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Herination L4-L5? 24 years old? Advice???? Please

livinlifellivinlife Posts: 34
edited 04/30/2015 - 6:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
Im 24 year male 6'2 was in shape and worked out for years.... Im Sure it came from gym where I used to workout hard and heavy. Saw Chiro in past and never really helped.

After having sciatica symptoms for a year now and trying to work around it.... ended up going to get an M.R.I. on lumber spine September 2014
results were found : (MRI WRITTEN REPORT)

:L5-S1 FOCAL WITH TEAR OF ANNULUS AND CAUDAL EXTENSION OF 0.4 CM
:L4-L5 BULGE
:L3-L4 BULGE
: BOTH BULGES IN THE INTERVERTEBAL DISC

That was in September now I recently went to neurologist where they did ALL TESTING for NERVE DAMAGE and I came out perfect with no nerve damage what so ever. Went back to ORTHO who said he doesn't want to injection epidural or anything because he doesn't see it that bad....

I really want to get back to my routine: since injury I do light weights upper body and little leg machines but nothing compared to what was before weight and some lifts..... what hurts me mostly is the CARDIO LIFESTYLE... I flare up quick down the right side if I do anything except bike.... (which isn't dong much for me). I used to do Stairmaster, jogging, elliptical and now all of them flare me up... I stretch before and after workouts.... so I know about the stretching and icing it down 25 mins if im in pain after working out.... but my main situation is I don't want to continue my life like this I want to be able to do the things I love....

should I see another ORTOPEDIAC?
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  • LizLiz Posts: 7,904
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Please know I am certainly no expert so cannot really give an opinion about whether you should have the surgery or not.My thoughts are that if you are in terrible pain, that is one thing, if you are looking for a surgery that will return you to 100% the way you were before back injury, then it probably does not exist. I am thinking a neurosurgeon might be the one to see and discuss your situation with because they seem to be doing most of the spinal surgeries and treatments these days.

    I'm sorry you are going through this. Please let us know how you are.You will find lots of support here.
  • livinlifellivinlife Posts: 34
    edited 05/01/2015 - 3:40 AM
    its not terribile pain, it comes when trying to activities such as working out or anything such as physical activities. all doctors said it isn't bad and doesn't need surgrey and even said NOT EVEN AN INJECTION SHOT which is bothering me... should I see another ortho?
  • Anyone, really. All I needed was an MRI of my neck ( I guess for you it would be your back.) Once the MRI is done, you ask for it on a CD and make an appt with a neurosurgeon (at least that is what I did.) I did some research and found the name of someone who works on necks. I called and tried to make an appt but the receptionist said he does not make appts without the MRI CD. I drove to the NS office and gave CD to receptionist. I called NS 2 days later and she said I could make an appt so I made one. The soonest was about 2.5 weeks out butt I took it. At the appt the NS went over the MRI results with me and told me what he thought was best for my situation. Now my surgery is scheduled.

    I hope this helps..
  • wow man..... they told me im no way surgrey wise.... both nero and ortho said that
  • take the MRI and get a few opinions from surgeons.
    Flats

    Flats
    4 evaluations = Surgeon Recommends:
    1. Spine Laminectomy Decompression- Left Side L3-S1 and then addressing right side L4-L5.
    2. Disc Hern. L4-L5 - non-responsive, could be 1-2 or 3 surgeries and end with fusion.

  • My neck is in such sorry shape I didn't get options but when the NS showed me my MRI even I could see. You should have options it seems like to me.
  • yeah I am going to another ORTHO to see his opinion on the situation to be honest
  • what you find out and how you are getting along. {{{HUGS}}}
  • Hi i would certainly get an second opinion. My specialist said he can cure the problem but not the pain, so i did not have the operation. I had L5 prolapsed disc which left a bulging disc and like you in my younger days i worked out in the gym and pushed myself to hard and i think as well as my physical jobs i had worn the disc away. I think you need to realize that your back will never be the same, that's my opinion. There are apparatus in gyms now that are purposely made for people with back problems so you will not damage your back further. I know people who have had successful surgery and people who have not. You need to see a really good specialist and give the matter some serious thought as you are still a young person.
  • Hi there! It seems like we are in similar positions: we're both young, lumbar Herniations and previously very active. Believe me when I say I understand your frustration about the impact of the pain on your lifestyle.
    I'm about 4 weeks post-surgery and I can tell you it has helped tremendously for me in terms of the sciatica pain. Its an uphill battle, with a lot of physiotherapy (I have nerve-damage too) but IMO, the surgery is worth it. Definitely if you feel like this will help you get a second or even third opinion. I went to two different doctors before I found an Ortho that would help me, and it took 2 years. My surgeon said a lot of the nerve damage could have been avoided had I been operated on sooner. It comes down to a personal choice, and being a good advocate for your medical needs. If the first doctor you see dismisses your worries, it's okay to find one who takes you seriously.

