I have had lower back pain for many years. I have had been treated by the VA (Vet with disabled rating). In late October 2011 I had progressive symptoms -- pain down backside to right leg to foot, buttocks, to foot and weakness, contacted VA Doc and they ordered MRI, with the great speed if the VA system had MRI in early Feb but no appointment.
On Feb 28th symptoms increased and went to local ER. In the past I have been there a few times and they would always say no back emergency give me meds and send me on. This time they were able to get my MRI right away electronically.
The ER came in and said you have a major problem and kept me in ER until Neurosurgery came and talked to me and problems are from MRI and the Neurorsurgeon -- L2-3 and L3-4 severe canal stenosis with narrowing to 4mm and L3-4 has severe forminal stenosis, L4-5 has moderate to severe canal stenosis and forminal stenosis. L1-4 there is broad based bulging and L2-3 has right paracentral superimposed disk protrusion, Aslo advanced DDD and Disk Desiccation. The neurosurgeon stated at this time conservative treatment is not indicated and surgery should be done soon.
I was unsure of this because no conservative treatment offered, though PT in past and I am not a candidate for ESI and then I said lets see what happens and then got a some other opinions from both neurosurgeons and primary care, concurred with above.
I tried putting off but my symptoms have increased to where my right foot is numb quite a bit, increased pain in back and symptoms now increasing in the left leg. Yesterday I made the choice to have surgery due to PC saying my symptoms and weakness have increased in just the last few weeks. So I have scheduled another consult with original neurosurgeon I spoke to. Surgery will be MISS at at 3 levels for Central and Forminal Stenosis (Microdiskectomy).
Mind you I am fearful of surgery (greatly) mostly due to anesthesia due to high blood pressure (controlled) and I have been a smoker over 30 years, so any if you have any information, support, and information to offer would be appreciated. I will see the neurosurgeon on April 24th again to re-evaluate and reschedule surgery (I chickened out the first time) unless the surgery is earlier, my PC said my symptoms are increasing fairly quickly.
Thanks a lot for any help I have been lurking here for a few weeks and saw lots of good stuff and I done a lot of internet research.