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New Member – Seeking Guidance and Support

Susan HSSusan H Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in New Member Introductions
Where to begin? I have been troubled with lower back pain since at least 2008. It is a deep ache in the lower back, sometimes radiating to the hips and outer legs just below the knee. Other times, it is a tingling and numbness in the left foot. Lately, any sort of physical activity (even sitting or standing too long) seems to trigger an episode which lasts for days. Recent therapy for early osteoarthritis in my knee aggravated the back, and so I stopped. Neither 600 mg. Ibuprofen (3-4x day) nor applying a heating pad provide relief. It feels better lying down. Short walks and a series of visits to the chiropractor seem to help. Early on, my PCP sent me for a lumbar spine x-ray. The results were degenerative arthritis in the L1/L5 vertebrae. A few years later, the PCP made a diagnosis of sciatica between L1 and S5. He then sent me for an MRI. After recent review of my records, the PCP determined facet arthropathy at L5/S1. He mentioned mild lumbar levoscoliosis and possibly S1 or S2 radiculopathy. Given my history, the PCP is now talking surgery. This scares me. Should I see a neurologist and have nerve conduction studies? Has anyone had a similar experience? Glad to have found this website, and thanks for listening!



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Everyone so individual and I can not say for you.
    But for me, yes I went to specialist and to pain doc who is also neurologist.

    He did variety testing, but most revealing for me was the EMG. Doc was able to see things wrong that did not even hurt me yet and he came up with game plan for chronic pain treatment.

    Myself, I am not a candidate for surgery, but I think if told I needed surgery I would get one or two other opinions. Any kind of surgery to be taken seriously, but the spine...from what I hear..can sometimes be for stabilizing or other things and not even for pain to decrease.So sometimes there could be misunderstanding for what would constitute a successful surgery.

    This site has much info and the "search" may bring you to topics relating to you now that were discussed in past. Also, much support here from people who can more relate to your situation and they may have good answer for you.

    I wanted to welcome you and good luck with your decisions.

    Keep in touch with how you are doing!
    Take care!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • My opinion is that you should avoid chiropractors. I think you should ask your PCP to refer you to a neurosurgeon, not a neurologist.

    Don't be afraid of surgery. I have 2 multi-level fusions and would be happy to give you support and answer any questions you may have.
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