Bulging disc L5

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Hi, I posted this on the Sciatica forum but no one replied so thought I would give this one a go!  So for about a year I have had Sciatica...was shrugged off my Doctor's etc until 1 took me seriously and she referred me to an orthopaedic who sent me for an MRI and physio (which didnt work) anyway I got my results back about a month and a half ago! and I have a bulging disc at L5 which is pretty big and also a smaller bulge at S1...I think...all I know is that I have 2 bulging discs and that one is better than the other! Anyway he gave me the option to either have injections...which he said could only last for a couple of days or surgery to sort this out once and for all, as I am so young! At the time I did not know what I wanted to do as it was a shock and I have now settled on wanting the operation, as the pain I am in is just so unbearable! I am 20 years old but I feel about 90!!! Anyway is there anyone else in my situation...or anyone who can give me some advice please? Thank you  [smile]  x

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  • Posted

    Hey NicolaAnne1994,

    Sounds much like the position I'm in myself right now. Lower back and sciatic pain ignored and patronised for 6 years by previous GP's, moved house to London and listened to then referred for MRI immediately by new Dr .

    Badly prolapsed L4/L5 disc impinging both nerve roots and severe sciatica,  plus right foot weakness.

    Now been to see "extended scope specialist physio" for tests and discussions about available treatments. After realising how bad the prolapse was from the MRI, she told me that surgery with follow-up physiotherapy was my only realistic option for long term fix.

    Having been referred to the neurosurgeons (I was given the option of them or orthopods and choose neuro!) I'm now awaiting an appointment to see them to discuss my treatment. 

    I'm a little older than you at 49yrs old and may take longer to recover,  but I'm very determined not too let this beat me! 

    Hope you get things sorted soon wink

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    • Posted

      Ah yep sounds like me! I can barely walk at times and it is so frustrating I was given the option of injections or surgery but injections won't cure it! So surgery probably is my only option as I am only 20 and well I want to be Pain free! Am crapping it about surgery though as all they said was the risk is paralysis! rolleyes

      Thank you though you too! x

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    • Posted

      Yeah I can certainly understand your pain! Which is an issue in itself! You need to really get that under control if you are to lead a comfortable life. At 20yrs old,  you should be doing just that.

      What painkillers/medication are you being supported by? 

      I used to be on Tramadol + Co-Codamol + Amitriptyline,  but found I was yo-yoing with the pain and so asked to be given slow release patches, which I found are way way better for me asi don't now have to be concerned about remembering to take medication, only to change the patch every three days. 

      It is very important that you get your medication at the right level NicolaAnne1994! It allows you to live and not just exist!

      As far as being scared about the surgery, I can only reassure you that the risks are very very low indeed that the serious complications you mention van occur. There's always an element of risk on anything we do in our lives,  it's just how we rationalise and cope with these perceived risks.

      I've always been strong person that tells himself that it's pointless to worry or fret about something because the only person that suffers because of that is me! No point! Lol

      Stu smile

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    • Posted

      Control what? Sorry! smile 

      Painkillers well I started off on naproxen that worked for a week but I carried on taking it for 2 months what a waste of time! I have been on ibuprofen with co-codamol up to 30mg/500mg but that doesn't work and they won't give me anything stronger as I am apparently too young! So I have no pain relief sad I am on gabapentin now for migraines which has given me the tiniest bit of relief but nothing to great! So I am basically a 20 year old going on 80 ha! 

      Surgery isn't too much of a worry now because I just want the pain gone now! I have even put on weight because I am not as active anymore! It is so depressing! 

      But I don't know how long I would have to be off of work etc!! 

      Thank you though! :D 

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    • Posted

      Bless ya! 😦😨 I meant the pain! Control the pain! Lol

      You mustn't just settle for it and accept that that is all they can do for you!

      I'm beginning to sound like a parent here and I do apologise but I care about people being heard.

