Hi there everyone,
I'll keep this as brief as I can.
33 years old. very athletic.
2002 (age 26)-after occasional back problems through high school and college (all sports-related), i suddenly experienced severe pain, then discovered L4-L5 herniation and stenosis.
symptoms: sciatica in the left leg, mostly in glut/calf, making standing for any length of time unbearable and severely limited activity. constantly needed meds (percs, vics, anti-inflammatories) for any active behavior. awful.
2002-2004-various treatments (PT, acupuncture, etc.) that did not work. began getting epidurals. effective duration of each epidural got shorter (9 months, then six months, etc).
2004-began consulting with surgeon (columbia prebyterian in nyc). after a final epidural resulted in no decrease in pain, scheduled surgery.
2004-august - underwent laminectomy/discectomy at columbia presbyterian. immediately following surgery, nothing changed.
2004-october - frustrated with lack of any reduction in pain and by doctor's insistence that everything was fine, got a second opinion with the excellent dr. michael lavyne. following additional MRIs/CT scan and a myelogram, lavyne agreed to operate.
2004-november - got second laminectomy/discectomy. it was successful.
2005-2009 - pain free, with gradual increase in athletic regimen
2009 - july -following workout, feel sciatic pain. immediately stop working out. pain increases.
2009 - get mri - the results:
L4-L5 - severe loss of intervertbral disc heights (assume this is from previous operations)
L4-L5 - 4mm disc bulge, focal tear at T2 weighted sequence. mild/moderate foraminal stenosis, more on left than right. NO extrusion/sequestration.
L5-S1 - 2.5mm disc bulge impressing on thecal sac. mild foraminal stenosis, more on left than right. NO extrusion/sequestration.
So, I guess my question is: is there anything I can do to avoid surgery again? And for those of you who've had multiple ops or you doctors out there, do you think there's any way to avoid fusion/artificial disc replacement given my two previous discectomies?
all advice is welcome!!!!!!!