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No relief from epidurals or PT--what's next?????

Hello all (with tears welling up in my eyes)

I'm not sure whats worse right now-the physical pain from my lower back problem, or the emotional pain from failing treatments. I saw my ortho and he recd. 3 epidural injections along with physical therapy. I had my last injection a week ago and I've had over a dozen PT session and I have absolutely no relief. The options on my table at this point that I've been researching are:

1. Prolotherapy
2. Spinal Decompression- Administered by Chiro on a special table
3. Laser Spine Institute

Any thoughts or advice would greatly appreciated. Thank you thank you thank you!!

Case: DDD, bulging discs @ L3, L4, L5, Facet Disease, Foraminal Narrowing
Herniation at L3, L4, L5. DDD, facet disease, foraminal narrowing and mis-aligned pelvis.
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Comments

  • charlie6017charlie6017 Posts: 412
    edited 05/12/2013 - 10:40 AM
    Hi Brandon,

    Have you considered possibly a second opinion, possibly from a neurosurgeon? I know many of us "spineys" have our our preferences whether it's an ortho or neuro, but it's just a thought. I take you have had the MRIs that show where the culprit discs are?

    Charlie
  • anelsen15 said:
    Hey man couple things from my experienc:

    1. ESI have to be in right place , its a must, I had so many that did nothing then one in new place worked wonders.
    2. Steriods can cause mood changes
    3. Prolotherapy, its expensive but and differs between doctors , if felt it helped and look in alt therapy forum one pt claims fifty percent reduction in pain
    4. Avoid laser spine institiute, there are so many horror stories
    5. Decompression seems worth a shot if doctor agrees , I did it felt good while doing but in my opinion inversion table offers same
    You're absolutely right about the mood swings. I've been reading through out the forums and have discovered some of the horror stories about LSI, thanks for the warning. My chiro has been trying to get me to do spinal decompression for 6 months but I could never afford it since insurance doesn't cover it. which I always felt was a little weird. If it helped so much why wouldn't insurance companies cover it. This has made me second guess it. Was there any particular inversion table that you've tried and liked?

    Herniation at L3, L4, L5. DDD, facet disease, foraminal narrowing and mis-aligned pelvis.
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  • charlie6017 said:
    Hi Brandon,

    Have you considered possibly a second opinion, possibly from a neurosurgeon? I know many of us "spineys" have our our preferences whether it's an ortho or neuro, but it's just a thought. I take you have had the MRIs that show where the culprit discs are?

    Charlie
    Hey Charlie- thanks for the response. Actually I've gotten several different opinions but they were all from ortho's. I hadn't considered a neuro before. Is one better than the other? To answer your question, yeah I did have an MRI done and it came back with the symptoms I listed above. One ortho said to do surgery, another said to do epidurals and then PT, which hasn't worked. I contacted LSI 3 months ago for a consultation and they told me I was a good candidate and tried to sign me up. Something in my gut told me to stay away and I'm glad I did.
    Herniation at L3, L4, L5. DDD, facet disease, foraminal narrowing and mis-aligned pelvis.
  • charlie6017charlie6017 Posts: 412
    edited 05/12/2013 - 11:45 AM
    Hi Brandon,

    I really can't say one is better than the other, but I have had a neurosurgeon do all of my surgical fusion work (both lumbar and cervical spine). That's not to say that surgery what you will require to feel better. Neurosurgeons handle so much more related with the spine and central & peripheral nervous systems. That's not a knock on orthos.......it's just my own preference as far as my own situation.

    I'm just offering that up as another possible choice for you. I hope you can find some relief from the pain. :-)

    Charlie
  • BrandonRossBBrandonRoss Posts: 11
    edited 05/12/2013 - 12:14 PM
    That's definitely something to consider Charlie, thank you. I already have a neuro who I see for unrelated issues, perhaps I'll reach out to him to see what he thinks.

