L5-S1 Emergency Room (Charlotte, NC)

L5-S1 Emergency Room (Charlotte, NC)

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Hurt'n_NC
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Joined: 04/28/2013 - 6:17pm
L5-S1 Emergency Room (Charlotte, NC)

40yr old male in good health.
- "Desk Job" as a Video Editor for 15yrs.
- "Lifting Job" as an Event Specialist 1yr (setting up lights, screens, speakers, computers, etc)
- No Accidents or Back Trauma.
_______________

* 5yrs Mild/Irritating Lower Back Pain.
(Ibuprofen/Heat/Massage)

  • Thought nothing of it & never felt the need to see a DR. since I did NOT have Insurance.
  • Over the years I've noticed that my back would get fatigued so I would stand, exercise, & stretch. This would normally take away the fatigue.
_______________

* 6months Lower Back Pain worse, RT Hip Pain w/"electricity" down back of Leg, Calf, & Foot Numbness.
(Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen/Alleve/Heat/Massage)

  • X-Ray & MRI w/ L5 Nerve Root Block.
  • Stretching my Thigh/Hip/Leg would not give full relief.
_______________

* Yesterday Emergency Room!

  • Leg Pain unbearable!
  • Could only lie on my back w/ my legs bent.
  • I.V. Narcotic & sent home w/ Medrol Dosepack/Ibuprofen/Hydrocodon 5-500/Flexiril 10MG.

-- I was told to schedule the earliest appointment at my Dr. (Community Clinic), but I do not know why...

  • ... to get more pain killers?
  • ... a referral?
  • ... what?
_______________

* Today

  • Medium Back Pain & Tightness, Mild Hip Pain, Medium Leg Pain w/Sharp Spasms, Foot Numbness.
_______________

My work insurance is about to kick in but I have to work a certain number of hours per week to remain eligible. With my back like this, I can barely walk so work is out of the question. So far I have accumulated nearly $6,000 in Self-Pay bills yet have not felt any relief.

-- Should I also schedule an appointment w/ a Chiropractor?
-- Spine Specialist?
-- What other type of Dr. should I be consulting?

Anyone in Charlotte, NC know a specific Dr., Facility, or Network that has helped alleviate your condition/pain? I've been going to CMC

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Hurt'n_NC
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dilauro posted this response

dilauro posted this response in another thread I have been following when the question was posed asking whether it is safe to continue seeing a Chiropractor after being diagnosed as having disc problems:

dilauro wrote:
Chiropractors have their place. they can help so many people in different ways. However, once a patient has been identified with having disc problems and any disc impingement it is not a good idea to continue to have additional chiropractor treatment.
There is a risk of more damage, potential severe happening.

At this point, you should be under the care of a spine specialist
(Neurologist, Orthopedic Surgeon, Neurosurgeon , etc).


Sounds like I'll be researching Charlotte, NC (Carolina Medical Center) spine specialists...ie: Neurologists, Orthopedic Surgeons, Neurosurgeons, etc.

Any and all other thoughtful advice is more than welcome.

L5-S1 Bulging Disc | L5 Nerve Root Impingement | S1 Nerve Root Displacement | Charlotte, NC

AllMetal
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I agree with the above

My spine surgeon actually does refer patients to chiro, but I did not qualify as I had too many disc issues (just like stated above). I would highly recommend you making an appointment with either an ortho surgeon or a neurosurgeon ASAP. That would be where I would start. People get the impression that you only see a surgeon if you are in need of surgery, but really that isn't true... they are really more like "Spine Specialist". You want to be sure the surgeon you see is a "Spine Guy" and not someone who does ACL repairs, etc. These Spine Specialist often have the best connections to conservative treatments, and rarely will recommend surgery until the conservative treatments have failed. Since you are having to pay out of pocket, I'd skip the chiro and the PCP and go straight to the specialist. You also need to let him know you do not have insurance. Very often the doctors do not know this as they work in large practices, so the accounting department does, but not necessarily the doctor. He can help you choose the best "bang for your buck" most likely. That same specialist can also prescribe meds for you if needed. In fact mine handles all of my medication. I know many on this forum see an additional pain management doctor, but if you let your spine doctor know you don't have insurance, he might be more willing to work with you (at least short term) with medication, especially if you explain that you must work so many hours so you can become elligible for insurance. I have found the more information you can give your doctor the better. Please be sure to take a list of questions/concerns with you and perhaps a family member or friend. You really need both since you are going to not only have to discuss the finacial/insurance/work side, but also all the pain and history. You don't want to leave anything out. Please try to stay positive... give the meds a day or two to really work. I am encouraged that the ER gave you a combination of medication and not just pain killers, so hopefully you will experience some relief soon. Welcome to our forum! Keep us posted. If nothing else, we can encourage you along the way.

33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.

Hurt'n_NC
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Fresh from the Dr. He

Fresh from the Dr. He recommended another Root Block. I still feel the pain in my back, rt hip, and down the back of my rt leg & calf to my foot making my baby toe go numb. I'm "hobbling" around slowly and it's difficult to walk any distances or length of time.

6 weeks Leave of Absence - still taking Hydrocodone, Flexiril, & Ibuprofen.

L5-S1 Bulging Disc | L5 Nerve Root Impingement | S1 Nerve Root Displacement | Charlotte, NC

AllMetal
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So

Did he do the root block then? I have no experience with these? Did it cause the pains you are mention, or were you experiencing all of this prior tot he appointment. If he didn't do the root block, when will it be? I'm sorry you are experiencing so much pain. Try to relax and heal as much as you can these next 6 weeks. Be sure to coordinate with friends/coworkers to stop by and visit you, etc.... trust us spineys.... at home and in pain and all the meds is the perfect recipe for depression. I'd hate to see that on top of everything else. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.

