May 2008 Chronic lower back pain, upper right side of right leg, nerve pain and numbness
(wf, 54, non smoker/drinker, 5'8" 125 lbs. overall good health) I have seen 4 doctors and this may be of help to others.
My Gp referred me to a specialist. He referred me to an orthopedic specialist, and his appts. consisted of a series of doctors and painful shots, that included:
June, 26, 2008
X-RAY Spondylolysis w/spondylolisthesis at L5-S1. Disk space collapse w/ mild osteoporosis.
MRI - disk collapse at L5-S1 with partial disk herniation, defect along the pars, evident w/ spondyloisthesis.
Medrol Dosepak and Advil (I also have Loratab 5 and 10 and have been having to take them more often, which is a treatment, I made clear, I am not interested in)
August 1, 08-Spondylolisthesis, L5-L1: TREATMENT lumbar epidural steroid injection at L5-S1 w/80 mg of Kenalog
Oct. 22, 08, L4-S1, recommended facet steroid injection and radiofrequency nerve ablation.
Oct. 28, 08 Spondylolisthesis L5-S1; Lumbar spondylosis L3-S1, fibromyalgia; and lumbar facet arthropathty L4-S1.
TREATMENT; bilateral facet joint injection at L4-5, and L5-S1 w. 20 mg Kenalog.
Dec. 16, 08-TREATMENT: radiofrequency nerve ablation of L3 and L4 on right (will do left side at next appt. due to insurance billing); 40 mg Kenalog; and rf nerve lesioning at 80 deg for 90 seconds. (impedance between 200-400)
Diagnosis of spondylolisthesis L5_S1, and spondylolysis.
The insurance comment bothered me, so I wanted another opinion,
My husband, a lobbyist, finally intervened to get me in to see a pain specialist, who does peer reviews. He offered 2 options, as his initial thoughts were my problems could only be solved through surgery (my last option).
He was critical of previous treatments of such small doses of Kenalog, etc., and wondered aloud why they bothered. He ordered a L-Spine flex and extension x-ray.
12-23-08 Lumbar spine defects of L5 bilaterally w/grade one spondylolisthesis of L5-S1.
Mar. 09-Electrodiagnostic report - L5 peroneal nerve-1 hyper
S2-Post, femoral cutaeous nerve -1 hyper
Mar. 16-RF procedure.
He then referred me to a surgeon. Since this would now be the 5th doctor, my husband once again intervened.
A Senator contacted the neurosurgeon for St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa. He immediately ordered a second MRI (although I had just had one months ago, there had been a change). Upon review, he said the only thing that will fix my problem is surgery, and I believe him. Assisting him will be one of the orthopedic surgeons for the OSU sports teams that specializes in back pain. This is what they will do June 16th: PLIF (lumbar fusion); Posterolateral lumbar fusion; pedicle screw instrumentation; and decompression/laminectomy.
The above information comes directly from my medical records. Even though I have excellent insurance and professional and political contacts, I have been through so much to finally feel I will receive treatment that will help me. I can only imagine how hopeless you feel without either. I was so afraid of surgery that I wanted it to be the last option. It should have been the first thing suggested. God Bless.