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L5/S1 herniated disk, DDD, leg weakness

Hi all,

This website has been great for information and emotional support. About two years ago I had pain in my back that I thought was kidney pain. Kidney problems ruled out, and urologist says he thought I had a herniated disk. He ordered Xrays, and he was correct.

Primary doc prescribes Flexeril, Lortab and sends me to chiropractor. Chiropractor makes adjustments, tells me not to bend, lift, twist, stretch, etc. He straightens out the spine, but it kept slipping back. I was starting to feel as if the adjustments were causing MORE damage.

On to physical therapy, which didn't help.

Now seeing a Pain Management doc, who discovered nerve damage in my left leg. He has given me 2 lumbar injections. First one worked great, second one not at all.

That's my journey so far. I saw my Primary doc yesterday, who wants to start me on Cymbalta. (I've been on Lexapro for 10 years but she wants me to switch...scared to do it.) She says my pain shouldn't be as bad as it is.

As many of you on this forum, I would LOVE to do the things I used to do, even such mundane things as grocery shopping, laundry, and housecleaning. Walking longer distances would be bliss.

I suppose my question is which doc should I listen to? I see PM doc Friday.

Thanks for any input!

Betty65
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Comments

  • Are there conflicting opinions? Have you thought about seeing a spine specialist? I would stay away from chiropractic adjustments, especially if it's worsening the symptoms. If the Lexapro isn't helping then it may not hurt to try the Cymbalta. I'm currently taking it. I'm not having any issues but it's not providing much relief either. However everyone is different. You can always ask for your PM Dr's input regarding the medication switch. Have you had an MRI or just X rays? You can always ask if you would benefit from an MRI and possible referral to a spine specialist.
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    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
  • Betty65BBetty65 FloridaPosts: 83
    Lcochran4 said:
    Are there conflicting opinions? Have you thought about seeing a spine specialist? I would stay away from chiropractic adjustments, especially if it's worsening the symptoms. If the Lexapro isn't helping then it may not hurt to try the Cymbalta. I'm currently taking it. I'm not having any issues but it's not providing much relief either. However everyone is different. You can always ask for your PM Dr's input regarding the medication switch. Have you had an MRI or just X rays? You can always ask if you would benefit from an MRI and possible referral to a spine specialist.
    Thank you Lcochran4. I haven't seen a spine specialist yet. I did have an MRI (forgot to mention, sorry). I'm going to talk with my PM Doc as you suggested before changing to the Cymbalta and then tell my primary what he says. I feel like I'm juggling doctors! LOL
    Betty65
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  • I know how you feel. I had 3 Doctors in the loop at one point and was given conflicting recommendations by 2 of them. I wish you luck with your upcoming appointment. I hope you find a treatment plan that works!
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    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
  • Betty65BBetty65 FloridaPosts: 83
    Saw my PM doc yesterday. Actually I saw his nurse, and she was SO kind and caring! Just having someone understand goes a long way in making a person feel better! She said NOT to switch to Cymbalta and has scheduled another lumbar injection for next week. She thinks the pain may be coming from the facet joint.

    In regard to my level of pain, she said she's seen people with 4 or 5 herniated disks with no pain, and then people who have very little showing on their MRIs who are in greater pain. Her point was that an MRI can't determine how a person feels. What a mental relief -- it isn't all in my head!

    Thanks for listening....I'm actually looking forward to the next injection!
    Betty65
  • LC84LLC84 Posts: 599
    edited 06/27/2014 - 4:35 PM
    It's true regarding the MRI. Some people are symptomatic and others aren't. I had plenty on mine to warrant surgery, but when he got in there it was even worse than expected. MRI's can only tell you so much, but they are still a good tool to use. I hope the injection helps!
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    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
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  • Betty65BBetty65 FloridaPosts: 83
    You are right, Lcochran4! I had shoulder surgery a few years ago only because the steroid injections and physical therapy were no longer working. When he got in there the doc found it was worse also. Now my shoulder is just fine! Gives me something to consider if surgery is ever suggested. Thanks for caring.
    Betty65
  • LC84LLC84 Posts: 599
    edited 06/28/2014 - 3:13 AM
    You're welcome!
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    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
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