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Hi, new here

I found this site after seeing my dr for mri results. 
Im 35 years old and about 18 months ago i stood up from a chair and was hit with excruciating lower backpain. I saw a physiotherapist and started to get better but about 3 months after the initial pain my hip started to cause problems. (Ive had hip pain since my late teens) then like a domino effect i had one issue after another. Changes to my reflexes, lack of sensation and my legs giving way for no apparent reason. Then the muscle spasms started so my physio and dr decided i needed to see a neurologist. 
He examined me and said he was sure it was my spine that was the problem and organised an mri of my entire spine and my hips. 
The results werent what anyone expected       (suspected a herniated disc pressing on nerves) 
turns out i have degeneration in almost every cervical disc, a left sided bulge at c5/c6 which has narrowed the fornam exit, it also showed bilateral degeneration of the L5/s1 facet joints and a rotated sacrum. 
Neuro has said surgery is not an option due to my age and the number discs that are effected. He also wont touch the joint. 
I cant have any epidural injections due to an adverse reaction to epidural medicine in the past. Im also allergic to nsaid so for now they have me on 50mg of amatriptyline nightly, 2 cocodamol 30/500 every 4 hours during the day and 100mg of tramadol at night. 
This diagnosis has been really difficult as im a very active person. I was involved with archaeology, scouting and many clubs helping to keep children active,  I have had to give up almost all these. The dr says i should be able to live a relatively good life as long as i work with my own pain thresholds. 
Can I ask how others with similar issues manages ? 
I m sorry this is such a long post. 



  • Hi Karricoo

    Diagnosis can be a bit of a shocker and takes a while to settle somewhere in a racing brain, that is trying to think about everything and anything.

    Give yourself time to heal a little, adjust a little and then see what tomorrow brings - each day.  As your doctor said you should be able to live a relatively good life as long as you work with your pain thresholds.

    It is difficult to deal with two areas of the spine (cervical and lumbar) at one time.  I have the reverse of yours, all my lumbar discs have problems and damage starting to rise into T's now, plus C4/5 and 5/6 chimed in last year!

    I have been told different things relating to age, depending on part of the spine being discussed.  Too young for lumbar and too old for disc replacement in C spine.  The first comment created much laughter, firstly mine then the surgeon, when I thank him for making me feel youthful before surgery, as I am fifty!  He was trying to release the nerve and get me out of pain with conservative surgery, which sadly was not enough.  I am on a long waiting list for double level lumbar fusion.

    My main advice would be to research and learn about your condition/s as knowledge is power in the Spiney world.  Sometimes if you know what is causing your symptoms, you can decide yourself how critical it is to avoid or if it is something that is there to stay and cannot get any worse.  Hope that makes sense, the meds this time the night talk rubbish sometimes :-)

    There are many areas on Spine Health site to look at and there is a search option at the top if you cannot find what you need.  This will give you access to older threads which may be interesting to you.

    Just keep asking questions and use the 'start a new discussion' to add under a specific title as this will help get responses from people with similar conditions.

    I hope some of this helps you and I know this site will open up the world of spinal conditions and associates :-)

    Take care



    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • Hi Karricoo - 
    Sorry to hear that you seem to be between a rock and a hard place. In your shoes I might seek at least one second opinion.

    I have issues in two places as well, L1-L3 & L5-S1. The first surgeon I saw held out little hope. He said that he could address L1-L3 to try and fix my walking issues but couldn't do anything about L5-S1. He really stressed the serious nature of the fusion surgery and really undersold the potential benefits. 

    The second surgeon, who fixed my back 8 years ago, said that he was very confident that a less involved laminectomy would provide serious relief to my walking issues. I'm going with #2.  :)

    35 is awfully young to resign yourself to a life pain.

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  •  The focus on treatment will probable be at the lumbar spine where you're having the most symptoms. Since you can't have epidural injections, radio frequency ablation is used for pain coming from the facet joints by burning the medial nerve. Relief can last 3 months to a year in best cases. People your age have had surgery, but I think it's best to try conservative treatments first since there are no guarantees with back surgery. Do you have neck and/or arm pain?  
    Ol' Spiney..Micro-D L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central HNP L4-S1,stenosis, retrolisthesis, EF, facet arthropathy, lumbar& cervical DDD. FBSS- Medtronic pain pump & SCS
  • Thank you everyone for your replies, Meyday i will have a look into the Radio frequency ablation; i have not heard of that before. I have just started with a new physio and im waiting to see another dr for a second opinion so may ask the new dr about the radio frequency. 
    Yes i do get pain in my neck, shoulders and arms, i also have grip weakness in my left hand so for now im just doing as AJ suggested and researching as much as i can. 

  • Karricoo

    Good luck with your research and do post 'start a new discussion' under new titles, if you have a particular area you would like to hear more people's experience relating to these.



    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello karricoo !
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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