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22yo LCBP, Needing 2nd Surgery, Herniations/Stenosis/More

ronny93rronny93 Posts: 1
edited 10/26/2015 - 10:25 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello, I'm Ron. This is my first post here so I might as well provide a brief bio before I provide my medical situation. I'm a 22 year old south Asian Finance degree student in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolis of Texas. When I was 17 years old I had injured my lower back gradually in the span of two months while working out when I had started playing football in my high school. The injury has caused me to be unable to stand for more than 5-10 seconds without having a pinching nerve pain shoot down my right leg. I also could not walk as much. This had caused me to get fired from my first job which was at Fry's Electronics after working there for two months.

Since then, I have had five other positions that I attempted to work at, but I couldn't hold a single position for more than a month or two weeks. I had gotten surgery when I was 18 and it was a seven hour procedure where they had scraped/cut off the two excess bulging discs on my lower back. I was alright for a good six months and then the problems started coming back.

Right now I'm in the position where I'm in chronic pain, from the second I wake up until I fall asleep. I'm in pain whenever I am not laying down on my back. I can't walk much without being in pain, sit down somewhere for more than twenty minutes without getting extremely uncomfortable, or stand around for more than ten minutes. It has gotten to the point where I had to start missing classes because I can't sit in the chairs for more than fifteen minutes. All I can think about all day is the amount of pain I am in and when I'll be able to escape it. I have been given four medications to cope with it until I get further treatment, but I don't take them unless I'm having excruciating pain. I have gotten my MRI results back and it shows obvious herniations in the same two discs, and a narrow nerve passageway due to those discs being bulged.

After being transferred around for a number of appointments, with my pain getting worse each week, I have expected my results to show my parents and my doctor that I need some serious help soon. At my follow-up MRI appointment, I thought the results would have my doctors take a different path and start finding me a way to get treated. But to my surprise, I was offered injections to my back for temporary relief. Instead of them trying to FIX my "angry nerves" in my back (as my doctor had tried explaining to my ignorant parents) , they offered injections which I would have to keep getting every month. But I want to fix the source of the inflammation by having my back actually treated. This caused extreme frustration between me and my family because they didn't understand the point I was trying to make. I know for a fact that I need another surgery. I don't trust government provided insurance at this point (I have JPS Bluecross Blue-shield), and I'm desperately seeking help from unbiased experienced professionals. What I am specifically looking for is options for different surgeons/hospitals, and if my insurance will be compatible or how much it would cost out of pocket. This injury has taken every bit of faith, hope, motivation, and ambition I ever had. Thank you in advanced for having the patience to read this and providing any help/suggestions you believe will benefit my situation.

Medications prescribed:
Naproxen 500mg
Cyclobenzaprine 10mg
APAP-Codeine #3
Meloxicam 15mg

DDD (degenerative disc disease), lumbar (and arthritis)
L5-S1 grade 1 spondylolytic spondylolisthesis.
Multilevel degenerative changes most prominent at L4-5 and L5-S1 with mild-to-moderate canal stenosis and mild right neural foramen stenosis at L4-5 .
Small posterior disc osteophyte complex is noted at L5-S1 with mild-to-moderate right and at least moderate left neural foramen stenosis.

No on one the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or
or recommendations on any diagnostic test. However, the following key words can always be applied.

  • MILD Treated with conservative measures such as Physical Therapy and mild medications. Many times these situations can be cleared up and the condition can be resolved.
    MODERATE Some more treatments may be needed, ie Spinal Injections, Ultra sound and stronger medications. Always a possibility of more aggressive treatment if the conservative measures don't help
    SEVERE Need for stronger medications. The requirement for surgery may be necessary

Liz, Spine-health Moderator



  • 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.
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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
  • BManBBMan Posts: 113
    edited 10/27/2015 - 11:18 AM
    I'm no spine professional, but I'm sorry to hear you are in chronic pain.

    I am, myself, in chronic pain that makes it difficult to sit. I'm wearing a TENS unit that helps me to "cope" with the pain I feel. Probably the biggest motivator that helps me get through a day is being able to see my family in the evenings after work. I hope you are able to find joy in your family or anything that will help you to face the pain, because the struggle is difficult. Getting through what you have gone through is pretty amazing.
  • I had a herniated disc (L5 S1) felt better and then it reherniated. I'm in my fifth month post-op and am still in pain that requires medication. In short, I do not have my life back. The doctor Recommended njections in case it works. I went thought all of the same same steps: trying injections, physical therapy and then was sent for a nerve activity diagnosis (sorry, can't remember name of procedure). The results showed that an area in my calf was having trouble and that information plus an MRI AND a second opinion at a major Boston hospital led my doctor to do the second surgery.
    My point is that I knew that I needed another surgery and instead of arguing with everyone (which I did with my family) I agreed to all of the "steps". You may end up with a surgery anyway but going through the steps satisfies the insurance company that the doctor didn't rush into things. It also helps the doctor know that he/she is doing the right thing. This kind ofnsurgerynis a big deal.
    Hope this helps.
  • I feel your pain Ronny. I've had a couple surgeries in my life. It wasn't until I bothered my surgeon everyday that I got the fusion I needed to stabilize my broken back. They say for the first year of pain, your ignored and given non evasive treatment options. It really is because of insurance. If you had the cash up front And know what's wrong, they will gladly take care of you from day one. But doctors tend to overcharge insurance companies and they like it that way. So they will tell you that you NEED injections and physical therapy to find out what's wrong, when they actually know those treatments won't fix anything. So they need to prove to the insurance company that no other treatments work before they actually do something that may be a more permanent fix. I went through months of injections and mess before my doctor finally told me, well you broke your back and you need a fusion to fix it. Even though he had told me " well let's see if injections help". I know the frustration. And all the dishonesty I have endured hAs lead me to not believing what ANY doctor had to say. My advice is, bother your doctor everyday, they might have to put you through the injections loop once or twice but they can only ignore your daily pleads for help for so long. And remember that doctors here in America don't fix anything. They depend on you coming back time and time again to get as much money as they can from the insurance companies. It's not about making you feel better. It's about making their wallets feel better.
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