First, I'm new here and while I did read the FAQs, I'll admit to not having spend a great deal of time on them. So, if I've posted in the wrong place, or otherwise violated a protocol of this community, I'm very teachable, and will gladly follow the house rules.
Moving forward--last February 5th (2009) I had a Diskectomy (L5-S1) and a Laminectomy just to liven things up a bit. The healing has gone fairly well, but at the time of the first surgery there was a bit of a debate. You see, there was another problem disk present, but because I was not experiencing symptoms (I've since learned that the size of a disk protrusion/herniation is not always a good barometer when it comes to accompanying pain levels) the decision was made not to deal with what it now looks like will have to be dealt with.
L2--L3: Yes, it turns out that over the past year, what started as a fairly mild protrusion has now become a bit more complicated. I am NOT an expert in any of this but from the MRI findings: "Disk desiccation and intervertebral disk space narrowing. Large right lateral disk protrusion. It measures 2.6 cm transverse x 5.7mm AP and 1.2 cm craniocaudad. It abuts the L2 Dorsal root ganglion."
My DO put this simply--"You need to strongly consider going back in for surgery."
So, I found this site while looking for resources and have read a number of posts. It is obvious that there are some smart, capable people here who find themselves in similar (to one degree or another) situations. Because of that, and because I think that "back pain" often results in an ugly stigma; everything from, "tough it out, we all have pain," to "Yeah, back pain equals nothing less than drug seeking--a not so clever way to get refills on Vicodin," I thought this might serve as a good place to talk, get to know people, and hopefully, share what experiences I've had, and where I am and want to be--going forward.
Long post, and I apologize for the five minutes of your life you'll never get back if you decided to read, but thanks, and I look forward to getting to know people, sharing, and with any luck, getting to feeling better very soon.
Take care and thanks for having this community ready and waiting for guys like me who are simply trying to get on with life, as pain free as possible, all predicated on a better understanding of the links and ties that bind all of us who have joined this forum.