19 years old herniated disc sciatica.. Please help me.

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Hi. I'm 19 years old. July 2014 I fell on my tile floor and herniated L 4-5. I have had severe sciatica and a heavy degeneration on my back. I have done physical therapy, epidural injections, exercise, etc. I've just gotten worse. My ortho doctor insists I should speak with a surgeon so I finally agreed. My apt is in 3 weeks.. But I am very scared those surgeries aren't always proven good I've heard plenty of stories that have led it to be unsuccessful. The doctor told me I'm gonna need surgery somewhere down the line because the disc is ruptured and it over time it will permanently damage the nerve.. Well, I work but it's so hard because I come home barely able to move because I'm in so much pain.. But I also live on my own so I won't be able to pay my bills if I'm out of work for 2 months.. But, I also have started getting numbness and tingly feeling in my hands, only when I move them suddenly or grab something in a awkward position. I don't know is that is related. If anybody can give me some insight, or advice.. Please do. Thank you

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    Hi I really hope u get the help u need I have the exact same as u but doctors won't operate on me cause it's to dangerous and I just take aload of meds to help me get through the day . Everyone is different I just find my routine works for me and keeps me happy . This is the worst injuries ever I have had all the epidurals , nerve root blocks and nothing has worked . I did pain clinic but they were no good .i don't know what meds you are taken but stay away from Any morphine based because its idictive I found pregablin works for me so ask your doc wish u the best u r so young don't let this ruin your life make , the right choices
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I am sorry to hear about the problems your are having at the moment. I also herniated a disc, at L5/S1 in 2013 needing emergency surgery. I too, was frightened about the prospect of having surgery and there can be risks however having the surgery dramatically improved the quality of my life and the pain was greatly reduced. If the doctors are saying there is little chance of disc resolving back to its original position then surgery maybe a suitable option? It is very easy to get panicked when hearing about surgeries that went wrong but everyone is different and this does not definitely mean it applies to everyone else. What I have learnt from my experience- is taking advice and consultation from the right people. It is important to ensure that a correct specialist is involved such as a spinal neurosurgeon when dealing with discs rather than spinal orthopaedic surgeon. Ask for a second opinion if you are not convinced about the advice being given. What type of surgery are they suggesting as there are minimally invasive procedures available. How disc is needed to be removed? as a large amount may put additional pressure on the surrounding spinal segment? Ask about what will that mean for the future as you mention degenerative changes. I suspect my problems were due to disc degeneration rather an injury which as I have read can continue to cause pain even after surgery (disc pain). I have also learned about the importance of core muscle strength for the back which I had to go private to a specialist rehabilitation gym as the NHS physios were beyond useless. The previous post mentioned about pregabalin, which I too found good at reducing nerve pain.

    You mention about the pins and needles in the hands, it is strange but I also got these when the disc was herniated and again recently when my back problem flare up. But I could not find any mention of these in the literature when discussing about disc problems? Talk it over with your doctor so they are aware! 

    Take care and remain strong.

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  • Posted

    Hi Rebecca,

    I have just come out of Hospital after three weeks on the Surgical ward. I was in with a lady with three prolapses in her neck and nerve pain in her right arm. She had surgery and the next day was walking around fine and said that all the nerve pain had disappeared completely, she cried she was so happy and relieved. I don't know if surgery will be an option for you, I'm no expert! You should try to see a specialist consultant soon before it gets any worse. I would recomend a Neuro Surgeon is the way to go. For every story where surgery doesn't help there are lots that do. It's just that people post bad news more regularly. I would jump at the chance of surgery if I though it would get rid of the pain but it's not an option for me (see my other posts) It's your decision though, try to get some time off work!

    Can you stay with a friend or relative for a couple of weeks? I had to get a loan as I can't work and am the only breadwinner in the family with two young children. Would your family be able to help with your rent? Sorry if these questions seem too personal, I'm just so concerned that you shouldn't be working in such pain.

    Also go back to your Doctor again and again until you get some pain relief. They had to give me some morphine in the end but nothing is worse that chronic pain. I feel for you so much, Keep going I know it's hard and three weeks seems like three years at the moment. Thinking of you, take care and keep us posted smile

    Helen

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much. The doctor told me I'm seeing a neurosurgeon and it would be minimally invasive. I will update when I get further news.. In the mean time I have requested my medical records so I can get a second opinion before I go through with a surgery
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Helen offers excellent advice in suggesting getting more support! 

    If family or friends are unable to support you there might be organisations in your area such as an voluntary group for people with back problems or disabilities (not saying your situation is permanent but they can offer help to people in acute situations). An advocate from theses services may be able to support you in getting financial support to take time off work or filling in forms for DLA or if now known as PIP?, not sure. You may also be to get housing benefit on medical grounds ? and again an advocate would be ideal to assist you with this. I remember from when my disc was badly herniated, I was lucky enough to be able to work more from home but I know for a fact that I would have needed an advocate to help with financial assistance if my situation was different. The pain was so extreme and I was not any in any frame of mind to be able to find out about my rights or fill in any forms.  

    Take care & I hope all goes well with the surgeon's appointment.

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  • Posted

    I am exactly the same age as you and had the exact same problem! It lasted for 2 years and then I finally found out what the cause of my excrutiating pain was, and it was my slipped/bulging disc....I was given two options epidural injections or surgery! I opted for Surgery because the epidural injections wouldn't cure it and it may not even work! I had my operation back in April and oh my god it was the best decision I have EVER made!! Don't go reading up stories on the internet.....as they rarely happen! And if the surgery wasn't safe or had a higher rate of not working then they wouldn't do it! I too was so so scared but there was no need to be! I wish you all the luck smile xx
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