Hi, I'm a 27 year old male with some back trouble. I have herniated discs at L4-L5, and L5-S1. From the latest MRI 2 months ago the higher one is worse (L4-L5) about a 12mm buldge. I don't know anymore, it's been 3 years. I'm careful, excersice, watch how I move etc. Pain is always there. I've recently had cordisone injections which did not do me much good. The pain management doctor guy couldn't believe that I've never tryed the shots before, and said I must have a very high threshold for pain. I mean I get the siatic pain and stuff, it pretty bad. I've been trying to live with it and it's becoming extremely difficult. I'm beginning to have a lot of anxiety over things now, and I know it's the root of it. Probably because the shots proved useless.
So what do I do now? Surgeury is my only option I suppose. I pray to God for relief every single day, just to live a normal lifestyle again and be able to tell people I had a good day and mean it. I have a career as a union electrician, I worry about not being about to do that. I'm sick and tired of living life just wanting to get through a day and not worry about what a can accomplish. Is sergeury my next step??
yor first step should be to find a manual therapist. They are hard to find but they are like a mixture oof chiropratores, massage therapist, and physical therapist.Get a pain management doctor to give you something for the pain. I tried the shots. They come in a series of 3. Once it worked for me.The other 2 tme I felt I was being tortured because the medicine in the shots kept me up for a week. My back hurt also. I had better results from the manual therapist. I just kept calling places till I found someone. I had a L5-S1 fusion. I have been to at least 7 different therapists. Trying to find someone who could help. You don't want to have an operation if you can avoid it. moz
If you've already been to physiotherapists or chiropractors with no results, then, surgery (discectomy) might be a good option in order to relieve some leg pain but not back pain. You should definetly consult with a surgeon, at least for an opinion. I think that sometimes the bulge is so big that it will never go away with physical therapy. There is also a new technique out there called "de-compression" therapy. They hook you up to these machines which pull your spine and then relieve the pressue. The purpose is to try and get water back into the disc. I tried this, it didnt work for me but I know it has for others. I did have a discectomy a few weeks ago with iffy results so far. I had immediate leg pain relief after but then the leg pain slowly returned. I dont know why yet and I am waiting for my post-op visit. Its a hard call- have you tried any opiates like MS Contin or dilaudid? There is also a medicine called Lyrica which might help ease some of the nerve pain. Good luck.
The usual procedure is to try all conservative measures first, and if they do not relieve your pain, then surgery can be an option.
The longer you allow the nerves to be compressed the more likely you will develop permanent nerve damage, which is something you don't want to happen.
Have you been diagnosed by a spine surgeon?
Have you had surgical options given to you?
There is really no documented scientific evidence that "decompression therapy" actually works, and there have been cases that it worsens problems as well.
I do know a couple of people that have given it a try though. Very expensive, insurance doesn't usually pay for it, and if pain relief was achieved, it was very very temporary, lasting a few hours to a day or to and then another session was required to relieve the pain.
In the end, all 3 people needed decompression surgery to relieve the pain.
M1ch, you are very early in your post op from discectomy to be able to determine if it was successful for you.
It is quite common for some of the pain to slowly return a few weeks after discectomy surgery. What you are feeling, no doubt, are the nerves beginning to heal and they create similar to same pain for a period of time until the settle down.
Once they settle down, most times the patient has complete relief or almost complete relief of the pre surgery pain.
It's exactly what happened to me with my surgery and by 6 months post op, I was completely pain free.
Thank you Fran. I really hope that it just the nerves healing, but, I did not mention above that my toes are now tingling in the other leg. (left leg). That is exactly how the pain started in the right leg. This is why I think the disc is re-herniated and the bulge is now central and affecting both nerves. Did you ever get any type of strange feelings or pain in the other leg post-op?
read my profile lol. surgery was my only option abd i was 30 when i had my first one and had all the same symptoms as you but i couldent even stand up right and walk across the room so you are doing better than i was but finding the right doc is sooo important it took 4 surgeries for me to get things right and the last doc did wonders mind you ,you will never be pain free again its going to be your life thats the outcome for people in our positions but it can get better. good luck