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3 bulging and L4-L5 hernaition

       Hello! I have been doing a little research and bumped into these forums (reading...reading & reading!) About 7 weeks ago I was confirmed to have 3 bulging and 1 herniated disc (L4-L5). The main problem naturally is the herniation that is pressing the nerves in my R leg. I am currently undergoing physical therapy and injections and checking in from time to time with a fellowship trained spinal surgeon. Initially, my pain level was about a 10 at the time of the accident and no pain meds slowed it down. 

     I am now at a 1-5 level pain, mostly around 1-2 depending on how active I am (more active=more pain, usually all right at the L4L5). Although that may sound wonderful (and please dont get me wrong I am thankful not to be in too much pain) I can only walk fairly short distances before my back starts getting symptoms and R leg just starts giving out (maybe a half a lap on the track or less). If im not at work, I am usually get as much bed rest as possible, aside from basic chores such as dishes, laundry ect. I cant do much outside of work. 

     I miss being able to be active and exercise. I am scheduled for my last injection in about a week and a half. I dont know what the doctor will say when i see him next~ if hes going to recommend surgery. I am doing everything I possibly can to correct my daily habits (restricted bending, posture control, trying to stand more than sitting). I cannot do cardio for very long at all (if you call that cardio).

I pray to our Lord he helps me understand my place in this. I do trust him!!! I really do, thats NOT going to change :)

Anyway, I guess really any feedback is appreciated. Either way thank you for your read. I am not giving up on this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,346

    hi choover!
    welcome to spine-health

    please, never give up!! and research, that gives you knowledge when you talk to your doctor. he may keep you on the conservative side for now, pt and injections. i always suggest keeping notes of your pain and pain levels, when, what you ere doing, what helped, etc. take your notes with you at your next appointment and he will understand a little better. i have done this for years and still do. my pm doctor tends to take me more seriously.

    good luck and please keep us posted.
    please click on the welcome link below and tutorial to help you on the forum.
    welcome to spine health

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • Thats a great Idea!! I was thinking about doing the same thing...Im going to get out a notebook and try to keep a log of whats going on :) I do think my last injection helped a little, I have one more in a a little over a week right before i see the doc. My symptoms are so scattered keeping a journal can keep me organized when the doc asks me how im doing!!

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,346

    Great!! Let us know how it works out for you at your next appointment.
    Take care and keep us posted.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • ChooverCChoover Posts: 50
    edited 08/17/2018 - 9:52 AM

    Thank you for your reply!! So my second injection seemed to help some! I am going to say 10%. My first one overall didnt seem to make a dramatic difference. Today I am walking a little better!! I am not 100% or really even close, but i am thankful to have some improvements. Overall, i have worked on next to no bending at all, standing mostly if possible and plenty of rest when im off work. I do work 40 hrs going through this and have to adapt at work so i bend as little as possible (going to one knee is helpful). I will be back with progress report soon :) I am going to ask the Doc about supplements, going to propose Glucosamine, Calcium and Potassium (i still get tingling in my right leg, almost feels like"mini cramps?)but they are not painful.

  • LesLucidLLesLucid Posts: 1
    edited 08/17/2018 - 3:16 PM

    This is my first post here and saw this and thought my experiences might be useful. I’ve lived it low back pain for over 25 years (70 y.o. now). After many x-rays, which showed little to nothing, I went to an orthopedist who immediately sent me for an MRI. That showed multiple disc herniations, L2 through S1, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease at L3-L4. They recommended a fusion. I was very reluctant to do this because a fusion increases stress on the adjacent discs and mine were already in bad shape. Secondly, a fusion means you can’t ever get near an MRI machine again and they’re just too useful a diagnostic tool to do without.

    So, I opted for physical therapy, pain pills when it got bad, epidural injections when it got really bad. Everything I did helped a bit...for a while. Nothing was permanent of course, damage done. I saw one more orthopedist over the years and two neurologists. When I discussed the suggested fusion with them, none would give me what I thought was a good prognosis, usually a 1/3chance to get better, 1/3chance to stay the same, 1/3 chance to get worse...not good odds.

    So, I continued on until last year when it got to where all I was doing was sitting in the couch, wasting my life away. I finally had enough but, being retired, I took my time and did my research. I decided to go somewhere that specialized in nothing but the spine. I finally settled on [edit] in Baltimore. I went through all of the above with him.

