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Newbie needing much advice

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Lower Back Pain
~X( Hi all,
I am new to the forum,so will try and keep it brief!.
I had a tear in the disc annular 3yrs ago L5,S1.I did it at work,i am a nurse.
I have seen,neuro,s,pain specialists,physio and osteopaths.
At the moment,i have lower back pain,difficulty walking and often walk with a right sided limp.I am worse led down,sat,driving etc.I have horrific aching feet that keep me awake all night.
So now i have been told its mechanical back pain.
I feel i am being fobbed off i am only 35 with a young child and no life.
I am unsure whether to just accept it or push for an oppinion from the orthopeadics,ask for a discogram?.
Has anybody any advice or been in a similar situation?
Thanks for reading
Take care


  • Justine and welcome to the forum. You will find much needed support and understanding from our wonderful members....they are the best in the world. By all means , don't give up , keep pushing forward until you find some answers and then get the help that you so dearly deserve. Please keep us posted as to how you are doing and what you find out. If there is anything that I can help you with then please just let me know. Take care , Miki
  • WELCOME :H to the most informative site you will find! :?
    I also had a tear on the L5-S1, it was bulging on top of it. I dealt with it for a few years and it kept getting worse and worse. I went to an Ortho and he wanted to basically cotorize(sp?) the disk. I wanted another opinion and went to a Nuero. He did the disco and said that if I didn't have a fusion that the pain would be so intense within 6 months that I would be in a wheel chair. So I went ahead and had the surgery. I do not regret it in anyway. I felt so much better and was off of the pain meds and had my quality of life back. I am only 32 and had the surgery had made it where I could play with my daughter again like I used to. And of course all of the other normal day to day stuff that I couldn't do before I could do. I am now having SI joint issues. NS said it is NOT because of the fusion. I have a feeling it has more to do with my son that was born Jan of 06 because he came out facing the wrong way and that is when the pain started again.
    So my opinion would be to go for the disco. It is painful so beware. They need to recreat the pain and they will do it in more than one disk. You being a nurse probably already know about this. Good luck and keep us posted! MJ
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  • wow MJ your story sounds like mine,i am close to tears.I think,cause i am pleased i found some good advice and pleased you got some relief.
    I just so feel my problem is more than mechanical and i cant tolerate PT it makes the pain worse.
    You have given me the strength i need to go and get some answers and hopefully my life back.
    I have looked into SI joint dysfunction as my pain also radiates around r hip and i think the limp can be typical of it.
    Will keep posting and reading.
    Big hugs to you all.
  • you ever had a procedure to correct rupture at L5/S1? I spent 5 years in pain due to rupture. First time I went to doc, I was prescribe PT also and like you, just made it worse. Finally found neuro willing to do tests and find problem and correct it. A year later and I am doing great compared to pre-sugery. Good luck to you in finding a solution.
  • Hi Justine. Firstly I am sorry to hear you are in such pain and being fobbed. Let me tell you my story:

    41/2 years ago I go hurt my back pushing a very heavy wonky shopping trolley and then REALLY hurt it picking up a sack of spuds. After weeks of pain my GP said it was simple back pain. I wasn't convinced and suggested physio. He wasn't happy to refer me on the NHS but I have private cover through work. Physio wasn't helpful so I asked to be referred to an Ortho. Again he was reluctant until I said I have PPP. Ortho sent me for an MRI after the initial exam showed ankle drop. MRI showed up DDD at S1/L5, L5/L4. More physio was recommended as DDD doesn't cause pain for everyone. Eventually I have referred to another Ortho who speciallised in back problems. Hurray!! Another MRI showed no further deterioration so I was sent for a discogram. This diagnosed that S1/L5, L5/L4 & L4/L3 were all pain generators. By this time the painkillers are increasing and I am struggling with sitting etc. I had anesthetic injected into the discs which helped temporarily. A few months later I had lumber facet joint injections which again helped temporarily. I also had xrays which showed 'wonky' hips due to the degeneration of the discs. I had another discogram and this showed L4/L3 had an annular tear as well.
    Medication,in the mean time. was reviewed and changed etc. I
    struggle to get through the day and sleep poorly.I was then sent for Lumbar Facet Nerve Ablation using RF. I was told it would be extremely painful as I needed to be awake but could give me 9-12 month pain relief so I gave it a go as I was and still am taking 3600mg Gabapentin,400mg Tramadol, max Ibuprofen and paracetamol as well as a 20 mg Buprenorphine 7 day patch. It had no effect at all. I am now awaiting Sympathetic Nerve Blocks. If these don't work then I will be having fusion and ADR.

    I guess what I am saying is don't be fobbed off. You know your body and you should listen to it. A discogram is a good diagnostic tool. It shows whether the discs are pain generators or not. Don't be discouraged if it negative, it just means some thing else is causing your pain.

    Good luck :)
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  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. it sounds like you have had treatments and seen various doctors. what treatments are you currently undergoing? are you on any pain medications? you know your pain and should listen to it. i wish you the best in finding pain relief! good luck and i hope to see you around the forum! Jenny :)
  • what you are describing is the same symptoms that I had from my annular tare. I had endoscopic discectomy which failed. But, that is another story for another post. Annular tares can definitely cause this type of pain and if nobody has offered to repair it in anyway, I would go for more opinions. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Some women have SI pain after child birth, but the surgeons love to pass the blame on. I am 36 and had L5-S1 fusion at 32. I have had moderately high SI pain since fusion. I see a pain doc. He says it is common for that fusion. It is hard to treat. The cortisone shots help for a few weeks. I have been to PT many times and tried all sorts of alternative exercise programs and therapies without any luck. My post surgery reports show a perfect operation. The neuro surgeon always told me the SI pain was not the fusion. Now, I just laugh.
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