Posting on behalf of my father. He is 48 years old and developed severe back pain and leg pain from Feb this year. We've been to a spine surgeon specialist and have been getting some advice. We have been given a nerve root block (steroid injection) and we tried conservative treatment (swimming + physiotheraphy) for 6-7 weeks but the condition has not improved. It is looking like we need to take surgical action as I can't image what type of pain he goes through every day. He is currently off work and on Lyrica 25mg + panadeine fort (basically tylenol+ a bit of codeine).
Here are the MRI findings for his lumbar back summarised:
* L2/3 - mild broadbased disc buldge, minimal impingement on thecal sac.
* L3/4 - mild broadbased disc buldge, minimal impingement on thecal sac. Mild narrowing of neural exit foramina on the left.
* L4/5 - broadbased disc buldge, right para foraminal bilateral annular tear. Bilateral facet joint hyperthropy noted. Mild narrowing of the neural exit foramina bilaterally with potential irritation on exiting L4 nerve root weight bearing.
* L5/S1 - broadbased disc buldge with facet joint hyperthropy causing mild impingement on the thecal sac. Narrowing neural exit foramina on left with potential impingement on left L5 nerve root. Mild narrowing on the right with potential impingement of exiting L5 nerve root weight bearing.
The surgeon has told us that it is basically bilateral foraminal stenosis on L5/S1 due to the disc degenration on the L5/S1 level that is causing the back pain and the leg+knee pain. He wishes to fuse L5/S1 anterior and posterior. There will be instrumentation (rods, screws, wedge). I was wondering if there was anyone out there with similar problems who elected for surgery. If so, how did it go and how much of the pain went away.
Also concerned if the 1 level fusion is actually sufficient upon reading some posts on this forum and the internet. I'm quite scared at this stage and my father even more so. However, the pain is really getting to him and I understand that we are left with no choice. My main concern is the multi level disc degeneration the MRI report points out. Is the surgeon not telling us something regarding the effectiveness of the surgery?
Thanks all, I am happy to provide more info if needed.