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Feeling Hopeless

New here, so quick background..low back pain for 7 years before a Dr listened and did MRI. Found one torn bulging disc L4/5. Started conservative treatment then lost insurance: ( 9 months later started square one again.,after not responding to treatment sent to ortho that said i now have too much damage for surgery?!? Ordered Discogram while I also scheduled 2nd opinion w neuro next week.

Now..last wed I had the disco and ct. Since the disco I have very severe and new back and leg pain. Also having urinary retention. Called pain Dr and sent to er..MRI said no cauda..now today Monday, pain is still 9\10. Called pain Dr got no call back. So my dh went to pick up my copy of ct results..

L2-3(control disc) contrast extends to the middle third of annulous consistent with grade 2 tear, minimal disc bulge.
L3-4 central disc protrusion which causes mod. ventral thecal sac eff. Midline annular tear, grade 3.
L4\5. There is a Severe diffuse disc bulge w a central and right paracentral disc protrusion. Grade 4 annular tear present paracentral rightward. Moderate the cal sac eff. bilateral neural foraminal narrowing.
L5\1. Mild diffuse disc bulge w contrast extending to outer third of the annulous w a c OK ncentric morphology consistent w grade 4 tear. Partial sacralization of left aspect w pseudoarthrosis.(a congenital deformation)

Am I right to feel that I will only continue to hear no's from surgeons because there's too much wrong? I'm a 30yo mom of three who is all but absent from a large part of my kids lives due to pain and weakness! Anyone have so mular damage with a positive outcome? I just feel like I was run over by the "you're screwed" train.
Megan Starr


  • My meds cymbalta 60mg, gabapentin 300mg 3xa day, MS Contin 30mg 3xa day, 10\325 percocet 4x a day, 800mg OTC ibuprofen2-3x a day(meloxicam has NO effect). And 200mg Welbutrin to helpnw fatigue (helps a lot)

    The morphine is Useless!!! And I need 1 1\2-2 perc at a time to get actual pain control. Other stuff has helped reduce altered sensations where I have them.
    Megan Starr
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    edited 11/25/2013 - 5:40 PM
    hi Megan,
    I can't comment on the above results and interpretations of your diagnosis but the part about "there is too much wrong" and "too much damage for surgery" is a cop out. If you have the ability and resources get one or more opinions then go from there by comparison. Be your own advocate, research, and educate yourself, and become your own advocate. You will be surprised at what you can accomplish.
    take care,
    edited 12/02/2013 - 2:42 AM
    I don't buy the story "too much damage for surgery" and you shouldn't buy that story either. My suggestion is that you find a spine and back center that specializes in this sort of thing. Of course, that assumes your insurance covers it and that you live somewhere that has this type of center. However you should not accept that answer and find a doctor who does want to work with you.
  • Thank you! I do have app w neuro surgeon this week and will have all the preop diagnostics ready to go with me. He is in practice with one of the most renowned in our area(that one doesn't take state ins tho) who even did a total of 5 levels on my biological mother and she since has been almost pain free for 6 years! So there's hope w him! And I've found dome cases of successful l2-s1 fusions as well as fusions and replacements too that I plan to bring with. Unfortunately I will be visiting a (better) er tonight because my pain Dr has now not returned many calls about the severe NEW pain since disco plus urinary retention and altered sensation in my groin:( can't risk not getting this looked at.
    But again..thanks for your support and advice. I will not go down without fighting!
    Megan Starr
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