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atleast 3 herniated discs L3 L4 L5 arthritis and spinal stenosis

mothrof6mmothrof6 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am 33yrs old married w/6 children and I've had lower back problems since I had an epidural w/my oldest child who is now 17yrs old. I never had an epidural again after the first one because I was scared of what could happen so my other 5 kids were delivered w/out epidurals I have tolerated the pain for many years and lived and worked thru it but its gotten to the point that the usual 3 month flare ups have become an almost weekly problem so I decided to follow thru w/finding out what the problem is and try to get it fixed. My PCP said moderate to severe spinal stenosis and arthritis is the problem but as the problems got worse he sent me to an orthopedic surgeon the surgeon looked @ my MRI and said I have 3 herniated dics on my right side that he could see but it didnt explain the throbbing pain and inability to put pressure on my left hip and leg so he is ordering another MRI to see if there is something else causing the numbness throbbing and shooting pains radiating up and down my left leg and also both of my arms and hands especially when i am asleep! I am not concerned w/death do to surgery I am concerned w/the risk of losing the ability to walk altogether. Am I over reacting or is the concern valid? I guess the epidural leaving me unable to walk for 2 whole days and there after never being able to run again has me a little shook up and nervous I wont get the shots in my spine for that reason and would appreciate any feed back or advice on the best surgery to agree to getting done to fix the problem not just cover it up! thank in advance! Good luck n God Bless evry1 who is dealing w/evn a fraction of what I am would only wish this on the Devil himself!


  • and I wanted to post and share my experiences with you. I too have had back problems since my 1st child was born. Wheather or not it was epidural related I dont know, but none the less my back went out horribly for the first time when my daughter was 4 months. I could not walk. I too never had another epidural for childbirth again...I never wanted the first one! Fast forward and to today...I too have herniations and/or bulges at L2-S1...I have severe spinal stenosis at L3 which has caused me debilitating pain. My pain has been excruciating from my hip down the front of my thigh to my knee and also in my foot and ankle. What I have learned in my own journey is that it is not my herniations that are causing my pain at this point but the stenosis...from what I understand the disc matter will be absorbed by our bodies after a certain amount of time. I have basically been bed bound for almost 5 months now. I have now had 3 ESI's which are edministered into the epidural area. The procedure was basically painless with about 48 hours of increased pain...felt very discouraged and then finally after the 3rd one I have some relief. I still have pain, and am on pain meds but it is tolerable. I have had a consult with spine doctor who has informed me that my only options at this point are relief from the ESI's and surgery because of the level or neve invlovement and impingement from the stenosis. Because I still have 2 small kids at home 2 and 7 surgery is something I need to put off for as long as possible. I am really doing my research on if waiting too long can cause more nerve damage...Im still a bit confused on this issue, so if any other memebers have input it is appreciated. Wht I can tell you is what I know from living in pain from these issues for what seems like a really long time...for me the injections have given me enough relief that I can enjoy my kids and take care of their basic needs...still cant get my little one in the tub without paying for it, but I can basically handle things...I COULD NOT do that prior to the injections. I could barely walk. Again, Im sure some of the pain was the numerous ruptures/bulges but now all my pain comes from the stenosis as far as I know. I requested PT, spine doctor said he would put in for it but it would not help with the stenosis. I have considerable left leg and foot weakness that Im hoping maybe I will get a little strength built back up. I do not mean to babble on about myslef...just wondered if you are experiencing any of the same symptoms, and wanted to offer a sympatheitc ear to what you are dealing with.

