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I Have a L4 L5 Ruptured Disc, What Should I Do? (Page 1)

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I am 28 years old and was very active. Four months ago I injured my back at work and just learned I have a ruptured disc l4 l5. I am soon to get epidural steroid injection and was told by my doctor that I would probably have to have surgery. If there is anyone out there with any other recommendations I would be grateful. I am going through moderate nerve pain down my left leg. This is not debilitating but does keep my from my normal activities. Should I try physical therapy? The pain is bad enough that I dont want to live with the rest of my life but I could. I view surgery as the last option. Please respond with any info.

Thanks,

cannonmw
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First Helper trixer450
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replied January 27th, 2004
Experienced User
I know what your feeling, I have a herniated disk l4 l5, besides having severe pain, I also suffer with rectal and bladder pressure due to the damage, I have gone through physical therapy and I would leave there feeling worse than when I went, I feel it dont help it just makes it worse, I have had therapy on my neck, I have herniated disks there and also had therapy on my hands I had carpal tunnel in both hands. It has not helped with that. I have been going to a chiropractor for my back he does electrostimulation, flexion distraction therapy, and I have a tens unit that I use everynight, along with stretching and 400mg of ibuprofen, im really not sure which one of them is offering me relief, but I do feel a little better, you can always try the physical therapy if you find its not helping then maybe try a chiropractor, if you got injured at work and your using there insurance, a doctor can write a rx for a tens unit, and the insurance should cover yhe exspense, I get great relief from using it, good luck and if theres anything else I can help you with pm me or email me, there are so many things that I have gone through and its nice to offer help to someone. Bye
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replied February 3rd, 2004
Ack Pain
I did the same thing when I was your age, 15 years later it is no better but I can cope with it. Avoid surgery unless you can get guarantees. It won't be that bad all the time. I can deal with it but when something else hurts, I lose the coping ability. I did change careers tho, mine was an on the job injury too. Love that wcb (canada)

good luck and chin up
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replied February 5th, 2004
S1 L5 And Vax-d
I'm also dealing with this radiating pain down the left leg. So far i've tried pt, drugs, rest and a number of doctors. There is a treatment i'm considering, it's called vax-d. The treatment is supposed to decompress the disk and allow it to refill with fluid. I've been told that the pain is from the nerve contacting the bone or the disk is protruding and pinching the nerve.
Anyone have any experience good or bad with vax-d?
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replied June 20th, 2004
Surgery to Have Or Not to Have That Is the Question
Hi there I am not sure if things are different in the usa from here in the uk but in 1997 I had a prolapsed l4/l5 disc and had (under medical advice) a micro discectomy since then I have spent very few days in my life without severe back and leg pain and due to complications during surgery (idiots gave me anti-inflamatory knowing I was alergic) I have spent most of the 7 years useing a wheelchair or crutches. Now after 7 years I have learned after another mri scan that I have the same disc l4/l5 bulging (came as a hell of a supprise to me I was told by my surgeon they had taken the whole disc away). If you decide to go ahead with the surgery may I make a suggestion that you insist that they remove the whole disc to prevent further surgery being needed on the same disc as is the situation I now find myself facing (with terror) hope this helps with your dilemma.Ps this is the first time I have every done anything like this before so excuse any ranting
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replied June 20th, 2004
As Above
Embarassed sorry I probably should have said I am a 35 years old male now and was a 28 years old working male nurse when I first hurt my back (see told you not done this before). Embarassed
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replied June 21st, 2004
Experienced User
Options
First of all, no surgeon will take out the entire disc. If they do, it will lead to disc space collapse and compression of the nerves as they exit from the spine. Therefore, when an extensive discectomy is considered, it should not be done without fusion, dynesis, or artificial disc implantation.
Other more conservative options include traction at home (inversion table 20 min 2 times a day, or a sit up board at 60 degrees angle from the floor), chiropractic, vaxd (expensive, and insurance does not cover this in many cases), coblation nucleoplasty or lase (minimally invasive techniques using a needle instead of open surgery), pt, or selective endoscopic discectomy in addition to the usual surgical techniques of open laminectomy/discectomy and microdiscectomy.
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replied June 21st, 2004
Experienced User
Options
First of all, no surgeon will take out the entire disc. If they do, it will lead to disc space collapse and compression of the nerves as they exit from the spine. Therefore, when an extensive discectomy is considered, it should not be done without fusion, dynesis, or artificial disc implantation.
Other more conservative options include traction at home (inversion table 20 min 2 times a day, or a sit up board at 60 degrees angle from the floor), chiropractic, vaxd (expensive, and insurance does not cover this in many cases), coblation nucleoplasty or lase (minimally invasive techniques using a needle instead of open surgery), pt, or selective endoscopic discectomy in addition to the usual surgical techniques of open laminectomy/discectomy and microdiscectomy.
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replied June 21st, 2004
Just Had Microdiscectomy
Well on the 17th of june I had a microdiscectomy. The surgery went well and think I am starting to feel better. I still have some radicular pain in my left leg but the doctor said that this in normal for the length of time since my injury and that is should subside with time. I am praying it will go away. I can already tell that it is going to be better. I was very hesitant about surgery. I have researched via the internet for hours upon hours for different procedureds and alternative methods. My wife is also a physician so I also had her to help with advice. I waited for 9 months before I had surgery. I wish I wouldnt have waited so long. If your are having severe pain that is effecting your way of life and have tried all non surgical options my advice would be to find a surgeon you trust and get somehting done. I saw 4 orto. Surgeons before
i finally found the right one for me. Im not %100 sure that I will be better but even now I feel it was worth the chance.
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replied March 28th, 2011
Microdisectomy
How is your back now? I have herniated discs on L4 and L5. I tried the epidural and physical therapy. I had some relief but the pain is still present and in some positions the pain is quite intense. I have opted for surgery because I am relatively young (55) and I cannot anticipate that the pain will either dissipate or become less. I think its more probable that the pain will worsen.
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replied May 8th, 2013
Eledteacher,
What did you end up doing? I have the same issues, right now planning for surgery next week. It's hard to walk, impossible at times. MRI shows a bad rupture.
Thanks
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replied July 9th, 2007
Re: I Have a L4 L5 Ruptured Disc, What Should I Do?
cannonmw wrote:
I am 28 years old and was very active. Four months ago I injured my back at work and just learned I have a ruptured disc l4 l5. I am soon to get epidural steroid injection and was told by my doctor that I would probably have to have surgery. If there is anyone out there with any other recommendations I would be grateful. I am going through moderate nerve pain down my left leg. This is not debilitating but does keep my from my normal activities. Should I try physical therapy? The pain is bad enough that I dont want to live with the rest of my life but I could. I view surgery as the last option. Please respond with any info.


