So I've been lurking in and off here for over a year and have benefitted of some of the info shared. I'll do a write up of my "issue" and possibly start bugging others and share any insight where I can.
I'm a fairly educated and hardworking individual that keeps very busy and fairly health conscious for a 30 year old. Cycled few miles almost daily, would take on 10 mile hikes in rough terrain etc so while not supremely fit i was ok. Work on custom cars on weekends etc. Unfortunately this keeping busy with work, school and entrepreneurship keeps me active and find my self doing more than I should physically at times. So I'm sure that's what initially cause the pain and defect in my lumbar area to begin with. While I can't pin point it down to one inflicting motion but rather than a series of and combination of original misdiagnosis and continuing a physically involved job strain that did not further help.
So early 2013 almost year and half ago from now when the pain started then continued. I went on to see a orthopedic Dr that first said "xrays show nothing must be muscular" all disc height was normal and nothing out of place. Prescribed nothing. Pain insisted and went to see a diff Dr that said the same but prescribed tramadol. That did nothing for pain other than make me feel nauseous. I continued with over the counter advils Tylenols and ibuprofens which seem to help a tiny bit momentarily.
Went to some PT and while that did nothing he did suggest an MRI so I went on with that and at that point showed a significant buldge at L4 L5 and a smaller one at L5 S1 along with some arthrosis at the facet joints in the first level mentioned. Realistically I probably should have started seeking surgical advice at that point and went that route. But in fear of the whole surgical ordeal and hopefully of conservative methods to try first.
So I went with some more advanced therapy involving traction. Which was great but only momentarily, all while I still continued to work and do as much as I dreadfully could. At this point I was able to start my day OK in little to no pain but as the work day progressed it got more difficult to remain standing or walk distances greater than a few yards. I was agony upon quitting time and the remainder of my day, I'd find comfort at home lying in an awkward position until I slept. At that point I could no longer attempt to continue with my studies much less attend school. Barely able to complete full shifts and loss all desire to do much else in my spare time. By this time in the summer I opted to see another pain management Dr who admistered ESInjections near the herniation area. With little help from that and continuation of traction PT it held surgery off for me and had another set of these in the fall.
By this time I knew it was not going to be curing anything so discontinued PT and ESI and started researching surgeons in and out of my area that could competently do this procedure. Saw two diff Dr that orderd a more current set of MRI scans that confirmed the persistent herniation causing the pain from since a year ago. After talking to these they both suggested a microdissection to remove the herniated area hence relieving the pain from the nerve being pressed by these defect in the annulus of that disk. So this spring I go through with it hoping the best. And sure did help to an extent. But didn't feel great after several weeks so after being out off by this Dr he sided with me about getting another MRI done. Well wouldn't you know it. Same damn herniation showing. If not same a similar herniation in the same spot causing the same immobilizing pain after standing for just a few minutes.
Although it was an improvement since there was some sort of laminectomy from the first surgery that relieved some pressures on the nerve area. I could still not resume my regular daily life. Could cycle for miles and drive hours but not where I could return to work standing and walking for hours. Went on and seeking advice from a few other physicians all saying that a fission would be best for this case. After doing research I went ahead and set up with my Dr and did it last week.
Today I just wait on recovery. Although feeling awful with limited mobility and sense of uselessnes I hope and see if this will finally help. Unfortunately I feel there is still a slight problem as in the first surgery report there was show of dural tear repair. Bad part is It was mentioned again by the ortho surgeon and neuro surgeon that a tear was present once again but was told it was patched. Unfortunately I immediately showed symptoms of fluid leakage from the rushing headache and nausea induced by this. While the past few days it has subsided a bit I fear that it might not be entirely gone. An appointment tomorrow for my first follow up will reveal more hopefully.
Apologies for the long ramble. But I guess I mainly wrote it for my self as a reminder and record of what ive dealt with. Hope to soon be better and is clearly nothing compared to what some of you amazingly positive and determined individuals that deal with worse. I commend you for your shared knowledge on any of this as it has helped me immensely even if just mentally. The shared help from peers I believe is more help because we know were we come from more than a Dr sometimes. Good luck to all, thanks.
3/14 microdisecmy l4 l5 then re-herniaited
7/14 fusion L4 L5
Possible dura tear