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New to the Forum, not new to living with pain

I am 33 years old and have been on my journey to getting relief for six years.
I have a herniated disc in the ever-popular L5 S1. I had a failed micro dissectomy after spending time in physical therapy and seeing a chiropractor(which never helped me). My surgery was in 2009 and I never felt relief from it. I dealt with the pain for two years and finally decided to address the pain again with my PCP. She sent me to a neurosurgeon this time( I saw an orthopedic surgeon the first time around) and he sent me for an MRI. Guess what? My disc was herniated in the same spot!! I still don't understand what the first doctor did when he operated, but obviously it was nothing because I never had relief and my disc was still herniated in the same spot!! So the new game plan with the neurosurgeon was to go back in and operate and to clean up the scar tissue that had formed and attached itself to my disc. I had this surgery in 2011 and still had no relief afterwards. I dealt with the pain again for a year and then decided to figure out what my options were at that point. I had a Nerve Conduction test which showed neuropathy in my right leg. I am now in pain management and my doctor is awesome! I'm still in pain but it's a little bit better. He put me on a nerve blocker pill called Gralise and it has lessened the pain in my leg. I also do hamstring and yoga stretches that help as well. I have had two Epidural Steroid Injections that give me a few months of relief each time.
I am still in pain and would like for it to be even more lessened. My S1 nerve root is encased in scar tissue and my disc is still herniated. I am not a candidate for surgery at this point because of the fact that more scar tissue will form once I would be opened back up for surgery. My husband and I want to have children but I am nervous and scared, as I will have to go off of my meds and I already have sciatica which could worsen when I am pregnant. I am also tired of being drained from the pain in my leg. It makes me cranky and limited in what I can do. That is what frustrates me the most. I want to be able to not dread or be in fear of sitting too long, standing too long, bending over, playing on the floor with my nephews, and the list goes on!!
How do you all cope with these feelings and limitations? I try to be as strong as I can but I am young and frustrated that I am dealing with these issues as a 33 year old.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    will not eliminate the problem. The objective and design of the surgery is to attempt to eliminate as much as possible as to what was causing the problem.
    Now with dissectomy which is considered minimally invasive, only the portions of the disc that were herniated are removed. That could leave a lot of more of that disc at the same level only to be herniated again. The same is basically true with a laminectomy.
    It therefore is not that uncommon to have similar surgery on that exact disc level.

    First thing I would do is to stay away from chiropractors. They have their places, but dealing with the spinal column and spinal cord is not one of them. You need to be seeing someone who is specifically trained in those areas. I have heard horror stories from people who continued to see a chiropractor after they knew they had a herniated disc.

    Hopefully with the nerve block and some physical therapy you can get to the point where you can eliminate the narcotic pain medications so that you can concentrate on having a family.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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