    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • And I have to say I was blessed that my husband was around for bath time when the older kids were little because like you I couldnt get them in or out of the tub as the older ones grew they helped w/the little ones. As per the symptoms yes my left leg is worse than my right leg but both of my legs throb down the front from thigh to shin my right ankle gives out and I experience tingling burning numbness and shooting pain from the tips of my toes back up the front of my shins. I wake up everyday wondering if today is a day i will be able to put any weight on my left hip or if I will be able to stand upright. I've undergone PT multiple times and it was hit or miss sometimes it would make it worse thats why my Dr sent me to the ortho surgeon. I will say a friend suggested an inversion table so I got one for Christmas and it really does help between flare ups I also sleep w/a heating pad under my back. My biggest problem is I cant work like this I mean Ive yet to find a job that will allow me to show up as Im able lol. I cant stand for more than 30mins I cant sit for more than 30mins and many days I cant walk or even stand up! I dont like the way the pain meds make me feel mentally so I try not to take them unless Im going to bed and @ 33yrs old it bothers me that I feel like an old lady! Its nice to know I am not alone so babble anytime I am all ears...most people dont understand if theyve never been through it and for me I feel as if they look @ me as a whiner or hypocondriact or just lazy its very frustrating. Especially since I gave birth w/out pain meds multiple times and I feel Ive proven that I can handle my fair share of pain but this is more than any reasonable human should just have to live with! Thank You Ellen for responding and listening it means A LOT! Anytime I will do the same :)))
  • Hi I'm in the same situation too and Im getting really miserable being in pain my MRI read as follows:Degenerative changes from L3 to S1 with loss of disc height and circumferential disc bulges, at L4-L5 there is also significant facet joint hypertrophy a broad-based right posterolateral disc bulge at this level causes lateral recess stenosis which is in direct contact with the crossing right L5 nerve root, there is narrowing of the L4 exit foramen.
    I suffer from really painfull leg and groin pain , I'm now having my hips looked at because GP thinks my hips are probably as bad as my back and i'm only 44 :(
    I've also got a part torn achillies tendon I have a a huge calcified lump attached to my heal due to tendonitis, my GP said I was a wreck from the neck down,I just wonder why at such young ages we're all suffering like this I really do feel about 100, it's truely horrible throbbing and aching and feeling sore everyday, I do feel for you both.
  • Hi all,
    I have been able to relate to your posts.. I have L5-S1 issues, starting on year 5 now. I am 39. I have had most treatments except for any shots, (going to a pain dr. at end of March for assessment). I have not been able to work since 2008. People just don't get it!!! We are not lazy, hypocondriacts, *spelling issues I am sure !!*, etc. It is not in our heads, and yes, we can handle pain.
    I have heard it all. I am so lucky to have an amazing husband who does understand why I can't do this or that. I know I am so lucky in that aspect!
    without this site, I would still be feeling lost in the middle of the ocean!!
    I hope and pray that you , and everyone on here, does find some relief.. naturally! Pills do help, I know.. and I do take them also.. but I hate , hate, hate them!!! I dont' work well on chemicals!
    I am feeling like a blabbler now.. so will sign off.
    BUT.. I do know there is hope we all will find our solution~!!!!
  • I am shockd at the number of people on this site who have the same and/or ultimately worse issues than I do its obvious that we arent cry babies if we are all suffering basically the same problems and pain yet my Dr seems to think i am some kind of crazy person smh!! My pcp didnt even mention the 3 herniated disks when he told me about the results of my MRI it took the surgeon to add those to the list of issues! Ive read all of you guys comments and I know what I have been going thru the last 16yrs and I can tell some of you are even worse off than I am and I feel for you all this is a serious problem! I am praying for all of you stay sane!
    I go for another MRI next week to find out what else is wrong as if I need to hear more lol! But honestly w/each diagnosis I kinda sigh w/relief that there is proof of my sanity and I am not crazy w/a vivid imagination making up pain! Hang in there everyone and keep posting I know this site is helping me cope! God bless u all!
  • I can relate I hate feeling like an old lady at 33yrs old when we go to the store my husband always tells me to ride in one of those buggy things and i absolutely refuse! I know thats just me being hard headed and vein but I would rather limp thru the store than ride in one of those things! Hang in there and dont give up trying to get better! It is a shame to wake up everyday wondering is this day gonna be better or worse than my normal which is between 4-6 on the pain scale thats my tolerable everyday pain level I can cope at that level because thats been my norm for so many years! Its funny I am not sure I would know what to do if ALL the pain went away one day I might go nuts not knowing what the feeling is! ~X(
  • jules95jjules95 Posts: 1
    edited 01/19/2015 - 1:02 PM
    Hi all, I can relate to all of your same stories.
    I have been a very competitive athlete since I was 10 years old, joining all types of sports, including soccer, basketball, badminton, and my most enjoyable mistake, volleyball. When I was in grade 9 I started having a sore back when I woke up, I just assumed that my problem was that I was sore from the multiple sports I was participating in at the time. "Everyone gets sore from repeated exercise," I thought. In grade 10 (15 yrs. old) during my volleyball game, I dove for a ball, and experienced what felt like a tight pull on everything in my back. It enabled me to bend, or sit, so I tried to lay down. Well most of you know, that once you have this happen there is no way you are getting up from laying down. My mom decided they were going to take me to emergency. My dad actually worked to remove the seat from our vehicle, and put a blanket down with a bunch of pillows, so that I could just lay in the vehicle. I tried my hardest to get myself off the floor and to the car, but the pain was so excruciating that I ended up fainting several times when I did get up from pain. Finally my dad just carried me to the vehicle. After waiting 8 hours in emergency, I was put on so many drugs to stop the pain that I woke up a day later, to the news that I had L3, L4 and L5 herniated discs. Doctor made it clear that I had the back of most 60 year olds, and that he had never seen such a bad case in such a young person. Almost 2 years later I had a second episode. In grade 12 (17 yrs. old) I was in the middle of coaching a volleyball practice for the grade 8s at the elementary school. I was running a drill, and all of a sudden it hit me. The same pain I had been experiencing the first time around but this time a little bit different. Well country fest started the next day, so I told myself that ide suck it up, and attend country fest with my friends. The next morning i had to get up early to head to country fest, but i couldn't. There was no way I could get up. I tried and tried, but the only thing i could think of was that i was going to roll off my bed and roll to the stairs, where i would then crawl to the main floor of the house. I made it to the stairs rolling but once i tried to get up, I fainted almost immediately. I finally got up the stairs and crawled to the couch, but i couldn't feel my right leg. What was happening to me...? Every morning from then on was excruciating agony in order to get up, during the day was a breeze, but once you got to bedtime, good luck falling asleep because your leg and but, and back wont stop having spasms enough for you to fall asleep. I'm currently 19 years old. I've already had sciatica for 2 years. What's going to happen when I'm 30 like some of you. That's something I almost don't want to have to experience.
    I hope all the pain you are all enduring ends, because it's one of the worst constant pains that a person can have for such a long amount of time.
    Thank you for reading,
    - Julia Johnson
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