Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

New and most recent back issues

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello! I posted a bunch of questions in one forum, and it probably should have gone here.

I will explain what's happening, going from most recent to oldest... I wish I could underline so it would be a little easier to read.

To begin, I have been told that I have scoliosis, and that my left shoulder, all my life has been visbly lower than the right one. My father had scoliosis, and his mother had one leg shorter than the other. So, it is in the genes. Perhaps the scoliosis, or who knows, what other factors could have caused the most recent problems over the past few years. I am in my 40's which I guess is an age when things can start "disc degeneration" but I see here on this site that others much younger have DDD. It helped give me courage over a year ago when DDD showed up in the first MRI of my back a couple of years ago.

MRI of this week was post second surgery (see MRI info below - L5-S1 issues). Now, the most recent MRI is the most difficult to understand. There are things in it that I have not seen before. I am waiting now, for the surgeon's office to call me back. I guess the MRI center did not fax them a copy of the report, even though they said they would. Bottom line is, be sure to get your copy of the MRI and films, so they are availble to you and for any appoitments! I faxed the report to them within the last half hour. So after I get the call, I'll pass the info on in a posting after this one.

It was my my primary who I saw and who ordered the MRI of the lumbar spine. I knew I would get an appointment sooner with my primary rather than trying to get one with the surgeon. I was hoping my primary would order the MRI and she did. I am having a lot of pain in my back like when laying down, and getting up in the morning. This pain has been for a good few weeks now. However, for about a little over a week, there has been increased nerve pain in both feet, front of right thiegh, buttocks, etc, etc. It is good that the MRI came this week, and not the end of last week. It may have caught the issues causing so much nerve pain and other "weird nerve things" going on, that so many of you reading this probably experience, too. I did not do anything unusual. The nerve pain has creeped up so fast over about a week! I can't believe how fast things are changing and that's what is a little scary.

MRI in April 2009 said disc desiccation at the L5/S1 level and mild disc disiccation L4/L5. Basically, both L4 & L5 desiccated.

Also the MRI of April 2009 said T11/T12: slight loss of intervertebral disc space with mild degenerative changes and a small disc bulge w/o foraminal narrowing or spinal canal stenosis. I had surgery this past June, and it was needed as one disc - L5 was again impinging the sciatic nerve. Surgeon decided to leave the other disc alone as it was just plain desicated and it was not interfering with the sciatic nerve. I wonder if it is aggravating the sciatic now and causing all of the nerve pain, even though it does not show up on the current MRI!

I had another MRI around January 2008 which was post a severe rupture of L4/L5 which occurred in December 2007. It was L4 that severly blew. My right leg was very much affected and I could not drive after it finally finished blowing that very early morning of Dec 5th! I asked my husband to call 911 as I could not move since the pain was so bad. I was by the sink, and literally, it was like my hips moved forward when the blow occurred. 911 arrived and told me what I could take, which I did actually have on hand, and they told me I did have to move, despite the pain. I managed to with my husband's help. My right leg was so painful and weak, I could not believe it! 911 left, as I was OK at home. I never experienced anything like that before.

That MRI said it was a very bad rupture and that it was impinging the sciatic nerve. Surgery was March 2008. The surgeon said the day after surgery that he could tell that the rupture actually happened one and a half to two years previously. I did have lots of back pain, and never thought of getting an MRI. I also had a lot of hip bursitis which occurred then and there, too. It made sense that the hips were taking extra stress from the unknown blown disc. L4 - Disc material went into the Dura Surface and the surgeon gently removed what went there.

I have permanent nerve damage from that blown disc. After surgery, I had to go home with a catheter - even though getting into Easter weekend with family coming over! It made a bit of an appearance! Gladly, I was able to get rid of it one week later. To back track to when I was in the hospital for this surgery, they would not let me go home for a few days. I kept asking and the nurse just said she was trying to get urology but they never came. Finally, the day they let me go, it was explained that the bladder was "asleep" which can happen post surgery. Also, that the nerves for the bladder are right there, which I found out, the day they let me go home. Such issues can happen as the nerves for the bladder are right there in the area of the L4. But, it can happen less often to people in their 40's! I guess maybe it also depends on how much the nerve for the bladder was affected by the ruptured disc and repair. There are just so many nerves packed in there.

I did not take much pain medicine, and they could not believe I was not using the morphine pump post surgery. They removed it the second day. I mentioned that I do have a high pain tolerance. I also have Inracranial Hypertension from a prednisone taper, which can give anyone a high pain tolerance!

