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Decided to do a sanity check...

DNiceDDNice Posts: 1,962
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Chronic Pain
I decided it's time to do a sanity check on my back vs. my high tolerance for pain.

I am almost 2 years out of a revision Microdiscectomy at L5S1. While I did get 'better' - leg strength back, reduced leg pain, no longer limp; I never got as good as I wanted - still have numbness, back pain, etc.

About 4-5 months ago, my back pain in the middle of the night has grown pretty bad whenever I try to move, it's quite painful. for 2 months, I had trouble standing upright for the 1st 10 mins or so that I could get myself up an out of bed.

Well, the back pain seems to be increasing as does the leg pain with some signs of pain in the 'good leg'.

I assume this is just life and have been 'dealing'(stretching, walking, tyleonol, advil, water, etc.)

Well, my husband encouraged me to call the doctor. My surgeon sent me to my General Practioner to start. My GP is wonderful and said "It's time to do another MRI just to make sure we give you the right guidance because he hates that I'm in pain daily".

So Wednesday...I go for another MRI.

I really am so lucky to have a GP & Surgeon that care about what's best. I really don't care what the outcome of the MRI is because I 'win' either way.

Wish me luck!
I hope it's nothing b/c then I can move on with my exercise and lifestyle. If it's 'something'...well, we take it from there and I hope I have options to get some additional relief.



  • It's great you have a caring GP and Surgeon! That makes all the difference. I found a great Physiatrist who's working close with me trying to find the cause of the pain so feel I'm getting good support now more so than with my Family Dr.

    Keep us posted and hope your MRI shows what's going on. 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
  • Thanks Charry. I had hoped calling the doctor would reduce my pain. You know how if you make a dr. Appt when you are sick, you end up feeling better by the time you get to their office.

    Well, not happening.
    I do have a really high tolerance for pain and the only reason I went to the doctor is because my husband always heard me moan and struggle in the night but he finally caught me trying to get up and walk in the middle of the night. He said if that is how bad I have been, something is wrong. Well, the night he caught me was one of my better nights. I guess that made me realize, I should just get a check up.

    I have heard good things about Physiatrists...glad you have one as an advocate!
  • all the best with your MRI. Sorry to hear that you are having such bad pain at night.Nights are getting much worse for me as well, waking every hour, crying out etc.

    Wonderful that you have a great relationship with your GP and surgeon, and that they are looking out for you. It will be nice to have answers.

    I have always read your positive posts about discectomies, and appreciated your experiences when I had mine. Hope that soon you will have a game plan to help with the pain that you are having now.

    Positive thoughts heading your way!

    >: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'm also glad to hear that you're having a new MRI with the problems you're suffering. It can't hurt and may show something that needs to be dealt with. Good luck with the results - I hope you only need conservative intervention.

    It's wonderful to have such a caring set of doctors. I'm also lucky that way in that my surgeon and GP are also caring and supportive (although I haven't seen my GP for ages, but due for a physical) and I've been thinking that with Thanksgiving coming up, I'm going to send a Thank You card to my surgeon for all the support and work he's done over the last few years.

    I wonder how many they get...?

    Take care and be sure to update us on the results and what happens along the way.

  • Thanks Karen,
    Overall, still pleased with the direction I chose and would still say "less is more" with regards to back treatment.

    I was a pretty extreme case in regards to the herniation/rupture. So I always say don't use me as a baseline. Plus, even with that, I've done pretty good considering they were worried I'd have an impact to my bladder with how bad the herniation and numbness were.

    I really hope the MRI just confirms arthritis b/c that is something I can manage for now.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all the folks here in the US with me.
  • Need to talk to the doctor but I looked at my MRI and generally looks same. Maybe lost more material at L5S1 and bulge still there at L4L5 and I can see scar tissue.

    My L5S1 site really has very little disc left.

    I got the radiology report and it is tough to read but was pleased the report includes some thoracic levels thru the Caudia equine opening. Based on my interpretation, looks like holding steady in all levels but the damaged level. At the damaged level, seems like there was some progress but the term is used in a fashion that indicates the condition is progressing. Hope that is because the compare is to pre surgery. But overall, not too nervous to talk to doctor.

    We will see if he says to talk to back doctor or if I am right and am fairly the same from the last MRI before surgery...more or less.
  • So my GP said, while backs are not his area of expertise (he's actually a cardiologist) he said it didn't look like any significant changes.

    Pretty much my interpretation.

    He said maybe the scar tissue or slight changes are causing me discomfort. He said I had a few options on where to go from here

    1) call my back surgeon and send him the results and see if he has recommendations
    2) Go to a back doctor that my GP knows (problem there is none of them are in network and I left one of the guys b/c I didn't like him so not sure how easy it is to get a local opinion)
    3) stay the course with OTC medication to help.

    Ok so I guess it is good that I'm 'status quo'
    But on the flip side, it's a bit depressing that this is my life. I do good for awhile masking it but wow, after awhile it piles up and it's really a DRAIN on my physically and emotionally.

    I know you all know that.

    I'm open to advice on what next.

    Do I call my back surgeon and ask him to look at the report?

    Do I ask if there is a PM doctor that could work with me? I've been managing on OTC for the most part and prefer to keep it that way so my question is, would a PM doctor make a difference if I really don't want to go on Lyrica or other stronger pain meds.

    Ruptured L5S1 with large herniation in August 2009
    Had Microdiscectomy, failed/piece left behind.
    Revision Microdiscteomy in February 2010
    Slightly better results of reduced leg pain and increased strength (no limp); never regained any feeling where I lost it.

    I'm a glass if half-full. SO glad that things have stayed the same 'structurally' so trying to see this as a positive.
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