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L5 and S1 self fusion extreme pain

I was in a work accident in 2009 and damaged my L5 and S1 discs cracking both. The doctor at the time elected to let them heal naturally just managing the pain and doing therapy as the discs got better. Last week I was at work and lifted up a stack of shingles and had the most excruciating pain ever from my lower spine. My wife came and picked me up from work and took me to the urgent care and I was told that my L5 and S1 had heeled but fused themselves together. At the time when the doc told me this I thought he was lieng then I saw the xray and clear as day he hit the nail on the head. He instructed me to take a 6 day run of methlprednisone and see what happens. He did say that by the 6th day I would definately be able to tell if it was helping or not. I am now on the 4th day of my regimen and honestly can say that I want to cry it hurts worse now than it did when i originally went to the doc. Embarrasingly enough I have now started having bladder leakage problems and find myself having to change my shorts numerous times throughout the day. Just wondering if anyone else has had this happen to them and any ideas or suggestions as to the next steps i should take. I am already doing keagle excercises to strengthen the muscles down their.
Kyle E.


  • Sorry to hear of your L5/S1 injury and the pain you are in now.

    Having bladder problems can be a 'red flag' symptom so I suggest that you contact your doctor and let them know that you are having these problems. It could indictate that things have got worse and need treating very soon. Please don't wait, but let a medically trained doctor make the decision if this symptom is important or not.

    I hope you will let us know how you get on and hope to get to know you better.

  • I go into his urgent care office tomorrow and will update as i find out more. I have been dealing with sciatica since 2009 and this is all new to me. Hoping for a miracle since i need to work but if it goes the other way sure i will figure it out.
    Kyle E.

  • I will be thinking of you tomorrow. I am glad that you are going to see someone soon.
  • AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
    edited 10/13/2013 - 10:13 AM
    MIne is self fused also. They called it sacralization, don't know when or why it happened. The only time I had issues was with my last pregnancy. I would lie on the floor with my calves and feet on my bed and tried to keep my lower back muscles stretched out.
    The Dr did not seem too concerned, but they told me if I did have severe pain it would be caused most likely from the L4-5 disc area. every so often it will bother me slightly and a heating pad and pain balm help. Good luck with your appt.
  • Hi Kyle..... like jellyhall said above, problems with bladder/urinary function can be a HUGE red flag that something is not right. I was on a waiting list for a surgery consult, but when I started to have urinary problems my appointment was moved up to an urgent basis. Urinary problems can mean that there is something in your back interfering with the nerves that control this function, and if it is not seen to promptly can cause permanent damage. I had some urinary problems after my surgery as things healed, but I am now back to normal.

    I am glad you are getting this checked ... let us know how you make out.

    48 year old freight handler. Bilateral foraminotomy, decompression of nerve roots and reduction of spondylolisthesis at L4-5 with open PILF and autogenous bone graft from left hip - June 13, 2013
  • maverick80911mmaverick80911 Posts: 7
    edited 10/16/2013 - 2:32 PM
    I have been now to three different doctors my primary care a spine specialist and a neuro surgeon. They have all agreed that I have the fusion of my L5 and S1 as well as a bulging L4 that is pressing on my spinal chord. After extensive talks with all of them we have all agreed to try physical therapy and give it a few months working on it with that and acupuncture and chiropractic work before we go forward with any surgery. During all of this they have taken me out of work and want me to rest and try to heal as much as possible during the next few months. My spine specialist has been doing a great job managing my pain and has told me that i may come to his office any time i need to for a torradol injection to help with getting a little relief. I dont know if it is weird for me to say but i am looking forward to the physical therapy in hopes that it may provide some much needed relief to the pain that i am constantly in. Thank all of you for the well wishes and support it is much needed and appreciated especially since i have been having a hard time with not being able to provide for my family as i used to.
    Kyle E.

  • I am glad that you have been seen by people who are knowledgeable and understand what is going on with your spine.

    Great also that they are giving Physical therapy a chance to see if that will improve things for you, but that you have the option to go and have injections if you need pain relief.

    I hope that you will find that the PT will improve things to where you are able to cope again. If not, at least you will know that you gave other options your best shot. Good luck and do and let us know how you are getting on. This is a place where you can talk to others who understand. :-)

  • Well today my back really threw itslef at me. The burning pain up into my head and down both legs as well as the bladder issues have taken its toll on me. I hit rock bottom and had to take 2off vicodin today just to dull the pain enough to be able to play with my kids. When i took a nap this afternoon i had to have my wife come help me out of bed. I am your typical guy that doesnt like to ask for help then throw in their being a marine and my wife tells me all the time i am the most stubborn man she has ever met. I am fortunate to have the group here for support and my first sergeant helping to keep my spirits up. Thank you everyone for the well wishes it means alot to me.
    Kyle E.
  • Thinking of you, mate. I'm having a bad week myself. Not sure why, but I have really been hurting this week and feeling especially sore after physio. I get what you are saying.... it sucks when pain makes you loose your independence. Hope you feel better in the coming days.

    48 year old freight handler. Bilateral foraminotomy, decompression of nerve roots and reduction of spondylolisthesis at L4-5 with open PILF and autogenous bone graft from left hip - June 13, 2013
  • Things for me have been steadily worsening over the last few weeks. I am now having burning pain up my spine into my head that feels like someone is burning me with a blow torch from the inside. Add to that the pain in through my ribs down into my groin and now the weakness on my left arm and constantly being exhausted and the dry mouthplace and constipation and i cant even hardly move. My doctor took me off of the amitryptyline and has me now on neurontin and vicodin and baclofen. To top off my fun week battling with my body I am now unemployed since i couldnt keep up at work with the rest of my crew. My doctor has finally broke down and told me that he thinks things will continue to get worse until my body finally figures out what exactly is wrong with my spine. Physical therapy got pushed until november 8th due to scheduling errors with the therapist. Not sure where to turn from here. Debating on if i should apply for disability until everything gets figured out with me so i can at least be able to help support my family. All i can do is just pray that i get a little relief from this soon.
    Kyle E.
  • Even though its the weekkend my doctor came into his office just to see me since the burning and weakness issue startedi am now having more pain in the middle of my spine and he has ordered another mri of my full spine to attempt to figure out what is going on. The new meds i am on really knock me on my butt but they help alot with the pain. He is pretty confident that somewhere in my spine i have a compressed nerve and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the mri will show which disc is the culprite. I have to say that through all of this my wife and kids have been so good to me understanding that I get worn out only after a few hours and have to lay down to get a little relief. Hoping everyone else is having a better week and kepping their heead up even though it may be difficult. If we can track down the disc that is compressing the nerve then i will be having surgery sooner than expected. Hoping for just a little relief and to not be so worn down all the time.
    Kyle E.
  • bmbutlerbbmbutler Posts: 90
    edited 10/29/2013 - 10:23 AM
    Glad to hear you got away from the UC place. Hate it when general practice guys/girls try to deal with situations that they have no more training in than a few weeks in their residency!
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