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Chronic Back Pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi all! This is the first time I've used a chat to dicuss medical problems but I'm at my wits end. All the straight answers one becomes accustomed to dwindle in the light of direct questions. :D

So for those of us who have gone through hell with our backs I'd like to hear some advice to help out the love of my life.

She recently had an MRI done and the results don't seem too terribly bad when I read all the injuries you guys have gone through. Diagnosed with a focal disc extrusion on the left side at the L-4-L-5 level. There is an extruded disc fragment extending posterior to the upper margin of the left L5 vertebral body and displacement of the descending nerve roots. In the axial plane the dimensions of this extruded material is 7x7mm.

At the L-5,S-1 level there is high T2 signal in the posterior annulus consistent with an annular tear. There is mild focal central disc protrusion.

From all this I've gathered she has potentially herniated the left side of the cartilage between L-4 and L-5 to 7x7mm causing mild nerve root compression.

My question is what are the most common ways to fix these problems? Are we talking surgery or just some non-invasive (exercises)?

Thanks in advance to all who can lend any of their expertise. :)))


  • You should search treatments for herniated discs on the search section above on spine health. There are a lot of conservative treatments for her to try. In my opinion, you should have her try all conservative treatments before considering surgery unless the docs think she needs an emergency surgery cuz something else is going.

    She can try injections, physical therapy, chiropractic treatments. Has she been referred to an orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain management doc or any other specialist to help with this issue? Is she on any medications to help with pain? Does she have any numbness or muscle spasms along with a hurt back? Does she have sciatic pain which is pain that goes down butt and back of leg and go all the way down to your foot?

    Thank you for taking the time to luck into this information for your wife. That is very thoughtgul of you. You are such a great husband. If her conditions continues to get worse you will need to be her rock. Having chronic back pain and the frustrations of trying different types of treatement to see which is best and works for her is going to be stressful. People who never had issues with depression have ended up with depression after suffering chronic back pain. I'm not trying to scare you, I'm trying to make you aware of what may be to come. I'm not saying she is going to get depressed but saying she may and you should be aware of this and read up on it so you can be there for her when she needs you.

    How long has she had issues with her back?
  • Sounds like your wife has multi level problems. Some may be surgical depending on her physical disablity, pain, ability to do daily activities etc.
    My thoughts
    1.Head back to the doctor that ordered MRI. Don't wait...
    2. early intervention may prevent long term complications.
    3. when meeting with specialist seek word of mouth referrals,Family, friends, work or church acquaintences...Many people have spine-back problems... always seek second or 3rd opinion if surgery is indicated - explore your options before making a final decision.

    4. physical therapy can be beneficial before and after surgery ...ask for it.

    5. if your doctors don't listen or seem to be attentive..move on there are many excellent clinicians willing to listen and care but you may have to seek them out.

    These are just a few of my common sense insights after undergoing 2 major spinal surgeries...and very long rehab..Good luck&
    take care...
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