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what do i do?

josh_the_kiwijjosh_the_kiwi Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Chronic Pain
i have had chronic back pain for over 3 years and still the drs just seem to give me more pills to take and try . i have been told that my mri shows i have an abnormal disc betwwen T12 and L1 but becouse of my age (21) they wont risk surgery of any kind which is really frustrating as i know that something is definatly not right .i have the sensation of bones rubbing on each other and allways feel like i need to have spine streached out almost like i have a heavy weight on my head compressing my spine. i have stoped taking oxycodone for just under a year now and only tAke amitrityline and ibpropfen now which helps me sleep but i still feel uncomfortable an in pain all the time .i have forgotten what it feels like to not be in pain.

i would like to know if some1 has some advise on what i should do to convince the drs tht this needs further investigation and the problem fixed not just masking the pain with pills etc???????????????
also if anyone has ideas on what the actual problem may be?


  • i carnt comment on your situation but i can say one thing ..DONT be in a rush to get back surgey is not all its cracked up to be
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • HI Josh,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find others in your same situation. If I was in your shoes I would get copies of the MRI reports to understand what they completely say. Sometimes while they know there is a issue, they use conservative treatments to manage it. As the condition may not be bad enough for surgery, but that doesn't mean you don't have pain. It is true they don't like to surgery on the younger patients as it forever changes the mechanics of the spine. So sometimes they put it off as long as they can. Sometimes surgery fails to resolve the pain your having. So they have to be sure they have found the pain generator before doing surgery. Besides medicine what other treatments have they provide you with? I would get the copies of the MRI so you know what it is and what levels and then from there you can research your options and also more members would have a idea of what exactly your going through and might have some more options for you and suggestions.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health.
  • Hey there...just wanted to say hello and sorry to hear you are having trouble at such a young age. The hope I can offer is that my back pain started around your age and I managed quite successfuly for 17 years with PT, NSAIDs, and watching my lifestyle (and I was still active but had to know my limits).

    Back surgery really isn't all it's cracked up to be. Thoracic (T levels) are very rare surgeries so even later in life, most doctors do not want to operate on that area. The lumbar is a slippery slope...I have issue in my lumbar, thoracis, and cervical areas. My biggest issue is in my lumbar and unfortunately that carries most of the body's load.

    I had my first surgery at 40, my second...oh at 40 because the first failed. I did not have a fusion because even at my age (now 42), I know it's no guarantee and an actually present more issues.

    That being said, I bet there are good options for you. Physical therapy, NSAIDS, steroid (medrol packs for flare ups) and even ESI (injections of steroids). I hope you can get some good insights here.

    I hate hearing that you are in such pain but so glad you found us because we do understand.
  • I also am sorry to hear you have these issue's .They are not much fun ,I know.I agree with others here ,in what they have advised.Surgery is a last option ,& is no guantee that you will have problem solved.However in saying that some people have the issues resolved considerably bysurgery,so you just don't know.
    But you must try everything else first,as there is no going back on surgery once it has been done,& one operation may end up leading to more surgeries,so don't rush for an operation.
    My advice is get the mri report & get more medical advice from as many specialists as it requires untill you are satisfied you have done all you can.
    A large part of management of these types of conditions is looking after your mental well being,so if you are sure you have all the right information,& have confirmed it with second & third opinions,then you can at least have Peace of mind that you have done or are doing the best possible coarse of action to help yourself.
    It is very hard,& many of us here know exactly how hard,so stay in touch with us,keep letting us know how you are getting on,on a regular basis.It helps sometimes to know you have people that understand.
    Mike from NewZealand(Hamilton)
  • I was sorry to read that you're having chronic back pain at such a young age!

    You said that your doctor just seems to give you more pills - can you ask him/her what other treatment they would recommend for you.

    Perhaps your doctor can suggest you have tests (Discogram?) to find out what exactly is causing the pain? If there is something in your daily routine that is making the pain worse, maybe you can find a different way of doing things so that the strain on your spine is markedly reduced. Maybe your doctor can recommend pysiotherapy?

    If you are offered any conservative treatment options - take them! You will hopefully find one that really suits you and helps to take away your back pain - sufficiently so you can avoid having to have any spine surgery. At your young age, I would think surgery would be as a very last resort when every other option has been tried and tested first.

    Are you able to book another appointment with your doctor so you can discuss your MRI results, and any further treatment options, in more detail?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
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