Thanks,

cannonmw
I have a bulge disc at l5 s1and at l4-l5 my doctor just gave me somelyrica 75mg he does not thing I need surgery. Idea
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replied September 8th, 2007
Re: Just Had Microdiscectomy
cannonmw wrote:
If your are having severe pain that is effecting your way of life and have tried all non surgical options my advice would be to find a surgeon you trust and get somehting done. I saw 4 orto. Surgeons before
i finally found the right one for me. Im not %100 sure that I will be better but even now I feel it was worth the chance.


Several people who have had surgery have told me this......I pray it is true! I'm set for this surgery on Oct 9th!

mgf~
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User Profile
replied September 9th, 2007
Actually only the herniated part of the disc is removed during the operation. If the disc itself is not deformed to much and the nerve roots are not damaged to severely you should be able to return to your daily activities in a month or so. And the pain should be gone.
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replied May 6th, 2011
I am 20 years old, and have L4 L5 posterior Bulge and annular tear. Also a disc protrusion at L5-S1. I have had pain in my back for 9 years but was never able to even get an X-Ray, so finally got used to it. I now have a hard time knowing when im in pain becaus eim so used to dealing with it. I was told to loose weight and went through physical therapy which made the pain worse. 3 weeks ago i was cleaning and was brought to my knees unable to move. I left the hopsital being told I had a muscle sprain. After 12 years of sports, I knew that was not correct. I gave it 3 days and could not bare the pain anymore. I went back to the ED to get an MRI to find the results. I also was told I have an abnormal spine, but they do not want to do surgery because of my age. I have an upcoming appt. with a surgeon and am stabilized with meds, but when I dont take them, the pain is in more place now than before. My left leg is so week and almost feels numb and swollen around the knee. My uper back hurts like crazy, to the point where my arms are week and shaking. Has anyone experienced weekness in the arms, or any upper back pain as well?
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replied July 16th, 2012
do you get cold feet like waterer knees as well and sometimes they are not waterry but dry and kneck cracks
then arms feel bad verry week
regards john
and cant walk far
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replied September 12th, 2007
I have a very herniated L4/L5, and a ready-to-pop L5/S1. In 2003 I lived with severe right leg pain for 4 months, which went away with PT and Chiro. July of 2007 it showed up again, but on my left side and not nearly as bad for just 3 days (but follow on numbness/weakness). It then shifted to my right side again a month later for a few days, and is now just a scary reminder of what could be. I have had several X-rays showing a healthy back, but last week I had my first MRI which showed my situation indicated above. My surgeon expected to see me crawling in on our first consult, and hearing that made me feel good for some reason. I guess I am holding out for hope that I can be healed without surgery.
My daily routine does not involve a lot of pain (relatively speaking), but the knowledge that I have disc material lurking around my nerves makes me feel delicate, and at my young age of 37, I still want to maintain my 35 miles a week running, and being active.
While I am not sold on Chiro, I have seemed to improved my situation by hanging upside down for about 5-10 minutes a day lately (only 4 sessions so far). This may be just a matter of time healing, but I am going to continue. The only concern is the physics of un-hanging, it requires an un-graceful hanging crunch to support myself with my arms while I un-hook my ankle braces. I am worried I am negating any good gravity has done.
I wish there was a clear cut answer to corraling the disc back into it's home, and it is easy for me to entertain options that offer dramatic activities or results. I think this forum is a good one, especially if folks who get better don't forget where they were. Thanks for all your input, and I hope we can all put our socks on with out pain again some day.
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replied September 15th, 2007
Back Surgery
I have chosen not to have any type of back surgery. I choose to just get trigger point injections when the pain is not tolerable. I have know too many people that have had surgery and seemed worse off than before the surgery.
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replied April 4th, 2008
L4-L5
i am 37 years old and also have a ruptured disc at L4-L5...i went and seen my neuro surgeon and he recommended that he perform a TLIF also known as "Transforamianl Lumbar Interbody Fusion." the doc removes bone or degenerative disc that may be pressing on the nerves or your spinal cord causing pain.It allows the doc to fuse together the bones in your spine that may be causing instability of your spine.Your doc will use instrumentation like titatium rods and screws to hold the bones of your spine in place while your spine is growing together or "fusing". Fusion usually takes six weeks to begin to occur!! i am going to get this surgey done soon so i will let you all know how it goes!! i am scared to death but i am also sick of being in pain and i taking presciption pain pills to cover the pain... so what have i go to lose???
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replied January 6th, 2009
vax-d
I would give vax-d a try. I've seen it help more than one person very close to me. I'm in chicago and my family goes to a clinic that specializes in vax-d here. Try searching vax-d and your city to find a provider. Most offer free consultations and it's a much safer and non-invasive alternative to surgery
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replied January 9th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Vax-d is a questionable device that has made claims of cures for herniated discs etc.

