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In need of advice

lela497llela497 Posts: 17
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi,
For the last 6 months I have been through chiro, PT , Cortisone, Epidural and lots of pain meds.

I have had 2 MRI's with the following results:

L5 S1 herniated

L1 L2 L3 L4 either bulging or pertruded and also one of these is herniated per the last MRI not sure which one yet but the dr feels that is the cause of my pain.

My pain has been burning, numbness up my spine, into my buttocks and ALOT of pain in both of my dimples in my low back. NEVER DOWN MY LEGS.

The MRI shows no nerve pinching.

Across my low back sometimes feels like I got hit with a baseball bat. None of the treatments have helped with any of my pain. Although the pain meds do give me about 80% less pain I can not do anything while taking these as they give me all kinds of side effects.

My dr said that he wants to do a discography to be positive of which disc is causing the pain. He gave me 2 options after that which are:

1. Fushion surgery 2. Live with it

I have had alot of stress since than trying to determine what is best for me to do. Most of what I read here is about leg pain which I have never had so I am concerned with what is right for me.

Any advice is very much appreciated as I am almost in tears here. I don't know what to do.
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1

Comments

  • hi lela497, welcome to spine-health. i'm sorry you are in pain and worrying. i don't know if you are aware of this, but stress can really add to our pain levels. you are here with a group of folks, most of who are either going through the same or pretty similiar pain situation(s) as yourself. in other words, you are not alone and you can find the much needed support to help you understand your situation ..or at the very least, help you as you work your way through it all. there is a lot of information on your symptoms and though it might not ease your pain, finding answers and understanding can help a lot on the way to getting there.

    understanding our pain and symptoms can often help us alleviate our fears and minimize our stress.

    https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/lower-back-pain/lower-back-pain-symptoms-and-treatment-options
  • Thanks Robin
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  • Hi and >:D< welcome to the Board. >:D< Once the discogram is done you should get a second opinion. Spine surgery isd not something to jump into, although in most cases surgery is successful. But as with any operation, there are risks, and there's something else to consider as well: physical therapy, which in a lot of cases is also successful. Do think about that before deciding on surgery (although I'm not a doctor, but PT is usually tried first). In my case, in early December I was advised to undergo a fusion, largely b/c of what at the time was severe scoliosis (I also had three herniated disks, the worst of which was at L4-5, and spondylolisthesis at the same level). I opted for PT instead, and boy oh boy, my pain has greatly improved and the curvature is better, which means no fusion for me (sorry, doc!). Best wishes and keep us posted.
  • Thank you essmoe
  • Welcome and I also am sorry for your pain. As one that has gone through 2 fusions now, on the levels you are talking about, I can tell you after the discogram, get at least another opinion. Depending on the level the problem is at, you can have several different tpes of approaches to fusion. Some more invasive than others, Most insurance co will make you try PT and other things before fusion, unless it is something that will not help. I went with an Ortho at a Spine Clinic the last time, and had it minimally invasive surgery on L2-3-4. It was alot easier than the 1st one that was a PLIF of L 4-5 and S1. Good Luck, Discograms are not as bad as some make them out to be. I have had 3, and they really can pinpoint the problem. I am finally feeling good after 5 years of dealing with trying to figure it out! PM me with any questions, I will be happy to help in any way...
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  • If not, I suggest finding one. He/she will probably be able to offer you some less invasive options. Right now, my pain doc and I are talking about my having a spinal cord stimulator installed, which is an outpatient procedure, and much less risky than surgery. The stimulator is supposed to replace the pain signals to the brain with electrical signals, and apparently it works well for many people. There is also a pain pump that can be surgically installed, which delivers medicine directly to the spinal cord, and which also seems much less risky than open back surgery.

    I had a fusion in 2008, and for me, it was a mistake. From what I've read, people should only have a fusion if a nerve is impinged, which doesn't seem to be the case for you. My advice is to consider all other options first.
  • EDITED

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    Post Edited by Moderator haglandc
  • I'm sorry I could not be more helpful, but we are patients too and not Drs or radiologists. We are not even permitted to try to decipher your MRIs for you. Only you know what is best for you, and like you said, "I am concerned with what is right for me."

    We care and offer opinions and advise (or is it advice, I always get those two mixed up), but anything more well..we just don't do that, but we do try.
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