I want to thank you in advance for reading my post. I am 26 y/o and have two herniated discs, L4-L5 and L5-S1. One is worse (L4-L5) than the other one according to my last MRI exam done on May 2014. I should also mention that I had a previous lower back surgery when I was 15-16 years old, but I don't remember where was the root of this problem but the outcome was immediate relief and pain free after the surgery
This is what the last exam reported:
L4-L5: There is a broad-based disc bulge and left paracentral disc protrusion/extrusion which appears worse than what was seen on the previous study. This measures 1.3 x 1.1 x 0.8 cm and results in severe central canal narrowing, left lateral recess effacement and abutment of the traversing neutral elements. Mild bilateral neural foramina narrowing is also present.
L5-S1: Broad-based disc bulge is present with posterior disc protrusion. Overall this appears improved compared to prior. There is mild central canal narrowing and mild bilateral neural foramina narrowing.
Impression: Lower back spine degenerative disc disease changes. Specifically at L4-L5 there is left paracentral disc protrusion/extrusion resulting in severe central canal narrowing and effacement of left lateral narrowing which overall appears to be improved since previous
I would like to hear your opinions on similar cases that you may have experienced. I have an upcoming surgery on Nov. 21 but I am not sure if I am taking the right decision. I know I have the last word on this microdiscectomy surgery, but perhaps some of you may have been in a similar situation and would like to share your experience with me.
I been on dealing with this situation since late 2011, I don't remember how it happen but as the days went by I was diagnosed with sciatica on my right leg. The next year 2012, I still continued through the pain, I had 3 epidural shots but that did not help me. I also try chiropractic and the only thing it did was short term relief. The pain was slowly going away, but there were days that sciatica flare up again and I was back to ibuprofen (400-600 mg). I was still doing a sport that I love (bodybuilding) and able to continue with this hobby even until today.
2013- I was still able to manage the pain, although there were a couple of time where I just needed to take time off from the gym in order to not aggravate the pain. I learned a lot of exercises that helped me in keeping my core strong and exercises that keep the pain away from my lower back and leg.
2014 - The beginning of the year everything was going great until I noticed I lost flexibility on my left leg now. I remember doing deadlifts and other exercises that I went over my limit because I was not experiencing sciatica pain. I was back to the same situation now but with sciatica on my left leg. I decided to have an MRI done (the one reported above) and those were the results. I took 3 weeks off from the gym and doing mobility and stretching to relief the pain, it worked. I managed to get back quickly than before and less pain. Nonetheless, I decided to pay a visit to my neurosurgeon and hear what he had to say about my situation, he was surprised on how I improved my L5-S1 disk but at the same time that it got worse on the L3-L4 disc.
2014- (5 months ago) I decided to get try sport physical therapy for a couple of months and learn new ways to improve my condition. It worked somewhat well, I tried different techniques like the decompress table (this did not help me much) and the needle stimulation which I got some relief from that. I stopped going because I had to travel overseas for 7 weeks. I was still with not pain, while I was out in a different country I was not lifting weights but I did a lot of walking and still pain free. There were some days that my back was stiff and aching but not pain on my leg. Sciatica was never present during this trip even when I had to be standing for more than 6 hours in a concert, there was not pain. I came back to the states and four weeks after I had to move to a different apartment. Here was another test to see my back conditions, I moved heavy objects from place to place and still not pain whatsoever. I was almost very careful to use proper form when lifting these heavy objects. Right now I am still going to the gym, working out at a proper intensity but I am not doing any squats or deadlifting exercises. My pain level is 1/10 and my flexibility has been getter better. I am in a situation where I don't feel comfortable having this surgery because of how my back been doing so far. However, I am scared that this may just be for a moment and expect the worse such as more nerve damage. Can any of you give me some advice or share your similar expereinces. Thank you once again.