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Have been diagnosed with a large prolapsed disc, please, really need advice!!!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Lower Back Pain
Help!!! I just got a huge shock yesterday. My MRI scan results seem to show that I have a large prolapsed disc in my lower back (don't know which disc yet) and that I need an operation and the surgeon wants to do it in the next week or so. The hospital is going to call me on Monday to arrange a pre-admission appointment with the neurosurgeon to discuss the scan results and the operation. I am terrified, I have heard so many horror stories. I live in England and we have the National Health Service (NHS) so my treatment is free.

I really would like some good advice. Is surgery necessary? I have had this excruciating pain in my lower back and right leg (sciatica) for 5 weeks. Its so bad that I was put on morphine to control the pain. My symptoms have not changed or lessened at all in this time. I am literally disabled, I cannot walk, sit, stand, drive, work, lie down. I need to be looked after and my life has come to a complete stand still. I am 39 years old and I have never had any surgery on my back before.

Is surgery the only option? If it is, does anyone know which types of surgery are available and which is the best? Could this heal on its own? I'm so scared about this and I think I'm still in shock to be honest.

I would really really appreciate anyone's comments, suggestions or advice.

Sorry for long post

Warm regards to you all out there

Diana
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Comments

  • That is such sad news for you. I guess you'll know more when the Neurosurgeon sees the scan and does an assessment on you just to make sure that surgery should be an emergency if there would be future nerve damage from waiting too long without surgery. Other than asking Neuro that if there would be nerve damage if they waited longer? I guess you'll know the answer next week. We really couldn't give any medical advice. They told me to try conservative measures because I was able to walk a bit and pain is somewhat controlled. I'm going for a second opinion in January and my leg pain is better after epidurals. Ortho must be concerned for nerve or tissue damage to be considered an emergency. Let us know how it goes we're with you. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thank you for replying Charry, I really appreciate that. Do you think they are treating this as an emergency if they want to do the operation in the next week or so? Since this pain started things seem to have gone very fast, I got fast tracked for an MRI scan and now they want to do surgery very soon.

    Are the chances of success better if you have surgery very soon after the injury? If the disc has burst will they remove the disc? If they do that, do they replace it with something else?

    Have you had this surgery?

    I hope to hear back from you soon Charry.

    Warm regards

    Diana

    PS I know you can't give medical information but I am more than happy to listen to your views or opinions.
  • I haven't had any surgery. I'm getting conservative treatment first before any surgery. I'm sure the Neurosurgeon will order an EMG test first to check the nerves. I'm sure the Neurosurgeon can answer your questions I really couldn't answer any more than that. Maybe someone else will come along and tell of their experience. Keep me posted. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Charry

    I will keep you posted I promise. I'm not sure what an EMG test is but I do know that I have no reflexes in my right leg at all and when I was asked to lift my right leg up from lying down on the examination table (I was in great pain as I cannot lie on my back at all without severe pain) I could not lift my leg even a millimetre. Is that an EMG test?

    You take good care too and thank you so much for being so sweet

    Speak to you soon

    Diana

  • hi diana,

    i am 36yrs old suffering for a while now with my back,i undertstand your pain and understand how it had come as shock.Everything around your back and the pain can become measured through how your lifestyle is now,do not think your alone,we understand.We are here to listen and give you assurances.I had fears when surgery was mentioned,i firstly weighed it up because my childeren were young and dependant on me (hence lifstyle around myself)i freaked out so much so i kind of got left on back burner with my consultant and still waiting to see him(nhs patient here)

    I went along and seen a therapist,helped me talk out my fears and pros and cons,she felt nothing unstable about me,i had this forum to help me which was valuable knowing i wasnt alone.I did have down days with pain but i have been seeing the painmanagement consultant who is very good helping to meet your pain medication levels,i am on tramadol slow release and lyrica for the nerve pain(lyrica is about the best pain managing i have taken for the nerve pain)its great having the p.management team they have more authority to give you referrals for epidurals,physio,therapists and most imortantly your right meds that meet your needs personally.your gp can only put you in touch with these but your left waiting,try to push for a direction thats going to meet you personally,my advice is go at your pace and make sure your medical team are able to meet your assurances so your feeling kept in safety net that suits your pace,but do get the best from every medical person you meet,hey thats what there there for and your condition deserves to be assisted.

    Do try get into pain managent to help with your level of pain,your really suffering and this is not something that should be left if there is that service there for your condition

    All best do pm me if you need me i hope i can help you althoughi am not medically able i am only helping as another NHS sufferer.

    karen
  • Hi dsmith, Sorry to hear of the distress your in right now.I do know that I was diagnosed with a prolapsed disc and i was sent to Physical Therapy, I have seen Chiro, taken meds. A year later I now have Degerative Disc Disease because my Primary Dr. told me I didn't want back surgery. Well I am having a fusion done on my L5- S1 on Dec. 1st. I am really nervous and have also heard horror stories. But mostly here I have found about equal good and bad. Hope all goes well for you. Ask, Ask, And Ask some more. And I was told to always get a second opinion...
  • For Karen

    How long have you had your condition? You said you freaked out, did you decide you did not want the surgery? Is that why you said your consultant has put you on the back burner?

    I have just turned 39 and the injury to my disc happened 5 weeks. Since then I have pushed hard to get it diagnosed and treatment identified. I am very frightened that if more time passes there could be permanent nerve damage. Is that true?

    My life has come to a complete stand still. I cannot work, walk, lie down, drive, anything. I am totally dependent on the help from my family and friends.

    I am with Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge. Have you ever heard of it? It is supposed to be one of the best hospitals in the country.

    Take care my fellow NHS sufferer, you are amazing to be able to carry on with your life and take care of your children with all that pain.

    To Motherof3

    Thank you for your post. You said your sent to PT, was that the only option they gave you? Did they not consider surgery? Are you able to get on with your life normally even though you have this condition? I cannot function at all.

    How does a person get Degenerative Disc Disease? Does that happen if someone does not have surgery and leaves the prolapsed disc for a long time?

    I wish you all the very best for your surgery. Who knows, I may be having my surgery at around the same time too!!!

    I am waiting for the hospital to call me tomorrow morning to arrange a pre admission appointment with the neurosurgeon. I have got a list of questions that I want to ask him. Unless I feel very confident and there are no alternative options, I will not go along with the surgery. I have to feel very sure that it will be the best thing for me before I would agree to it.

    Hope to hear back from you

    Take good care


    Diana

  • hi diana,

    i pm you,hope it helps

    karen :H
  • hi

    hope your holding in there for tommorrow,i thought if you posted in surgery you might get more information replies.

    if any one reading here diana is looking help with a surgery procedure due wednesday.look in lower back pain for the message,i havent any personal exprience with this but i hope some of you can
    good luck,thinking of you and all around you for 2morrow
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