    Anelsen- I was just looking online and came across the teeter hangups, great reviews!! Thanks for the suggestions. As far as my symptoms and how it all began.......... One day 3 years ago I went to put on my pants and that was all it took. I didn't lift anything, I had no previous symptoms at all. Just put my right leg into the pants and I felt an excruciating pain and fell over. Couldn't walk for a week. I went to the chiro and over the next few years I had a few violent episodes a year but I would always recover and deal with the pain. This year on Jan. 29th is when I had enough. I was at work and went to get up from my desk and BOOM! I felt it again. This time I couldn't walk for a week and a half. I had to do something different so I got an MRI and started seeing orthos. They couldn't believe that I hadn't sustained any trauma or been in an accident. It literally came out of left field. I'm in constant pain now, every single day every single minute. I can no longer play with my 3 year old son anymore. My pain in localized to the center of my lower back, slightly to the left. It doesn't go down to my butt or leg though. The MRI showed herniated disc at L's 3,4 and 5. I couldn't believe it.
    Herniation at L3, L4, L5. DDD, facet disease, foraminal narrowing and mis-aligned pelvis.
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  • Does your ortho know you are seeing a chiro? Have you mentioned that to him? Let me start by saying I have no experience with chiro. Obviously I have no disc excepted in my cervical spine which **knock on wood" I've not had problems in that area. I have just read on this forum many times that if you have disc issues the you shouldn't be seeing the chiro. Not sure if that is true, but I'd call and check if it were me.

    I also just wanted to offer you some encouragement. I too have a 3yo. You'll find ways to still have quality time with her, and hopefully you'll get a treatment that will work for you.
    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.
  • BrandonRossBBrandonRoss Posts: 11
    edited 05/13/2013 - 4:48 AM
    AllMetal said:
    Does your ortho know you are seeing a chiro? Have you mentioned that to him? Let me start by saying I have no experience with chiro. Obviously I have no disc excepted in my cervical spine which **knock on wood" I've not had problems in that area. I have just read on this forum many times that if you have disc issues the you shouldn't be seeing the chiro. Not sure if that is true, but I'd call and check if it were me.

    I also just wanted to offer you some encouragement. I too have a 3yo. You'll find ways to still have quality time with her, and hopefully you'll get a treatment that will work for you.
    OMG I never even considered this! But since you mentioned I've been searching on the forum and I see what you mean. Even the mods are saying that once you've identified you have a disc problem, you should be under the care of a specialist like an ortho and neuro. Thanks for the heads up, I'm definitely going to look into this further. Also, I'm sorry to hear about your struggles. Having this illness and a child at the same time is horrible. My son doesn't understand why daddy can't play on the floor with him, or why I can't run and down the playground equipment with him. It's very sad.
    Herniation at L3, L4, L5. DDD, facet disease, foraminal narrowing and mis-aligned pelvis.
  • I understand where you're coming from, Brandon. My son is almost 12 now, so he's getting a tad older but I can totally relate. Best advice I can give is do the things you can physically do......maybe light play on a playground, or brainstorm the things you are capable of doing and go from there. Just trying to toss out ideas.

    I more than understand where you're coming from--and don't beat yourself up for it, man. Remember that you didn't ask for this to happen to you. Go easy on yourself.

    Charlie
  • Hi Brandon, I just wanted to welcome you and I'm very sorry for what your going through. I just wanted to say that kids are much more resilient than you may think. Daddy may not be able to play on the floor but Daddy can be the best story reader in the house. You can even make it a special hour of the day, something every day maybe. Set him next to you and have story hour. Maybe let him pick the story or the book. It will become a very special memory for him and he will look forward to that time with you because it will be your "special" time, just for the two of you. (just trying to give you some idea's, that's all 8-). Good luck to you!
  • Wow, thank you Charlie and Paininohio!! Those are encouraging words. I just envisioned my boys growing up with a father than actually played with them because I never had that.
    Herniation at L3, L4, L5. DDD, facet disease, foraminal narrowing and mis-aligned pelvis.
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