This is my first time posting here, although I've been reading for months. Here's my story: I have been dealing with severe lower back pain for 2 years now (consistently...prior to this, I had on again/off again issues since I was a teenager). I was seeing an orthopedic surgeon, who performed 4 epidural injections with facet injections over the course of this 2 years. The first lasted 8 months, the second lasted 4 months, then 2 months, then the final injection did nothing at all. My ortho recommended surgery at that point (Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion). I sought a 2nd opinion from a neurosurgeon, who immediately had me get an updated MRI. After reviewing these results, he is now suggesting that surgery may not be the answer. He now has me on Naproxen, which I've done before with no results. Here's the findings from the MRI:
1. There is degenerative disc disease at L4-5 with disc narrowing and a
small disc bulge which is not causing any significant central canal
compromise. There is some mild to moderate right sided foraminal
encroachment at L4-5 related to lateral disc bulges as well as
hypertrophic facet changes. However no obvious exiting root
impingement is seen.
2. There is mild to moderate facet arthrosis in the lower lumbar spine
which is about the same.
Does anyone have any similar experiences? I'm miserable right now - and while I was never excited at the thought of surgery, it gave me a light at the end of the tunnel which has now been taken away.
I am a 39 year old female if that makes any difference.