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Central disc protrusion l5 S1



  • Hi Dave,

    I’m also in Canada and has a bulge at L5-S1. It took 4 months to get a CT scan to know what the issue was. At about the 6 month mark, I was unable to walk or sit for longer than a minute or two. I tried lots of treatments and finally I went to the emergency as I had enough. From that, I got referred to a surgeon. I followed up and got an appointment in a month and a surgery date in 4 months. Luckily I got started to get better at the 8 month mark and didn’t need surgery and now after 2 years since I first felt pain, I am about 98% well. Try different things as they may help and I hope you find relief soon! 

  • @Violet : I’m glad it worked out for you.Yeah it’s kind of hard to get a referal up here in Canada,you basically have to beg for it or not be able to walk.

    I will ask my GP one more time for a referal and if I can’t get it I will go to the emergency clinic or hospital and see if my chances are better there.

    Hopefully everything goes well.

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  • Dave, 

    Often a disc protrusion will heal and recede over time. As Dilaurio mentioned, nerve impingement and sciatica symptoms is usually an indication for surgery to prevent nerve damage, but it varies by country. Six weeks of worsening symptoms with conservative treatment is one guideline I've read, but unless you have muscle atrophy Canadian docs won't do surgery and fusion is the standard treatment.

    You can send your MRI to surgeons out of country for a timely second opinion, some charge a fee and some don't. My L5/S1 protrusion didn't respond to my neurosurgeon's advice to lose weight ( @ 145 lbs  I didn't think I was fat, but I'm not a doctor). After it developed a tear and after 3 months of worsening symptoms I decided to have disc replacement abroad. You may not need surgery, but getting another opinion and having another option might be worthwhile at this stage. Good luck.

  • @Dave1984 keep pushing the doctors if you don't feel you are getting the care you need, or go to another one.  As a result of my situation, I changed doctors as it shouldn't have taken 4 months of pain and not being able to walk to diagnose me! My sister had sciatica and her symptoms were different but her doctor treated her quickly and she was healed by 4 months while it took me almost a year! Take care!

  • @ronb: I will try to get my doctor to give me a referral again,if not I'll try to change doctors.If not I'll try looking for a doctor overseas to look at MRI.Are the fees expensive?

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  • @Violet: Yes,doctors treat you  like a child sometimes,like you don't know what your talking about.It doesn't take a degree to know when your body is telling you when something is wrong.I just hope I can get the help soon enough.

  • Dave

     I paid nothing for my MRI consult, but it can cost up to ~$500. Your current GP might be more willing to refer if you had an expert second opinion, which might uncover an annular tear, torn ligament or sciatic nerve inflammation. If you are in Ontario there are back pain triage centres that your GP could refer you to - search ISAEC.

    Failing that, it may take you awhile to select from the long list of GP's clamoring to take on a back pain patient. In the meantime, you could contact the records dept. where you had your MRI and request a copy, as it can take a week or more to process. Expect 2 to 6 weeks to obtain a consult from another country. 

    Hopefully you will be improving by then. Central protrusions can heal, but will always be a weak spot. You mentioned you reinjured your back. Have you tried physiotherapy? I found the Mackenzie back extensions helpful in reducing the sciatica flareups, but obviously wasn't a cure for me. Ice and anti-inflammatories helped too. The goal is to keep the nerve happy while allowing the disc to heal. If 1984 is your birthdate you have age on your side. Talk to your GP about treatments, and try to get a bit of aerobic exercise everyday. Your nerves will thank you for the increased blood flow. 

  • @Dave1984 I tried acupuncture twice, IMS, 3 different PTs, and when I was at my most desperate, I contacted a private hospital in Vancouver that could do a microD surgery sooner and was willing to pay.  I became depressed.  I'm glad you are pushing doctors and advocating for yourself like I did not.  We only have one body and we know it better than anyone else.

  • Dave1984DDave1984 Posts: 11
    edited 01/09/2019 - 4:20 PM

    @ Ronb:

    Thanks for that explanation.I checked out that ISAEC program you mentioned in your post, and it seems your GP has to be enrolled in the program to be accepted, but I could always ask my GP.

    I did request a copy of my MRI report and images,the day I did my MRI, and got it through my email, where you sign into a database,where you see your results and can download them. It’s called “PocketHealth”.I could send this off to another back specialist in another country,and get an opinion. Do you know of any?

    I have not tried physiotherapy for this recent relapse, because It did trigger my sciatica symptoms when I tried doing the mckenzie,bird dog, amd other stretches,so I have been fearful to go to physio or even a chiro. I don’t want to make it worse.I heard walking everyday is good for bloodflow to the area,so I will try to walk everyday.

    I hope I can get some expert advice soon from a specialist though,who can look over my MRI.

    In the meantime I hope I can recover soon,

  • @Violet 

    How much do microD surgeries go for usually?

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