your PT are in regards to why you should not undergo the surgery? I am assuming you would be undergoing a discectomy - right? Physical therapy can help patients achieve positive outcomes who have bulging discs, but from my experience the patients I have seen who have had ruptured or sequestered discs don't achieve as great of outcomes. Often times surgery is required to maximize outcomes. I am not crazy about recommending surgery to my patients if it can be avoided.  Therefore, it may still be a good idea to participate in the program with your PT for that month to see if you make any gains. If minimal gains have been made, I think that will give you your answer than. 
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