After plenty of PT, and determination, I was able to drive fairly quickly after surgery. And, little by little over time, my right calf that was so badly affected did strengthen and now looks much like the left calf in muscle size. However, I still do have the issue of the right calf trying to contract every now and then when my foot goes downward (when my foot drops). I have night splints, and do wear the one for the right foot. Even then, sometimes the right calf contracts, but it is not as bad as when the right foot went downward before, especially when sleeping.

So, that is my story, so far. I am grateful to everyone who prays for me when things have acted up, and to God that I regained my ability to drive and be able to walk well, and so on. Also, that I have to remember to take one day at a time even if it is in small increments. Everything takes time, and patience!


  • Hi Missy :H You sure have the run of it - sadly many of us here do :(

    I hope to keep up to date with you & offer you support where I can :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I have to say that for me it was the minute that I turned 40 that everything fell apart! It is really amazing at how fast things can and will go straight down hill. I wish you luck and will keep an eye out for your next post.
  • Hi Missy
    Pretty new here myself and having some back and leg pain problems myself so I can empathise with you.
    It sound like you had a hard road to go down but by your writing and the tone it sounds like it is doing well and I am glad you are back to driving and walking again. Take it easy and take care of your back.
  • I have to mention this one - to all of you who started to have trouble beginning in your 40's will get a laugh - an after the fact laugh! Yes, that first blown disc finished letting me know it blew, overnight between early morning of my 44th birthday and the next day! Yah, so things can go downhill when you get in your 40's, maybe, but then things can get fun, too. So, all I can tell my husband is, "I hope this never happens to you or you will never be able to handle the pain! It is that bad!!!

    Anyway, after hunting down the surgeon, he did call me today. He said, "I was not the one who ordered the MRI." Yah - the likely reply! Well, I told him so on and so on that if I did get in his office, he would say, "what do you want me to do?" And that it is easier to have the MRI done and see what it says. He said no discs re-ruptured again. But, it says in the MRI that there is a question that it did re-herniate to the left. And, I have had tons of pain the left side of my back. Hmmm. I don't know what to make of that one...

    Then, regarding the Laminar Defect of both L4 & L5, the reply is that I am normal post surgery status. I was really concerned that possibly since one of the discs was 3-4 mm out of place, then that could be related to my pain. I told him I read that it says online "brace" or surgery for Laminar Defect or the big long word that starts with "Sp..., so I was at least hoping for a brace to maybe resolve pain. "No brace" was doctor's words. He said "it is PT stuff," medication, core exercises will resolve the pain. "This is your third flare up." And he never would have ordered the MRI." And he said that there will be more flare ups. I thought, "third flare up? Which ones are he referring to?" Maybe he is thinking of after the first surgery and perhaps the pain I had before June's (1009) surgery, as a flare up? I don't know. Ok then, so he says no surgery and no brace. Well, that is actually a relief! I really was not looking forward to a rigid brace. Well, I don't want to pay like $20.00 every time I go to PT, so I will get back to going to the pool at .... (not using name of where so I don't advertise the name as they are nation wide non-profit :))). So, if pain increases, I will let him know. I did make a new appt at the closest location and it will be in January, which gives it time to see if anything resolves with pulling out the post number 1 back surgery exercises. After all, I did cancel the post surgery appointments as I was doing so well after I had the staples removed. So, maybe I should keep the rest of the follow up appointments, anyway.

    Also, I did have a fibromyalgia appt today, and asked some questions there - a very knowledgable doctor. I asked if fibromyalgia could cause pain in the buttocks, and he said yes, and that there are actually bursas in there. I was surprised! And, that yes, it can cause pain in the the left or right sides of the back. There are a couple fibro points right there at the lower back. Fibromyalgia can cause numbness. But, have not heard it causing numbness in toes or feet of fibro patients. So, it is hard to say exactly what's going on. However, if going to the pool for gentle exercise classes aggravates the back, yah, it could be a disc issue, said the fibro doctor.

    Issues in my right foot have resolved before. I have to keep track and watch. And if they get worse, I will report to the spine surgeon, and see what he says.

    In the last three days (Friday through today) it is like I told people I talked to everything that was going on, and then when I talked to the spine surgeon, I like got nervous. I am totally comfortable with him - but I bet you can understand. H ealso said that since it is the right foot, leg, etc., then it is not the L4 or L5. But then I told him, "It was that way when the L4 first blew!" I did add that. And, I did tell him I have had some pain on the left side, especially the left side of my back. But, still he said I was normal post surgery status. OK - if that's all then fine. And he said too, not injections at this time, either.

    So, I wonder too, if it sounds like sciatica aggravated for anyone out there? I wonder if it can act up in the fall or when winter just gets started. It is weird. Hard to tell... thanks for the encouraging comments above!

    So, that's all for now, and Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Sign In or Register to comment.