After reading and researching options to relieve lower back pain, I thought it was time to register and share my story. My research started with my mom's L4/L5/S1 bulging disc who is in mid-50s. She started off with epidural steroid injections (ESI) when the pain was unbearable. It has significant improvement on her first injection but it worn off quickly and completely less effective on her 2nd, 3rd injections. After unsuccessful injections, the doctor tried different locations for another 3 times (a total of 6 times) but nothing helped in the end. At the moment, she gave up on this procedure. She has a typical bulging disc symptoms such as tingling, numbness, shooting pain down the legs, etc.
Recently, I was diagnosed with the same thing, bulging disc on L4/L5/S1. I did a side by side comparison with my mom's MRI and it's almost identical. My doctor wasn't recommending me anything at that point and told me to come back in couple years with an updated MRI. I've reached the point where sitting, standing, bending over, etc. cause pain and discomfort and I also do get shooting pain down the leg but it's manageable. Sometimes, it is annoying but I don't think it has reached to a point where I desperately need someone's help.
In terms of health conditions, neither of us are overweight and do not have any health conditions whatsoever. Due to unsuccessful experience with ESI, I am not even going to bother and try this since it is a temporary solution.
At the moment, I am primarily interested in minimally invasive procedures, yet permanent. I've come across Percutaneous Disc Nucleoplasty (PDN) and I like the idea of simply(?) removing the extruded portion of the disc (i.e. bulged portion of the disc). The key difference between PDN and microdiscectomy is that PDN removes the bulged disc whereas microdiscectomy removes the bone and possibly, bulged disc, which requires a longer recovery time. I am not 100% sure about the distinction since PDN appears to be a subset of microdiscectomy with minimally invasive procedure (also, found here: http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/back-surgery/microdiscectomy-microdecompression-spine-surgery
I was wondering if anyone has gone through PDN and share successful/unsuccessful stories. Also, I'd be interested in hearing other permanent solutions that doesn't require extensive surgical work such as microdiscectomy.