    Good luck!
  • thing is I got the neourlgist studie With ZERO nerve damage and like I said it comes after minor activities and not that serious
  • If you are patient and very careful to handle your back disc bulges can be treated conservatively. I am telling from my experience. Especially for younger ones you have a big potential to treat it conservatively. Most of the back surgeries can makes troubles in long term. Actually I haven't seen any single person who have done just one single back surgery. At least all the people I know have done at least two.

    Back surgeries are not going to solve all your problems immediately. You need to follow heaps of precasions even after your surgery. So, my recommendation is to try your best with conservative treatments UNLESS you don't have any neurological deficits such as CES, weaknesses and etc.
  • indiralluiindirallu Posts: 1
    edited 05/20/2015 - 8:06 PM
    Hi.
    As both a healthcare worker and a lumbar disc herniation sufferer, I recommend getting a 2nd opinion. Although bulging at the L4/L5 L5/S1 Level does not make you a candidate for surgery (nor do I recommend it at your age), it should make you a candidate for epidural steroid injections (ESI), especially due to your sciatica symptoms which can affect your quality of life.
    Another physician might be willing to provide the ESI treatment. I herniated my L4/ L5 disk at a similar age (25) and the initial ESI treatment took away the symptoms within 2 weeks of the injection. I was also pain free for over a year after the first injection, but need them at an 6-12 month interval now (10 years later). I have had no further issues as I ensure I do not place undue strain on my lower back, but also because I do strength training for my core muscles regularly. Strength training your core muscles allows your spine to carry less weight and SIGNIFICANTLY helps maintain you pain free.

    Take care when working out.
    Biking might be a problem if you do not maintain the proper position as it stresses your spine and puts more pressure on the already weakened discs. Also, make sure you use appropriate posture during any leg workouts.

    *************************
    Nobody on the forum is medically qualified to give advice, all responses are based on member's personal experiences and not to be taken as formal advice
  • Hey livinlife,

    I know this might sound like a silly question, but what types of stretches are you doing?
    I've got a pretty severe herniation at L4 and have had bulges at L3 and L5. Those discs are no longer my problem, but when I was still lifting heavy I found that if I didn't open up my hips/piriformis stretch/hamstring stretches, the pain would get worst.
    I would recommend you trying to develop a daily stretch routine hitting those places. A lot of times it's in the hips and people don't realize it. I was one of them prior to this all. I am unfortunately at a place where I'm looking at the option for surgery because it's affected my daily life, but if you're still able to do other activities; look at a good stretching routine.

    Hope this helps!
  • well I do work out but nothing like before.... as in amount of weight and I eliminated tons of execrises like legs and back workouts...

    About bike... its ok but it doesn't really do anything although I do a HIGH intensity when I do it also...... I used to do stairmaster or jogging which If I do now I will inflame within a few hours after it.... I would love to return to those things PAIN FREE.

    Stretching I do leg raises, knee stretches from laying down, and supermans etc... pre and post workouts... also ice it down if serve pain and taking sodium prescription pills that eliminate swelling in the lower disc

    I am going to see another specialist to see if he will do a epidural shot on the lower disc hopefully so I can get back to my somewhat old routine
  • livinlifellivinlife Posts: 34
    edited 06/18/2015 - 5:38 AM
    Went to another ortho and he said i should et epideral injection... Now im trying one more chiro but its been 5 sessions no different.... I heard so MUCH BAD about epideral examples: doesnt last long, and it gets worse due to u not feeling pain and overinjuring it. No idea anymore what to do
  • Hi there!

