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New to forum but not to back pain

js584jjs584 Posts: 2
edited 03/09/2014 - 8:10 PM in New Member Introductions
Hello all,

I have been dealing with back pain for 25 yrs now. When I was 18 I broke my back in 2 places (lumbar) and it's been downhill from there. I had microdiscectomy about 15 yrs ago and felt great until about 3 yrs ago. I just recently had an MRI which showed several issues. I am scheduled to see my surgeon on march 20th and quite frankly, I am kinda worried. The MRI shows:

Discogenic Sclerosis surrounding l4-l5
A Hemangioma in the body of l4
A large recurrent right-sided herniated nucleus pulposis that fills the right lateral recess with disc material at l4-l5
Central disc bulge with annular tear at l3-l4
Small to moderate central disc bulge at l5-S1
disc dessication and foraminal stenosis at l3-l4, l4-l5, l5-S1

I am most concerned with the l4-l5 and the hemangioma. Anyone care to translate any of this or tell me what to expect? I would sure appreciate it.

I should also include a little treatment history, over the years I have had over 30 of the steroid injections,and numerous physical therapists neither of which has helped at all.

I currently manage the pain with medications and a tens unit, however I'm reaching the end of my rope and need some relief. Any and all advice will be appreciated.

Thanks, Jim


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I certainly understand that. I was hoping someone with similar circumstances might comment on how they were treated.
  • Unfortunately, the treatment decision is based on the individual symptoms, the exam findings, and of course the imaging studies. Just because it is listed on the radiologists report doesn't mean that it is the cause of your pain. DDD is one of of those instances. All that it means is that the discs are drying out, a natural process for most of us as we get older......if you were to offer MRI's to the population, almost everyone over the ages 18-21 would show some of it in their results. In some rare instances, and in those of us that are a bit older than 35, we may show more DDD than others or in some instances younger people may have genetic factors that show it to be more severe than the majority of the population. Because it is seen on the images, radiologists must list in the findings, but for most of us, it is not painful nor does it cause any problems.
    When are you scheduled to see the surgeon for a consult? He should explain what he sees are areas of concern to you, and if I were you, I would formulate a list of questions for him that you would like answers to.
    It might help you to read the link below so that you can understand the process to getting chronic back pain treated....
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