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I've poked around here in the past looking for experiences of people who might be going through what I am. Today I decided to bite the bullet and join in.

I've had backaches for over a decade but I attributed them to poor posture and celiac nerve damage. In the early years they may well have been simply that. About three years ago, a doc told me i had lumbar stenosis. He wasn't concerned and it was an incidental finding on a scan looking for something else. His take was just "hey, this might cause you issues down the line".

Lo and behold, now it is.

In late May, I had a horrendous backache. I went to a chiropractor for a couple weeks and he helped. When the pain resurged in mid July and I didn't have the funds for the chiropractor again, I got myself a primary doc who sent me for an MRI. This is what was found:

Throughout lumbar spine there is facet hypertrophy, and fluid buildup. There is an annular tear in one disc, dessication in another and a 9mm protrusion in a third.

Since the MRI, my feet and the insides of my thighs have begun going numb. My legs ache and are weak and I've had several though still somewhat infrequent instances of foot drop.

I was sent to a neurosurgeon who referred me to get an epidural. He also referred me to a neurologist as he doesn't know what's causing the thigh numbness.

My epidural isn't for another week and the pain is getting worse. There is no action or position that alleviates it. I feel like I'm at my wit's end.


  • Hello Dragon
    Terrible news on all the pain!
    I hope the epidural helps you to tolorate the pain!

    Please click the welcome message below my signature, it will have more information about Spine-Health
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Hi Dragon-

    No medical advice, just a suggestion from a fellow sufferer. You didn't write which disc is herniated, but chances are that a 9 mm protrusion, along with everything else you mentioned is whats causing the pain and numbness. Disc protrusion causes inflamation, and that, with everything else you have can put pressure on the spine and cause a LOT of pain. I also have a numb left leg (it either hurts or is numb, no one can tell me why sometimes its one way and sometimes another), a very thorough neurological exam found no nerve damage.

    some things that work for acute pain: cortisone injections, narcotic pain killers, oral anti inflamitories acupuncture (releives pressure, says my acupuncturist) and several other things. Look in the "blog" section on this website and you will find articles and videos on medications and alternative treatments, including acupuncture.

    I also have a spinal block scheduled for next week- I'm counting th hours 'till check in...

    Good Luck,

    David C

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  • dazc, here's the specific results from my MRI: (not asking for interpretation, this is just for completeness of info)
    L2-4- Mild bilateral facet hypertrophy
    L4-5- disc dessication, central annular tear, prominent facet hypertrophy with fluid buildup, no significant central canal stenosis
    L5-S1- disc space narrowing, disc dessication, central disc protrusion measuring 9mm, mild central canal stenosis, mild bilateral neural foraminal stenosis, fluid in bilateral facet joints

    When I posted earlier, I forgot how many discs had which problems. I blame being awake at 1 am.

  • Dragon-
    Not being a doctor but having the same l5-s1 problem you descibed- although my diagnosis didn't come with a measurement of the protrusion-  I think it would be a safe guess that that is making a significant contributon to the pain you described, but thats only based on my personal experience and it could be something else.
     All the things mentioned in my previous post helped me when I had acute, hellish pain from  s1 pressing on my sciatic nerve last week. I couldnt get out of bed for 3 days, and even though i'm back at work since tuesday this week, my leg is still arternately numb, or sore, or just hurts. 
    Ask your PCP  (why do they call them PCP? Here in Israel we still call them "doctors"- and we invented HMO's  over 60 years ago) about medication, I suggest again you  look at the blogs on the website, which I have found exteremly helpful. Good luck with the epidural (to both of us), whatever you do- NEVR give in to the pain. "strategic retreats" (my term for crawling into bed and whimpering) when the pain is unbearable are (again IMHO) a must- but I always get back on my feet and back to work as soon as i'm able.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    We members are not allowed to comment on MRI or other testing results.
    There are no medical professionals on this site.
    MRI and other tests are diagnostic tools and not diagnoses within themselves.

    Thank you
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • Dragon- how went the spinal block?
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