Hello everyone! I look forward to reading through many of the past discussions and talking with all of you about your conditions and plans.
I am 29, and I've had lower back "aches" for nearly a decade. It was all manageable, though. We all just learn to live with it, right? I had my first X-rays a few months ago that showed significant DDD at L4 - S1 (not really surprising, right?) and in my C-spine, though I can't remember the levels. I have extremely large breasts, which has contributed significantly to the deterioration of my c-spine, I'm sure. I don't have a lot of neck pain, though, which was surprising to my chiro (who did the x-rays).
I've been managing the lumbar aches and pains the best I can over the years. Then, oone day, I felt a...I don't want to say a "pop." It was more just like "something" or a "release" in my lower back. My back didn't hurt, though. The pain was ALL in my leg...straight to my foot! Oh, I thought I was dying! I was almost in shock by the time I made it to the emergency room, and I had a thick strip of numbness from my big toe all the way up to my knee (on one side). An immediate MRI showed a "severe rupture" at L4-L5 with spinal stenosis and lateral foraminal stenosis (among other things associated with my bone spurs and DDD). I stayed in the hospital for a few days (unstable spine?), and I left after an epidural injection (that didn't work).
So, here I am...4 wks post-injury. The pain isn't really that bad anymore. I frequently get that gnawing ache behind my knee, in my ankle, and on the bottom of my foot. But the sharp, paralyzing pain is very rare, anymore. The numbness hasn't changed since the day of the injury, though, which worries me a lot. There is no tingling, no pins & needles, no sensation...no change, at all. :-/
My neurosurgeon recommends surgery...duh. lol What is surprising, though, is that my anesthesiologist even says he's 90% sure I'll need surgery. He supports my choice to go with injections, first, but is quite sure they will fail due to the location and severity of the rupture. I'm doing PT, which is pretty uncomfortable, but I don't think it is helping, yet. I'm still hopeful.
I'm still on the fence, though, about surgery...because everything on the web rides the fence! I've read article after article about healing of discs. I'm hoping to find more advice and support here!
Thanks everyone! Have a good one!