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24 Year-Old Ex-Athlete, L4/L5,L5/S1 DDD, Slight Bulge w/ Sciatica and Sexual Dysfunction

raecarruthrraecarruth Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in New Member Introductions
Hey, I'm Rae, a long-time lurker and first-time poster. I have actually already PM'd and been in conversation with a number of posters on this site but am ready to make my first post and hear any possible feedback.

Here is a link to my blog with comprehensive history and dozens of pictures of my MRI's, X-Rays, and Brain Scans, detailing most of my body except my Thorasic Spine, please check it out here for my story or at least for the pics: http://manvsspine.blogspot.com/

Here is a timeline of the gist of the story for those that don't want to read through my blog (though I do encourage you to check out the pictures)

Summer 2009: Running 3 times a day for sport, lifting and swimming. Throw out back twice lifting, go to Doctor who tells me it's just a back pull and hamstring pull, PT is ordered.

Fall 2009: Lower back and leg pain become severe and shooting, to the point where I'm limping everywhere and can no longer run, but can walk certain distances and jog a bit

Winter 2009/2010: I am experiencing sudden onset SEVERE tailbone pain when I sit, I'd actually throw this up in the 7 region, whereas my back and leg are at a constant 5-6 low level pain high level discomfort. Back injections and oral steroids are ordered.

Spring 2010: I am in the worst pain I've been in leg-wise so far, more injections and PT ordered. The pain is shooting and sharp into my CALF now...

Summer 2010: I am ordered a second round of oral steroids, my tailbone pain slowly disappears into a numbing sensation when I sit and at the same time I start to experience strange sexual dysfunction like the lack of morning wood, random erections and about 75% overall rigity.

Fall 2010: I notice neck, shoulder, facial, and arm pain into my fingertips. I am put on Neurontin max dose which does not help. My light lifting routine has become impossible, and I only engage in light swimming and PT at this point. Sexual dysfunction worsening. Multiple EMGs have shown no nerve damage for some mysterious reason in both arm and leg.

Winter 2010/2011: My arm pain has become very severe with tingling and severe bicep pain, it has become impossible to lift upper body now as well. the Leg pain has evened out and I am able to go on short walks. However, I am experiencing central back pain now and fight sitting extremely uncomfortable. My sexual dysfunction is so bad I cannot penetrate even with Cialis, my glans and underside can balloon up but just die out immediately, my side cavernosa still mostly harden. More injections with no help. A cyst is found in my pelvis, though the doctor isn't sure if this is causing the problem and doesn't want to operate despite my almost complete lack of any sexual function whatsoever and believes operating would be too "tricky" anyway.

Spring 2011: Still on daily and as needed Cialis, while sexual pain is worsening. Pain while climaxing through penis and in saddle, feels like there is an object in my saddle region. Amitytriptyline prescribed for facial/neck/arm pain with no help.

Current Assessment: Doctors have (I believe rightly) advised against a fusion and can only see severe DDD at L4/L5 with a minor bulge, and DDD at L5/S1. They have also spotted that I have one extra vertabrae (not unusual) and a longer than normal tailbone which typically is not unusual either and doesn't give people problems. There has only been a small bulge and tightened muscles detected in the neck but nothing has been prescribed for treating that besides "deal with it". I often experience a tingling sensation and lack of tacticle or touch sensation in the penis now, and do not know why. It could be from the cyst or my increasing thorasic pain, which an MRI has just been ordered for.

What I don't understand is why doctor's wont perform a disectomy or lamenectomy on my L4/L5 where there is a clear minor bulge. They said the bulge has to be bigger but if I'm in such severe pain why not at least try it? The only thing that has even been suggested is more shots (ineffective) and maybe considering ADR which I do not think I am ready for. What do you think?

Current Pain Level: 5-6 (high discomfort/low pain when inactive, I could easily deal with never working out again as long as I got my sexual dysfunction dealt with)

Thanks for your help!


  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can.so glad you stopped in!! i am sorry you are in pain and not getting any relief.if you are unhappy with this doctor's care, see another for a second opinion.it is always a good ideas to get a second opinion anway.. the more information you have, the better treatment you can recieve..it just may be that your condition is not one that can be cured with surgery.. this is difficult to accept but does happen... good luck to you! stop by the forum anytime! Jenny :)
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