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Have L4 L5 herniations with Sciatica

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in New Member Introductions
I'm new to the site and hope the members can help me sort out my issues. I have two herniations at the L4 and L5. The L5 herniation is severe, poking and hanging out of the vertebrae. I have had three epidural cortisone shots this year which rid me of the pain in my butt, thigh, and foot. But, I reinjured the area and now have a worsening of the sciatic symptoms. This time, my foot not only tingles, but is half numb. New mri shows a little more herniation at L5 than earlier this year. Have been taking Daypro and Lyrica but have had mixed results. Pain this morning is bad.

Is the next step surgery? I read about microdiscectomy but what about vertebra replacement? I'm lost. Have an appointment to my osteopath (my regular doc) Monday. Out of work, can't walk well or for very long before the pain is excruciating...What am I saying; I'm preaching to the choir. You already know all the symptoms. Any suggestions or advice about surgery?


  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of support and knowledge here. Our members are fantastic and there are a lot of videos and articles pertaining to every aspect of our spine problems.

    I'm afraid there's nobody here that is qualified or even knowledgeable enough to tell you whether surgery is your next step or not. But, we can certainly help guide you on your path to finding out what's next. Please keep in mind, though, that none of us are doctors and we all have our own opinions based on our personal experiences and research.

    I suggest seeing a fellowship-trained spine specialist, a surgeon that works only on spines. They're the most qualified to diagnose and treat your lumbar issues. Take all your spinal medical history (ESI results, MRIs, x-rays, etc.) with you to your appointment. You may also need to get more than one opinion. Just because you'll be see a spine surgeon doesn't mean that surgery is a definite. Spine specialists will offer non-invasive treatment before surgery if they feel that is important to try first. Most surgeons will exhaust all other measures before suggesting going under the knife.

    Unfortunately, it's generally a long road travelling through doctor appointments, diagnosis and treatment and it's understandable to get anxious and impatient. But it's also very important to make sure you find a surgeon that you're comfortable with and trust entirely.

    During your journey through your spine issues, we'll be here to help and support you. Many people find it comforting to know there are others out there that know what you're going through because there are so many who don't, including family and friends.

    I wish you the best and hope you find a surgeon that you can rely on. Please keep us posted on your progress and diagnosis.

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. this is a road you must take by yourself but the advice and actions of others can certainly come into play. :? please take your time doing your homework. :? ask all your questions, get them all answered and go from there.. :D good luck and please keep us informed! =D> Jenny :)
  • Tom,

    A couple of things that helped me. Granted everyone is different and different techniques help different people. I am by no means a doctor so dont take this as medical advice.

    The best thing that I did for myself was purchase items to help with pain and to change my lifestyle.

    I tried traction treatment. A local chiropractic clinic here in San Antonio had a machine called DRX 9000. After a couple of weeks of using it my sciatic pain was significantly reduced. Granted I still get flare ups if I over due it but I am glad I did the treatment.

    How is your mattress? A firm mattress works best for me. I noticed that by replacing my mattress I woke up with little to no pain. It helps me get through the day realizing that I have one place I can go to eliminate at least some (if not all) of the pain. I purchased a sleep number bed. Best purchase I ever made. I sleep on 90 or 95 out of 100.

    I purchased a good office chair. Not just a nice leather one but one that support me and my spine. I found that one with a mesh back supports my spine the best. The office chair I used at work in the Air Force was the Herman Miller Aeon office chair. Its the only chair that I can sit in for longer then a few minutes. This helps me watch movies and sit and type at my computer.

    All of these items and procedures are expensive.
    DRX treatment ($3,000)
    Sleep number bed ($2,000)
    Aeon Miller offce chair ($1,000)
    I by no means am saying they will work for you, but I am willing to pay the price and try new things because my train of thought is, how valuable is a good nights sleep? How valuable is sitting for a while and watching Tv or typing. I didnt mind making payment on these things and they have helped me change my life.

    I still of course need to be careful in what I do. Just because I did something’s that help doesn’t mean I can go back to running or doing a lot of activities, but it has helped me get a lot of my quality of life back. I hope this helps.

  • Sorry to hear that you have joined us in this long journey of chronic pain. I had a microD at L3/L4 and it did relieve my sciatic pain. It really is a personal decision that you will have to make along with your doc. When you have a microD there is a high risk of reherniation so if you do have it done, follow docs orders to the letter and try not to do too much too fast. Good luck and please keep us posted.
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