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Hi everyone, I'm Erin...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in New Member Introductions
:H My name's Erin & like you, my back is killing me. I'm super thankful for finding this site!!!

Here's a bit about me. I'm 33yrs old and up until recently have been very physically active. I was strength training 2-3 x's a week and this past October I had started training to run longer distances ...and that's where I went from minor "boy my back is bugg'n me & the chiro isn't help'n it" to "holy cow, what the heck did I do."
I tried all the typical things...advil...heat...chiro....stretching....etc & unlike all the past times my back has bothered me, nothing seemed to help. By Christmas I knew something was REALLY wrong (and of course with the holidays I couldn't get in anywhere for help). I was having sever pain in my lower back & down my right leg all the way down to my foot. It felt like I broke my ankle & I couldn't walk on it w/o excruciating pain. I also started having weakness in that foot/leg. After the holidays I had an apt with my primary Dr & she pretty much just dismissed me...told me to keep doing what I was doing & gave me a PT referral since I probably did something to a disk. So I called PT...they couldn't get me in for over a week. -Each day it got worse & worse & I was really starting to freak out. My DH & decided to get a 2nd opinion & paid out-of-pocket for it...got an x-ray (was negative), got some Vicodin, and was told I needed an MRI pronto since I had foot-drop & nerve damage and that this was pretty serious and that PT wouldn't be a good idea, but that I might need surgery depending on what the MRI came back with. Fought with my insurance co & with my primary....paid out-of-pocket for MRI....fought some more with them.
MRI results came back: L3-L4 central disc protrusion 3mm with bilateral facet and ligamentum flavum hypertophy and mild-moderate spinal canal narrowing centrally.
L4-L5 large right paramedian disc extrusion 10mm with bilateral facet hypertophy and several bilateral subarticular recesses stenosis with impingement of both descending L5 roots especially on the right. There is severe spinal canal stenosis centrally with impingement of the thecal sac & crowding of the nerve roots within. There is also moderate right & mild left neural foraminal stenosis.
L5-S1 left disc protrusion 5mm with impingement of the S1 root. There is moderate spinal canal stenosis centrally. There is severe left & moderate right neural foraminal stenosis.
Boy, once we got those results everyone that was fighting us began to sing a different song! Got right into an appt with a surgeon...he recommends that I have surgery, but was willing to try a series of 3 cortisone epidurals (1 each week) which I just finished this week. He also bumped me up to Vicodin ES. So far the epidurals have helped a bit. I have less pain in my foot/ankle & less tingling in my toes...it's instead moved up into my shin/side of my leg. So now I'm contemplating what to do (surgery...yes or no?) & very happy to have found all of you!


  • hi erin

    just wanted to say welcome. i'm a "neck" person but i'm sure you will be hearing from people with issues like yours soon. keep smiling... it helps :)
  • One of the reasons that I'm not a candidate for surgery is that I have only mild foraminal narrowing. So my treatment can be managed without surgery and time may heal my herniated disc. I really couldn't say for your results though as only a Dr could advise you. If you can try to get a 2nd opinion. 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
  • Erin,
    Nice to meet you, glad you are able to find the cause of your troubles, that is half of the battle sometimes. Definitely get another opinion, every doctor sees things from a different perspective and having the most information (even if contradictory) will help you make a better decision.

    As far as your surgery decision goes, it really comes down to how much the conservative treatments work for you. If they give you enough relief then surgery may not be necessary. That relief threshold (and the actual repairs from the surgery) is the key. Make sure you find out from the doctors how much improvement they expect you to have, how long your recovery time will be and any other questions that you can come up with.
  • Hello Erin. Nice to meet you but wish it would not of been here. There are many good folks on here who have all faced surgeries & or many struggles. Hope all goes well for you in whatever you decide. I had my back fusion 9/25/08 & continue to struggle. Hope we can all become painfree someday.

    Norm ( stinger66)
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. have you tried any nerve pain medications for your leg? :? they can work wonders. talk to your doctor about it. :-C good luck as you seek pain relief! :D Jenny :)
  • I really appreciate you all welcoming me. :D

    lulusheart - I've only had the 3 cortisone epidurals...what are the name(s) of the nerve pain meds? What's been your experience with them???

    Thank you all again for your support & information!!!
  • hi! :H i see you are finding your way around..the nerve pain medication i use for the sciatica in my leg is Lyrica.. :D it has worked wonders for the pains in my leg. <:P the most relief i have ever had!! =D> talk to your doctor about this med and others! :-C i really wish you alot of luck with your upcoming decisions.. :D Jenny :)
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