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How is thecal sac compression treated

winkerwwinker Posts: 18
edited 01/02/2016 - 7:15 AM in Lower Back Pain
My husband had a hemilaminectomy in january and a laminectomy in july and now is worse than ever. We just had another mri done and found out today that there is compression to the thecal sac (which was never mentioned before other surgeries) and l4 bulge.

What can be done about the thecal sac. Before getting the mri the doctor suggested pain pump or stimulator for pain. We insisted on another mri to make sure something else had not happened.


  • My Thecal sac always had a lot of scar tissue develop around it after the surgeries and my surgeon always had to free it during the next surgery. I don't know any other way of releasing it. What is he experiencing now that he wasn't before? Have you considered a second opinion?
  • He is experiencing left sided leg pain and numbness which was present before the first surgery but resolved until after the second surgery and has been there ever since. Both surgeries provided relief from back pain for several months and then began to become unbearable again. He is on 175 mcc fentanyl pain patch (which is a lot of pain med). He was half way off this time around when he started having horrible pain and had to go up on the patch. It is very hard to wean off of the patch, but he did do it last time after cutting down gradually over the course of 3 months. I called the Mayo Clinic (I live in Minnesota) and was told that for back issues the wait is one year.
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  • If you think the Mayo is the way to go get on the schedule. You can keep trying other things but at least get an appt.
    I have the numbing and pain on my left side but mainly my foot, but mine wasn't there until I woke up. Scar tissue is a big thing with me and may be his issue too. I kept feeling like things were pulling weird in my back and they were cause they were scarred down and not free to move.
    I have acupuncture twice a week to help with my healing. Is he open to anything on that order?
    The important thing is don't give up. Keep looking for answers and trust your instinct. The right person will come along to help when the timing is right.
  • I contacted the MayoClinic in Phoenix,AZ last year(I live in AZ). I spoke to a nurse for the spine dept appt desk. I had to get films(not a disk)of my most recent MRI and mail those to them. They have a panel of doctors that review and discuss cases every other thursday . Then decide if you are a candidate for them. That is how they handled it here. I did it for a second opinion. They said I was not a candidate at that time. That was really depressing. I was lucky that I was able to talk to a person that know what she was doing when answering the phone for such a big place. Call just to find out what you can.
  • Below the L1-2 level the spinal cord stops and below that level, it is the thecal sac that protects the nerves as they run down the remainder of the spine and form what is called the "cauda equina." It looks like your husband has a new bulge of the disc at L4-5. It is this bulge (think of the side of a water balloon pressing out when the opposite side is squished) that is pressing into the thecal sac. This in turn presses on the nerve root that is running through the thecal sac which results in the pain your husband feels in his leg.

    The solution would be to take care of the disc bulge. Either it could heal on its own or it might require surgery. Then the thecal sac would no longer have something pushing against it, the nerve would no longer be compressed and hopefully, the leg pain and numbness would subside.

    There are some very good spinal specialists in the Twin Cities. You don't have to go to the Mayo Clinic to find a great surgeon in Minnesota!

    Hope your husband starts to feel better in the near future.

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  • anilkumar_sbsaanilkumar_sbs Posts: 1
    edited 01/02/2016 - 4:00 AM
    what is the name of the disease @Gwennie for the symptoms you said above because my Father is facing the same issue after looking into MRI scan.

    This is a very old thread, the member you have asked is no longer a member

    I suggest you Creating a new thread
    For helpful information please click on link
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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator
  • audis3aaudis3 Posts: 17
    edited 01/02/2016 - 7:15 AM
    I have leg pain and my MRI says I have a disc that is pressing on the thecal sac and nerve root impingiment. I have had this for some time now but my pain is getting worse. Can this be sorted with surgery ? As I have never been offered it.

    This is a very old thread,the original poster and others have not been on the forum for more than 3 years
    Liz -Spine-health Moderator
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