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Hoping for some thoughts from you.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,622
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello all,

I recently posted in the Sciatica forum, but figured Lower Back Pain is more appropriate. Today I went to pick up my MRI and then visit a doctor, who confirmed what I had already thought that happened. Another disc bulge.

7 years ago when I was 16 years old, I had Emergency Surgery due to L4/L5 pressing onto the cauda equina. Since then life has been wonderful, the surgery was 99% successful. Now I started feeling back pain again and some pain and numbness in my legs. And yes, an MRI showed a bulge at L4/L5 again.

Now I'm concerned and I'm not sure what to do. Does a bulge usually herniate? I've read on some websites that the two are the same, although I always believed they were different. Am I wrong? Now, when a disc herniates, is that significantly more painful than a bulge? Also, I'm experiencing some intense leg burning, especially when lying down. It's very uncomfortable. The last couple of days I've also developed a pretty high fever every night - and I usually wake up full of sweat and chills. It's hard to get out of bed when you're so cold. Could this have anything to do with my back, or would this be something completely different? I've never heard of a fever accompanying a disc bulge... but, maybe you guys know something I don't? Also, when the fever is at it best, my face feels numb. Any thoughts on that?

I'm quite worried that this disc will hit the cauda equina again - do you guys think that there is a pretty high chance of that happening? "My" doctor ("" because it's the first time I've gone to him) seems to think that the chances are slim, but I'm just not so sure. I almost don't want to know the answer because, as I'm living in Georgia (the country) right now, I'm not certain that they have all the necessary resources for a successful surgery. At the same time, I can't imagine going back to Canada and leaving my new life here.

Lastly (sorry for all the questions), Doc said PT should help. Now I'm worried because I've read so many horror stories about PT. In your experiences, has PT helped or made things worse? And also, does losing weight REALLY help the pain? I'm overweight and Doc seems to think that if I lose weight, it will help the bulging disc a lot. Of course, common sense - extra weight, extra strain etc... I know. I've tried to lose weight, and I have but always bounced back. Food is unfortunately my friend. I've gone through some years where I've been emotionally drained and depressed and food was the only thing that would make me temporarily feel like I could go on. I have already started changing my eating habits (did not touch that chocolate that was lying on the counter since yesterday) and I do plan on losing weight, but I just don't want to have any false hopes. I don't want to think that if I lose all the weight, my back will be back to how it was before the bulge. I guess I just want to keep being realistic.

I appreciate your help and your comments. Sorry to be jumping around on the forums...

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Comments

  • we chatted on your last post . i'm not surprised the lumbar disc is your problem. as for chances of the bulge causing ces again i would say it depends on how much it is pressing on the spinal nerves. the spinal surgeon should be able to tell you that. as far as amount of pain caused by bulge if there is the least bit tear within the disk a very irritating fluid in the middle of the disc can leak and cause substantial pain. these tears may not be shown on mri. even if the fluid doesnt come outside disc the pain can be bad. there may not even be any pressure on the spinal nerves but the toxic fluid irritates nerves inside the disc.
    if you are concerned with physical therapy it might be beneficial just to walk. you could also diet but as you said food is your friend. i know that also lol but even loosing some pounds now would help. dont sit for long periods of time and obviously no lifting...i sure hope the ces doesnt return..
    on fever if it continues tell your dr. i doubt its from the back but let him be judge....best of luck and let us know the quality of health care in georgia....pete
  • There is great information on this site. Use search function and you can read about different issues, I have had bulging disk at different locations, that never really gave any problems unless the start pinching a nerve. I had my neck fused in 2005 after severe shoulder and arm pain, so bad I could not lie down.
    All the PT, I have had have been great. You just have to do what they tell you.After my knee replacement, I still had brace and staples in and the PT took my brace off and wanted me to get on a bike. I thought he was crazy. Getting mobility in that new knee was best thing for me. I still call it a torture chamber. Do what they tell you and do it how they tell you, it is for your benefit.
    As far as being over weight, it is always easier to put on than get off. I'm 59. was up to over 300 lbs.
    Food is not your friend. Someone said if it taste good spit it out! I lost 50 lbs in 3 months riding a bike. I can't walk because of pain, but I found I could ride. Find some form of exercise you can do and enjoy and it helps with pain and waist. Eat out of a smaller plate, your mind thinks you are getting the same amount of food. Go to diabetes website, there are some great recepees(spelling) . Praying for your good health and God Bless!
  • I am not a doctor. Your doctor gave you good advice, you should listen to him. Lose weight. Avoid prolonged sitting. Physical therapy works better for a bulging disc than for a sequestered herniated (ruptured) disc. If none of these suggestions work, Google percutaneous diskectomy.
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