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avaccaroaavaccaro Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:20 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi Everyone.

I'm Amanda. I'm almost 21 years old and have been suffering with chronic back pain for over 5 years. As far as I know, the problems are congential. I don't know how to make this short, so I apologize for the lengthiness.

In January 2007, I went to the ER for excruitating lower back pain and losing the ability to walk. While there, they did an MRI which showed severe lumbar spinal stenosis and a herniated disk at L5-S1.

I went to several orthopedic doctors, although none of them specialized in spines. They all suggested things like spinal decompression and chiroprators, and I refused to try that. I finally made an appointment an hour away with a very talented spinal surgeon. He suggested trying an epidural injection and then returning a few months later for a laminectomy/diskectomy.

I had the epidural- no sucess.
Laminectomy/Diskectomy L5-S1 in June 2007.
Recovery was good. Felt better for a few months, still had back pain, but my legs were not giving out on me anymore.

A few months later, severe pain returned in mid and lower back. Started having nerve pain in arms.

Went to Neurologist, prescribed 50mg Lyrica/day.
Had another MRI (cervical)- showed several bulging discs.

This MRI also showed a disk, or lack thereof around T4 or T5, that looked completely gone. None of the doctors seemed to think anything of it? (Have copy on computer if anyone wants to see what they think)

Went back to spinal surgeron 11/07- did another MRI, showed another herniated disc in lower thoracic. (never sent me the report, so I'm not sure which disk) Said not to do physical therapy, would heal on it's own.

Every month the pain was getting worse and worse, but I was without a car for several months so I had no way of seeing my spinal surgeon or neurologist. A few weeks ago I made an appointment with another spinal specialist closer to my home.

He made a huge speech about how he was dedicated to his patients and wanted to do x-ray and MRI and see me back the following week for an injection. (before ever seeing my films) I went back Friday (7/25) and was prepared to show him my older films and ask him a few questions before the procedure. Instead he stuck his head in, barely mentioned my radiology report (which I have yet to see) and told me to follow the radiology tech.
Had procedure-no local, no muscle relaxers, been in severe pain since friday.

So in summary:
Pain for 5+ years
4 MRIs
2 Xrays
Laminectomy/Diskectomy (6/07)
2 Epidurals
Several bulging cervical disks
Mild herniation at in lower thoracic
(and although I don't have the radiology reports back yet, from the films it looks like) Re-herniation at L5-S1
and herniation at L4-L5
Degenerative Disk Disease

On Lyrica 50mg/day
Oxycodone as needed (try to take only when in severe pain)
Cyclobenzaprine as needed

Sorry for the lengthy introduction.



  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i believe seeing the orthopedic doctor was more beneficial. he can read your mri and offer you the conservative treatment you need. a pain management doctor can as well. you might want to consider getting a second opinion concerning your surgery and overall treatment plan. the more information you have the better your chances of having a successful surgery and a great recovery. . i have had epidurals without locals or even the cold spray. it is not pleasant. you should atleast be offered to have the area cold sprayed. i am surprised he did the procedure without seeing even an x-ray. you are on a very low dose of Lyrica as well. is this dose helping your nerve pain? you did not mention if you had any. it is always wise to get your information directly from a doctor. good luck as you begin your pain journey! Jenny :)
  • Hi Amanda and welcome to spine health!
  • yeah, I do have nerve pain. Most of it is down the front and back of my right leg and just down the back of my left leg. I also get it up and down my arms.

    I take 50mg of Lyrica on a normal day, but when the pain is worse I take 150mg. I don't like to constantly be in a fog :/

    Thanks :)
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364

    If you live in the US you have the right under HIPAA to receive a copy of each and every document in your chart from any and all healthccare providers for little or no fee.

    When I was between surgeries I would carry around stacks of MRI's, Reports, Cat scans, X-ray etc. to make sure that each provider I saw had the complete "picture" from begining to present.

    Be your own healthcare advocate.

    Take care,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • I am so sorry that you are dealing with all of this pain at such a young age. Do not give up on the docs. Even though you have seen so many already, you still have not found the one that is willing and able to help. Keep looking because he/she is out there. Good luck and I look forward to reading more of your posts and keeping up with your progress!
  • To spine health :)

    Hope you get some answers in here to the questions you may have.

    Christina :)
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