I recently seemed to have hit a slump in my quest to be pain free as a result of two discs that I damaged almost 8 years ago by using improper lifting techniques.
The first disc I had treated was the L5/S1 which I had done the IDET procedure, PLDD (percutaneous laser disc decompression), and facet block. Before this was done, I had pins and needles in my feet, terrible low back pain, and could not sit for more than a few minutes at a time. After this surgery, the majority of that went away.
Upon healing from the IDET, I still had mid back pain, which became more obvious after the lower back pain symptoms subsided. It was at that time I had another MRI done which revealed a herniation at the T11/T12 level, which gives me constant mid back pain and muscle spasams.
Through a discogram, it was determined that the PLDD might help that disc. I had the PLDD done on that disc on 4/2007, and after the normal healing period, I was about 75% pain free for about 4 months. After that, it slowly came back little by little. As a result, I went back to my doctor and he tried an epidural steroid injection into that disc. It relieved 90% of my pain for about a week. We tried a second injection and it only worked for a day or two.
The next step was another MRI. That revealed that the disc appeared roughly the same, however the vertebral endplates showed swelling. I had a blood test that showed no infections.
This is when my pain care doctor said there wasn't much more he could do for me. So I went back to my orthopedic doctor, who said all he could do was a fusion, which is not easy at the thoracic levels, according to him.
I know where the pain is coming from, and what seems to be causing it, but a fusion seems to be risky. Does anyone have any advice or know of other options? Has anyone else experienced inflammed endplates? I am considering seeing a neuroseurgon or another orthopedic surgeon for a third opinion.
I have done physical therapy, seen a chiropractor, pretty much have done it all, with no lasting results.
Thanks and sorry for the long post!