    Sorry to hear about your pain. I'm not a doctor, ortho, or neuro, but if they've done the nerve testing and it says your nerves are still good, count your blessings. My husband has been in the Air Force for 20 years. He leads a very active rigorous life. About 5 years ago, he was sledding with our kids and landed really hard on some ice. He has had sciatic type pain in his lower back and down his leg since, especially when working out. He sees a chiropractor but also uses a TENS unit. Have your therapists ever tried electrical stimulation? My husband found it worked wonders. It's not a cure, but it provides enough relief he feels like he can function.

    Good Luck!
    Becca
    Becca ~ DDD, Bone on Bone at L5 S1, original injury 25 years ago...
  • Im with a chiro now who does ems electric, and he adjust me and he uaes KLASER and sometimes traction pumping.... No sifferent snd yes im still working out... Scaitica is there regardless of working out or not... I do light weight now not too heavy and biking as a cardio on level 10... I have scaitica regardless and i have no idea what to do one dr said epideral and one said too young and not worth it
  • Sciatica and low back pain aren't the same thing. But pretty much everything else about your post mirrors the situation I was in 7 years ago. So I will say what I wish someone had said to me:

    Whatever you do, DO NOT get a fusion.

    Rolfing, Myofascial release, Emotional therapy/release...psychedelics like mdma or psilocybin, psoas lengthening, meditation, kinesiologist chiropractor = are some things that may be worth looking in to.

    I ruined my life by listening to neurosurgeons who all advised me to have a fusion. They all independently said the exact same type of fusion would reduce my pain. These were neurosurgeons at places like John's Hopkins. Now I'm in so much pain I have trouble doing anything.

    I was 23 when my back "popped" and I fell out on the floor and I couldn't stand up for a day. I was in significant pain after that and I thought I had to do something because I wasn't able to live life like I was previously able to (play sports, work a normal job, go out and drink, etc). I had a fusion at age 25 and now (5 years later) I'm lying on my couch on pain meds because that is all I can do. I'm writing this because I wish someone had told me what I'm telling you before I had surgery. I had a six figure job, athletic, popular, etc. and I lost all of it after surgery. My life is miserable most of the time.

    I hope you'll be patient trying to solve the situation. Take your time with it if at all possible. And if you weren't considering surgery then that is great, but when I saw you mention seeing Orthopedists that worried me. I'll leave you with what some of the top spinal neurosurgeons on the East Coast now tell me: "In a lot of situations, we don't really know what causes back pain" (that's a word for word quote)

    Treating sciatica may be easier or less risky. But whatever you do, take your time with it. Life is long. Don't do something risky just because you want to believe it will work; make sure you understand beyond a shadow of a doubt how it will work beforehand. Cheers.
  • Wasnt thinking of surgrey at this moment. Was thinking of epideral injection thats about it . And still wondering if its worth it for me or not. Very confused in this situation
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,059
    Chiropractor and Disc Herniation and I cringed.

    Just do some searching here and you will read about what most people think about chiropractors once you have been diagnosed with a real spinal problem.

    Some medical folks are not meant to deal with specific problems.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,951
    Has anyone talked about the tear? I had great success with ESI targeting tear and by what basis is to young to have ESI for pain and obvious herniation ? If dr thinks won't work that's one thing but saying two young is just like what drs say patient is to young for pain meds. Pain will never discriminate , there are 8 year old cancer survivors dealing with horrible small fiber neurological pain from chemo on other forums I am part of, because they are 8 does that mean they should suffer or live in pain ?
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • So would u guys do epideral injection?
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,951
    Thats a conversation for you and your doctor, but I did ESI injections at 24 to try to avoid surgury. There is potential for side effects , but they are small. Your doctor should discuss this with you.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • For many reasons I was a very lazy patient. I never even looked-up anything on the Internet! I hurt, I went to my doc, I ended-up at a pain clinic. They told me to do things so I did them. In some ways I'm glad I was like that. I would of driven myself crazy if id known all the horror stories on the web & I wouldn't of tried anything!
    I've tried EVERYTHING!!! ESI's are a very common, basic starting point. They help many people. Yes! It's just a 'band-aid' but it's a temporary 'fix' that gives many a lot of relief. I've had lots. Some helped a little, others not so much. We're all so very different you won't know until you try. Even if it doesn't help that can tell your specialists something.

