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Bulging disc S1-L5 + disc degeneration + sciatica for 17 months

vizionrvvizionr Posts: 1
Hi, I am 32, French and lived in the Uk for 10 years. I had sciatica since April 2014. In November 2014 my MRI showed some disc degeneration and disc protrusion on S1-L5. After feeling better I had a very bad relapse in June 2015 after 3 months of sports (gym, run, football) with pain in the lower back, pain in the leg, buttock, harmstring, calf, ankle. The outside part of my foot, my ankle and above my knee are still numb, and I have spasms at night. A new MRI this month showed a bulged disc on S1-L5. The worst part is that I haven't been able to sit for more than 5 minutes since June 2015. I tried everything (physio, acupuntore, osteo, chiro, TENS machine, ultrasound.. Yes I spent a lot of money but at least I tried) and nothing is working. All this time I have been taking drugs (naproxen, tramadol, pregabalin, amitriptylin). I have been on the waiting list to see an orthopeadic surgeon through the NHS and waited 8 weeks so far and they told me that it could take up to 18 weeks as they are going through capacity issues at the moment. So I decided to go private and I have an appointment with a consultant on 9/10. I work in an office and I now have a desk where I can stand up which helps me even if I struggle a lot sometimes because I am still putting pressure on my discs. I can't do sports, can't sit no travelling, no cinema, restaurant etc...) which is very depressing.
There is no health insurance that accepts to sign me up as I had this condition for 17 months. I cannot wait until 2016 for the next step As not being able to sit or drive is more and more difficult to take. I am not sure if I will require surgery but with whar I read in the last 17 months I don't have many options left. I would like to try injections but again it would be very expensive. Is there any insurance or way to get some financial cover if I wanted to accelarate the process and go private rather than wait 2016 via NHS?

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
    - Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 09/30/15 10:52 est



  • Unfortunately not. A friend of mine waiting 6 years on NHS for surgery because it kept getting cancelled for other emergencies. On the day of the surgery, he did not have the same surgeon and there were complications. No health insurance will accept as now a pre-existing health condition. The only option you might have is to pay to see your private specialist again and ask if there is a way to bump you up NHS list. I know it has worked for other people I know for other conditions. Have you had your appointment yet?
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