Hello all, I'm a 37 year old male going on 12 years of lower back pain and 5 years of extreme pain with several dozens of treatment attempts. I'm chocking back the tears praying that some of you may be able to spread a little cheer/guidance my way. I'm in so much pain physically and mentally that I can't seem to cope with it anymore. My wifes in tears because I can't sleep by her and it's so frustrating.
Due to wear and tear and fairly obese (was heavy and loved sports) what not I've had a lot of lower back issues. L4-L5-S1 in particular. About 5 years ago I stepped on a treadmill and passed out with severe lowerback pain. I felt a "crunch" and could barely move. Ever since then it's been a struggle to get relief. Initially the RFA's and facet injections helped but over time the shots gave me absolutely zero relief. Even the pain specialist was eventually out of ideas outside of pain meds. He said if he were to give me more shots I'd get diabetes.
He sent me to a surgeon. Surgeon said I need a multi level fusion. Insurance denied the surgery and then denied the appeal. I went to another surgeon and he said that the first surgeon was a quack job and I just need PT and interdisciplinary therapy. I spent $400 dollars and 4 months with these whack jobs and the Physical therapy put me in the ER. They were having me lay on tennis balls with tears down my eyes in so much pain. A couple more injections through them and finally decided I was wasting my money,
I haven't slept in the same bed with my wife for 4 YEARS! I have to sleep on a stupid 400 dollar big lots couch to even get a few hours of sleep. My pain used to be all about positioning but now it's constant. The last 8 months have been misery. If I sit up straight my butt and upper legs go completely numb. If I fall asleep in my computer chair I wake up an hour later thinking I pee'd my pants and get tempted to call 911.
Back to my original pain management doc. A couple more injections. He cranked up My Lortab's 10/325's. Helped for a couple of weeks. Now he added the Fent patches 25mcg with the Lortab's. Works semi ok if I don't MOVE. As soon as I take a slight walk or sleep wrong I'm back in sever pain.
I had a CT and MRI. (Which I've had several times). Here are the notes.
The sagittal images demonstrate normal alignment of the spine with dehydration of the L4-L5 disc with central protrusion of the disc which abuts the sac but dows not distort it. The other disc spaces appear normal.
L4-L5: At the disc space, there is a symmetrical central protrusion of the disc which abuts the sac with the sac measureing 9 mm, image 5. Although the disc bulges in the lower foramina, it does no narrow the foramina where the L4 nerce roots exit. Slight bulge of disc below the disc space it noted, image 6.
1. L4-L5 disc degeneration with symmetrical central protrusion of the disc which abuts the sac and extends a little below the disc space slightly narrowing the lateral recesses.
2. The other four lumbar levels studied are normal.
I know this post is really long and I apologize. I'm just not sure what else to do/try. These pain meds are making me crazy and not really helping that much. I've been looking at other people's MRI's and mine seems like nothing compared to some. I'm wondering if this is why insurance won't cover the surgery. Why doesn't the MRI reflect the sheer amount of anguish I'm going though? Anyways if anyone has thought's or advice I'd much appreciate it. Thank you for listening!!