Hi, you can call me KayK!
I'm a 35 year old mother of 3. I am a psychology student and make pastries and cakes while putting myself through school. I had an on the job injury last January. My doctor diagnosed it as a lumbar strain, sent me to physical therapy and it seemed to get a little better but the pain never totally went away. I reinjured it at work again in July. I was once again given the same diagnosis and sent to physical therapy. This time, it never improved and kept getting worse. In October, my doctor finally agreed to an MRI which I had last month.
The MRI showed the following:
1. Mild lumbar levoscoliosis, minimal spondylosis, minimal facet arthropathy, and multilevel DDD (esp L5-S1).
2. Large disc protrusion casing marked central canal stenosis and touching each S1 nerve root -- make L5-S1 the most likely level to be symptomatic.
3. Multilevel foraminal stenosis (esp. left L3-4). Left L3 nerve root is displaced by disc protrusion in the foramen and could be a source of pain/radiculopathy.
I'll put the detailed segmental analysis below.
I've been on pain medication since January. I've had a partial gastrectomy so I'm unable to take NSAIDS. I started on Norco 5/325 1-2 every 8 hours and Flexeril 10mg once at night, 1/2 a tablet in the morning. When I started feeling better, I took Tramadol 50mg 1 every 6 hours. When I reinjured, I started back with Norco 5/325, 1 every 8 hours. It gradually bumped up to 1-2 every 8 hours and now it's 1-2 every 4 hours plus the Flexeril at night. The Flexeril really doesn't do alot other than help me sleep. The Norco just doesn't seem like it's strong enough. It does relieve the pain but never takes it away.
Most of the pain feels like a dull but sometimes sharp pain in the middle of my lower back. It is dull and burning if I'm not doing anything but sharp and very painful when I move. I don't have much leg pain. Sometimes they are achy, sometimes I have sciatica. It's almost all in my back. On my worst days, I might rate it a 6-7. On the best days, a 2-3.
I saw the neurosurgeon. He was surprised that I didn't have much leg pain and said that the herniation was very impressive. He recommended a spinal fusion. I am scheduled for that on December 17th (in 4 days.) My neurosurgeon said that I will be in a back brace for 3 months and it would take 6 months to a year to recover.
I'd love any feedback, tips, etc. I can't wait to look around the forum and get a feel for what I'm in store for. I understand that it's going to be a long and difficult journey. I've had several surgeries before, but never on my back.
T11-T12- Tiny posterior disc bulge does not contact the cord or cause central stenosis. Each foramen is patent.
L2-3: Minimal right and small left foraminal disc bulges and minimal facet arthopathy cause minimal right and mild left foraminal stenosis. Left L2 nerve root touches disc bulge in the foramen. No central canal stenosis.
L3-4: Minimal concentric disc bulge and superimposed mall left disc protrusion (2.8mm AP x 14mm transverse) cause mild right and moderate left foraminal stenosis. Left L3 nerve root is mildly posteriorly displaced by disc protrusion.
L4-5: Minimal concentric disc bulge and minimal facet arthropathy cause minimal/mild bilateral foraminal narrowing. No central canal stenosis.
L5-S1: Minimal concentric disc bulge with superimposed large midline protrusion (11mm AP x 16mm transverse) and minimal left facet arthopathy cause minimal bilateral foraminal narrowng and marked central canal stenosis. The disc protrusion is centered between and touches both S1 nerve roots.
Large L5-S1 Disc Herniation
Spinal Fusion scheduled for 12/17
Multi-level disc degeneration and protrusions