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Input appreciated

wally2wwally2 Posts: 75
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am curious as to what you-all might think of any possible future treatment I may be headed for. I had a herniated lumber disk approx. 12 years ago and recently re-injured it at work along with a cervicla disk impingement. The cervicle issue was fixed with a fusion in Feb 2008, but I sustained a horrible small annuler tear in the lumbar disk while recovering from the neck surgery.

By horrible, I mean the disk released massive amounts of irritant into my spinal canal causing my spine to move and become temporaraly curved (It's called Temporary Painful Scoliosis). I was not able to take or receive any anti-inflammatory medicane due to my neck still fusing so it took about 12 weeks for the pain to become manageable. My spine has pretty much moved back into place and the pain is low after my first lumbar injection.

First concern - My spine surgeon stated surgery wasn't being planned because I still have most of my disk except for a little bit of thinning, but the PM doctor stated surgery might happen if the epidurals don't help. This is confusing. I have already completed twelve weeks of PT so far this year

Second concern - I have been told the disk has a small annular tear causing the bulk of the pain. My spine surgeon stated it should heal enough within 18 months to get back most of my pre-herniation abilitys. Do you all think the same way or do you think it's going to progress into needing back surgery?

I still can only lift about 10 pounds max. and can't lean over hardly. I definatly can't twist at all and can work ok if I don't sit or stand for long periods of time.



  • I would go for conservative, injections first. I'm doing the injections I've been off work since February and still waiting for the tear to fix. Of course you should get a second opinion if you want surgery sooner. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • sorry that you have pain :''( . Surgeons dont like to do surgery unless its necessary #:S , so by them wanting to do an epidural they have to try every option before they put you under the knife :SS .They will also send you to PT :) .
    When all else fails, thats when they will operate :SS . I dont have an annular tear so i dont know what other surgical treatments are available :S , you will have to ask your orthopedic surgeon that question :) . Sorry i cant be of more help to you :O . Keep us posted >:D< !

    Angie x :H
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  • My experience is that nothing helped me, shots, heat, TENS unit, Celebrex, rest, PT, back brace. I had a grade 3 tear and ended up having Anterior fusion on L4/L5 where the tear was. My NS removed the whole disc and replaced it with titanium threaded screws filled with protein to help fusion. That was July. So far, I still have not fused and still in the same pain, sometimes worse, than before surgery.

    You should try a few more shots and try wearing a brace to see if decreasing the inflammation and motion help with your pain. PT only teaches you the correct ways to move and exercises your stomach and low back muscles to relieve pain. I tried the chiropractor too and the decompression machine he had, but that didn't help either.

    My problems may be different due to the DDD and arthritis I have. My discs are dried out and not healthy enough to heal up.

    Did the shot you got a few weeks ago help at all????
  • The shot I received two weeks ago did eliminate the severe pain for now and that left me able to function pretty good as far as office work, walking etc. I believe they will set me up for another shot as I had about 50% improvement. I just wonder if the shots will allow the disk tear to heal a little over time without the severe pain coming back. Again, my spine specialist is in no hurry to do any surgery. Thanks for the reply.
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