Well first of all, I am using my kids sign on because I didn't feel like filling out the info. I am 48, female, and have had a low back problem since I was 14. Been to chiropractors all that time and have been manipulated and had the activator since 1998. Have always been really active and haven't let my back stop me from anything. Worked all that time full time. In the military twice and did all that physical stuff. Ran miles and miles on track and in military. Scored maximum on almost all my PT tests, won awards etc etc.
Now the new story. Last year felt new pain in low back, grabbing and excruttiating when it hit. Finally almost fell, was bent backwards, and the back went nuts. Couldn't hardly move, went to a walk-in clinic. Got celebrex and flexeril in November, had an MRI done beginning of December. Central herniation L4-L5 in the presence of advanced DDD at that level with endplate changes obvious. I also have DDD and osteoarthritis in neck and C5-C6 with a bony protrusion into the right side pinching nerves in the foreaminal opening at that level. No EMG changes showing from neck level. CTS bilateral with permentant damage resulting in both hands.
So what does this all mean. First of all I haven't worked since 2003 from a surprise pregnancy, and all of the above not allowing me to return to work. Was looking for part time, until 12/06 when herniation, told me "no more working for me". Now I am involved with filing for disability which really sucks. I am having more and more trouble walking. Pain of course all the time. My husband of over 25 years is working like mad since I can't to keep us going. I have a 4 year old who is adorable, but kicks my butt every day. She has enough energy for at least 3 kids. Pain and lack of energy are my main issues. Can't take anti-inflams because of a weak stomach, have tried numerous times over the years when back flared up. Taking tylenol #4 at times to take the edge off, doesn't do much else. Take at night mainly for sleeping.
Asked chiropractor about surgery. Said it is basically a crap shoot. I am afraid because my condition is based on degeneration that anything done will just break down and be a waste. Is that a proper assessment?
I can't walk very far before my legs start dragging, and I have pain all over my lower back and into my hips,mainly burning type pain. Hips are getting bursitis, really bother me all of the time.
Would appreciate any feedback from people older like me, or physicians who actually read these forums. Thanks.
It "hurt" to read the pain and all that you have been through. And yet it was good to read that you have a wonderful hard working husband, AND that you have an energetic adorable 4-yr old daughter. They are your blessings.
Now to your back - I would highly recommend that you seek the advice of a neurologist/spinal surgeon. Not just any one in the yellow pages, but the best one you can find. PLEASE do not delay as from your excellent description of your difficulties you need attention without delay. Do speak with those you know who have been to a neurologist or spinal surgeon. Find out who they liked and who they did not like. If you live in a metropolitan area and there is a professional sports team in your city, call them up and find out who they use for their players. Also call your local hospitals and ask them which doctor performs the most spinal surgeries and who they would want if they needed back surgery. AND by all means seek the advice and thoughts from at least two doctors, preferablly three.
I would like to invite you to post and participate in the Laser Spine Surgery thread. A great group of people. Perhaps you could ask them to read your post here and give their thoughts/advice to you.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and also with your family.