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21 year old herniated disc

Hey everyone I'm Jessica. last March after a 16 hour shift (CNA), I got out of my computer chair and heard a pop. The pain wasn't bad at first but eventually it got so bad and I went to my family dr. She knew what it was right away and whisked me off for an MRI. I got my results back and confirmed a herniated disc in the lumbar region. I can't tell you my exact results because I'm laying in bed on top of some icepacks...trying to fester up the courage to get out of bed. I am in so much pain!! It's sciatica pain from my hip (front and back) down to my ankle. I feel awful. I am scheduled to meet a neurosurgeon March 27th. I have done quite a bit of research on him and his medical ratings are outstanding. I am currently on hydrocodone and lately it hasn't touched to pain unless I take 2 every 4 hours and by then I'm in no condition to sit in class...on top of that, I have a 2 year old that needs his mother. Can someone give me some tips about what to discuss with my neurosurgeon? My pain doctor did 2 injections in the completely wrong vertebre. I kept telling him "It feels like sciatica!" and I trusted him when he told me that putting it in a higher region would help. One day last month he finally just gave me a shot in the butt cheek and I finally felt relief. It lasted 35 hours. I am upset I have to pay for those 2. I will never get another steroid. It hurt and it didn't provide an ounce of relief. I think now is the time to have surgery. I dread getting out of bed every day. When I finally do, I hobble over to my medicine cabinet to take hydrocodone. I hold my breath all the time because I'm afraid if I don't, I will scream. I am sick of not feeling better. Has anyone had a successful discectomy? Can I function on percocet? Thank you all.


  • Well first of all, I'm sorry to hear you're in so much pain. There is good information on this site about what to ask at your appointment. Be honest and thorough about you're symptoms, let him know what you have tried and that it did not work, and most importantly ask if you are a good surgical candidate, also ask if the MRI shows if the herniation is causing nerve compression. If he does not think surgery is the best option then ask what the next step is in treatment. If the nerve is compressed and he still does not recommend surgery, ask if there are risks in waiting such as nerve damage or increased recovery time if you do have surgery down the line. Make sure you have help with your 2 year old so you don't make your symptoms worse by pushing too hard. I had a very successful Discectomy back in 2002 ( felt great after my 4-6 week recovery) but every situation is different. My most recent surgery was much more involved and has a longer, more painful recovery time. As far as medication, everyone reacts differently to them. I personally function well on Percocet but my body has become use to it. I hope your appointment goes well and you get some answers.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • The worst thing that you can do is lay in bed , the inactivity only serves to weaken your muscles, and increase the pain when you do move.
    I want to caution you about taking medications only exactly as they are prescribed to you by your doctor. Taking more than you are supposed to, can cause you to overdose, but more than that, the doctor gives you a certain amount of medication to be taken for a certain time frame- taking more than you are supposed to means that you will run out early and the doctor won't refill them, nor will any other doctor.
    Injections are one of the early treatment options to getting treatment for spine pain, sometimes, they work and sometimes, they don't. It is common for the medication to cause a flare up of pain for a few days after each injection, but then the steroids in them usually reduce inflammation and pain in the area.
    Before undergoing surgery, it is best to see what your surgeon recommends, and he may want you to do other lesser invasive treatments first before undergoing surgery. Surgery doesn't reduce pain, it is done to correct an anatomical problem in the spine, so it is wise to know that before seeing the surgeon.
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