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I'll try to make this short...lol

sprocketbabyssprocketbaby Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in New Member Introductions
So...almost three years ago I got in a bad snowboarding accident. It was ironically right after I got back from Afghanistan (I also hurt my back a couple of years ago so I think it was the icing on the cake.) I went to doctor after doctor after doctor. They kept saying I just had muscle spasms and a bulged disc. I did physcial therapy for a year, injection, medication,etc. I've just kept getting worse. In Feb 2008, I sent my MRI down to my dad's friend in Houston. He is a spine specialist. He sent back a report saying I had a torn disc and various other issues. He also said that I need to see a spine specialist. Well, my military doc through it out of my medical records and sent me to pain management. All I got there was addicted to pills and injections three times a week for a year (that didn't do any good) I went there for another year. My back got so bad that in Feb 2009, they sent me to a medical unit. Since then, I've been waiting to get to the right doctor. I had my dad's friend send the report back to make sure I got to one like him. I just now got to one in October of last year. He ran a bunch of tests and sent me back to pain management! It's been really hard. The military has Tricare for health insurance so the docs we go to aren't top notch. I'm at a loss of what to do right now. I have a torn disc, severe left SI joint probelms, left hip problems, and a bunch of trigger point spasms all over the lower part of my back. It's rediculous! I honestly don't know how I've gone on this far. This new doctor doesn't want to acknowledge my torn disc. First off, he is underestimating my severe issues. Second, he won't even do the test to confirm it because he thinks I'm too young. Just to give you an idea of how desperate I am. If my injury where in one of my limbs, I would have them amputate it. I want to fly to Houston and go see my father's friend. He knows the right tests to do, understands the damage I have, and knows how to fix it. My dad has wanted me to do this for a long time. However, I didn't want him to have to pay for it. Now it looks like I have no other choice. The Army decided to medically discharge me without fixing me. My pain management doctor (after telling me there was no cause for my pain, which I've been hearing for 3 years) said she's going to give me injections in my facet joints. She said if that doesn't work then it is my disc and she'll send me back to the surgeon!!! I couldn't believe my ears! For all those out there that think there's no hope....DON'T GIVE UP! THERE WILL BE A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!!! My faith in God is what's gotten me through this. I am also
so thankful that I have such a wonderful dad. If it wasn't for him, I don't know where I would be right now!!! So there's the long story and that was made short...lol.


  • Hi sprocket & welcome to the spine boards :)

    Before I forget to mention it - would you please be so kind to post with breaks in between your paragraphs? With text all together it is very hard for many of us to read - old eyes, ya know lol ;)

    I would check your rights out really soon about getting discharged from the army. It sounds to me like they just want to wash their hands of your injury.

    I read somewhere that they are doing a lot of this.

    It is GREAT you have such a good support person in your dad :)

    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.
  • Thanks for the pointers :) I cut and pasted that from another place. It's so hard to read the story over and over again...lol.

    They have a right to do what they're doing as long as I get the percentage I deserve. I won't know that for several months.

    It's nice to meet you :)
  • I really do understand what you are going through. I was not (thankfully) at the mercy of military docs but went through a few years of PT, injections, chiros etc. before finally finding a doc that did a discogram. That is how my annular tare was diagnosed as being a major cause of pain (especially my leg pain).

    Lots of docs want to tell you that the tares do not cause pain but that is not the truth. When the gel like substance leaks out through the tare and irritates the nerves it can cause a great deal of pain.

    Maybe it will be worth going to your dad's friend if he will help. Maybe you will be able to pay your dad back somehow.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Can you get some help from VA hospitals since you were in the army? Even so hope you can see your Dr. friend to help you. I had facet joint injections yesterday and last year and seemed to help with the severe pain. Good luck with those and your consult. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • J.J. Grey,
    Did you have a disc replacement? If so, what approach was taken for the surgery? and did it work? What was the outcome (ie, all pain relieved? some?.)

    Thanks for sharing your story. It's relieving to know someone else has or had an annular tear that actually did cause pain.


    How did the injections go? I'm waiting for my insurance approval to make an appointment. It should go through though.

    I'm nervous because one of my coworkers got one last week. He had to stop because the pain was so bad. I can handle pain and it's better to expect pain than no pain.


    I understand that not everyone in the military is bad but I've been going through this for 3 years. I've had doctors disregard professional recommendations, do unauthorized procedures on my back (that made me worse), and flat out tell me, "you have a problem we can't see so there's nothing we can do for u."

    I've also been told, "it's all in your head," "you need accept the fact that you'll never find an answer for your problem," and "how dare you have your dad's friend try to tell us what's wrong with u. Who does he think he is?"

    I've even been lied to by one of my commanders about how Tricare works and various other medical issues pertaining to my problem.

    It would be different if I had anything else to go off of, but I don't. However, I will try to keep and open mind. I respect where you are coming from.
  • I have good relief from the facet joint and S1 injections as well as the epidural(caudal) on Wednesday March 3rd. This is my 3rd and best PM Dr. and she was so gentle I could barely feel the injections. I've had 2 other PM Drs and 5 ESIs before this and was glad to have a good less discomfort than I ever had! Hopefully the next 2 rounds of injections are good also. I also had a hundred trigger points over 6 weeks and that was an ordeal but the triggers are supposed to elongate the tight muscles with the anesthetic but I left that Dr. as he was a bit rough.

    Everyone is different to how it feels before, during and after the injections so hopefully your co-worker has less pain soon. I also had a L5-S1 disc herniation and annular tear not seen on the second MRI but still have nerve involvement so that's why I had further injections. Best wishes with your Dr. appt. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN

  • Charry,

    I have a torn/herniate L5/S1 too! Are they just giving you injections or is surgery a posibility? I have a whole bunch of trigger point spasms too. I had injections for those for a year. Most went away accept for the ones around my herniated disc.

    Do you have sacroilic joint problems as well?

    I'm glad you found a great doctor. They are hard to come by!

  • My L5/S1 has healed. It was not seen on the second MRI 19 months later. Instead I have DDD now but the Dr. said that I still have nerve issues probably from the healed annular tear so that's why I got the injections. I was told no to surgery by 2 Ortho and 1 Neurosurgeon when I had the disc herniation. I was given 2 SI injections on either side of my spine.
    I used to have grinding, cracking & shifting there I felt my spine was unstable but now I feel looser well hard to describe how it feels....TC Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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