I guess I should start with the fact that I have had recurrent back problems since an acute injury in 2011. Back then I had no insurance, and the only treatment anyone would give me was pain medication for the acute pain. I have had a flare up every 6 months to a year since then. I have had insurance now for the last year and am finally getting treatment. In July I had a very bad episode that did not go away. I had major pain, major difficulty walking, and numbness down my left leg. The MRI said that there was a slight bulge at L2-3. L3-4 had "dessication of the disc, broad-based posterior moderate disk bulge, and degenerative changes in the facet joints". The main source of the pain was at L4-5--"stenosis of the left lateral recess with the bulging disk abutting the descending nerve root". When I saw the doctor, I was literally in surgery the next day. I was not a candidate for injections due to another health condition. (side note...there is also a "lateral milk disc bulge at L5-S1).
Surgery went well and I couldn't believe how good I felt afterwards. I went to a follow up 3 weeks later and the surgeon was very pleased.
The following day I had an acute onset of pain on the RiGHT side. I actually thought I had a problem with my hip! The pain continues, and continues mostly into my upper thigh, but also continues all the way down the leg and I have numbness mostly in my thigh.
Fast forward...New MRI...Now I have ANOTHER herniated disc! (not the one that was operated on!).
The MRI says "There is a new right paracentral extruded disc herniation extending anteriorly from a slightly increasing central disc herniation that was previously noted on the last MRI scan of 7/27/15. This extruded fragment causes marked compression of the descending right L4 nerve root in the lateral recess as well as mild to moderate compression of the right ventral thecal sac.
Question is this: so it appears the discectomy was successful on the first disc. I dont understand how or why the other disc herniated. My activity was very restricted, except for walking...I walked as much as I possibly could (easy with 4 dogs!). Also, with these back problems ongoing since 2011--is the discectomy just a band aid? My regular doctor insists that I must have at LEAST this. The term "fusion" has been approached, but not much info given. Should this be in consideration at this point? I don't want to jump into unnecessary surgery--but I really am sick and tired of the pain. As of this moment, I am only having ANY quality of life due to pain medication--Otherwise I am literally unable to move without intense pain.
I apologize if this is so long...but I would like some other opinions when meeting with my surgeon--possibly tomorrow.
Thank You All for sharing any of your experience and/or insight!
Melissa****************************************************************************************************** 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
. 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?
- 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 areI’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 : 10/09/15 08:32 est