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Annular Fisure l4-l5....please help

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Lower Back Pain
In January 2009, I woke up with back soreness. It was a dull ache in the lower back that wouldn't go away. I am reasonably healthy having lifted many weights for many years. I am 33 years old now and had been exercising regularly to stay in shape. This pain is still here and I have tried numerous things through pain management and Spine Doctor.

Had MRI - An annular fissure present in the central posterior annulus of the 2 mm bulge in l4-l5. Other than that every thing is fine on MRI
Discography was done with same result, but pain wasn't able to be recreated, just pain in right buttock..but not jumping pain
Have done Lumbar injections, facet injections, Rhizotomy, physical therapy and so forth. Nothing seems to work. Doctor now wants me to go back to physical therapy. Fusion not option being only 33, but he seems to think the tear is leaking causing inflamation. I do experience occassional leg pain and pain in buttocks.

I usually sit for long periods at work and try to get up and walk around when possible. However, the pain just makes me a mess. I don't feel like exercise and I am in foul mood. Sleep is especially painfull as after sitting and being active all day, I lie down and I am miserable laying flat. Have to lay to one side and take over the counter sleep aids until I can go to sleep. In the morning, I wake up so stiff and walk around like a board for an hour before I start to get back in the rhythm. Been dealing with this for ten months, but now I am at my wits end. I will consider anything and would appreciate any advice.

To show how serious I was, I got lazyboy recliner and dropped twenty pounds in efforts to make this thing right. Someone please help me. Can a fissure tear really cause all this pain? and can it be fixed?


  • I completely understand what you are dealing with. I went to many Drs for 2 1/2 years before they discovered that I had 3 torn discs. Mine were completely torn and my discogram definitely reenacted the pain. I had a 2 level fusion because the third disc wasn't as bad.
    That said, yes, tears can be painful. Disc fluid is very painful to the surrounding tissue. I don't know what to tell you except I would think that I have heard where they have fixed the disc and maybe you should talk to your Dr or get another opinion from another. I would think that there is some kind of fix. My heart goes out to you, as I know how painful this condition is. Let me know what you find out. Good Luck.
  • Shane,

    I have had great results with spinal decompression, my advice would be to find a provider in your area that offers either the DRX9000 or VAX-D. Everything you are experiencing appears to be from that disc, including the morning stiffness. The disc is pain sensitive in the outer 1/3rd so a tear can absolutely cause pain, decompression can help that disc heal. Good luck!
  • I also have multiple annular tears. They can be excruciating. My discogram did recreate the pain in torn discs. The worst was at L3/L4 for which I did have an endoscopic microD and PLDD. It did help with my leg pain. I would think that if the tear was actually causing the pain that the discogram would have shown that. Is your current doc prescribing any pain medication for you at all? Sometimes that becomes the only option for chronic pain.
  • I had my annular fissure repaired two years ago,if you have any questions fill free to pm me..also a annular fissure is different then a annular tear,try taking hot baths,that might help you
  • I am glad that you saw this post. I thought that I remembered you saying that a fissure is different. Shane calls it a fissure and a tear in his post so I am not sure which it is.
  • C2000castroCC2000castro Posts: 1
    edited 07/21/2014 - 11:51 PM
    I just got my MRI results. I've been dealing with my back pain for 8 years now. My new Chiro sent me for X-rays and MRI. I have a mild lumbar spondylosis on my L4-5 & L5-S1 and and annular tear with minimal disc protrusion in the left L4-5 neural foramen adjacent to but not displacing the exitingL4 nerve root. OK I don't know what this means but I know it hurts like hell and I have no pain meds. I've been able to deal with the pain the last 8 years but after I hit the 8 year mark it hit hard and won't go away where I'm literally in tears. I don't know what to do......I need suggestions. I have a husband that works out of town, I work full time and have 3 kids. My schedule is tight in the sense that taking unpaid time off is not really an option :( Please help with advice.
  • Pain medications are not the only way to treat pain. Have you seen your doctor, not your chiropractor for a referral to either pain management or a board certified spine surgeon so that you can discuss treatment options? Mild is a good thing, in most medical imaging studies, but to understand your MRI you need to visit a spine surgeon who can explain the conditions to you, and go over the treatment options available for your condition.



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