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New MRI - surgery or not

I had a herniation in 2012 and this new MRI states that it has been resolved with minimal residual encroachment of the neural foramen. It also states my disc degeneration has gotten worse which I expected. The other findings are some endplate signal changes at L5, disc desiccation and narrowing at L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels. There is minimal lateralizing disc bulge in the resolved disc protrusions place with mild neuroforaminal encroachment. And no stenosis seen on the MRI. I had my follow up with my PCP and she stated the back pain I am having is from dengeneration and I needed to deal with it. I asked about the numb/tingling in both legs/feet and shooting pains down the sides of my leg. She said the MRI isn't showing anything to not have surgery and take more steroids to help that and continue physical therapy. The first time in 2013 I did physical therapy, more than 20 injections, and oral steroids. I only had left side pain then. Now I am having both sides with numbing, unable to sleep in any position for more than 3 hours a night, cannot stand for more than 15 minutes at a time with out severe pain, cannot sit on any hard surfaces for more than 15 minutes without severe pain (like can't get up from floor by myself if I sit on it for 20 minutes). I had started Naprosyn 1000 mg a day (from her partner for past week) but she replaced that with prednisone (40mg a day) and gave me a steroid shot in the office today. She told me I didn't need a referral to a surgeon because everything showed mild on the MRI. I made an appointment with surgeon for a second opinion any way but it is not until the 18th. Any thoughts/experience though would be greatly appreciated. I have 2 small children and I hate not being able to do things with them and I am hoping someone has an answer to make me not feel the tingling any more, thanks in advance!


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    My PCP worked with me about three years and then referred me to pain management.

    PM doc was the one who did my testing and treatments. From referral he started more effective treatment for my pain immediately. He also did EMG with me which was great for me....painless and showed more spinal issues involved that I even could put words to.

    PM doc also ordered sleep study for me. The sleepless nights after nights and also, three hours sleep a night..can not go on without adverse effects. For me...I became wide eyed, impatient, irritable, and often times confused with what was going on around me. and also, too impaired to drive. I wanted to pull my hair out. Doctor prescribed meds and brought such relief......even if my sleep is not considered "normal" by some of my friends....I'm stable and thrilled with the results.

    My PM doc.....my favorite!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • bdevans, I would get a couple of opinions from different neuro surgeons. Let them look a t the MRI they may be able to read it better that an PCP.
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