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Desperate for Relief

Jules58537JJules58537 Posts: 8
Hi everyone. I'm new here. My name is Julie. I'm 36 years old and have been living with chronic back pain for almost 11 years.
I started with a small herniatiin at L4-5. I've saw a Chioparator once ... Huge mistake, did physical therapy (aquatic) and had a total of 5 epidural injections in 2005 (3) & 2007 (2) . From 2007 to 2014, I have occasional flare ups, but nothing too bad. Then July 2014, that all changed. What I thought was just a flare up, became the most painful one I've had and it's still an issue. I had a series of injections ( Aug, Dec, & March), they gave me absolutely no relief at all.
My doctor said my only option now is surgery.
I had an MRI August 2014, that showed the L4-5 herniation to now be large (opposed to small 10 yrs prior) and it showed a annular tear at L5-S1.
I had another MRI last week. I got the report today, which states the herniation and tear have significantly progressed and I now have flattening of the thecal sac.
The pain these last 2 weeks has been almost unbearable!! Currently I'm prescribed Gabapentin, Tramadol, Tylenol 3, Flexaril, Ibuprofen. It all does wonders for my back, but none of it seems to be helps my hip & leg pain. I work at a hospital and sit and a desk for 8 hours a day, which is extremely painful.

So finally, my questions ....
1). Any suggestions on what I can do to help relieve my hip & leg pain?
2). What can I expect with surgery?

Thanks in advance for reading. Sorry for the novel.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
    Here are just some of the highlights that are available as tabs on the main Spine-Health menu bar

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    Videos Index to all Spine-Health Videos

    As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family[/u] who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. You are now part of this family that is approximately 27,00 international members and growing daily.


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    Doug Hell

    Also working with us very closely is Allison Walsh from the Spine-Health company


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Although you state you tried chiro trmts what type did you try? I've found that GENTLE SOT (Sacro Occipital Technique) does help me but not manual adjustments. The cracking/pretzel position seems to cause me increased pain. Your condition seems more severe than mine but I do find SOT helpful. I also do deep water exercise in a warm therapy pool, mostly for fibromyalgia but floating does help my back also.

    Getting up as much as you can at work, even in place would help you. I find sitting very painful but even standing too much hurts. BenGay, icing breaks??

    I too have trouble finding pain relief when I'm having a severe episode. Tramadol, anti-inflamm, lots of icing hasn't touched the pain I'm having now since tripping on a rug a few weeks ago. I wasn't aware till now that the SEVERE SHIN pain I've been experiencing can be caused by sciatica. I always thought it was shin splints (muscle/soft tissue) not from NERVE PAIN.

    I've heard many people state that back surgery did not permanently help them and may cause other issues but some do get relief. This site is a good resource for opinions pro/con.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    I can not comment on pain relief. My experience is that everyone so individual.
    What's effective for one may be ineffective or harmful for another.

    For me, even things that may have worked for a season stop working for me, and I doctor and I need to try and try again.

    Re your surgery, as posted by Liz above, tapping on videos will give you quite a selection and you can find some related to your concerns. It easy every person kind of language. I've found them very helpful. Video "library" quite huge!

    Also, you can use __search__on this site, upper right on page.
    Just type in your concerns and may be led to older posts, articles and also videos, all very informative.

    Some of the info you find may bring up questions in your mind for you to discuss with your doctor.
    You may find reason for the painful while sitting.
    Please tell doc all your symptoms.

    Keep us posted on how you are doing. You're not alone!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • When I saw the Chiropractor, he didn't twist me like a pretzel. He just had me lay on my stomach on an "air drop table" he said my hips were out of alignment, so he used some light pressure and the foot pedals to realign them. Didn't hurt at all. However, I couldn't walk the next morning or 2 more days after that.

    As far as pain management, I'm curious as to what meds people on here take for nerve pain??
  • Hello Jules,

    I am currently taking Lyrica and Oxcarbezepine for nerve pain. I have diabetic neurapothy but also seems to help my back, shoulder, and arm pain. I will be having surgery June 9 so I hope that helps me out a bunch. As far as pain medicine I take Hydrocodone as needed for back and shoulder pain. I work in the oil field industry and have abused my my body for the last 20 years. Praying you find the comfort and you are seeking.
  • Nerve pain is the worst, been through a micro-d on my L5/S1 already and ended up having a fusion in January. We are around the same age and I've been having back pain for almost 5 years now. I had been through everything, injections, steroids, chiros, nothing ever really helped. Finally went in for surgery for the Fusion after the pain and weakness were unbearable. It wasn't a walk in the park but I'm pain free. I wouldn't wait much longer if you have been dealing with this for a long time. I would see a spine specialist soon, either a neuro or an ortho. Avoid the Chiro, they may actually cause more damage if the nerve is already pinched. Good luck and keep us posted!
  • Jules58537JJules58537 Posts: 8
    edited 07/24/2015 - 5:23 AM

    I had a Laminectomy & Discectomy on Monday, July 20th. Waking up in recovery, I felt amazing. It was like immediate relief! I've been getting around great and have taken very little pain meds. However I woke up this AM, in pain. Both hips & legs (down to my knees) really hurt. It hurts to lay on them or walk.
    Any ideas on what that may be?? I'm hoping it's just from where I've been laying around so much.
  • mrjollymmrjolly Posts: 54
    edited 07/24/2015 - 8:20 AM

    Is the pain anything like the sciatica from before surgery? Apparently it's pretty common to get some sciatica back a few days after the op once the meds they fill the surgery site with wear off but it should subside with time.

    Just after my microdiscectomy 9 weeks ago, after I'd been up and walking around for a few days I noticed that the front of my legs from the very top (almost inside the hip) felt painful when I walked. I got a bit worried thinking something else was going wrong but eventually realised it was just muscular, if I pressed hard into where it hurt at the very top of my legs and tried walking it didn't hurt. I think it was probably a combination of the strange position you're in during the surgery and walking again after being inactive for a while and getting the muscles back into action.

    The other thing I had was a mild burning sensation down the outside of both thighs for some reason, almost like meralgia paresthetica, laying on my side and getting into and out of bed seemed to trigger it.

    In both cases the strange aches and pains wore off after a couple of weeks and now I just have occasional mild sciatica and backache to get rid of!

    L5-S1 microdiscectomy, May 2015
  • No, it feels nothing like the sciatica I dealt with before surgery.

    I think it is probably muscular as well. I guess I just got a little anxious when I started feeling pain in my legs.

    Thank you for replying
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,878
    Only a couple of weeks! I am surprised that you are just not into the post surgical pain phase.

    Spinal surgery, extensive or minimally invasive still is an invasion of your body. It takes time to recover from all of that.

    Be patient, good things will start to happen for you
    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
  • I feel great! I'm back to work. I'm off my pain meds. I finally have my life back and it feels AMAZING!!!!

    L4-5 Laminectomy/Discectomy July 20, 2015
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,878
    edited 08/03/2015 - 9:14 AM
    That is great news.

    But always remember what you went through And always remember all the restrictions and limitations that were outlined for you

    Not to be gloomy, but realistic, when patients are recovering from spinal surgery, over the course of 6 months or so, they can experience roller coaster rides.

    Some days will be better than others. I hope for you there are more good days. But its always wise to be prepared for those not so good days. Normally, nothing to ever worry about, just the natural progression of spinal surgery recovery.

    I am happy for you
    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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