There has not been any proven studies that it does work and the manufacturers have made claims of their own that are unsubstantiated.

It is a very costly treatment that is done in special facilities and is mostly not covered by insurance as well.

I have read that patients have paid upwards of 3-4 thousand dollars for the treatment and have had no results that where worth the money or it helps for a brief period of time.

If you are concerned about the surgical choice you are making, seek out a second and even a third opinion before having surgery.

good luck

Fran

info on vax-d

http://www.chirobase.org/06DD/vaxd/vaxd.ht ml
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replied January 10th, 2009
Surgery if no relieve after 6 weeks
Hi
Personaly I would go for a surgery if there is no releive of the sciatic pain after 6 weeks cos what is the use of not being able to enjoy life. I am saying abt sciatic pain I think people can life with back pain. Waiting too long lowers your percentage of recovering almost fully. I had a partial disectomy in 1999 for a herniated disk in 1999. It totally relieved all my sciatic pain. I was able to go and do anything. Unfortunately I reherniated my disk again now due to too much physical exertion. I am going for another surgery - a different type L4L5 TLIF (fusion) and dynamic stabilisation for L3L4 after getting advices for different docs. I think it is impt to get different opinions...in my case all of them agreed on the same thing after looking at my MRI. It is impt to talk to your surgeon and know exactly what they are doing. I know there are a lot of stories of people who said surgeries dnot work but there are many more that is a success. Good luck
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replied January 15th, 2009
Re: L4-L5
amylaporte70 wrote:
i am 37 years old and also have a ruptured disc at L4-L5...i went and seen my neuro surgeon and he recommended that he perform a TLIF also known as "Transforamianl Lumbar Interbody Fusion." the doc removes bone or degenerative disc that may be pressing on the nerves or your spinal cord causing pain.It allows the doc to fuse together the bones in your spine that may be causing instability of your spine.Your doc will use instrumentation like titatium rods and screws to hold the bones of your spine in place while your spine is growing together or "fusing". Fusion usually takes six weeks to begin to occur!! i am going to get this surgey done soon so i will let you all know how it goes!! i am scared to death but i am also sick of being in pain and i taking presciption pain pills to cover the pain... so what have i go to lose???


Did it work? How are things?
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replied January 18th, 2009
TLIF and dynamic stability
I went for a TLIF L4L5 and Dynamic stability L3L4 on 16 Jan 08. I am back home today..I was totaly surprise at how fast I was allowed to go home and the small cut size for the procedure. The sciatic pain is almost gone with some numbing aching pain ...hopefully that will go away. I already started to walk yesterday. Any advice for early exercises for the back and stomach?

Musher..I was in total pain for weeks and knowing what it did for me...the operation was worth it...I could finally sit to have my food and walk without stopping every 10 steps.
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