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Avulsion fracture, degenerative disc, bulging disc and severe arthritis

bronzecouch9bbronzecouch9 Posts: 1
edited 12/02/2015 - 4:20 PM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone,

I'm new here and so happy to find a place where I can talk to others about these issues. I am a 49 year old overweight (not quite obese) woman, who is in otherwise good health. Before my accident, I was very active and walked 2 miles a day.

I had a torn PCL in my left knee, from a previous fall at work, and it would just give out without warning, so I fell down the stairs going into my basement. The following day I was having severe back pain, so I went to see my primary care physician. I was referred to an Orthopedic group so that I could have both my knee and back assessed.

I had surgery in October to repair my knee and then began working on my back. It began with the usual x-rays and physical assessment. I had a NM bone scan done and the results showed an avulsion fracture a L3. I was then sent for a CAT scan that revealed a bulging disc, degenerative disc disease and severe arthritis. Each vertebrae in my lower back has arthritis and degeneration, varying from subtle to severe. I am now being sent for an EMG to check for any nerve damage.

This is the first time I've ever had severe back pain, it's has been debilitating at times. I am currently doing physical therapy twice a week, but sometimes the pain is just too severe and I have to stop. My primary care physician started me on Lortab 5 mg 3x a day and a muscle relaxer, with little relief. I'm scared to death to say anything to my PCP for fear that he would think I was a drug seeker. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for what I'm being prescribed, but it barely takes the edge off and doesn't last very long.

I am open to any suggestions that would help me at this point. If anyone has ever dealt with these issues, I would appreciate any input you can give me. This being the first time I've ever had this kind of back pain, I don't know that much about my diagnosis or treatment. My orthopedic physician is always in such a hurry and he talks so fast, that I never really get my questions answered.

I would appreciate any help I can get.


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 : 12/02/15 22:20 est

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