    The first thing that happened was more x-rays but this time with a difference. He had me positioned in all kinds of different ways, curled into fetal position, back arched, side, front, etc. When he looked at the x-rays, he said my spinal alignment was good and I had good spinal stability. I didn’t need a fusion. I was floored....all of this time. He requested an updated MRI which showed bad compression of my spinal chord at L3/L4 and severe compression at L4/L5.

    So, to cut to the end, I am 4 months out of surgery, a two level microlaminectomy L4/L5 with partial discectomy. The surgery was at 0800 and by 1330 I was home walking around as per doctor’s orders. I still have numbness down the front of my left leg, top of my foot and toes but he said it’s far too early to tell if that is permanent damage from prolonged spinal cord compression or not, that it can take 12-18 months for nerves to heal, if they’re going to. In the mean time, I’ve felt so good that I resumed exercises I couldn’t do, plus others, started back doing yard work, tackled a basement home theater renovation because I felt so much better. And......I might have done some more damage because I felt too good. I now can’t do a leg lift, I can barely do a plank, without pain in my very lower back, much further down than where I had pain before. That is still fine.

    Anyway, a number of lessons I learned that I can share.

    1. Once you screw up your back, it is done. There’s only fixes that can get you at least functional again.

    2. Go to someone who specializes in spines. My doctor did nothing but spines. In fact he also specialized in pediatric spinal surgery so I figured if he’s comfortable with those tiny bones and nerves, I should be a piece of cake.

    3. Once you’ve had surgery, remember, you are not cured, you are repaired and, despite how good you might feel, you need to be as careful as you have grown use t

    Edited by Liz, Spine-health Moderator Removed name of medical facility

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  • mgranados2 thank you very much for your reply. I just received a phone call from my nurse an she gave me the okay for Glucosamine and Chondrotin but was a little worried about any calcium and potassium. So not to further complicate things....but i work for an orthopedic clinic lol. Fortunately we do have two very good spinal docs here and one is pretty much retired and the other has a good reputation (thats who im working with). So, i am being watched with a lot of things since my job is affected by the injury. I love supplements and want to go that route and exercise rather than surgery (if at al possible, but if the doc says surgery~ I am probably going to do it) so i am very thankful for your help <span>:smile:" alt=":smile:" height="20" /></span>

  • ChooverCChoover Posts: 50
    edited 08/20/2018 - 10:46 AM

    leslucid I thank you very much for sharing that information. Thanks for letting me know that you did find some relief with surgery. I cant lie....since my injury has happened and since i work 40 hours a week, i can only do basic things with my life. And by that I mean laundry dishes or help with kids errands (and that is minimal....and dishes and housework my kids help with). I am around week 7 or so after the herniation and my R leg became affected. I am doing pretty much everything i can to get better, but the results are extremely slow an to be honest again they are so scattered (back and forth with pain). I am going to continue to do everything I possibly can with conservative therapy and i meet with the doc again on the 30th. He may say we need surgery, I probably will do that if he thinks its needed. I can only walk short distances and its limited before R leg just loses power and back pain kicks in. Thank you everyone for your posts I will keep everyone posted. Side note: nerve damage is on my mind....I wonder i its happened already. Again, I am praying a lot and telling God that I am accepting his plan with what he wants for me. .

  • Surgeons recommend surgery. Pain MGMT specialists recommend meds. Chiros recommend chiropractor work. It's fun having back problems

  • Last night i think i started having symptoms in my other leg as well. I had some very very small spasms. I started having a feeling in both of my legs now....its hard to describe but its been going on since last night. It almost feels like a warm tingly feeling and its from my hips to my toes. This is in both legs.Oddly, my R leg seems a bit stronger now, but a have a bit more pain where my herniation is. Its so hard to track whats going on when things seem to change. I hope my doc doesnt look at me like im a loon lol

  • I dont know if this will help anyone dealing with a similar issue but I thought i would post this: So i seemed to have really hurt my back again. It wasnt from carrying anything, it was from pulling something on wheels. My boss asked me to pull (it was like a dolly but had 4 wheels flat on the ground) with probably about 80ish lbs. on it. Her husband has sever back problems so she seemed shocked that pulling weight would re injure it. Anyway, it really gave me some pain. So i guess its not just being careful with bending, twisting or carrying weight...its "pulling" weight also. Getting a ton of rest, still doing my therapy exercises. Im learning all the little things you simply cannot doing while in the healing process (one that got me also was trying to pick up my dog!! She is my little buddy but only 9 lbs. too close to the ground).

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