Hurt'n_NC
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AllMetal wrote:Did he do the

I had a Root Block done about 4months ago to try and alleviate the numbness and frequent pain. It (or something) masked the pain enough for me to continue to work. The pain progressively got worse until one morning it shot from a 4 to a 10. All of a sudden the pain was in my lower back, hip, back of my leg, back of my knee, calf, ankle, and side of my foot into my toes. It hurt so bad that I couldn't stand or walk. I had to leave work and go to the ER.

I can't go in to work because I lift and set up BIG speakers, projectors, screens, lights, etc. Since I can't go in to work, I've been trying to moonlight shooting & editing video so I can provide my share of money to the household as my request for Short Term Disability was denied. Editing video may not be heavy lifting but it sure takes a toll on the buttocks, hip, thigh, & calf.

- I think my injury has come from years of sitting at desk hunched over. (I've had no traumatic spinal accident or injury.)

I have Physical Therapy scheduled in like 2weeks. I was told they would schedule the root block at the same time PT was scheduled but still don't have a Root Block date. Since I'm home all day tomorrow, I'll give them a call and as usual... leave a message and hope someone returns my call.

I was told to take my pain meds "as needed". I "need" them all the time. The muscle relaxer makes me sleepy and I'm scared of becoming addicted to the pain pills so I try to refrain until the pain becomes unbearable. So far, the worst part was when my 7yr old told me that I don't do anything fun with her anymore. She knows I'm in pain but it shouldn't be her burden to bear.

So, should I really be LAYING in bed for 6weeks?

L5-S1 Bulging Disc | L5 Nerve Root Impingement | S1 Nerve Root Displacement | Charlotte, NC

AllMetal
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hmm

Even with all the complications I've had, I've NEVER been "allowed" to lay i bed for 6 weeks. I'd be sure to get clarification from the doc, etc. It does sound like you have so much going on. I do wish you the best of luck.

33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.

dilauro
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Please help to clarify a few points

1 - In one of your threads, you indicated you had a Root Block 4 months ago. and overall you did not get any real positive results from the Root Block - Correct?

2 - What type of doctor were you seeing , that ordered the Root Block? You also indicated you had other diagnostic tests performed. You did not mention their results. What were the results of those tests?

3 -

hurt'n_NC wrote:
The pain progressively got worse until one morning it shot from a 4 to a 10. All of a sudden the pain was in my lower back, hip, back of my leg, back of my knee, calf, ankle, and side of my foot into my toes. It hurt so bad that I couldn't stand or walk. I had to leave work and go to the ER.
Its good that you went to the ER, because anyone having a pain level over 8 or 9 can not take care of themselves. With all the symptoms you identified, the ER and staff did not come up with any conclusions as to the source of your problem? What diagnostic tests did they run?

-

4 - What doctor to see? Again, only based on your timeline and posts, its hard for me to point you anywhere. Some doctor ordered your Root Block, the only other mention is the ER. Normally, I would start with your Primary Care Physician and let them take it from there.

Providing comments to these questions will help tighten up some questions I had reading through your thread and posts. And at least for me that will make it easier to understand the total picture.

Thanks

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Moderator
Dont laugh at me

Hurt'n_NC
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The Root Block didn't do much

The Root Block didn't do much for the pain. Also, I'm really scared of masking the pain which sounds like it just hides the underlying condition which will continue to get worse to the point of no return. My wife works at a drug dependency clinic so a big concern in our house is addiction. Both physical and/or mental.

My primary care physician referred me for the Root Block. The facility that does the Root Block assigned me to a Dr. to translate the results. (I'm not sure of his specialty). I am to call back and request an appointment with a Spine Dr. and begin physical therapy. The only diagnostics I've had was an X-Ray & MRI.

ER Dr. said she was not for diagnostics past making sure the emergency was dealt with. The long term treatment would be up to my Dr. The ER Dr. felt it was the Compression/Nerve Impingement that shows in my X-Ray & MRI.

The pain is getting a bit better. I would say it's now down to a 4-5, tightness, and numbness with non strenuous activity and lots of ibuprofen. I've been holding out on taking the Hydocodone and Flexeral unless I really need it. My Dr. said he wasn't going to continue to write pain prescriptions so I am trying to deal with the pain and save the meds for when I truly need them. I feel that the underlying condition is going to be there no matter if I take the meds to kill the pain or not. I haven't been lifting anything and stop to lay down when I start to feel pain.

I'm thinking to make a Spinal Dr. appointment at the medical facility if nothing more than to just get a better understanding of what's going on so I can be a part of the decision making process. I don't want an over zealous Dr. choosing surgery or anything else while I sit in the dark about it all. I have my first PT appt in a couple of days to determine my range of motion.

My prayers truly go out to all who have had to deal with any of this in there lives. Fortunately, for the time being, I'm able to work editing video so I am able to survive. I've read many posts on here where people are truly in financial dire straights and coming up on no where to turn.

L5-S1 Bulging Disc | L5 Nerve Root Impingement | S1 Nerve Root Displacement | Charlotte, NC

Pink2lip
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There is a good pain

There is a good pain management doctor in Gastonia. His name is........ I went to him when I lived in Charlotte. As far as pain medicine, it is necessary for your healing process. It is unlikely that you can become addictied if you take the medicine as prescribed.

Post edited to remove specific doctor's name. Please read the Forum rules

Jenn
40 year old mom
Tlif July 18