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In Pain going Insane Spinal Stenosis...Arthritis..Degenerative Disc Diease....someone help me out he

prayerewindpprayerewind Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease

I am looking for some answers and input on anyone that has been told they have at least on of these conditions. Here is my story,

I am now a 52 year old male ( always been a male...smiling ) and have had chronic back pain since I was in my late teens. I worked running heavy equipment in coal mining above ground strip mines for 6 years and spent 11 years working in a western Pennsylvania underground coal mine for 11 years. Due to buldging disc/protruded disc/ herinated disc ( depending on who would read my MRI scan at that time ) I have had off and on pain in my 20's to almost constant pain now. I have been off work for 10 years due to spinal stenosis/arthritis/degenerative Disc Diease, depending on what Dr. I asked that week. I have had nerve blocks, epidurals and many trigger point injections 0ver 250 single shots up to 30 at one time) in the past 25 years, especially in the last 10. I am treated at a pain clinic every 6 months with epidurals either in my cervical, thoractic or lumbar spine. I just seen a surgeon today hoping he could finally operate on my lower back due to 50 % leg pain and 50 % back pain. He refused until I have 90 % leg pain and 10 % back pain. Here is my last MRI report:
there is mild degenerative narrowing and desiccation of the disc at L-3-4 through L5- S1. Posterior bulging of the disc is present at these levels along with posterior endplate spur formation. The prominet left posterlateral buldging disc at L4-5. The prior degererative findings in 2008 is no longer idenified with a L4-L5 herniated disc. ( where id it go ? ) . There is mild narrowing of the neural foramina inferiorly at L3-4 and L4-5. L5-S1 there is degenerative there is degenerative hypertrophy of the facet joints in combination with DDD resuktibng in a mild degree of bilateral forminal narrowing. Degenerative posterior element hyperthrophy is present at L3-4 and L4-5. At L4-5 level there is triangular and circumferential narrowing of the thecal sac resulting form degenterative findings also monderate left lateral recess and right lateral recess narrowing noted at L4-5.

The best surgeon in the area told me today although I have hip pain that wakes me up every 4 hours at night,some left and mostly right leg pain al the way down to the bottom of my feet with burning hip pain at night or when I sit to long. Not to mention it takes two hands grabing to the side of the bed in the moring to drag myself up out of bed. I have had my feet just give out on me when standing in one position to long and if I have nothing to grab onto, I will go down to the ground. On top of this I have DDD throughout my cerviacl spine with buldged disc and a protruded disc at T1-C7. Throw in weekly migrane headaches with that mix.

My question is, is there anyone else out there that cant find a doctor to operate on them with any conditions the same as above. I was told today that a morphine pump placed in my spine may help and I decided not to go that route at this time.

Anyone that would like to share any sinmilar experiences with me would be appreaciated. Also any relief found in treatments would be great. Doctor told me today I have arthritis and even a spinal fusion would work for me. Please share your thoughts, looking forward to hearing from you !
Best Wishes,
Prayer E Wind


  • Unfortunately, you will find many in your shoes. Many back problems are just not easily fixable through surgery- the spine is a complex system, and repairing degeneration while maintaining function is something the medical establishment is still working on.

    Many people assume that being told they are not a surgical candidate means that the doctor underestimates their pain. I think it's sad that more doctors aren't more blunt in saying "we aren't very good at fixing this."

    Have you had a few opinions? Sometimes what one doctor doesn't feel comfortable fixing, another doctor is. That's my situation- my former surgeon was not comfortable going in, while my current surgeon is not comfortable leaving it be. I'll be having surgery 3 week from today!

  • I'm in pretty much the same situation. I have multiple issues in my lower cervical and upper thoracic. They can even pinpoint alot of the pain coming from the same spot they operated on before.

    I have been told everything from do nothing to lets fuse 5 levels and see what happens. Unfortunately unless there is a specific thing that they can relate to the pain or numbness a reputable doctor won't operate. And even when they do sometimes the surgery makes you worse.

    Be happy that you have doctors who are being honest and realistic. Many aren't. Check out some of the posts about the pain pumps. They aren't a fix but many people seem to have very good results.
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  • I am in a similar situation as you. I am not a candidate for surgery, until I cannot walk.

    At this point, it is just about pain control and that means for myself, learning about all kinds of ways to drop the stress, and therefore the pain. I also use meds, but they are down near the bottom of my daily use and action plan.

    I too have experienced this for almost 3 decades.

    Do read up here. There are good resources to explain how to help your situation.

  • Prayer, I've had some of your problems, declined surgery and decided on Prolotherapy. I've done very well with Prolo and doubt I'll be needing surgery.
    Before you get into surgery you might want to check this treatment method out, it's safe and natural.
    You can search youtube on "Prolotherapy Lecture" for more info. Then PM me for more links and info if you wish.
    Good Luck

  • Hi Prayer :wave:

    I am sorry for all you have been and are going through :(

    Hopefully this site will help you as it has me weed my way through this very confusing world we are now forced to live in. :)

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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  • Thank you for my first reply. Good luck with your upcoming surgery. I wish you the best. Looks like you have really done your homework and found someone that can help.

    Best Wishes !
  • Thanks for your reply and support ! As you mentioned, my surgeon yesterday also remarked the day I can't walk anymore, if I get to that point, give him a call.
    Doctor did recommend having a spinal morphine pump placed into the spine, but for now I have declined.

    I was very fortunate over the summer with many good days and helped my son out with a lawn care business. I have found, probably like many others, the more active I stay, the better I feel. Then their are times when flare ups inter fear and thats were I have been most days for the last 3 months.

    I started seeing a Holistic Healer/Chiropractor and had great success with being able to help out with the stenosis in my cervical and thoractic.

    I have a brother that is 44 now.He complained about lower back pain and consent legpain for three six months seeing two differnt surgeons until he found the one I visited yesterday. I had such High Hopes he would be able to help me also. Hopefully this 3 month flare up will soon cease and I will be off to a much better 2011.

    Thanks for your reply and best wishes !
  • Thanks for your reply and your comment on pain pumps. My surgeon yesterday did mention a morphine pump may be helpful.

    Best Wishes !
  • Thanks for the information Prolotherapy. I will check out the linked.

    Best Wishes,
  • Thanks for your reply and support. Our situations sound familiar. I also have had three knee operations in last 6 years. I have found that the chicken comb injections with hydroloric acid have really help my knee's out. I get injections into each knee 1-2 year. I can go from not being able to walk up steps to being able to walk a mile with no knee pain. I also have been trying an over the counter produck called Baxyl. You can find in t some GNC stores.

    Best Wishes !
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