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Looking for alternatives to steroids or surgery

NoMoPainNNoMoPain Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Spinal Stenosis
I am male, 57. I've been experiencing moderate to very severe pain in my back and down through my right leg for quite some time (months). Initially, I thought it would resolve itself, but it only got worse over time. At its worst, I couldn't even get out of bed. Two weeks ago, I had an MRI. The MRI revealed that I have spinal stenosis caused by a herniated disk (L5) in conjunction with some fatty tissue that is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. I do weigh a little more now than at any point in the past. They think it's only one disk but two may be involved. What I want to know is - can this condition be managed with a combination of weight loss, physical therapy and pain medication rather than having steroids injected into my spine every few months or having surgery (neither of which are appealing to me)? Does this kind of condition ever resolve without surgery or shots? I have been told that it is sometimes the case that the shots are necessary three or more times a year, and that (statistically) the chances of a successful outcome for people who chose surgery vs those who chose not to have surgery are essentially no different five years down the road.

I strongly prefer to go with the least intrusive option first - provided it's a viable one.



  • Obviously I am not a doctor but from what I have researched, sometimes weight loss and PT can help and in some cases "fix" the problem or so it seems. Of course I do not know of any statistical numbers, so just basing this off my research on this forum and other places online. It does all depend on your exact condition.

    I always say do everything you can before going for the steroids and of course surgery. I just don't like what steroids do (lots of adverse effects) but some of course have had great luck with them.

    Grade 4 tear in l4/l5 was missed in first MRI so did injections for a year
    SI joints "messed up" not sure if I will get them fused at a later time
    Had Open PLIF L4/L5 5/28/13
    Woke up to permanent nerve damage in legs and feet.
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