My MRI says I have multilevel degenerative disc disease and facet arthropathy of the lumbar spine most advanced at L4-5. Severe right L4 neural foraminal stenosis. Also there is a superimposed broad-based right foraminal protrusion type disc herniation that impinges upon the exiting right L4 nerve root and along with the advanced facet arthropathy in the geometric distortion of the neural foramina causes severe right L4 neural foraminal stenosis.
I have had this condition for a couple of years. It makes the tops of my feet and the side of my shins feel like they are being raked with a burning wire brush... alll the time. On a good day my pain level is about 7. My pain management Dr, had me on pills, patches, epi shots and the like and these offered more side effects than relief, so I quit taking all meds about 3-4 months ago. I was getting lethal in my dosages and was starting to get suicidal [I bought a pistol and sat in a local park for about 3 hours, trying to find reasons not to chew on the end of it and pull the trigger. Luckily I did]. I'm not being overdramatic about this, its just a fact. The pain is so bad at the moment that I almost regret selling the pistol.
My Family Dr, ordered the MRI as stated above and after reading it refered me to a pain management clinic. I fired him on the spot. I can get pain meds anywhere on the street, and despite the high costs of them and risk involved, they end up being cheaper than having to deal with doctors and less of a risk than admitting to my insurance company that there is a chronic problem. I don't want drugs! I've tried them for the past 2 years.
What I am looking for is a treatment or surgery that is going to take care of the problem for good, or a reasonable amount of time given that I'm in my mid-forties and can expect a few conginital conditions to worsen with age. I am a musician and I definately look the part, so whenever I complain about lowerback pain and the conditions in my feet and shins, people, including those in the medical field, look at me like I'm just seeking drugs. I am not. so what is next?