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What can I expect next?

Hello fellow back pain sufferers! I am new to all of this and while starting my research found this wonderful and informative site. I recently had a long awaited MRI on my spine, at the age of 16, I was involved in an auto accident where the pick up truck ran over my mid section. At that time no broken bones found, but internal bleeding. Well many, many years later, approximately 25 years or so, I started experiencing bouts of back problems, just figuring I over did it on something, having both my children later in life, second one at 35, and an extreme worker, I loaded UPS trucks daily. And not being too kind to my physical body through the years. The bouts would happen oh maybe once every couple of years, THEN, at the age of 45 I feel and broke my first bone, my ankle. This seem to prompt an incredible, and mentally challenging, decline in my physical abilities, the back problems started to happen even more frequently. Now 3 years later, I am experiencing, numb leg, both feet have no feeling in them, sudden and intense pains running down my legs and across my lower back. The MRI results, for which I apologize, as once the word "surgeon" came out of the nurses mouth, I heard very few words. You see this has been a life long fear, I have mostly heard negative results from the few people I have met that have had back surgeries. So at that the nurse told me. over the phone, that I have extreme and severe arthritis up and down my spine, then she starting talking about disks and lumbar numbers, the last thing I heard clearly was the L5 and how the disc was bulging out and pressing up against the spinal cord and it appears to have significant nerve damage. She also set up a nerve conduction test, which what the heck is this about, she said it would help the surgeon to evaluate what was worse and needed to be fixed first. WHAT, first, what does that mean??? Also the Dr keeps giving me meds that put me to sleep or make me so lethargic I can barely function. Any and all suggestions, advice, are greatly appreciated, What should I be doing to prepare myself for all that lies ahead? My neurologist appointment is on October 11......plenty of time for in depth research. Thanks in advance for all comments!!!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    edited 08/20/2012 - 7:53 AM
    It is unfortunate that some doctors just brush right over their findings and do not spend enough time to make sure that their patient completely understands the diagnosis, condition, treatments, medications, etc. If you are NOT getting this from your doctor, make a point to let them know that you need more details.

    MRIs are just one of the diagnostic tools used to identify Spinal disc problems.
    When you heard that the L5 disc is pressing on a nerve root, they are basically talking about some of the disc material impingement on the spinal nerve root.

    The nerve conduction test (EMG) is another diagnostic tool to identify the extend of any nerve damage.

    I suggest taking a look at some of these articles and then talking with your doctor. Remember, no one at Spine-Health is medically qualified to provide medical advice. All we can do is talk about our own personal experiences and/or research.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thank you for the links dilauro they were quite helpful. I really feel much more at ease after reading this info. Of course I am sure there is much more for me to learn, but for now, my mind is more relaxed. The one thing I learned was the description of what has occurred in my leg and feet. Also I did not read anywhere that once the pressure is gone off the nerves, will the feeling sensation come back in my leg and feet?? Anyone have "foot drop" or leg numbness? What has your experience been with it? Any suggestions on how to improve this, I have had physical therapy some time ago, I think before anyone knew the extent of this back problem. Also overtime things have worsened, health insurance, Dr's, and just plain ole lack of attention to myself. At any rate the therapy was not as helpful as I thought it would be, it did alleviate some of the discomfort, and being the stubborn individual that I am, I dismissed any real damage, and went right back to my way of life. I have learned now to truly slow down and be more cautious. Thanks for any and all comment.
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