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Spinal questions - new to the forum

Chris3251CChris3251 Posts: 1
edited 01/01/2016 - 8:14 PM in Lower Back Pain
I'm new to the forum. I'm a 50 year old female with a history of lower back pain that's been going on for a few years. When I was in my 20's, I fell down a flight of stairs when I was pregnant and was diagnosed with sciatica. With that pregnancy and 1 after that I had chronic sciatic pain, so the doctors decided against doing an epidural. Years later I was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had an 8 hour surgery to remove the tumor and the entire kidney. After being put under anesthesia, they decided to put in an epidural to help with pain management after surgery and left it in for 10 days. I didn't even know it was there until they came in to take it out. I continued to experience lower back pain over the years, but the past 4-5 years it has gotten progessively worse and extremely difficult to manage the pain. I was hospitalized with severe back pain a couple years ago & they said I had arthritis & possibly degenerative disc disease. I can no longer sleep in my bed. Even with a pillow between my knees, heating pads, PT, Tens unit therapy, you name it, after 2 hours I'm in tears, so I spend the rest of the night in a recliner, trying to get the pain under control so I can go back to sleep. I work in a fast paced inbound call center, so I'm tied to my desk all day, typing on a computer as I talk on the phone. My desk setup is ergonomically correct and I use a lumbar support, but it's becoming more & more impossible to sit like that all day, even with my breaks. NSAIDS no longer work, narcotic pain medications help get through the day to an extent, but not at all if I try to sleep in my bed. I've been operating on about 3 hours sleep a night for the past year at least. I'm exhausted and depressed. I just recently had an MRI done because I want to go to a pain mgmt specialist to see if spinal injections will help. The results were emailed to me, but I don't understand a lot of the terminology. Can anyone help me decipher what all of this means?

L1-2: There is mild facet arthritis. No disc protrusion or
L2-3: There is facet arthritis. No disc protrusion or stenosis.
L3-4: Mild broad-based posterior disc bulge and facet arthritis.
No focal disc protrusion. There is mild bilateral lateral recess
L4-5: There is a small right posterior lateral disc protrusion
and annular tear which abuts the exiting nerve root in the neural
foramen. There is moderate right inferior foraminal narrowing.
There are hypertrophic changes of the posterior elements with
mild bilateral lateral recess narrowing.
L5-S1: There are hypertrophic changes of the posterior elements.
No stenosis.
There is a small bone island in the right posterior iliac bone

No one on the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice 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



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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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
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