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Chronic Pain

Deeanna LittleDDeeanna Little Posts: 3
edited 11/19/2015 - 7:20 PM in Chronic Pain
I have been battling chronic back and sciatica leg pain for probably over the past 5 years. Im to the point to where I think, I may be ready to go forward with which ever kind of surgery will help the pain. I have Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Stenosis, Mild nerve damage to my left side, I have two bulging discs at somewhere around L-3,L-5. And a herniated disc at L-4. At times I have severe leg pain traveling across my left buttock, into my hip down to my ankle, sometimes around to the front of the knee. And seems that here lately my lower back will not stop hurting. For the past three years I have had Epidural injections, which do help the pain but is only like putting on a band-aid, each Epidural would require an additional injection. I have so much chronic pain that I have FMLA where I work as I have to take it day by day. I need some opinions from some of those who have experienced what I am dealing with, trying to take my family my husband and children, finances it takes both of us to make it each week and rehab time to be off work and survive. Im not afraid of pain and have probably a high threshold from dealing with all of this, probably from a back injury around 18 years ago. I do believe that my job has aggravated my condition for some time now, but I am stuck for now. Anyway, does anybody know if I am better off to continue the injections or go forward with surgery. Not sure which doctor I should see as I have a medical doctor, and a spine doctor and also have seen a back surgeon, or go out on a limb and see a neurologists? The pain is affecting my quality of life, cant sleep much when I do its in the recliner. And does anyone know how often you can have an MRI, I believe it has been 4 years maybe since my last one. I want to get better and have been told by my chiropractor that the type of surgery I probably would have would be the fusion and the plates and screws which is going to promote scar tissue and also cause pain, but can be maintained by on going therapy. I have heard things from if you ever have one back surgery that is it you will continue to have additional back surgeries. Also a 60 percent chance it would make the pain better. I have been trying to educate myself and understand what all the injuries are that I have, I just need some advice from someone who has dealt with this kind of thing. Help in Alabama! I would greatly appreciate any and all input....Thank you

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. 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,

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - 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

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 its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its 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 :

--- Liz,Spine-Health System Moderator


  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 118
    Hi there! Sorry to hear you had to join our "club." If you have tried everything your medical professionals recommended and nothing has helped over the past five years, personally, I would proceed with the surgery. BUT, make sure you perform your due diligence about the best surgery approach and there are several - through the back, through the abdomen, through the side, laser, etc. The same goes for your surgeon. You want the absolute very best available to you. I hurt my back several times during my 20 years in the US Marine Corps and I've had back pain for well over 20 years and had to go on disability because of its severity. I've tried everything I have ever heard of, except medical marijuana because it is illegal here in Florida but that is a separate and controversial topic for another time and forum. I've had my L5/S1 fused twice and I'm now fused from L3 through S1. I have even had a spinal cord stimulator but without success. But, I'm still in debilitating pain. The fusions helped temporarily but the back pain returned each time. Quite frankly, the only thing that helps me deal with the pain is Nucynta and Exalgo. I don't think anyone can tell you what is best for you but we can share our experiences so you have an idea about what you may experience. I will share my surgeon's info if you send me a private email but if you don't live near me then that info probably won't help. Sorry that I cannot offer more. Best of luck! Jerome
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