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I am in agony and dont know what to do.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone,

My my name is Yash and I am from Calgary, Canada. About 3 years ago I was doing squats in the gym and I felt a little pull, thought nothing of it.

The pain was so gradual and I thought it was a msucle problem and it would heal, but over the years it got worse.

I had an MRI a few weeks ago and have just received my results, if anyone could provide more insight into the results it would be greatly appreciated:

At L4-L5 there is a fairly large central to left paracentral disc herniation. This casuses moderately to severre stenosis of central canal and left lateral recess. Faramina are patent and facet joints are unremarkable.

Developmentally this patient does not have a generous sized spinal canal, but all other motion segments appear normal with patenet central canal, lateral recesses and intervertebral foramina.

There are no siginificant focal bony lesions (small fatty replaced carvernous hemangioma at L2)


Fairly large left paracentral L4-L5 disc herniation. This would compress the descending left L5 nerve root and probably compresses the causa equina somewhat.


I have pain everday, the only thing that seems to help is lying on my stomache and sitting down in various positions. Walking is ABSOLUTE AGONY, after 10 minutes the electric shooting pain down my left leg is unbearable.

My left hip and shifted outwards and is slightly twisted, the pain i feel goes from my lower back through the hip and glutes, outside left leg and outside left calf. When I walk or stand the pain is 9.

This is destroying my life, I am only 26 years old, my wife wants to have kids now, I see kids playing with their dads on the field. I sit in the car at the grocery store whilst my wife does the shopping, I cant do any forms of physical activity that require walking.

Does anyone have any adivce?

My doctor thinks I should have surgery, and so does my physiotherapist. My chiro thinks that i dont need surgery.

I dont know who to believe anymore.....



  • im not a doc, but i would not believe what a chiro says, only my own experience, get a second or even a third opinion from docs, sorry no one on here can give advice on an MRI scan, when it comes down to it only you can make the choice to have surgery, what is your quality of life like ? can you do everyday tasks ? can you be a father to future children? even if you think you can't i bet you could. a dad is not just about being able to do the rough and tumble stuff, a dad is someone who can give tons of love and support and encouragement to their kids, and a person who will always be there no matter how tough the ride, your wife wants kids, what do you want ?
    i bet you want the best for your wife and you, you are still young, look at all the options, i wish you and your wife all the best, keep talking, thats the best advice i can give
    let us all know how things are going.
    ps. welcome to this site, im sure you will get many more replies :D
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. there are some good nerve pain medications out you might talk to your doctor about.. :-C it might help with the shooting pain. good luck and keep us informed! :D Jenny :)
  • Canadian Eh! yeh over here too, I would suggest that you go after a Neurosurgoen or Spine Specialist. You need his advice!

    And look for a second opinion too!

    The issue is that your young and to be in such pain now, is indicative that there may be other issues. The Drs are doing thier best, but a surgeon would be better able to look at this critically and through experience give you better advice!

    Hope your doing better!
  • Firstly welcome (unfortunately) to the site and am sure you will find many members that can share their experience and offer support.

    I agree with what the others have said. To me, the advice from gwennie may be worrying and perhaps frightening but is cautious and I would always steer my own health that way (better safer than sorry).

    I can understand the pain too well from a herniated disk http://www.spine-health.com/forum/new-member-introductions/hello-all-herniated-disk-immobilized-3-weeks-now and agony after 10 minutes is much better than what I experienced. While you mentioned squats years ago (which may have weakened the disk) the herniation will be probably as recent as the current pain. You did indicate last few years but not how long this episode! Disk herniation can repair (with limitations) that should not prevent your future as a parent. Best suggestion is to read as many articles and videos on this site (I found many other sites explained things in a way that often pointed to promoting their surgical solution) and be prepared when meeting the doctors http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/back-surgery/preparing-meet-a-spine-surgeon-or-spine-specialist .

    Seeing a surgeon does not mean surgery and while some may have a tendency toward opening the patient, that is one of the reasons why many people will advise to get more opinions and be cautious. The surgeon I rate as the best I met was for a knee problem I had for around 3 years with many diagnosis. He was able to diagnose and provide instructions that fixed me (in 2-3 weeks) without drugs or exploratory surgery that he preferred to avoid.

    There is also good reasons to hope to avoid surgery and I have improved significantly per http://www.spine-health.com/forum/good-news/disk-herniation-conservative-non-surgery-and-improving Since that posting I have improved and now walking 10+km pain free but still cannot stand still or sit for any reasonable duration so not back at work yet but hope to resolve that situation in coming weeks. The conservative treatment may involve some drugs (Narcotics) that can cause issues and all drugs have side effects that may impact you so you may need to do research on any drugs (look up the Drug name and “Package Insert” on the web to find the information the Manufacturer provides).

    You asked about the MRI so suggest you read the article on http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/back-pain/mri-scan-spine and note that the MRI is part of the diagnosis and size of anatomical abnormality does not correlate with the pain! You can do a search on each item in your MRI from within this site and look at the articles and glossary (and I would) as well as google to prepare for meeting the doctor. Your specialist will do the physical exam and use the MRI as part of the diagnosis to form a recommendation. I have seen some sites that offer to do a diagnosis from an MRI but others (such as this site) indicate that is not possible.

    I terms of Exercises there is a small section on this site. There is a world following and associations the follow Robin McKenzie exercises and you will find many exercises are the same as he recommends. If you get onto a self help exercise book then read the introduction. The book co-authored by Robin McKenzie that I have essentially states if this is new injury then see a Physical Therapist first so wants you to be properly diagnosed first and get professional guidance from the physical examination. The exercises are designed to strengthen the (core) muscles that support the spine as it is those muscles and not the disks that you want to take the load.

    One other thing is that everyone wants to know “how much longer will this go on for?”. I was at the Physical Therapist earlier this week who stated he had treated many disk herniations and all required slightly different variations on exercises and all responded at different rates. If you are told a time frame for recovery, take it as a very very rough estimate. I have corresponded with people on this site that were back at work after 2 weeks, while other progressed to surgery.

    As a final warning: If you are like me then you will be looking for definitive answers (especially recovery times) which may lead to frustration. Also the members of this site are often long term chronic sufferers with many surgeries. Don’t allow the site to distort the reality that you may (my guess is will) get better from the postings as people do get information they need without joining the forum, recover with or without surgery (in which case leave the site) so you will read some horror stories but not so many non surgery and successes.

    I have gone on to much and outlined my perception and what I wished I knew earlier. I hope it helps. Remember I am not in the medical field so it is my personal experience which I expect to be different from yours.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery
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