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Really depressed after MRI result... What to do next???

Got my MRI today and i am very depressed. It shows:
"Disc degeneration of moderate degree of severity is noted at L2-L3.This is manifested by narrowing of the disc space and decrease in the signal intensity of the disc. There is also a broad-based disc protrusion at L2-L3 which is due to an associated disc herniation. The herniated disc compresses the thecal sac and compromises more prominently the left exit zone of the spinal canal at that level"

My chiropractor said basically this is never going away and i can only delay the inevitable by doing physical therapy, acupuncture and suction. He said at this stage traction table is useless unless i get the muscle relaxed, and even then i am at the point where the body is used to the narrowing that the traction table wont do any good.

So, should i get a second opinion? There is a chiropractor with a DRX9000, which is much more advanced than the traction table they have here at my current chiropractor. BUT he doesnt take my insurance so its 80 a visit instead of usual 40. Should i see him once and get his opinion or go the current route? Because short of surgery, the only two routes i see are the physical/non machine route and the machine route...




  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,528

    Get a second opinion but from an Orthopedic Surgeon , Neurosurgeon, or Spine Specialist, definitely not from a Chiropractor

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510

    I second Ron's advice, but will add that the Orthopedic Surgeon or Neurosurgeon should specialize in spines.


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  • shaselaisshaselai Posts: 16
    edited 08/22/2018 - 9:00 PM

    Thank you for the recommendation.  But will these doctors push for surgery? I am afraid one side push surgery while the other (chiro) pushes for non surgery.

    For example, two spine neuro sites I visited only have surgery as options even though the offhand mention non surgery procedures but never mention what

  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510

    They may push for surgery, but not necessarily.   Ask questions.  Tell them what you want.  

    Most important, have them walk you through the MRI pictures so that you fully understand what the problem is.  Until then, you can't really make a good decision.


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • It seems i am having trouble posting links... But i found a couple of Ortho centers with Spine specialists, a hospital with a Spine center and another ortho clinic with a hospital directory who is both neuro and spine specialist... I am leaning the neuro spine specialist, then hospital and then the ortho clinic. There were also a couple of other neuro/ortho places but their services are almost exclusively surgery...

    I think if whomever i see suggest non-surgical treatment i might just stick with my current chiropractor since they are very nice and provide good treatment. But if there is a better alternative then i definitely would entertain it. For sure I dont think i need surgery - i am not in excruciating pain, there's soreness on my right side sure and slight numbness on my left shin.

    I also purchased a tempurpedic bed for better back and sleep as well...

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  • shaselaisshaselai Posts: 16
    edited 08/23/2018 - 8:36 AM

    Yep! Scheduled appointment for monday with this guy [edit] in fair oaks VA (check him out if interested).

    He is my first choice since he is both ortho and neuro and focus on spine and focus on non-operative and operative. His practice gets 3*ish reviews, mostly focus on billing issues and scheduling which is annoying but at least not on the doctor's diagnosis themselves.

    Even though he does not do exclusive surgery, i do see a lot of "shots" for non-operative - should i take that chance or still too dangerous at this point? 

    I just remember having carpal tunnel on my left wrist like 15 years ago due to sleep position and saw a doctor, he gave a cortisone shot and pain gone ever since. of course the spine's different, the chiro said even though the shot may help with the pain but the core problem (the herniated disc and the narrowing) doesnt go away. I tend to agree with that statement because if you dont treat the core problem the symptoms will keep coming back...

    Post edited, forum rules prohibit the naming of any specific doctor or medical institute --  Ron DILauro, Forums Manager

  • Hello there! I myself had a "blowout" about 2 months ago, disc herniation, degenerative discs and 3 bulging. I can relate to what you are going through. Problems (to say the least) with my R leg. When i read your post my first flag (like many) was to get a good ortho ASAP which you did so to me thats a step in the right direction. My life has changed in 2 months~ corrective posture, limited to no bending, injections and physical therapy. Last night was the first night i could walk a block (well to be fair...it wasnt a full block). This is massive compared to where i just was. Do NOT give up. I try to listen carefully to my physical therapist and my docs (my spinal fellowship trained doc/surgeon and the one that gives me injections). Everyone is different but this is what I do know: OWN THIS. I do not want it to own me. If i can get an inch with this, i will take a mile (if possible). I am a person of faith so I pray to the Lord to teach me what he wants me to learn in this...and believe it or not...I am listening. I pray you get better & get relief :)

  • Thanks! glad you are recovering!

    Are the injections treating the pain/symptom or the core issue? I am happy it works out for you but if you have to take injections forever there may be unforseen sideeffects, that's what my chiro is preaching.

    I can walk and do everyday activities fine. As i sit here i feel very slight numbness on my shin if i touch it. its not tingling or anything. I do know if i sit on the ground with my left leg stretched out(like about to do stretching), my left leg can feel "numb" quickly. My lower right back still sore but only when i do certain motions (like motion of lying down on the bed or doing a bridge). I definitely dont want it to progress to worse situation... 

    Whatever the ortho/neuro person says on monday should hopefully give me enough info to decide next step....


  • ChooverCChoover Posts: 50
    edited 08/23/2018 - 12:28 PM

    Seems like you are taking some positive steps!!!!! I have had 2 injections so far, and my third is scheduled in 1 week. The are guided epidural injections. The first one overall I did not see results. The second one I think i had about a 10% bump (which was much needed, Ill take that lol). My third is coming up and from what I know it is the last one that I can get. The guided injections can possibly accelerate the "herniated disc" healing process, or in other words help get the "herniated" part off the nerves in the spine. Thats my goal!!! Hope this helps.

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