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Help! Chronic Pain

Smiles4454SSmiles4454 Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone,

Please help!

I had a laminectomy of L5 S1 in 1992 which did not help my pain. After many years of living in pain I finally found a doctor that found the problem and in 2004 I had a fusion of L5 S1 with titanium rods and screws and have had no pain since until a car accident on 4/15/11 where I was rear ended.

I now have a chronic ache in my lower back and hips, sometimes both legs ache, can't sit/stand/walk for long periods of time, I have a constant numbish feeling in my two little toes of the right foot that extends up the outside and the heel of my foot, my right calf gets numb with activity and laying on my back brings me to tears.

I have had CT, MRI with and w/o contrast of the lumbar spine and just recently had an MRI of the pelvis and soft tissue. All of these tests show nothing of significance and I still sit here in extreme pain.

I had 2 Neuros look at my films and see nothing and now I am seeing a Ortho who wants to do shots which I am willing to do but I just want answers as to what is causing the pain. If the shots are just a temporary fix I will still need to get to the root of the issue!

My Ortho thinks that I may have scar tissue that was "jarred" loose when I was hit and may now be pressing on my sciatic. Has anyone had scar tissue cause these symptoms? Can anyone relate to what i am now going through? I am so extremely frustrated and the pain is driving me insane!

Not smiling anymore! :(



  • When I had numbness, tingling sciatica my Dr. ordered a EMG/nerve test for me to see where the numbness was coming from either the peroneal nerve or from the back somehere.

    I also take Cymbalta for nerve pain from lumbar DDD. Have you had an EMG or take any nerve pain meds? I hope you can get relief soon, I haven't had surgery but hopefully someone else will answer you soon. Take care. 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
  • Thank you Charry,

    I have not had an EMG. My Ortho wants to try cortisone shots first and if that does not help he thinks I need a mylogram (which is not fun). I am not a big pill person as I have seen how easily people become addicted. I only take pills if I absolutely can't stand the pain (like tonight). I would rather find the root of the problem to find a cure rather then mask the issue with pills or cortisone shots. It was also mentioned that maybe some of the hardware shifted and now is pressing on the nerve but in the MRI they say the hardware looks fine. I am at my witts end! The pain and not knowing the cause has become very depressing! Thank you for the advice on the EMG...I am going to ask my Ortho about it!!!
  • OK, I am very confused! i just received a copy of the CT report and it says;

    L3-4 Mild degenerative facet arthropathy and a small diffuse annular disc bulge are present without significant central canal or foraminal compromise

    L4-5 Diffuse annular disc bulge and degenerative facet arthropathy mildly narrow the foramina bilaterally (right greater than left)

    With that said, wouldn't that explain what is causeing my pain or does this mean nothing? Apparently, the Dr's do not feel it is anything meaningful...I am VERY confused! I thought anytime you had even a mild bulge it could cause pain if it was hitting a nerve...am I wrong?
  • I had the same facet joint arthropy(arthritis) and it did cause me pain. I felt better after the facet joint injections I had as the steroids flushed away the inflammation but know it won't work for everyone but I was so desperate for pain relief I would do anything. I was unable to stand at the waist bend my back back wards without pain so that's the facet joints causing pain.

    I have mild foraminal(narrowing)at L1, right below the rib-line where the ribs end starts at L1 and it causes me pain.

    I had a herniated disc with annular tear which was impinging a nerve so not sure if annular lining intact if that causes pain?

    Not sure if your Dr. will send you for facet joint injections but they helped me so much so after 15 months later facet joint arthropy wasn't seen on my MRI. So guess the steroids helped with inflammation?

    Will you see a Pain Management Dr? I would also get another opinion from a Surgeon.

    Sometimes when you have hardware they will do a diagnostic block to see if the hardware is causing the pain.

    I hope you find out what's causing your pain. Hugs. 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
  • hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer questions we can. Charry has some really good ideas for you. i was following your conversation.. i am sorry you are suffering with chronic pain after the car accident.. trying to find the root of your problem can be much harder than you think!! good luck in your search! stop by anytime and please keep us informed.. Jenny :)
  • So, yesterday I had my injections and the Dr. said that my sciatica nerve narrows up towards the fusion on both sides and even gave me an x-ray to show me. Has anyone had or heard of the actual nerve narrowing? Sometimes, when I am talking to the Dr I get lost in what he is saying and by the time I get home I still have questions.
  • Um, I have a unique pain. It's in my L3 or L4 and MRI shows an increased signal but that's it. I can't afford anymore research on my back. But the pain in my vertebra is sharp and tender. I can press on it and feel the pain increase and I can feel through to my stomach as the vertebra moves. I don't know what to do with it since exercise has done nothing for it and doctors refuse to give out pain pills. It feels bad though. Help
  • Pain problem now a days very normal and many people take number of medicines for it. I think perfect exercise or acupuncture are the best treatments for such pain problem.
  • OK, I am still in alot of pain and both legs are going numb. I have had an EMG which shows a problem at L5 so my Ortho sent me to have a Myelogram and he told me that it showes nothing. I have read the report and at L4-5 there is mild broad based disc bulge as wells as mild facet degenerative change and ligamentum flavum thickening. I have looked it up and both basically make it sound like they could cause all of my problems. I am so very confused and still sit here in pain! Does anyone know what this means?
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