Hello! I am a 36 year old male and have had chronic back pain since last Oct. After speaking with my primary care physician, physical therapist, an anesthesiologist, a chiropractor, a neurosurgeon, and a orthopedic surgeon and having weeks of physical therapy, 2 X-Rays, 3 MRI's, and 5 lumbar epidural cortisone shots the diagnosis is degenerative disc disease along with a L5S1 herniated disc. The orthopedic surgeon offered spinal fusion surgery for the L5S1, but told that the best results would probably be 40% reduction in pain and that would only last until another disc required fusion and, of course, there was a chance that things could go wrong and I could actually get worse as well. I told my PCP that I am not ready to sign up for a lifetime of surgeries just yet and would like to pursue alternative treatment plans. In my mind I think this is the right way to go, but some days the pain is really bad and I feel like I would do anything for guaranteed relief. The negative effects of the pain meds are starting to outweigh the positive, so far I have been on hydrocodone, oxycodone, and tramadol. My doctor is in the process of referring me to a pain management specialist, so I look forward to getting a better med plan. I am also considering finding a specialist who can perform a discogram, sometimes I feel like the doctors are not completely sure of themselves and would like to find exactly where the pain is coming from.
I also want to say that I appreciate those that made this website and I have already found it to be a great source of info. Thanks!