I had a microdiscectomy in 2006 at L5-S1 for a "massively herniated disc". The surgeon told me after the surgery that I should have had a fusion and predicted the surgery would fail in a year. I had terrible sciatica down my right leg and have permanent damage in the achilles reflex (there is none) because the surgeon waited too long. I had to have emergency surgery.
I started having problems again in 2010 with severe back pain. I had physical therapy which helped then developed some muscle spasms. An MRI revealed another herniation at the same level but wasn't pressing on nerves (thankfully). I also have DDD so the disc space is flattening (for lack of a better word).
I had a lumbar epidural which helped. I had another epidural six months later which helped.
The surgeon I saw at the time recommended a fusion but I wasn't ready and asked for PT and then later an epidural. I had good insurance at the time.
I live in a different area and have Medicare now. The area is overloaded with patients (especially back patients for some reason) so it takes awhile to get an appt although my doctor has been great at responding to stuff so far. I would like to have another epidural but I now know (after reading Sandi's standard of care) that he needs to go through more conservative treatments first.
I'm having episodes of severe muscle spasms. When they occur I can't move because the pain is so bad. They began after I was standing while lifting a very light bag of cat litter. It occurred about 3 weeks ago and the spasms happen weekly and since Sunday are now daily.
Prior to that I was having a reoccurrence of the severe back pain.
The muscle spasms are restricting my level of functioning. I can't bend without them happening. I also can't really do any sort of squatting.
My doctor, whom I've only seen twice, took me off Flexerill and put me on Baclofen. I started that on Friday after Thanksgiving.
I'm laying on a heating pad off and on. I do some walking until I feel pain. Icing seems to flare the muscle spasms. They are getting worse. I'm resting as much as possible but am conscious of not resting too much. I only rest now after I have a spasm.
I can't take NSAIDS due to gastritis and I don't want to take narcotics.
I know what exercises to do from the previous PT but I'm not sure whether its safe for me to do so. I would like to resume the exercises.
The last MRI I had was in April 2012. It showed a herniation at L5-S1 (same level as the surgery) and disc compression from DDD.