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Not sure what to do now....

brokenbrianbbrokenbrian Posts: 69
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Chronic Pain
Ive posted on the back surgery forum a few times but this is my first post here, so I will give a quick bit of background.

Im 25 years old and have been in pain for about 3.5 years now. I tried everything in those past 3 years and finally was told time for surgery.

So on 7/19/10 I had a microdiscetomy on L5/S1. It was about a 8mm bulge before surgey and I had severe left foot pain with hardley any back pain for over a year. Well the miro d did not work for me and about 2 months later I got an MRI that showed a 5mm bulge. So 2 months of decompression on a DRX9000 machine at 3 times a week. I get another MRI and now Im down to a 3mm bulge.

Thats good news, but unfortuantly thats about as far as I can go with the program. So Ive seen the surgeon a few times and he says its not bad enough to go for another surgery. MRI shows it is barely hitting the nerve. Yet I am still in a good amount of pain, and I dont know how much of it is from nerve damage that will hopefully go away.

Next week I start PT and then they turn me loose and thats it for me. Ill be stuck with a 3mm bulge and pain and not only will I no be able to do some of the things a 25 year old should be able to, but I know it will just start to get worse and worse.

Any ideas?


  • Have you tried a medication for nerve pain, like Neurontin or Lyrica?
  • i would go along to P/T and do the exercises, also has your surgeon sugested a nerve med, as this may well give relief too
    as you have this weak area now , talk to your P/T about lifestyle modifications, such as no lifting of heavy weight, no twisting
    you may find that doing the specific exercises is something you incorperate into your daily routine , along with some lifestyle modification and you may get some more improvement
    give it a try
    if things become worse, there are other options
    take care
  • Have you had flexion extension x-rays to check for spinal instability?

    Also getting a second opinion would be a good idea.

    Hang in there,

  • Ive had a few opinions now and everyone says the same so far.

    I havent asked too much about any medication, I really dont want to be on it for the rest of my life. And Im afraid if I feel good but the problem is still there I will make it worse.

    I have changed my lifestyle. I have a desk job now which I cant stand and for the last year I havent had to do anything physical, and yet with all the treatment I have been doing, its only gotten slightly better.

    But I guess I should look more into the nerve pain meds. And hopefully they will help and I wont be on them for too long.

    I know there are many many people out there that have it much worse than me. But Ive been doing some sort of treatment before and after surgery almost non-stop for 2 years. And I just cant get better.

    1 thing is they say its not impinging the nerve, but its right up against it, and I definently still have nerve pain. Its just frusturating not knowing if the pain is still from the nerve or if I have any permanent damage.
  • JulieA said:
    Have you had flexion extension x-rays to check for spinal instability?

    Also getting a second opinion would be a good idea.

    Hang in there,

    No I havent. I didnt even know that was something they checked for. I will have to ask someone about it.
  • Hello Brian!! Yes it is a scary thought to be on perscription drugs for the rest of your life...I think most of us have had that worry!! But anything that will reduce your pain is a good thing, you just have to be careful and listen to what the Drs tell you!!
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