This is the first spine health forum that I have joined and I hope that I can learn a lot from others and give advice to others too. My name is Kate and I am 21 years old. My back problems began when I was 18. I rode horses for 9 years and shortly after I turned 18 I had a bad fall which caused me to herniate my L5-S1 disc as well as my L4-L5 disc. I had severe lower back pain and sciatic pain down my right leg 24/7. That began the long process of trying non-surgical methods. It's been so long ago I honestly don't remember all the details to bare with me.
I first saw an orthopedic doctor who recommended that I rest for a couple of weeks. Then After a couple of weeks I began physical therapy. I went 2 times a week for 2 to 3 months with little success. At this point the orthopedic doctor referred me to a spine and pain management doctor.
I received 2 spinal injections to reduce the inflammation. The first one worked for 8 weeks and then the pain came back. The second injection lasted for about 5 months. One day I made a sudden movement and the pain came back just as bad as before. I dealt with the pain for 8 months because my mom was having very serious health problems and I would not have been able to take off from college at the time. That was the worst 8 months of my life. When I finally saw my pain management doctor again who immediately referred me to a well known neurosurgeon who was 2 hours away.
I had an MRI, was seen my the surgeon and had my first microlumbar discectomy at the L4-L5 level. He chose not to do the surgery at the L5-S1 because I did not have any symptoms related to that disc at the time. The surgery was successful and I had no problems for a year and a half. I was not physically active at the time so recovery was fairly easy. I had online classes and didn't work at the time so I was able to rest. I didn't follow the lifting/bending/twisting limitations as closely as I should have, but I had no problems.
I began CrossFit about 9 months ago. 6 months in I further herniated the L5-S1 disc at the gym. Saw a neurologist, got an MRI, met with my surgeon and scheduled surgery. This process from the day I injured my back again to the day of my surgery took 3 and a half months. Today I am 2 weeks post microlumbar discectomy. Doing well, but recovery is a little harder this time because of work and school. Hoping to get back to my active workout routine as soon as possible.
I don't want to get into my concerns about recovery on this thread because it would be way too long. So basically I am a young adult with unfortunate back problems that have dampened my spirits, caused me a lot of pain, and makes me fear for my future health. I want to be responsible about my spine health. Hopefully this forum will help!
22 year old. Herniated L4-L5 and L5-S1 in December of 2008 in horse riding fall. All non-surgical methods failed. L4-L5 micro discectomy in Sept. 2010. Further herniation of L5-S1 disc in Nov. 2011 and had L5-S1 micro discectomy March 2012.