Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

PLEASE HELP ME- L4-5 protrusion of the disc with an annular tear, L5-S1 protrusion impinging upon th

richs44rrichs44 Posts: 5
edited 03/24/2014 - 3:05 PM in Lower Back Pain
As the title states I have been diagnosed through an MRI with the following;-

- At L4-5, there is dehydration, height loss & a broad-based central protrusion of the disc with an annular tear indenting the dural sac without nerve root compression

- At L5-S1, the disc is dehydrated an reduced in height. There is a broad based right central disc protrusion impinging upon the right S1 nerve root at it exits the dural sac and only touching the left S1 nerve root.

I am due to see a spinal surgeon on Friday so would greatly appreciate any thought/help/advice/input etc

A little bit of background info,
28 y o male
Excruciating lower back pain since December, which has got worse over time. Think I have had a weakness there for a couple of years as i suffered from what i would now describe as mild back pain previously in the same area that just went away before after a few days.

Use to work in a physically demanding role and moved into an office job last January 2013 so sitting all day. Lost over 3 stones in weight last year, think the weakness i had was from job i used to do but may have been brought out by spinning (cycling) which i would do for up to an hour a day until i stopped because my back started to hurt. That in combination with then sitting all day and the pressure on the area? Am still considered to be overweight though at 15 stone + currently

Daily i take
anti - Inflam 8 a day
Codeine x 10 tabs a day
Diazepam 15 - 20 mg a day
Morphine slow release tabs 30 mg twice a day
Oramorph as needed but up to 40 mg sometimes due to pain

Have seen GP 20 times + in this time who has been brilliant but had to fight to get an MRI from orthopaedics which i eventually got, getting worse daily and dosed up on the meds, sick of being told that things should improve, have been signed off work since mid January just want to get back to a normal life. Am an emotional wreck as the pain is just too much, finding my current lifeless existence very difficult.

Can anyone help and what do you think this surgeon will say to me on Friday as when I spoke over the phone with orthopaedics before they were quite dismissive about ‘my localised back pain that millions suffer from‘ (before MRI) and told me that I was either not doing my stretches/exercises that physio had set or that my physio program needed to be revaluated. Physio program hasn’t help one bit I can barely do the movements anyway although I am best walking around but get achy very quickly, but I have religioulsy done everythign I have been advised to a tee. I have used multiple hot and cold compression etc as well since December, as well as tens machine and all that doesn’t do a thing.

Facts are the MRI results, and the progression from a slight back pain in December to where I am now in extreme pain - even and on all these medications it is getting worse all the time and I am scared I am going to be fobbed off and told to wait or nothing will happen, surelly they have got to do something with me in the circumstances?

Please can some in the know or with some expereince help me - I feel very lost and lonely in my current position and the internet is just filled with so much stuff that means nothing to me.

What do you think are my options based on diagnosis?

Thank you all so much in advance I would greatly appreciate any input.




  • Sorry to post straight away again haven;t given much of an opporunity to for anyone to reply although I do not know how many people actively are on the forum?

    Anyway I though I should just add that also 3 weeks ago I actually collapsed and fainted due to the pain and I didn't come round straight away so an ambulance was called - that is how bad the pain is.

    Being up at this time is a regular thing for me right now as well an average even on all that medication i maybe get 3 hours sleep a day now due to pain.

    Anyway hopefully i will get some replies in the next day or so before the appointment Friday morning
  • philnoirphilnoir Posts: 52
    edited 03/24/2014 - 7:16 PM
    Rich, the surgeon will probably tell you that he/she can help by removing part of the disc, at least, that's impinging on the S1 nerve root. For impingement, microdiscectomy or discectomy generally gives immediate relief.

    Good luck.
  • advertisement
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,763
    edited 03/24/2014 - 8:07 PM


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • philnoir said:
    Rich, the surgeon will probably tell you that he/she can help by removing part of the disc, at least, that's impinging on the S1 nerve root. For impingement, microdiscectomy or discectomy generally gives immediate relief.

    Good luck.
    Thank you for your message I appreciate it - The only issue with that is when you say it gives general relief i have read this op generally is for people with numbness, tingling etc down their leg and foot etc - I do not have any of that at all it is all in my back and slightly in my bottom area. Would they still offer that as on option if this is the case do you know?

    Also what about the disc with the tear as I am sure this is the one that is causing the problem because of where most of my pain is coming from?

    Thanks in advance

  • richs44rrichs44 Posts: 5
    edited 03/25/2014 - 2:42 PM
    liz said:


    thanks for your message i have actually read all the information but i am still kind of stuck as because of what i have written above do you know or anyone else know in regards to what i have said - the only issue with the possibility of a disectomy is i have read it gives general relief but is generally is for people with numbness, tingling etc down their leg and foot etc - i do not have any of that at all it is all in my back and slightly going into my bottom area. would they still offer that as on option?

    also what about the disc with the tear as i am sure this is the one that is causing the problem because of where most of my pain is coming from?

    i have read about fushion and adr - would that not be a better option even though it is big surgery with me being young because if the discs are in this state now i think steriod injections are pointless, and even a disectomy is not going to make that much difference in my circumstances because i have no pain, tingling, numbness in my legs etc and also thinking that they are in a bad state now so only going to get worse?

    thankyou all in advance,

    i really do appreciate any input from anyone that reads this as i am really struggling and am so anixous i am going to be fobbed off as i know some peoples mri's from what i have read sound worse then what mine is but i am in agony and what is scaring me is he steady decline even with all the medication. i just want to get back to normal :-(


  • advertisement
  • Rich, no way to tell from here, but these are good questions to ask the surgeon. Best wishes.
  • Thankyou very much everyone for your replies, advice, feedback etc - I will keep everyone posted on how Friday goes, but I am very nervous as I am expecting to be fobbed off :-( which I am going to find it extremely emotionally difficult to cope with but I will have to see i guess....
  • Rich,

    Docs don't have all the answers, but a good doc will certainly listen to your questions, your problems, and your concerns, and offer their best advice.

    I'm sure I have an easier time of it, now that I'm older than most doctors in practice, but remember, they're people just like you and me. If you find it useful, think of your doc in his underwear.

    It helps to write down questions before an appointment, so that you don't forget them.

    Good luck!
  • TinyteenTTinyteen Posts: 6
    edited 03/30/2014 - 11:32 PM
    Hi had caudal epidural on Saturday in a bit of discomfort but not pain, I know this is not a cure, at what stage do I start to do exercise and physio so I can improve things further.
  • That is a perfect question to ask your Dr. Usually a referral is necessary for physical therapy. Best of luck!
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
Sign In or Register to comment.