Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Inoperable ??

laney007llaney007 Posts: 6
edited 10/19/2014 - 3:39 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello all , I'm new and wondered if I could ask for advice ? Saw Ortho surgeon Friday , who told me there is nothing he can do for me .... Prolapsed discs at L4,L5 and S1 old fractures ( went undiagnosed years ago ) at L2 and L3 , he said I had DDD from L2-S1 and surgically he could do nothing ( discs are black on mri ) I'm in constant pain , I take 350mg tramadol and 20mg diazepam every day just to get me through , my right foot is numb and leg weak , I can't always control my bladder , I'm a 40yr old woman with 3 horses that I showjump to a high level , he basically said I had to live with it , is that really it for me ? Sorry a bit emotional and down today Lx


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey laney007,
    That is the reason many of us here have realized the need to get more than one opinion. Find a good board certified physician, do a lot of research, ask a lot of questions, and don't quit till you are satisfied with your information. I learned the same way, fortunately it wasn't too late and I still lead a very active lifestyle.
    Take care,
  • Thanks for ur comments , Gunny I do what i do because the tramadol doesn't stop the pain it simply means I don't care as much about it , if that makes sense ? I'm ashamed to admit I no longer even take it for pain , I take it for the high it gives me that gets me thru the day , is that awful ? I have a very good osteopath but I haven't seen him in months due to having no staff ( I run a livery yard ) the surgeon told me to imagine the nhs as a business and to them I wasnt financially viable to do any type of surgery as they could not guarantee I would be any better than I am now , I said to him are u saying if I had the money to have surgery ? And he said yes why not ? I came out of there feeling very down , my back is killing me today ( I'm sure a lot of it is in my head ) my boyfriend has to dress me most days but I do have moments of pain free , when I'm riding my horses I forget it all :) , he said long term I was looking at a wheelchair in 10-15 yrs !! Is that it ? Is that all I have to look forward too,? I'm 40 not 70 , there has to be a way ? I came out thinking of loads of things I could have asked but didn't ?? How do I now go about getting a second opinion ? Do I see my gp ? Thanks for ur help guys , I really appreciate it , sorry to be so needy , a particularly bad day today Lx
  • GunnyGGunny Posts: 4
    edited 10/19/2014 - 2:53 AM
    Actually I am amazed that you remain so active with your 3 horses. Are you actually riding and jumping. If so I would stop until you can get your condition under control or at least get a second opinion. Do some quality research and find yourself a very good neurosurgeon. Orthopedic surgeons are great at fixing but diagnosing what your immediate pain issues are related to May be better cared / diagnosed by a neurosurgeon or neurologist. Have you been to any pain management doctors that could help with other pain management options. To be quite honest you are taking a lot of meds that only mask your condition. Do not place yourself in a position where you may end up using a walker or wheelchair for the rest of your life. You are way to young for that. I have endured 15 surgeries with four of those on my spine. I sought a second opinion on eight of my surgeries.
  • Yes, taking ANY medication for the HIGH is a bad thing.......a really bad thing, which will only lead you down a path that you don't want to have to deal with on top of your spine conditions, one where no doctor will give you anything for pain, ever...........and there will come a time when you need medication for pain, but abusing the medications only leads you to a place that will destroy your life. I would suggest that you talk to whomever is prescribing the tramadol and slowly tapering you off it.......
    As far as getting a second opinion goes, then you need to talk to your primary doctor and ask him for another referral to a different surgeon.....preferably a neurosurgeon and you need to make him aware of the bladder issues.
    I would also strongly suggest that you stop riding and jumping horses, at least for now, until you are able to see another surgeon.
    Sometimes, surgery for the spine is done , not in hopes of improving things, but to stabilize things so that the patients's condition doesn't deteriorate further.....my last surgery was one of those, a last ditch salvage operation to keep me on my feet......
    Then your next option is for you to see a pain management doctor, who can offer you other options to manage /lessen the pain......however I do want to caution you, misusing or abusing any medicatons given to you can have serious consequences, death or accidental overdose, so you need to use any medications given to you properly, as directed by the doctor. They can also offer much in the way of other treatment modalities and perhaps a spinal cord stimulator down the road a bit.

