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In a lot of pain, a little help?

Hi everyone, my name is Thomas, I am 17 and a few months ago I had a slip and fall and have been in pain ever since and it's getting progressively worse. I've been through almost all conservative options already, except the next thing, epidural injections. None of have had any lasting help and after the first treratment, every other one just makes the pain come back even worse. I haven't really been diagnosed other than my doctor telling me the MRI I had shows I have three herniated discs at L3-L4, L4-L5 and L5-S1. I do think I have sciatica as well as the pain in my thigh, the back of leg( feels like my hamstring) all the way down my calf and either over the top of my foot or under it, only once did it affect my entire foot. The feelings are anywhere from tingling/numbness to extreme stabbing/sharp pain.
If anyone can help me get a better idea of what this means, I'd appreciate it. Here's the observations of my MRI:

L3-L4: There is disc desiccation and a posterior bulge with a superimposed 3-4mm broad based central protrusion which indents the thecal sac and causes moderate spinal canal stenosis (AP dimension of thecal sac = 6mm). No significant neural foraminal narrowing is noted. There is fissuring of the posterior portion of the annulus. There is mild narrowing of the lateral recesses.

L4-L5: There is disc desiccation and a 7mm broad based central protrusion which causes severe spinal canal stenosis (AP dimension of thecal sac = 4 mm) and severe left greater than right narrowing of the lateral recesses. No significant neural foraminal narrowing is seen.

L5-S1: There is disc desiccation, a 4 mm broad based posterior protrusion with associated annular fissuring, and mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. No significant spinal canal stenosis is present. The AP dimension of the thecal sac measures 10 mm.

Again, if any one can help to better understand what any of this means I'll be truly greatful. Thank you.

Also, the date of injury was 3/31/12 and this MRI was done on 4/12/12 and my pain has become at least 5 times as bad.


  • Again, any help is appreciated.. I would really like to know what other options I have, I am only 17 and this is no way to live the rest of my life
  • Anything moderate on the MRI for sure you will need to see an Orthopedic Surgeon or Neurosurgeon soon. I hope you can get to see the Surgeon soon. Are you saying you had the MRI done in April? Just wondering. 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
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  • Hi Thomas,

    Sorry to hear you are in so much pain and so young too! I am a young adult and started having nerve issues when I was 16 or so, so I can relate to you! It is really tough to have to go through all that while you're still growing and finding your place in the world and want to go out and have fun with your friends, but hopefully things look up for you!

    I have sciatica in my legs as well, due to what my doctors think is a compressed nerve, though I am not sure of the location of the compression yet and am waiting on an MRI for that, hopefully soon. For you, perhaps the herniated discs are causing your sciatica as I have heard herniated discs can pinch on root nerves in the lumbar spine, causing nerve issues.

    Has your doctor suggested where you can go from here? A next treatment plan?

    Good luck!
  • Hi, Sure hope you have found lots of help by this date. I just joined after having read my MRI of the lumbar region. Many of the same issues Had a long drawn out Slip and Fall case in which I only addressed knee damage, Wish I had known that the charlie horses in my legs were so significant for Lumbar problems, I think I learned from my mystake, Always do research when not satisfied with the physician findings. I have many additional changes in my spine since the fall which inclued the pressed area of the thecal sack, I won the case in a mediation. No intention to re-open the case at this time. Sounds like you are on the right track with your back problems.

    Being a nurse does not always help the nurse. One is always so wrapped up emotionally it is hard to be objective about oneself. So I am here looking for a good doctor and the right treatment. I just know that surgery is my last resort. There are many non-invasive treatments. I hope you found an excellent doctor who recommends a safe and successful treatment plan for you. I an planning on starting with a physiatrist.

    I hope you are in a lot less pain. I am sellecting a physician strickly from this site. No word of mouth available in this neck of the woods in Pasco. Of course my insurance network is important too. If anyone knows a particularly effective physiatrist I'd
    love to hear from you. Thanks so much for your input and best of wishes for comfort Thomas S. charcare
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