So after 9 months of no insurance and horrible back/sciatic pain, I got my insurance and had my MRI and just as I thought, not good, not good at all. As I say I've got a major blow out at L4/L5, and as the MRI report states "severe spinal stenosis". I was in physical therapy at the time, I showed my physical therapist one of the pics from the MRI (prior to getting the report, the problem was obvious), she advised me to get into my primary ASAP, as this was NOT GOOD AT ALL. So I did, pretty much the same reaction from my primary. He said I needed to get into the surgeon ASAP, and called to squeeze me in as there were no appointments available for 3 weeks.
So my appointment was today, I had x-rays and brought them all the reports, MRI's etc... bracing myself for the word surgery (as the MRI shows the disc is pressed up on my spinal cord so much, there is not much room left, and the disc below is bad as well) I saw the surgeon's PA, who said she wants to first try injections before surgery, BUT wants to see me back in 3-4 weeks because of the severity of the disc. She also wants me to get in to do this ASAP because of the severity, and personally called the office that would preform the injections to get me in asap. But instead of getting the usually series of 3 shots, I will only have time for 2 before I come back to see her so she can see if they are helping reduce the bulge.
Now my questions are (and of course these are what I thought of AFTER the appointment):
1. I truly appreciate the "surgery is the last resort" concept, I would like opinions on is this just to say, we tried everything before surgery and I'm just delaying the inevitable?? As it's been 9 months since this has started?
2. Without getting another MRI, how is she going to know if this is working? Before I was told to stop physical therapy (because of the severity of the bulge) it was helping. I haven't been able to stand this straight or long in months, but that doesn't change the size or severity of the bulge. Let's say the shot's take away some or even all of the pain and numbness, is she going to consider that as "working"?? To me that's not fixing the problem, it's a bandaid. I understand the concept of the steriod decreasing the inflammation to allow your body to heal itself, but I'm wondering if this has gone on too long?
3. Are there any of you out there that have had injections on a severe hernation, that have received the shots and your body actually healed itself?? I would love to be more optimistic, but I feel I also don't want to kid myself that a surgery isn't going to happen in the near future.
I would appreciate any and all opinions and comments, I'm totally new to all of this besides my brother having 4 back surgeries. I never injured by back this is lovely genetics, although my brother is the only other one with this condition that we know of on either my dad or mom's side.
Thnak you in advance for all your help!!!!