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L5-S1 Advice? **New Member**

jaymlroyjjaymlroy Posts: 9
edited 04/28/2013 - 2:11 PM in Lower Back Pain
Hey there everyone, I am from Toronto Here is my deal, maybe someone can provide some advice. It started June 27, 2012. Low Back Pain with Right Leg Sciatica. I knew that is what was going on and saw my doctor that day, I mean all I did was stand up and bang. I saw the doctor and they agreed that it was sciatica and suggested pain meds and physiotherepy right away since it was caught quickly to relieve the pressure on the nerve. That of course made things worse. I continued to try though to no avail. Several trips to the doctor cause things were progressively getting worse...I thought it was but the doctors of course said that it was because I am "overweight" which is not something that I didn't know, but thanks for the reminder again. But, we know our bodies best and I knew that it was getting worse. FInally after dealing with severe pain and agony, not being able to walk farther than 15 feet, sitting was and still is a pain in the ass, I can sit only for maybe 30 minutes before unbareable. In October they finally got me an MRI. And I was told that it was the following problems: Lordosis, minor annullar tear l5-s1, mild disc bulge l5-s1, disc height loss with dessication at the l5-s1. The only thing after that was they suggested a caudal epidural with several cortosone shots and too see if anything improves as well of course as continued physiotherapy and pain meds. Now it is April 2013 and nothing has really improved...the nerve blocks eases things up for a bit, and then I do physiotherapy and I am back and sometimes even worse off. The pain doctor says that it is Degenerative Disc Disease. I see a Orthopaedic Surgeon that specializes in Spine Surgeries on April 30, 2013 finally. Any advise, anyone with similar issues, and does it sound like a candidate for a surgery? I am not ruling it out, just trying to be prepared.

Thanks everyone, I look forward to the responses if any.



  • odouglassoodouglass Posts: 264
    edited 04/25/2013 - 7:54 AM
    I am in a similar boat as you, and am scheduled for a Spinal Fusion on May 1st. After going through all of the non-surgical treatments I did see a neurosurgeon and got the answer- I needed surgery. I have a large paracentral herniation at L5/S1 pressing on the exiting nerve root at L5 and the entering nerve root at S1, Degenerative Disc Disease, Pars Defect, Slipped Disc and Spinal Stenosis!! Good luck on your doctor's visit, keep us updated after you speak with the surgeon. I've seen lots of successful back surgeries and my doctor told me 98% success rate!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • Well, here we go. Tomorrow (April 29) is the day I find out what is going on by going to the surgeon. I have been in a pain level that has not gone below a 7 since June 2012. The nerve blocks and physiotherapy have not helped...physiotherapy seems to make it worse. I have gone and restarted that program 3 times hoping that it would get better. From all the things I have read on this incredible website...I really like the information that it provide....that I may require a fusion based on the symptoms and that none of the non-surgical treatments have worked. But, I have researched and have my questions prepared and hope that the surgeon is open to answering them, I have waited to long to get this sorted out and hope to get some of my life back....
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  • odouglassoodouglass Posts: 264
    edited 04/29/2013 - 2:40 AM
    Good luck at your appointment today- fingers crossed that you get all of your questions answered and that the doctor is able to offer a permanent solution. Let us know!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • Well...that was a complete waste of time, and a day off of work. Went to the surgeon, was there for 20 minutes including the "assessment" and he said, "can't help you..." and sent me home. My level of frustration has peaked...
  • KC ThatsmeKKC Thatsme Posts: 42
    edited 04/29/2013 - 7:30 AM
    Sorry that the surgeon you saw was no help at all. My suggestion.....get a 2nd opinion!! Did you see an ortho surgeon or a neurologist? That might make the difference in getting a resolution too.
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  • That is just not professional- saying he out right cannot help you! I would totally recommend getting a second opinion as there has to be something that someone can do! :(
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • Thanks for the advise and it is something I am persuing. However, it is going to be a very long one though. It took over 6 months to get this appointment for a 20 minute consult. I am very disappointed.
  • jaymlroyjjaymlroy Posts: 9
    edited 04/30/2013 - 5:56 AM
    It was a orthopaedic surgeon that specializes in spine surgery.
  • I'm not surprised that the surgeon said he was unable to help you. DDD is rarely surgical unless there are other issues, and the other issues in your report were "mild" which are also rarely surgical. I'm not however down playing the pain you are feeling. I do suggest that you go for a second opinion, go ahead and get the appointment, especially since it takes so long to get in. Until then, could you look into possible going to a pain clinic? I'd certainly go back to my primary care to seek some additional help with your pain. I hope you get some relief soon.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • jaymlroyjjaymlroy Posts: 9
    edited 04/29/2013 - 5:42 PM
    I have been to a pain clinic and get injections every 2-3 weeks cause the pain returns so quickly. I have been going since October 2012. Not too mention it doesn't bring the pain below a 7. And pain meds make me into a zombie.
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