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Looking for some direction

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,662
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Lower Back Pain
I was diagnosed last summer with L4-5 herniation, L4 annular tear, spondolisthesis and foraminal stenosis. I also have osteopenia. Since that time I have tried a variety of treatments - NSAIDs, steroids, physical therapy, and a single steroid injection. Shortly after the steroid injection the pain clinic I was referred to closed and I'm now in the position of having to start all over again. The pain is constant - to varying degrees - most significant when standing and/or walking. I had limited and very short term success with the injection. I'm at a loss at this point. I desperately want some relief and some return of my quality of life. Should I try to find another pain clinic and give the steroid injection another try? Are there other non-surgical options? I work full time and take care of my 1 year old grandson in the evening so I am not interested in narcotic pain medication - I need to be on my game! But I also need some relief. I'm having trouble carrying my grandson and walking and standing for more than a few minutes is also becoming difficult! Any suggestions would be welcome.


  • Hi there -

    Your story sounds familiar. I remember not being able to stand or walk for more than a few minutes. My answer was surgery. I felt relief from the awful pain while I was still in recovery. The post-op pain was as expected but nothing like to relentless day-to-day pain I'd been experiencing.

    One thing I would suggest is consulting and neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon who would help you along the way with different options. It would be a lot easier to have the referral when taking your next step but more importantly, it would give you and expert advocate to review your symptoms, follow your progress (or lack of) and they would assist you in making the safest and logical decisions on what to do. It sounds to me as if you are trying to navigate the system alone which could be at the least very daunting but possibly dangerous if you were to make an uninformed decision. I also did a lot of research so I could better understand what was being said and so that I could ask the right type of questions.

    Good luck! I know it's awful pain. I've had a kidney stone and I thought it was a piece of cake compared to back pain.

    I'll be pulling for you! Marian
  • Thank you for your response, Marian. It sounds like I should go back to the orthopedic surgeon that originally referred me to the pain clinic for the steroid injection. I hope though that surgery is not the only answer - but I really need some relief. Aside from the physical pain, mentally it is really wearing me down.

  • AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,662
    edited 09/08/2016 - 5:46 AM
    I just got back from Germany after having cervical disc replacement with with Dr. [edit], Germany. I saw several Americans there with multiple lumbar disc problems that had incredible results with disc replacement. I had a c5c6 herniation and suffered for 4 months before making the decision to go for the disc replacement. I was better by the time I woke up from anesthesia! Before you consider any fusion I would strongly advise getting to know someone who has lots of experience with disc replacement. Unfortuately, it is not yet available for multiple discs in the US...there are medications not currently approved over here that they are using for osteoporosis as well
  • What are the new osteoporosis meds? I'm always interested in hearing about new treatments. I am only 42 years old and very worried that I am already facing osteoporosis at such an early age (they say it's because of a hysterectomy in my 20s) and particularly concerned in light of the back problems I'm currently experiencing.

    It's good to hear positive stories about surgery outcome. I've always heard terrible things about spinal surgery and really don't want to to that route if I don't have to.
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