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HELLO AGAIN, LOOKING FOR DIRECTION

doubleeagleddoubleeagle Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi Everybody--I guess I can consider myself a newbie, as I haven't posted in a couple of years. First off, I empathize w/everyone on this site and hope all of us can find whatever it is that gives us relief.

HISTORY & DIAGNOSIS:
I'm a 41 year old male in good physical shape, other than my back. I had my a laminectomy (L4-5) in 1989 at age 23. Very successful outcome. No problems, until I suffered a small herniation at L5-S1, but did not require surgery. I have DDD L3-4, 4-5, 5-S1. I have a congenitally small spinal canal. I have mild central canal stenosis. I have annular tears at all levels. Mild facet arthritis. No gross foraminal nerve impingement.

CURRENT SYMPTOMS:
Cannot tolerate long periods (45mins max) standing. Very infrequent leg pain (only after a long day of shopping, standing, walking), and it's not your typical sciatica, off the chart pain. MY MAIN PROBLEM IS: If I do housework, activities that require mobility, bending forward, twisting, reaching, prolonged standing, my lumbar spinal muscles spasm up horribly (pain 7/10), and I 'list' to the left. My surgeon tells me my muscles are forming a SPLINT, so my spine can protect itself. After I rest for 3-4 days, the spasms calm down (pain 2/10). Then, when I do something requiring mobility, I flare up again. When this happens I can't move even close to normal. This cycle has been repeating itself since 2004.

Have any of you, or do you know or have heard, of someone with similar symptoms as I have described? Most people I talk to have the radicular pain down the leg or arm, much as I had at age 23.

I have a discogram this friday (scared to death). After that, my surgeon can give me his opinion on treatment options. I have tried drx9000, ESI, massage, chiro, inversion, tens, heat/ice, p.t., MEDX, etc.... If anyone wants any info on my experiences w/ any of these treatments, please feel free to ask.

I am afraid to get surgery (especially fusion), as some people say they are worse afterwards. Any help or advice would be GREATLY APPRECIATED.

Thanks and all my best to everyone--doubleeagle




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Comments

  • I have similar pain to yours and it is caused by arthritis in my facet joints. I did have sciatica before I had an annular tare repaired at L3/L4. Now, just like you if I try and do much of anything the spasms and pain are off the charts. I have been fitted for a good lumboscaral back brace that really does help especially when it comes to walking or standing. Good luck to you and keep us posted.
  • painintheback--thanks for the reply. Do the Facet Blocks and MB Blocks or Rhizotomy provide any relief?? Do you get any relief from the muscle relaxers? I only get minor relief from them, and my doc's tell me soma isn't a very good one, but the others are less effective.

    How was the discogram?

    Thanks again and good luck to you also.
  • I am glad you have came here, there is a ton of info here!!!! :H .

    I have severe pain in my legs also along with my back but I do also seem to have a high tolernce for pain also. I had a discogram, and I will not lie. It does hurt, I cried a lot. It is a great tool to see if you have a problem with your disks. I have also had IDET. I had that done with my pm doc. That was also horrible :''( .

    If you have more questions, just ask! :D
  • I hope you get well soon. I had a discogram, not pleasant. Painful procedure, ask for a sedative and get a driver(not golf club). The pain will get better after the second day. Plan to stay resting for that day and the next and take some meds. The procedure is meant to see if you get the pain you usually have when they pressurize your discs. Best wishes to you. I have my 360 degree fusion L4/L5 on Monday.
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. we have alot in common. i have a double laminectomy in 1984 at age 24 on L4-L5!!! things went fine for me as well and then problems set in that do not have a surgical solution. :''( the best of luck with your discogram. Pika has some good ideas for that. =D> hope to see you around the forum!! good luck with your future pain treatments. Jenny :)
  • HeidiLynnM, Pika, and Lulusheart--thank you all for your replies.

    I had my disco today at 1p.m., doc injected L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1 for diagnosis of pain generator, and L2-3 for control comparison (good disc).

    It went A LOT BETTER than I thought it would. I was only lightly sedated. The 1st disc duplicated exactly the pain down my R leg that I experience occasionally after long periods of activity, and it hurt enough to seriously get my attn!!! As stated in my original post, my problem is predominately severe spasm, upper body listing to the left, becoming immobile. Which leads me to the 2nd disc--I found this to be amazing, because I didn't think the disco would recreate the spasm/muscle pain I get, but it did!!! When the injected the disc, my whole low back cramped and hurt exactly like it does when I flare up. Once again, IT HURT BAD, but didn't last too long. I think I was so happy that they may have found my pain generator, it took my mind away from the pain somewhat!

    3rd disc was just pressure, likewise for the 4th. I left just a little sore, but I am much more so now. Ice and meds are helping, I will be fine in a couple of days.

    Now I am encouraged that #1) It's only 2, not 3 disc causing pain, and #2) Maybe my surgeon will be able to avoid fusion (as he has stated 1yr ago, that he may just have to clean out my spinal canal, but would need the disco to confirm).

    So, I am HOPEFUL and OPTIMISTIC that I'm one step closer to possibly getting the problem corrected.

    Pika--GOOK LUCK on Monday, BE POSITIVE!!! I will say a prayer for you this weekend.

    Heidi--Did the IDET do anything for you? Also, you seem pretty young and I see that your problem is just the one level. I had my laminectomy at age 23, at L4-L5, and did wonderfully. My current problems are from aging and doing a lot of sports and abusing my back. Point is, you CAN get better!! Hang in there!!

    Jenny--I'm sorry to hear that you don't have a surgical option. Do you mind if I ask you why not?

    Craig





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