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15 yo daughter with herniation

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:27 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi All (especially parents,
I am having a very hard time with seeing my daughter in pain. Her herniation is at L5-S1 and, according to the MRI and the neurosurgeon/radiologist, is a minor one that would not benefit from surgery. However, her symptoms do not reconcile with the imaging findings. She has numbness, hip achiness and pain, especially to the left side, and of course, the lower back pain. She takes pain meds (OTC) EVERY day - I worry about her liver/kidney and the wear and tear due to drug metabolism. Plus she is so uncomfortable and if we have a couple of good days, we know that it will last for only 1-2. On top of that she cannot get comfortable sitting in school desks all day and lugging around that ridiculous backpack. I did get a second set of books for home and each topic text placed in the respective classrooms, but there are still the heavy notebooks, etc.....And she will have to deal with hard desks and long term sitting for all of HS and college, and then some. She could not engage in sports for fall or winter, and is so much looking forward to playing on the HS tennis team, which I dread as it starts in March. She thinks she'll be able to practice 5x a week and do matches. I'm so afraid. But when we talk about it she sobs and says she will die if she cannot play as she is an excellent player. I do not want her to get depressed by ripping everything away from her. I had to have her stop running on the pavement, which had helped her lose weight and gain self-esteem. She loved the sport - but it is impossible for her to do that now. I just can't get a grip on things and I know it is obvious to her, which makes it, undoubtedly, harder for her and more fearful. How do you deal with it? We are going to another doc, an orthopedic guy who came highly recommended by our pediatrician, who does well with kids, apparently. Just needed to vent and hear back from another parent. I would take away her pain and have it myself 10x over if I could...


  • Has your daughter been sent to physical therapy where she can be taught to strengthen her core muscles? Just being active and running, many times allows a person to ignore that. Running on grass or on a treadmill takes a lot of the impact away from running and still allows a person to run. If she is as motivated as it seems, then she would probably do well working with a physical therapist.

    Sorry for your frustration.

  • I have very similar syptom to your daughters, though I am 36 years old. In addition to L5-S1, I had L3-L4 and L4-L5. The neuosurgent said he could not do anything because the MRI showed minor bulging. He recommended physical therapy but it did not help.

    I went to New York City several days ago to see a doctor for laser surgery for lower back pain and he said he can treat me with 89% sucess rate. I am also planning to go to Florida to see laser doctors there. Laser surgery is conservative and I think it may be good for the people with minor disc bulging issue. I am a scientist and the lower back pain and hip pain, even the foot numbness bother me so much because I need to sit. I got frustrated a lot of times because I could not do a lot of things as ususal. I have this problem for 15 months. Things are getting worse if you do not take care of it.

    I do not like to take pain killer. My rationalization is that after taking the pain killer, you do not feel pain and you do things you should not do, and then you hurt you hurt yourself more. I take some pain killer in evening.

    I will let you know if I find out a good solutions. I understand you and your daughter's frustration.
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  • but mine was from lifting, L4-5 and L5-S1--L5 Compression not bad enough for surgery,but bad enough to make my life misable, I had no surgery, but taken into account your daughter is so young , I can understand why,surgery is not always the answer, and no guanatees, open back surgery is a big thing- surgery has very low success rate , so be careful
    your decision will have a major inpact on her life
    I would try Pt and pain killers first--most Dr will tell you that as well, and it does take time, I amg going on eleven months and doing much better as time passes, but again I am much older

    Good luck, but remember she has her age on her side
  • Maybe a pain specialist could help her. NOt by nessasarily medicine, but maybe a tens unit. That is what a friend of mine used for almost a year while hs severe herniation healed. Just a thought.
  • I agree with the other posts, just wanted to offer a couple suggestions for sitting in class. I had a tough time in college as I had a herniation in the same place. My herniation occurred when I was 17. A couple things that helped (if she's comfortable doing this) was having an extra chair to put my sorest leg up on and using a lumbar pillow or even a regular pillow to lean against. The former could be arranged with the office. Also, if she needs to, being able to stand up to have a break from sitting helps. Of course, this may be embarrassing for her in high school, so it depends on how comfortable she feels with this. She could have someone help her carry books, or try "hugging" them close to her chest to keep the weight close to her body. Good luck to you and your daughter.

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