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I am scared and feeling down.

SlancastvaSSlancastva Posts: 43
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am very scared this morning. My pain level is off the charts and I am having extreme weakness in my lower back and left leg again. I went to work, but I could not concentrate. I came home. I called the doctor's office, but they cannot see me until Wednesday. I had a microdiscetomy and hemi laminectomy for a large herniated disc at L5-S1 which was pressing on the nerve root on March 9, 2009. I was out of work for 6 weeks. I attempted full time, but I was into much pain, so went to 4 hours a day for 2 months, then 6 hours a day. I went to phyical therapy for 2 months, but I was still hurting, but I was able to handling it by taking 2 lortab a day and Gabapentin for sciatia. The lortab did not take all the pain away, but it help me to tolerate it. I told the doctor I was still hurting but I reckon he wanted to wait and see if I would heal on my own. I do not know. On July 18, 2009, something popped in my back and again on July 23, 2009. My pain level went through the roof. I saw the doctor (orthropedic surgery)on July 24, 2009. He scheduled a MRI and give me percocet 7.5/325 for pain. I am not able to take it when I work because it makes me dizzy and sick on the stomach. I take one in the evening. I had the MRI on August 6, 2009 and got a copy of report. It states the following.:
L2-3 - Minimal disc protrusion in the left foraminal zone.
L3-4 - Minimal disc protrusion in the left foraminal zone.
L4-5 - Minimal broad-based disc protrusion. Bilateral facet hypertrophy and minimal amount of fluid in the left facet joint.
L5-S1 - Mild to moderate righ facet hypertrophy. Some amount of enhancing scar in the central anterior epidural space. Disc protrusion in the left foraminal zone adjacent to the exiting left L5 nerve root. There is disc desiccation at L5-S1 with loss of intervertebral disc space height.
In layman terms, it looks like I have 4 herniated disc in the lumbar and facet disease.
I try to be positive, but just like now, I still cry a little because I am scared and hurt. I did not mean to write a book, but if anyone reads this. Thanks for listening and any insight you may be able to give.


  • sorry there are continued problems in your spine. i am the same as you. lots of trouble in a lot of areas. i hope the drs have a solution for you. what did your dr say? sometimes the small disc problem can cause a lot of pain. we here at sh understand so keep us informed of your condition and future treatment as many of us here have been in your shoes....best to you...pete
  • Thank you for your encouragement. The doctor has not seen the mri report yet. I see him on Wednesday.

  • Try not to worry. I don't know your age, but if you are older than in your twenties, the spine has begun its degenerative process! Bad news...but it happens to all of us...some just more than others.

    Your MRI report does not indicate anything that you should be overly worried about -- none of us have textbook perfect spines. A minimal disc protrusion is extremely common and it is unlikely that any of those "minimal" protrusions is causing you any pain. Radiology lingo can get confusing as they use a variety of terms. MRI reports frequently use the term disc protrusion interchangeably with disc herniation. A disc protrusion generally refers to a broad-based or slightly asymmetric bulging of the disc with an intact annulus and reflects disc degeneration. The inner jelly-like material has not broken through to outside the outer layer of the disc.

    I know you are assuming that your whole lumbar spine is falling apart...but your report does not support those fears. It looks like the L5-S1 is your problem area.

    It is more likely that the pain is coming from the L5-S1. Is your pain similar to the pain you had prior to the surgery? It may be that the nerve is experiencing more irritation or that the disc has reherniated, etc.

    While you are waiting to see the doctor, try not to let your imagination work in overdrive. Try icing your lower back, twenty minutes at a session, a number of times each day. Are you taking a NSAID to help with inflammation?

    Also try lying on the floor in this natural traction position: lie flat on your back on the floor, with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor...arms close to your sides, palms up toward the ceiling, and your chin slightly tucked toward your chest (slightly!!). You may put a SMALL pillow (the height of a paperback book) under your head if it is uncomfortable without it. Just lie there and breathe out from your belly slowly and deeply for about five minutes at a time.

    This position helps the discs to unload and allows the soft tissue and muscles, which may be "guarding" the injured area, to relax. I get into this position at least three times a day and whenever my back starts to feel stressed. I've been known to do it in airports and can often be found on my kitchen floor half-way through cooking a meal!

    Try to relax, and let us know how your appointment goes on Wed.
  • I am so sorry that your issues are continuing.

    We all get really worried when we are having increased pain and we expected to have it decrease. I too have some fine popping sounds from my back. My facet joints bang on each other and this gives some funny noises and some real discomfort, No - It hurts like Heck! Sometimes I minimize the pain in words so I don't have to face it in the written page. Once I do though, I have to face it or do something to remedy it.

    We are not Dr's but we all certainly know how you feel.

    Are your medications helping to keep the pain down some? If not, you should mention this to you Dr too. Getting some releif, even for short periods will help.

    I hope your feeling better! David
  • Thank you very much for the support. Yes, my symptons are very similiar to the ones prior to surgery. I (not sure) but I think my disc has re herniated again at L5-S1 base on mri. I am going to do your suggestion about lying on the floor.


    Thank you all for your support.

  • I'm sorry that you are feeling scared, depressed and in pain. Gwennie makes an execellent suggestion about laying on the floor. I also have problems in L5/S1 area and find that I have to get in this position many times through out the day. My husband will come in to see if I'm done getting ready to go somewhere and doesn't understand why I'm laying on the floor.

    It is very common for your depression to get worse as your pain levels increase. Being in pain is a sad and scary thing. I am glad that you have turned to us spiney's as I know it is very comforting for me and hope it is the same for you.

    Please keep us posted on your progress as well as what the doc says on Wed. Feel free to PM me with any questions, comments or just to chat with someone who truly understands what you are feeling.
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