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My 16 year old daughter with back and leg pain.

Hi! I ran across this website after lots and lots of research. I have a 16 year old daughter that's been having back and leg pain since she was 14. We went to several doctors before we finally found one after a year that actually believed that she was in so much pain. She had 2 herniated discs, degenerative disc disease and mild stenosis. The dr said she had the back of a 50 year old man. She went through PT, lots of different meds an 3 sets of epidural injections and had no relief. So the dr finally suggested laser surgery because of her age. So we flew to Houston for laser surgery with North American spine. Everything healed up great and her pain was gone after about 2 months after surgery she was pain free. It's like she was a totally different kid than before. She was so happy and could actually do thing a teenager does. She could walk around the mall and shop again. But 10 months after surgery her symptoms reappeared. Getting worse every day. She had another MRI. The MRI report said
L4-5 Focal superior end plate depression L5 vertebral body, demonstrating T2 high signal, probable reactive Schmorl's node. Broad-based, diffuse posterior disc bulge producing minimal ventral impingement of the thecal sac.
L5-S1 Mild disc height loss with broad-based, diffuse posterior disc bulge.
I need any advice on a child with back problems so young. It's hard to find any information on kids needing back surgery. I also need advice on the MRI report. I'm not really sure what it means and how serious it may be. She doesn't see the dr again for another week and I'm gonna go crazy worrying about it. Any advice or information would be appreciated. Thanks


  • I just wanted to comment on your post. I had my first spine surgery at age 9 for much different reasons than your daughter. I can tell you for CERTAIN after having spine surgeries as both adult/child and being a mom myself that this is harder on you than her. Now I'm not saying it isn't hard on her, but Mom's just experience the worry/anxiety/sadness on such a different level. Best of you to your daughter and to you. Keep us updated.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Well thank you so much. I agree with you on that. My daughter has so many plans for her future. I just want her to be able to live a pain free life as she should at her age. Any advice on her MRI reading? Thanks for your response.
  • Advice can not be given by members of this forum. If I were in your shows I would search phrases from results of MRI to see if you can find meanings for them. I know it's hard waiting till appointments when you are worried about your child. Best of luck to you and your daughter.
    Acdf C5 C6 12/13/12
    Laminectomy and Discectomy L5 S1 12/12/13
  • Stacey that's sad she's in her prime though so if Epidurals don't work she will have a speedy recovery from surgery if you GIRLS choose that route . Good luck oh ps you need to have a K-State shirt on ;-)
  • True, we can't give advice or meaning on MRI (or any) test results on this forum. However I can tell you two things. The words "minimal and mild" are definitely better than "moderate to severe", so let that give you some comfort until the appointment. The other thing I can tell you is that most spine specialist will glance at the report you got, but won't take too much stock in what it says. He (or she) will view the images and form their own opinion, and often times not totally agree with what the report says.

    And I'll also add that chances of her having a pain free life are small... but that isn't to say she can't have a happy, wonderful, successful life. I think the younger you start with pain, the better you learn to cope. It's the one **very small** positive of pain early in life. Waiting for appointments are the worst. Let us know how it goes.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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