      It's just that I know how pain can make you so very miserable and depressed. It's very debilitating, however old you are!! 20 or 80! Makes no difference! 

      Please don't just accept the Dr's explanation that you're too young to have the right to proper care and treatment of your pain whilst you await treatment!!!

      The Naprosen or Naproxin Sodium is an anti inflammation drug like ibuprofen. Both of these drugs can have a bad effect on your stomach so be careful to take them with our after eating! Some Dr's prescribe PPI's, such as Omeprazole, alongside Naprosen to prevent stomach ulcers.

      Co-Codamol are an effective pain killer but only if you remember to take them every four hours through the day! Even then I found that first thing in a morning when the drug had worn off from the last dose the night before, I was struggling to cope until the morning dose kicked in! Sound familiar??

      Gabapentin is an antidepressant that is used to treat neuropathic pain and can be effective,  but doesn't work for everyone.

      Try focusing on discussing your pain and how it is affecting you with your Dr. If you are eating more to comfort you because of pain, this isn't uncommon in many people in the same position as you. I have done exactly the same! There's no shame in it, just remember that increasing your weight doesn't help the strain on your back!

      Analgesic slow release patches could be your answer! Try mentioning them! Start off on the lowest dose and if needed the strength can be titrated up to find the level at which you are pain free! 

      The issue I'm having understanding is that you have been diagnosed with an existing condition following an MRI and yet your Dr won't supply proper pain relief!??!

      Thought about talking to another Dr? If you still live at home with parents,  get them to "have words" on your behalf perhaps? 

      Do hope you get something sorted and soon! 😤

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    • Posted

      Looking at time off work,  think that's down to age and your initial health levels plus your determination to get back and of course the job that you do!

      Have looked at video diaries of people who have had the surgery and anything up to 3 months isn't unusual but personally think that I'd be back at my desk after 2 lol


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    • Posted

      Oh I did wonder lol sorry! And no it is okay! And I keep on asking! There are only 2 Doctors in my Surgery and the first one dismissed me and didn't wanna know just said it was muscle pain, haven't had naproxen for nearly a year now! And the current one I am seeing is the one who referred me but will only give me co-codamol 30mg!! I think they must think I am exagerrating sad hmph! 

      It's an antidepressant?? I never knew that!! I was looking to go back onto my citalopram soon but don't know if I can!! 

      Technically I am not still living at home...there are issues there so no can do! I am stuffed lol! hmph!!! 

      Oooo 2 months off I can deal with that...maybe lol!! 

      Thank you smile 

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    • Posted

      Sorry my phone bloody auto correct on the Gabapentin! It's an anticonvulsant, used to treat epilepsy! 

       Just don't give up. Keep on telling them how miserable this passion is making you!

      If not, change doctors! 

      Good luck

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    • Posted

      Oh lol! Yes I know that I googled it when I got them and read the leaflet! Will see how it affects my miigraines and whether it switches them off!! Not sure I am looking forward to 9 tablets a day though! 

      I have an appointment on the 26th for my first review on my gabapentin! So I will bring everything up! 

      Ahh I don't want to change Doctor's lol!! They are generally good to me and know about everything if you know what I mean...it is just that one thing I am having problems with! I don't know if I am restricted because I am Type 1 Diabetic but still lol!! Hmmm

      Thank you for your help!!! smile x

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  • Posted

    Have you had any conservative treatment other than physio?! I would definitely try some chiro prior to surgery (which is now available on the NHS) and also if you haven't tried an inversion table this would be defintely worth a try which you can buy for about £40 second hand and something which you can use at home to help relieve some of the nerve pain...
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    • Posted

      What would a chiro do though? My disc is really bulging quite a bit hence the surgery! Pain isn't As bad since being on gabapentin despite the gabapentin being for my migraines 
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  • Posted

    I talked to a 19 year old on this forum yesterday going for an op on her back.  It is invasive surgery. But it will help you recover from pain in the long run.  She was also worried about things.  Hope things improve.


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