  • Please keep in mind that surgery may not be the best option for you. I have black flat discs & bits here & there starting to fuse naturally. There is a lot wrong with my spine & I've exhausted every surgeon in my area & further! I live in Texas with good insurance. Money isn't the issue. Surgeons honestly believe I will be worse off (at the moment) if they try to fuse what's left of my spine. Mines a very individual case & it took a LOT of opinions before I started to believe this. Surgery (with good results) isn't always possible but you need to know if that's the true case with you. I don't have bladder issues. My surgeon has told me to phone immediately if I do! He says his goal is to keep me walking & no surgery is the best option at the moment.

    I keep saying "at the moment" because things can & do change in our spines.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thanks englishgirl nice to hear kind words at a bad time :) sandi I appreciate what u are saying but without the drugs I can't get out of bed , if that's meant to be my life I don't want it , L
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 10/19/2014 - 8:16 PM
    Go back to your GP & ask to see a different surgeon. Neuro is a good idea. If your GP won't help try to get another.

    My brother in law manages doc offices. If a patient complains of back issues with bladder problems & numbness 'down there' they should be seen by a spine surgeon within a WEEK. Make sure you push those symptoms. Suspected CES is a 'Red Flag' case for the NHS.
    Keeping people mobile & exercising is BIG for the NHS. If you can't do the physical things you need to. If you want to exercise but rarely can anymore, you will be treated faster & more. If my Dad (76) says he won't be able to play golf anymore & he'll have to stop walking to the shops it's amazing how his treatment changes!

    Let us know how it goes. Best of luck.

    Post Edited for Inappropriate and political content Liz
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Hey Laney. I know it seems like everything sucks at the moment. I've been there & it still amazes me that I dug myself out of that dark place (most days. I'm feeling pretty low at the moment but I'm channeling my 'usual' self to talk to you.)
    You need to muster your inner strength & really grab hold of this like a little Pitt-bull. That's the only way to deal with the NHS sometimes! Annoying patients can get what they need just to shut them up! You NEED to see a Neuro. You NEED a pain management doctor! You have bowel issues which is a warning sign for CES which is a HUGE 'Red Flag' for your GP. He should send you to a neuro surgeon.
    There is so much more you could be doing to manage your pain. Injections, physio, different medications. You need to be seen by a pain management doctor to advise your GP what to prescribe. There are nerve meds that could help, other muscle relaxants, other narcotics. I'm not saying that any narcotics are going to take ALL of your pain away. We have to accept that there will be pain everyday but it doesn't need to be this debilitating. Narcotics do work a lot by distracting you from the pain. Try as many distractions as you can think of. Hobbies really help me.

    When is the last time you really rode your horses? Are you 'channeling' the old you? If you need help dressing yourself, I can't imagine you ride regularly. I'm sorry!! Fight for this. You will not be in a wheelchair! Keep saying that to yourself ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thanks englishgirl :) I ride every day , I have to or I would seize up completely I think , at the moment it's the only thing I'm good at , the only thing that makes it all go away , the surgeon did say he would refer me to a pain clinic and I was honest with him about the drugs ( the amount and the reason I take them ) he just shrugged at that , I basically told him I was a prescription junkie and he shrugged and said well u need to stay active !! I hate the drugs , I wish I'd never started them but it's done now , gp wanted to put me on antidepressants but I refused , I've never had an epidural or any sort of injection so maybe that's a possibility ? I told him I can't control my bladder and I have numbness ' down there ' he shrugged that off too , he just made it all sound a bit hopeless :( so today I will nag my gp for something to be done , don't worry I will get over myself soon :) thanku for ur time and kind words , I hope u are as well as u can be Lx
  • Bladder & numbness 'down-there' are symptoms of CES. On this site it says "Cauda equina syndrome is a serious medical emergency that requires testing and possibly urgent surgical intervention." it's a 'Red-Flag' to a GP. I'd ask him if he's heard of it & say you're very worried because you're exhibiting symptoms! You really need to get it ruled out by a neuro. It's serious stuff! If I told my surgeon I was having those symptoms he'd be seeing me tomorrow!

    Let me know how you get on. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    You are right on EnglishGirl, there is no messing around with those symptoms.
  • Thanku :) I see my gp tomorrow will let u know how it goes , stay well Lx
  • Until you get some reliable advise, you should try to treat your symptoms. Don't do anything that aggravate your condition. And also try to do things that reduces your plain. Plenty of water and Hydrotherapy are probably good for you.

    I like conservative surgeons as back surgeries doesn’t have a higher success rate. Of cause, as far as I don't know have red flag symptoms.
Sign In or Register to comment.