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Chronic pain/herniated disc

Starlight7545SStarlight7545 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi, my name is Jackie and I am 32 years old. My whole life I have been very active in gymnastics, cheerleading, swimming and at the local gym. In 2009, after doing some moderate walking, I had a slow increase of pain over the next four hours up until it was so severe I couldn't move. The doctors found that I had herniated my L4-L5 and had 3 other bulging discs above and below it. Even though they say the MRI does NOT show nerve impingemint, I have nerve pain that runs down my right leg to my foot and sometimes my left leg to my calf. I also have scoliosis and disc degenerative disease. Over the course of the past two years I have had four rounds of PT, aquatic therapy, an epidural, 8 cortisone shots(only one of which helped for a short period of time), seen 3 different neurosurgeons who have told me that I am to young to operate, tried accupuncture, massage therapy and have a TENS unit which I use when conveinient. I have tried countless pain medications and muscle relaxers as the pain sometimes keeps me up all night or can be so severe that I cant sit or stant for more than 20 minutes at a time. Recently my neurologist also diadnosed me with fibromyalgia which I do not know a lot about. I am confused as to what my next step should be and I dont want to go through this pain any longer even though I am so young but why are surgeons so skeptical to operate if I have all the telltale symptoms of impingement even though the MRI dosent show it? And what types of surgery has anyone found helpful?


  • That`s rough you`re having sciatica and back pain. I have the same where I can`t sit too long or walk too far. Using a cane helps but when I first hurt my back I used a walker with a seat to have some independence getting out.

    I just found a great Sports Med Dr. that ordered another MRI and EMG, nerve test for my leg to make sure it`s coming from the spine or maybe from the leg. Keep looking for a Dr. that will help you and maybe see a Neurologist or Sports Med Dr. a Physiatrist(not Psychiatrist) Never give up hope for some answers, Just wanted to say hello and best wishes you will find the right treatment for your needs, but we will be here to support you through this. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Has your doctors ordered flexion extension x-rays? If they have not then ask for it. Instabilty sometimes only shows on these (it did for me).

    I think you should keep looking for a doctor who will help you find answers. Sometimes things are not clear on MRI but when you use other imgaing they can get a better picture.

    Hang in there & Welcome to Spine Health :)
  • hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. so glad you dropped in! you sure have alot on your plate and have come to a good place to get more info on fibro.. we have a forum just for that so be sure and check it out!! stop by anytime! good luck with finding pain relief!! Jenny :)
  • Thanks Charry. I never thought of a psyiatrist before and quite frankly I am just at my wits end and will try anything. Thank you for your support, It means a lot because it is hard for others to understand the chronic pain that we suffer on a day to day basis.

  • Julie-
    He has just ordered the original Xrays but not with any flexion or extension. I am currently looking for a new PCP because he just dosent get the severity of what I have been through in the past two years and I am still young and want my life back. Any suggestions of a PCP that deals with fibro would be helpful if you know of any.

    Thanks again for your help.
  • Julie-
    He has just ordered the original Xrays but not with any flexion or extension. I am currently looking for a new PCP because he just dosent get the severity of what I have been through in the past two years and I am still young and want my life back. Any suggestions of a PCP that deals with fibro would be helpful if you know of any.

    Thanks again for your help.
  • Welcome to spine health. You have come to the right place as we do understand and "get" the pain.

    I agree with Charry and Julie.If you have some more testing done it can definately show more about what is going on. MRI's are not perfect and don't always show the whole picture.

    I am back at square one after having surgery. I am going to try to use all diagnostic tools available to see what is going on with my spine, as I had absolutely no relief after my discectomies/lamis.

    It is always a great idea to utilize any testing out there in order to get the full picture of what is going on, then it can be treated better.Have your doctors ever tried you on a nerve pain med to see if it would help?

    Wishing you all the best. Look forward to hearing more from you.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • i have just been tyring out the v3 circulation booster {silly name } but its a TENS for your legs and feet ..so far i am very impressed .i am waiting for ALIF fusion {and from what you have written maybe you will end up needing some kind of fusion }.that may be an option .not nice i know but as i have been in pain for 16 years and had 2 failed operations i have some idea of what you are going through .if i were you i would get yet another opinion from a top consultant and take if from there
    good luck girl
    tony {UK}
    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
  • Hello and welcome to the forum from another newby...your results and symptoms sound alot like I had. I like many others here know first hand how frustrating it can be when Drs.fail to give you answers you'd like to here. I agree with the others about getting other opinions til you find one that you can trust and that is willing to help you. If it is possible, you could always travel to a big city doc. After several docs in my small town,I decided to do just that, my neurosurgeon is 90 miles away in Pittsburgh,and thats where I had my surgery. I too heard the "too young for surgery".I had a Dynesys stabilization,which is basically a "flexible" fusion, and can always be removed if needed. Also self education is a key! The best of luck to you..
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