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Camper29CCamper29 Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in New Member Introductions
I am new to this forum and so glad to see so many "kindred spirits".
I have had chronic back and leg pain for the past 13 months. MRI showed L2-3 osteoarthritis, L3-4 bulging disc (impinging nerve root), tear in the L4-5 annulus. My symptoms are lower back pain, pain (like razor burn) down the right buttocks radiating to right ankle. Sometimes I can't even stand feeling material up against my leg. I have had 3 epidural injections and 2 nerve blocks (fluroscopy) since May '08. I got minimal relief from the epidurals and some relief (about 7 weeks) from the first nerve root block. I am one month post second nerve root block without further relief. In fact, I have had to go back on some of my medications.
It is so comforting to read everyone's posts. I feel a real sense of belonging. I don't think anyone who has not experienced back pain can ever understand that it affects EVERYTHING in a person's life. You try not to complain but if all there is is pain?...meh


  • :D hi and welcome to the forum! =D> we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. it is nice to have you here. you will meet many wonderful "spineys" to chat or just listen. i am sorry your pain is giving you such problems right now. ~X( what are you alternatives if these treatments fail? why type of doctor are you seeing? please have a look around and make yourself at home! good luck as you seek further pain relief. =D> Jenny :D
  • We have alot in common. My issues are almost identical to yours although I did get my annular tare repaired (removed). I wish you much luck at finding pain control and please keep us posted.
  • Sorry you have ongoing pain. I did not get any relief from ESI's or nerve blocks. Finally moved on to the spinal cord stimulator after 3 surgeries at L5-S1 and permanent nerve damage. Hope you find something that works for you - suffering non-stop pain can be something else, can't it!!

    Welcome to Spine Health!! Hope you find much support here as I have.

    Take Care,

  • I go back to see the Orthopedic specialist next week so I guess I will find out what the next step will be (surgery?) I am trying to be optomistic however I am finding work a big challenge right now (and I'm only doing 4 hours a day!).
    I guess I will take it one day at a time as I can only do as much as I can do all the while trying not to be that person that goes on about their health when you ask "How are you doing?" LOL.
  • Well, I went to my MD and I am back on the Lyrica (after a very frank discussion with my DH as it makes me a little loopy). I told him that I want to start out with a low dose so he gave me the option of 25-50 mg three times a day. He also suggested that I stop working (I am a dispatcher/supervisor for a local police force). I told him I would like to try to continue working as I have been on "light" duties since I returned to work in Nov. for 4 hrs a day/4 days a week. I also suggested another MRI but my MD said that it would not show anything more than the first one.
    Yesterday I went to see the specialist. I think he was expecting a different outcome from the nerve block that I had in Dec. since I had a favorable response (able to return to work and work through the pain) from the one I had in Sept/08. He suggested that I return to my MD, up the Lyrica to 150 mg, twice a day and have another nerve block in a while. I am to discuss it with my MD and, when I am ready, just to call and they will book me in. I said okay, let's book it now then. He said, no wait abit.... He also said that he doesn't want to do surgery since the herniation of the disc is in an "awkward spot" (isn't all the spine an "awkward spot"?) and that he could do more harm than good if he operates.
    I guess my question is...am I to have nerve blocks for the rest of my life to maintain an "adequate lifestyle"? I don't think my employer will keep me on if I have bouts of "work for two months for 4 hrs a day, off for another 10 months, get a needle, work for two months", if you get my drift.
    Here is my history...(Sorry this is getting so long folks)

    I was diagnosed with DDD in 1990 when I had some issues with my neck and nerve compressions - resolved with PT.
    Mid-Dec. 2008 -had a very busy day, was helping my DH piling wood for our wood stove and was unable to get out of bed the next morning. Went to my MD who scheduled a Cat Scan - clinically consistant with foraminal disc. Had all the nerve drugs..Aventyl, Lyrica, Tridural. The PT was helpful but then I had a bad fall in the snow. Nothing has been the same since. Off work from Jan - Nov 2008.
    The MRI that I had in June 2007 says "..a small focal rounded area of marrow signal change in the posterior aspect of L2. This is most likely a small vertebral hemangioma.
    AT L3-4 this is a minimal bulge of the disc annulus but the posterior contour of the disc has a normal concave shape. There is a small right foraminal disc herniation at this level. The herniated disc is impinging on the right exiting L3 nerve root. Due to the bulging of the disc, there is also a slight encroachment of the disc on the inferior recess of the left neural foramen but the left exiting L3 nerve root is not compressed. Due to the disc bulge there is also mild narrowing of the left lateral recess of the spinal canal. At L4-5 there is no disc bulge and there are no disc hernations however there is a focal area of signal change......consistent with a small annular tear. Note is also made of marrow change in the top of the S3 segment.....most likely represents an atypical hemangioma."
    Of course people at work are comparing me with another employee who had a discectomy and has been great since. Why is the specialist (top dog in our province) so reluctant to operate?
    Anyway, for you who were asking, this is where I am at. I go back to see my MD on Monday to have the prescription for Lyrica changed and most likely he will put me off work again. ~X(
  • I'm sorry you're having it rough right now. Does your doctor have you on any medicine besides Lyrica? A combination like Norco, a muscle relaxer, an NSAID, and your Lyrica can help better. You shouldn't be compared to other people with back problems because no one is exactly the same, even if having the same condition. You'll find that people won't understand chronic back pain unless they have gone through it themselves, and it is not as simple as just taking a couple aspirins will make you better in the morning. Then they start to question you as to why you are not feeling better, and then act suspicious. This happens all the time. And then there are doctors who will only do injections and won't prescribe any pain meds. It's better to go to a clinic where they perform all treatments, not just injections.
    Well, I hope you find relief in whatever treatment comes your way. Take care
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