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Annular Tear Advice- Only 29 years old

Cj1551CCj1551 Posts: 1
edited 11/06/2015 - 5:45 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi! I'm new here. I have been dealing with back pain for many years. I threw my back out three times before I finally saw a doctor. They discovered I had scoliosis and I developed a broad based bulge at L5-S1 disc in June 2014 and then I suffered an annular fissure at the same disc in December 2014. My most recent MRI shows the L5-S1 disc bulge causes moderate right and mild left subarticular stenosis and abuts the descending S1 nerve root and I have mild to moderate facet arthropathy and mild thickening of the ligamentum flavum. I also have the typical DDD. In addition at L2-L3 I have significant disc height loss with early Schmorl's node.

My back pain mostly went away when I tore the disc. Now I have nerve pain symptoms down both legs and into both feet. The sensations vary between numbness, tingling, pins and needles, sharp needle pricks, and vibrating/buzzing sensations. My symptoms seems to be worsening and I don't know what to do. I want to avoid surgery at all cost. I am only 29 years old and used to be very active. Has anyone ever recovered from this and been able to live a "normal" life without surgery. I want to be able to do spinning, and weight lifting and all the fun things I used to do. I've been in physical therapy for a year and a half and things are only getting worse. Additionally, I am

I just feel kinda alone. No one else my age seems to have these problems and I am worried if things are like this now, what my life in 20 or 30 years is going to be like.

Any advice is welcome!

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 : 11/06/15 11:45 est

Bulging Disc L5-S1, Annular Fissure L5-S1, Moderate Stenosis


  • I'm 35, and I have some of the same worries you have. I worry about the kind of disability and pain that could be in my future. I can tell you for sure that you're not alone. I've had to accept new "normals" for myself, which includes not going for morning jogs or weightlifting in ways that exacerbate my spine injuries. It's probably the pain that forces me to constantly reevaluate what's important and what's possible for me to accomplish each day.

    I'm hopeful there will be some cure, and I'm definitely more sympathetic toward people with health issues. I respect my limitations more. Even though there is a strong sense of isolation, I've searched the Web, found forums like this, and know my feelings, pain, desperation, and search for answers are all being experienced by others.
  • I am 32 and just a week ago had an epidural steroid injection. My L5/S1 disc had an annular tear and bulge pressing on the nerve. I had pain to my foot and sensory issues. I have congential stenosis at many levels and the steroid injections have at least helped me significantly. I was even able to cut and chop enough firewood for the winter over the summer.

    I find while the injections are painful, they are not unbearable. I do it without any sedation or medication and it is in and out quickly. It doesn't last forever, after a couple of months the pain starts coming back. For me this was sufficient, and a painful injection every couple of months was well worth the relief I get from them.

    You should discuss with your doctor if it is right for you. There can be side effects, mood changes, bone changes, and more. You and your doctor can decide the best way to proceed. I have very recently been able to work through my pride and fear of doctors and having an open and honest relationship with your doctor is very important. If your doctor is not the right person to find a solution with you, find one that is.
    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.
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