Here's my situation: constant & severe pain in lower back, butt, hip, tailbone (mostly on right side) legs ache, toes tingle & both feet numb & hurt with sciatica on right side- can't walk without assistance (cane or hubby) and can't stand more than 10 min. or so. Immobile. Had pain since early May. Female age 45. Tried physical therapy, 2 epidurals, steroid pack, muscle relaxers, Norco, Percocet.
MRI shows: L4-L5 broad based disc bulge with osteophyte & foraminal disk protrusion, minimal narrowing of spinal canal, mild right foraminal narrowing Disc degeneration. L5-S1 mild right & minimal left foraminal stenosis due to broad based disk bulge with osteophyte and hypertrophy of the facet joints.
CT scan w/fluid shows: L4-L5 Grade 4 - contrast leakage along the outer third of the annulus - 45 degrees right posterior & lateral aspect, L5-S1 Grade 4 - contrast leakage along the third of the annulus - 75 degrees along the posterior right lateral aspect. Mild posterior bulging in conjunction with degenerative changes. Foraminal stenosis. Mild degenerative endplate changes along the right aspect of L5-S1 and mild L5-S1 height loss.
Neurosurgeon wants to do fusion of L5-S1 claiming I have bone on bone. He doesn't believe discectomy will solve butt & back pain. My Physiatrist & General Practitioner don't believe surgery will help at all and that I should try additional shots for pain management. My Physiatrist is also referring me back to a neurologist to have neuropathy pain better evaluated. The first one I saw did not do a thorough evaluation. She's concerned about possible MS or diabetes. It's so hard to know who to trust and are desperate for pain relief. Would appreciate any suggestions.