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L4-L5 Disc Extrusion

GrissomLoverGGrissomLover Posts: 4
Hi, I'm new, and obviously I have Degenerative Disc Disease and chronic back pain. Last May I had a c5-c6 cervical fusion and I have not had any huge problems since in the neck. My lower back has started hurting since December of last year 2010, I had an MRI done Mid March and it says:

"There is a moderate sized central and right subarticular zone disc extrusion. This could impinge upon the Right L5 nerve root. There is fact hypertrophy. These findings combine to cause mild central canal stenosis. The nueroforamina are patent."

First off, what does that mean in real people terms, and second, I was referred to a Pain Center, the doc pretty much gave me a dismissive tone, when I said I had Physical therapy lined up for this past week, he says, "Oh yea, that might help...." then goes on to whatever he went on to. He is into "Mindfulness" to manage Chronic Pain. Given that most of my discs are on their way to being problems, I've got to do something and surgeries are not what I'm looking for. As much as I'd love to be pain free again, one day it may or may not happen. I realize there will be some pain I'll just have to swallow and ride it out. That said, I have an epidural cortisone shot as well as a nerve block lined up for 4/14. I know these will only temporarily help, and I hope to accomplish a lot in p.t. while the nerve is not so inflamed. I will ask the doc but also wanted to hear from anyone else in a similar situation what are my other options past temporarily making the pain ease, and with the findings above, what is the worst that will happen if i don't have surgery? If the nucleus ruptures and oozes out (like my neck vertebrae did) ... I mean will I be paralyzed? The doc keeps telling me that it's not like I have cancer where the nerves are being eaten away and causing pain, you have to continue to be active even tho it hurts. "If your pain is unavoidable, your suffering and misery are optional". I'm not sure what to think about this approach.

Sorry this is so long winded.



  • I've had my 1st cortisone and nerve block shot to my lower back, right side, last thursday. SO far it's working great, i feel a tinge of what it used to be, and I get the weird sensation going down the right leg into the calf but no pain... strange. I go back for shot #2 on 5/5. meantime, I'm still taking Aleve 2 @220mg, 1x am/1x pm. I take the pain med and muscle relaxant in the morning, till i get my body warmed up and moving. We'll see what PT does to me today. I'm actually feeling hopeful that I can push off any kind of thought or talk of surgery off for a while, years would be fantastic! Will write more later :) Thanks for everyone being here, its nice to have a "safe zone" to come and clear thoughts and to have others to relate to. big hugs to all, but gentle hugs :)

    Luvs u all!

  • Physical therapy may very well irritate your condition, as it to me...had to stop...accupuncture is worthless, for conditions like ours. Pain Management/Epidurals, for your condition, are temporary at best...my advice would be to fine a "GOOD" neurosurgeon. Most "good" ones will start with as miminimal as possible surgery (hemilaminotomy/foaminotomy)...life with disrupting pain, 24/7, sucks.
  • Hi again, I've recently had my 3rd cortisone shot in my low back, and my pain level is a 2 occasionally, and that's usually when I've been leaning forward to stare @ the computer screen. The disc flirts with the Cyatic nerve occasionally, which i think i was at a 7-8 pain level, now it's mostly a 1 with a flirt of a 2-3. I still take 2 Aleve 2x a day and the flexeril. I'm in PT 2x a week still, but they are sending an update to my general practitioner. I'd like to go 1x a week for the deep tissue massage, ultra sound but we'll see what she says. I'm so relieved that this seems to be easing the issue. I know it's just a temporary fix and the pain could come back tomorrow, but as of right now, I'm feeling pretty good, despite the morning ache in my back and then goes into the outside of my calf. Love you all!!! xoxox
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