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30 y/o female with severe stenosis looking for support

ms.ceo_mms.ceo_ Posts: 1
edited 10/02/2015 - 8:00 PM in Spinal Stenosis
Hi. This is the first time for me posting in the forum like this. I've come here for some answers and some support from people that are in the same situation as me. Just a brief background: I've always had scoliosis for as long as I can remember and lower back pain for the past four or five years. I had a few MRIs and my most recent one has shown that I have a herniated disc at the L4/L5, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, and lumbar spinal stenosis. In the past 2 to 3 weeks, my back, buttock, and leg pain has taken a turn for the worst. It has even caused severe cramping into my calf. I have given birth and I've dealt with infected wisdom teeth and I've never experienced pain like this in my life. I am a 30-year-old property manager that runs 10 buildings and I'm always on my feet , climbing steps included. The past week has been the worst. I have not even been able to stand up straight and barely able to walk without being extremely hunched over. The only way I am comfortable is sitting or laying. I am growing severely concerned, being so young, that my condition is gotten so bad. I see a spinal specialist and I've also seen a surgeon for an evaluation. The doctor of course suggested that I need surgery to cut back the herniated disc but I've heard from other doctors that it's not the best idea to have the surgery. Is anyone else been in this position and should I be worried since I'm so young that this is going to progress to the point me having to use a walker or be in a wheelchair since
I am having such complications at such a young age? Should I bite the bullet and get the surgery ? I want to be able to walk and run and work and enjoy my life. Can anyone tell me how long the recovery process is after the surgery? I'm not myself and it's terrifying to me that I can't get up and go walk ten steps to the bathroom without being in excruciating pain. Does anyone suggest trying physical therapy or a chiropractor
First for Spinal stenosis or would that cause me further injury? I called my doctors today and he suggested I see a neurologist.... Can anyone tell me what to expect or what they will do when I go there? Thanks in advance to anyone that can provide any answers and I feel for each and everyone of you because this pain is no joke. Thanks for reading :-)

There is nobody on the forum medically qualified to give advice, all responses will be based on members personal experiences

Liz.....Spine-health moderator

30 y/o female diagnosed with DDD, herniated disc at L4/L5, lumbar spinal stenosis, sciatica, scoliosis


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

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi there,

    I am also a younger person with spine issues (32) and though I have no medical training with which to advise you, I got five opinions before I finally realized I had no option other than surgery. I'll tell you, the waiting and wondering is worse than the pain and I am truly grateful I listened and had the surgery (9/17/15). I have a friend who waited and she now has some irreversible symptoms. Get a second or third opinion if you are uncertain, but sometimes surgery is the best option.
    Also, I have congenital spinal stenosis. Being so young, did your doctor day anything about hours being congenital?
    I'm here for ya!
    ACDF 9/17/15 C 5/6 C 6/7
    Spinal Stenosis, Myelopathy, Myelolamacia and Central Cord Syndrome
  • Hello!

    I am even younger than you (22) and was dealing with a similar situation. I have cervical foraminal stenosis, central canal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. I was diagnosed 10/22/14. By the time I saw my spinal specialist, my condition was so far advanced that he said I would need to see a surgeon. The surgeon informed me that I needed surgery or I ran the risk of having my arm go paralyzed.

    My surgeon and I discussed the possible surgeries and decided on artificial disc replacement. I had surgery june 15th and have never felt better.

    Prior to surgery I tried everything. Chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture. Nothing worked. The surgery was the final step and I wish we would have done it sooner. I have been dealing with this for 6 years. I have some nerve damage that is irreversible and my grip strength isn't the greatest but I have my life back. I'm not in pain anymore.
  • ldm314lldm314 Posts: 45
    edited 10/29/2015 - 10:44 AM
    I am posting this comment from my bed as I am currently unable to sit stand or walk without significant pain. I am also fairly young for back issues, only 32. I have been having back and leg pain for over 10 years now, and I finally saw my doctor regularly a year ago when my pain started interfering with my life. I couldn't walk for more than 20-30 minutes at a time, and couldn't stand still for more than 5 minutes. MRI was done and found congenital at every lumbar level (MRI was only lumbar).

    I have been having steroid injections since then at the worst level that was causing my pain (L3/L4, mostly hip and thigh pain). They had returned me to a normal life with some discomfort, but easily much better that I had been experiencing. A couple weeks ago I was standing and coughed. Ended up with worsening pain, incontinence at night. A few days ago I coughed again and blacked out from the pain. MRI shows a herniated L5/S1 displacing my left nerve and thecal sac at that level. It is a relatively small herniation, but because of the stenosis it is causing significant pain.

    I have been getting epidural injections over the last year and they have helped significantly. Not a permanent fix but it significantly improved my quality of life in the last year. Some people have had mixed results, but it has been very successful for me. With my new herniation I have scheduled another injection which hopefully will get me back to my feet, however if that fails the only next option is surgery.

    Find what works for you, keep at it, and make sure to get a second opinion. Congenital stenosis causes what typically are minor disc issues to be much more symptomatic. Be persistent, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
    All questions and answers are given from a personal perspective only. I have congenital stenosis from C4-C7, and T7-S1. I am actively being seen my by doctor and following his advice. I strongly suggest that you do the same.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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