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Hi From NJ: My Story..Looking for Thoughts

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,082
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi My name is Angela. I am 37 and living in NJ with husband and 12 year old son. I am glad I found this site with lots of valuable information but especially this forum since I really could use the support.

My back issues started in 2002 and at that time I went for PM and got three epidurals that worked for about a year. Then after a move to CT and a new job, the pain started coming back. So I tried Chiro. It worked for quite awhile (about a year) and then got real bad real fast. New MRI indicated a herniation at L5/S1 and surgery was thought to be best option. Had a laminectomy in 12/05. Recovery was good PT, etc and I did really well with occasional sciatica up until this past December 07. Went to non-surgical back specialist and had another MRI which indicated scar tissue (which my surgeon had already told me was the reason I had occassional sciatica over the previous two years since the surgery) and a re-herniation in the same area! So, the new guy suggested a series of 3 epis and PT. Worked well enough but still needed naprosyn occas. and he also had me taking tizandine to relax the muscles around the herniated. I was okay up until June when I started with achy back (which as an aside I didn't have in the past.was always just sciatica) off and on. Then about a month ago (late July) I could barely bend over..and two weeks ago I had such bad pain in my back and buttocks I kept waking up all night and started taking pain meds. Went to Dr. and saw a partner in the office (after having to take off work due to pain) and he gave me a shot in the butt. It didn't do a thing and called my regular guy who scheduled me for an epi. I had two (one at L5 and one at S1) on Friday August 29th with minimal relief..but it worked really well in the butt area and my back pain is gone but now my sciatcia is back. Then this Friday I work up with searing pains in my calf and aches in the top of my legs and butt. Took Oxy and finally after an hour fell asleep on the floor (too much pain in the bed). In the morning I started taking my husband's darvocet (since my pain med is all gone..never got a new script since I didn't need it)..every four hours with Tizandine and naprosyn twice a day and getting barely any relief. I am laying on the floor mostly. Having horrible tingling and numbness in foot and calf when I sit..etc. etc. etc.

Sorry this is so long but I know all of you will understand because no one else in my life (although supportive) really does! I am so scared that I have to get surgery again and the impact on my work and my life that this back problem is causing me. I am seeing the non-surgical back specialist again tomorrow and want to come super prepared with questions..etc. about what to do next. Any thoughts from all of you would be greatly appreciated?

Angela :|


  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you suppport and answer what questions we can. i hope you find some comfort here from like minded people. feel better soon. Jenny :)
  • Dear Angela,

    I hope you can find a good doctor to help you. This forum does offer support. It has helped me to know I am not the only one and has gotten me to think about questions to ask my dorctor. And, of couse it is good to have a nice word from other people that understand. I wish you the best. My pain started opposite of yours. First back pain for years now sciatica. I finally decided it was too much and got the MRI and will have the laminectomy and discectomy. I have a herniation at L4-5.
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  • I am so orry to hear what you are going through. I do know that there are several members here that deal with the pain from scar tissue. To the best of my knowledge their only option has been long acting pain meds such as opiates. I had a failed microD back in Dec 07 and I am on methadone which really works quite well. Sorry that I do not have any other suggestions for you but maybe someone else will come along that does. Glad that you found us and we will always be here to support you. Please keep us posted with your progress.
  • Perhaps it is time for a new MRI. Have you been told you are not a surgical candidate due to the scar tissue? Perhaps a second opinion from an OS or NS spine surgeon is in order. Good luck with your appointment, Sue
  • Thanks so much for all your comments. It is so great to "talk" to other people that really understand.

    Cali-Sue, I agree ti is time for me to ask for another MRI or to be referred to the surgeon. How did all of you decide to go to Neuro or Ortho? Also should I call my former surgeon, even though he is another state, to get a second opinion?

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  • I am fairly new to this site also but I have already gotten some much needed help and encouragement. I have scar tissue at the S-1 nerve root after having back surg in 2002. My pain is primarily in my left lower leg and more intense in the foot. It is a combination of stinging, burning, stabbing and hypersensitivity. I had an epidural injection about a month ago with no help and my PM dr. is recommending a Spinal Cord Stimulator. I hope that you are able to get some relief without having to have any further surgery. A neurosurgeon did my surgery at the recommendation of my neurologist (I also have Multiple Sclerosis)
    Nice to "meet" you, Saima
  • Hi All,

    Well I saw the Dr. tonight after three nights sleeping on the floor. He put me on Lyrica, and a steriodal pack. I will also continue my Naprosyn, Tazanidine and oxy. God that sounds bad! He also scheduled me for a consult to talk to one of his colleagues about an endoscopic discetomy. Any experience here? I figure i will see what he has to say and then make a decision. I do agree with him that another epi shot probably isn't going to make a difference and I know PT is a waste of time (ok..a fix but not going to solve the problem).

    thanks again.

  • Hi All,

    Went to see pain management surgeon today. Going to schedule a laser hardening of my two bad discs. See how it goes for a month and then probably get the endoscopic discectomy. I can't believe how much time is cut off the recovery. With my laminectomy I was off for six weeks. This time it should be a couple days with the lazer and a week with the endoscopic. Any of you had these procedures done?

  • angela- I have not heard of laser disc hardening and I am curious about this procedure. A 2 day recovery sounds good.. :) jade
  • I will let you know how it goes. It is scheduled for October 7th. I can't find any information on the internet. But it is supposed to help so that i don't re-herniate again..so I am probably going to end up with a endoscopic microD about a month after this procedure to clean up that mess and see what happens in the future.
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