To anyone reading this please let me introduce myself and tell you why I am writing. I am a 39 year old overweight male with a 15 year history of recurring low back pain. I live in Macomb County in the State of Michigan. I am a police detective for a local police department.
My low back pain has gotten worse over the years. My pain sets in when walking or standing for any length of time. Early on I was able to handle the pain via chiropractic care. Eventually that failed to eliminate or reduce the pain. I then moved on to my family doc who simply prescribed me some pain meds. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon who then sent me in for a Myelogram with a CT scan immediately following. In case you aren't familiar, Myelogram is a test where they inject an ink/contrast into your spine. It is older technology that has been primarily replaced by the MRI. Due to a prior gun shot wound I was not eligible for the MRI.
Prior to the Myelogram test I had an incident at work. I was simply standing at my desk picking up things before I left the office. For a reason unknown to me my back simply gave out. I nearly fell. I didn't hear anything break, snap or pop. My back simply went out. After a weekend of ice and rest I found that a new pain had entered my life. I now had sciatic pain that felt as if it originated in my right buttock and went shooting down my right leg from there. It can vary from a 1 to a 7 on the pain scale at any given time. When it hits the high side I either lie down in bed or take pain meds immediately. Over the counter pain meds do nothing for me. I take Vicodin 500 mg for the pain.
After the test I learned that I had ruptured my L4/L5 disc and that the nucleus material of that disc had invaded the nerve pathway space between those two vertebrae. I was told that the only real solution to my problem was a surgical discectomy. I have not scheduled a surgery yet but plan to this upcoming week (Aug 30 of 2014).
I found these forums extremely useful when researching the procedure and its' outcomes. I am very grateful to ALL who have shared their experiences here. You have helped me more than you can ever know.
Based upon my research and, to be honest, my lack of alternative solutions to my back pain, I am going to have the surgery. I will use this forum topic to document my experience so that I may share it with others, just as some of you have in the past. I am hoping that some will benefit from this chronological log.
Please feel free to add to it or comment on it. Any advice and encouragement will certainly be appreciated. As most probably are, I am skeptical and nervous about having someone operate on my spine. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more.