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What to expect from appointment


I'm trying to figure out what to expect from my upcoming appointment with the spine specialist.

I've seen a chiropractor, massage therapist, and physical therapist with no real improvement. I've been prescribed narcotic pain killers with no impact. I'm also allergic to cortisone, so steroid injections aren't an option.

Lower back pain, 6+ months. Very limited range of motion.
Constant sciatic pain on my right side down to my ankle.
Muscle spasms that wake me up in pain at night.

MRI showed compressed/bulging/herniated discs L1-S2.

I'm 24 and, prior to this was very physically active. But I am tired of being in pain and want to know what to expect from the spine specialist.
Compressed Discs/DDD - L2/L3, L3/L4
Major Herniation - L4/L5
Bulging Disc - L5/S1
"no healthy 24 year old's back should look like this without a major trauma"
MicroDisc L4/L5 Nov 7, 2013


  • In order to make the most of your appointment and help the doctor know that you are serious, you need to:

    1> Make a list of all of your symptoms, does not need to be detailed, just sufficient to know what you mean when asked by the doctor.
    2> Make a list of your questions. For example, have the doctor explain your conditions. The doctor will most likely examine you and compare your symptoms to the physical evidence such as your MRI and what he can feel or see from the examination.
    3> Make a list of your current medications, treatment plans, etc.
    4> Make a list of anything that could have lead up to your current situations such as injuries (sports, accidents, etc.) and family history of related conditions.

    There is published information on this forum that can tell you general information on what a spine specialist is likely to do. I would read it. Also, keep in mind that your situation and relationship with the spine specialist is unique. So don't expects to exactly map to what you read on this website.

    That's my 2 cents!
  • So basically the doctor walked in, said you really need to see a surgeon, and had has assistant make me an point not for tomorrow.

    On the plus side, I got to see my MRI. It looks bad, but was still neat to see.
    Compressed Discs/DDD - L2/L3, L3/L4
    Major Herniation - L4/L5
    Bulging Disc - L5/S1
    "no healthy 24 year old's back should look like this without a major trauma"
    MicroDisc L4/L5 Nov 7, 2013
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