    There are risks but when you consider the HUGE number of procedures done every single day they're very rare. The problem with knowing all the possible side effects & risks is nearly EVERYTHING they can do to help you can be negative in some way. I never thought I'd be letting docs stick needles in my spine but I never thought I'd be taking copious amounts of medications everyday to function either! Spine damage sucks. Living with constant pain is extremely dangerous for your health too. It's the nature of the beast. Take docs advise. Get second opinions & ask here if you're not sure. At the end of the day you just have to choose. ESI's are considered very conservative.

    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Sorry.... If you go for it apply ice as soon as you can after. Someone gave me that advise & I have a lot less plan flares after procedures now. I take those ice packs they make for kids lunches with me & stick it behind me on the way home. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Basically im going to do an epideral . Some dr suggested surgrey which i dont believe is trie. I will be doing epideral to see what oa possibilites to change
  • Barfly37BBarfly37 Posts: 1
    edited 07/23/2015 - 2:25 PM
    livinlife said:
    Im 24 year male 6'2 was in shape and worked out for years.... Im Sure it came from gym where I used to workout hard and heavy. Saw Chiro in past and never really helped.

    After having sciatica symptoms for a year now and trying to work around it.... ended up going to get an M.R.I. on lumber spine September 2014
    results were found : (MRI WRITTEN REPORT)

    :L5-S1 FOCAL WITH TEAR OF ANNULUS AND CAUDAL EXTENSION OF 0.4 CM
    :L4-L5 BULGE
    :L3-L4 BULGE
    : BOTH BULGES IN THE INTERVERTEBAL DISC

    That was in September now I recently went to neurologist where they did ALL TESTING for NERVE DAMAGE and I came out perfect with no nerve damage what so ever. Went back to ORTHO who said he doesn't want to injection epidural or anything because he doesn't see it that bad....

    I really want to get back to my routine: since injury I do light weights upper body and little leg machines but nothing compared to what was before weight and some lifts..... what hurts me mostly is the CARDIO LIFESTYLE... I flare up quick down the right side if I do anything except bike.... (which isn't dong much for me). I used to do Stairmaster, jogging, elliptical and now all of them flare me up... I stretch before and after workouts.... so I know about the stretching and icing it down 25 mins if im in pain after working out.... but my main situation is I don't want to continue my life like this I want to be able to do the things I love....

    should I see another ORTOPEDIAC?
    If I were you I would never say a chiropractor didn't help. I pulled my back out for the first time when I was 34. I always seemed to be able to walk it back in. Till 2012 when I turned 52. I layed down and was taken out by ambulance 3 days later. I was unable to hold my weight up. The hospital did nothing. Offered me perks. I said no way. I used there bed to push me up and down. Hoping to click it back in. It did. I got my walker and walked out of there. I used that walker to walk my disk back in. They did take a MRI. Said I had bulging, herniated, arthritic discs. L2-3-4-5. I basically babied my back for 2 years. Pulled it out 6 more times since 2012. This April I pulled it twice in 1 month. Stepping out of the the shower. And dusting. Every time I did this I had back spasms. Like taking a cut off extension cord to my lower back and plugging it in. Effin painful. I looked up cortazone shots on you tube. NOO Way. And a operation was going to be my very last option. I looked up chiropractors. Then asked and read all reviews. I talked everyone. I need a good one. Not a shmuck. I found one. I had another MRI done to compare. I went 10 times. He cracked my hip. Center back and my neck all 10 times. I am like a brand new person. I think when I was pregnant it threw my hip out of place. 4 yrs later I pulled my back for the first time. Not realizing my back was like a ladder. Once I broke the first disc. It jumped to the next disc. Then the 3rd and 4th. Anyone reading this. Please search and ask everyone you can about a good Chiro. Don't go once. Once ain't gonna do crap. My Chiro reclined my back. And I am doing fantastic. I had to come here and print this. Caz if I can help one person out there. I would be ecstatic. I know the pain. I know the sacredness of this. I went to Dr. XXXXXXX mass. I love my Chiro.

    IPoste edited. It is a forum violation to name specific doctors - Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator

    Also, please keep in mind, that chiropractors are not for everyone!. Once you have been diagnosed with a specific disc spinal cord problem, most chiropractors are not prepared to handle that. While they are great with muscular skeleton problems, spinal cord situations should be left in the hands of spinal specialists.
    Been there.
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