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Spinal damage with no answers

dnash12ddnash12 Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Lower Back Pain
I'm 21 years old and was as healthy as a 21 year old male could be. Back in April I began to have very light lower back pain but by the end of that same week I was crippled with the most excruciating pain I've ever experienced, and I've been through a lot. It literally brought to my knees, I could barely move my body because any slight twitch sent shooting daggers through my lower back.

After an x-ray and some pain killers, I was turned away by the hospital with the diagnosis of a pulled muscle, which I knew was ludicrous. I received little help from the several other physicians I saw after that, and it took 6 weeks of this pain before I could finally convince my doctor to order me an MRI. A couple weeks later I got the MRI and the results showed that my L2-L3 disc had apparently been reduced to a small pebble-sized lump with no explanation. One Dr. couldn't make heads or tails of a healthy 21 year old having such significant spinal damage, and another jumped to the conclusion that I had discitis, despite the fact that my white cell count was normal, I'd had no fever at the outset of pain, nor was my back punctured at any point. He ordered me a back brace and said, "this will heal soon, the bones will fuse". I don't even know if that's true.

Anyway, I've been wearing a back brace since early July. The pain did reduce some around the end of May but it hasn't gotten any better since then. Sitting or standing for too long causes severe inflammation, and as far as exercise goes, forget about it. It's been five months since this started, I've experienced next to no improvement and I'm getting very little help from any doctors, some don't even think my case is worth looking into. I don't know who or where to turn to anymore. This whole situation has run me ragged and I feel rather hopeless. It really is negatively impacting my life. Mobility is painful, I can't exercise, play sports, hike, hunt, or even perform my job. Sorry for the sob story, but I'm at the end of my rope and don't know where else to turn.

Is there anyone who can help me?


  • Get a cat scan, a new MRI and seek out a top-notch doctor that will figure it out for you. Be tenacious and don't give up. You are 60 years too young to feel this crummy and there has got to be some answers that your current doctors are not getting
  • I agree with rascal. I am sure they mean well and dont want to toss you in to surgery because of the risk involved with surgery. I have heard of natural fusion where with brace it might fuse together as you said but i dont know too much about how and who it actualy works for.

    Spine is very complicated as a lot of us found out the hard way. Its never a simple fix and when they do try to go in there to fix it a lot of people come out worse now having another issue worse then what they had and dr,s cant explain it.

    Get many opinions and only once all the dr,s agree on the same findings then go with what they think is best. But almost every good dr will say do all the alternative treatments and only do surgery if its a must.

    If they have to remove the rest of that disc you will be looking at fusion. Which at your age you might heal prety fast and posibly do ok but will still have to make a life style change posibly.

    Good luck. Keep us posted
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I've been trying. The medical system is so litigiously bureaucratic that it takes forever to get anything done. I only have Saturdays available to me but most doctors don't work Saturdays. I was trying to see one of the best specialists for some advice or a second opinion but he wouldn't see me, he didn't see anything to be done based on my records. Getting more MRIs in an insurance hassle, I have to get doctors to order me one until after a 'wait and see' period. Apparently my word that I've been playing wait and see for 5 months isn't good enough. It's very frustrating and I have little time to spare. I just want to know what happened to me, maybe why it happened, but most importantly I'd like to know when or if I'll heal. For all I know it may become a chronic condition. As things stand now though, I know next to nothing, and getting doctors to work with me for some answers is much harder than it should ever be. I keep trying though, it just feels like I'm getting nowhere.
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