HELP!!!

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My history is that since being hospitalised in 2007 with paralysis from disc protrusion in L3/L4 and L5/S1 I have had ongoing pain with periods of being totally dibillitated. 

I have just returned from an appointment with my orthapeadic consultant to recieve my MRI results.  The results are showing L3/L4 disc protusion indenting the theical sac and narrowing the right lateral recess and there is a reduction in CSF seen around the cauda equine.  L4/L5 disc has a broad-based central protrusion causing bilateral recess narrowing.  L5/S1 there is a large disc extrusion indenting the thecal sac resulting in significant canal stenosis and the impinging on the right S1 nerve root.  I have typed this from the MRI report!  I am recovering from a period of 3 weeks of being practically bedridden.  My back went again at the beginning of March - I was cripled with the pain and my my left leg became extremely weak with patches of numbness, my left foot is half numb.  I have really bad pain running down my left leg also (sciatica).  This is just one of many set backs that I have had!   I have just been issued with a blue badge for parking as walking long distances is becoming more and more difficult and I often require crutches.  I have been taking Tramadol and Diclofenac since 2007 and now on pills for my stomach as a result.  Going back to the consultant that I seen today - she looked at me and said that I appeared to be better than when she seen me a month ago when I was on crutches and in extreme pain so she would give me a phone consultation in August for an update!  Well, I broke down in floods of tears!  I told her that I feel like my husband has lost the active and bubbly wife he married, my kids have been robbed of the Mum they knew, my job is being affected and I feel so low.  She went on to tell me that because there is problems with a series of discs the surgeon will not offer an operation.  However, after I cried all over her she has agreed to put my case forward for the surgeon to see but told me not to get my hopes up as it is very unlikely that he will agree to an operation.  She went on to advise me that the next steps in that case will be to refer me to the pain clinic as this is something that I need to learn to live with :-(  Really, is this the case - I am only 38?  Has anyone else had a similar experience? 

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  • Posted

    I had back pain with a prolapsed disc and sciatica but in my right leg plus drop foot, it was all agony. I actually went privately in the end and saw an orthopaedic surgeon. 
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    • Posted

      Hi there, 

      May I ask who you went to see privately please? I have weakness and possible signs of drop foot on my right side. 

      Were they able to help you? and would you recommend them please? 

      Many thanks 

      Gary 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply - I was actually just looking at the private option.  I feel that it now has to be an option as if it is left until I am much older I am going to be be left completely disabled by it. 
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    • Posted

      I am afraid it was a long time ago and he has retired. I have actually forgotten his name but he drove a fantastic sports car.  I had to be careful afterwards and I now do take glucosamine which was my decision.  I find if I have any problem I rest and then slowly get back into the world, I hope I am not tempting fate but I have never had drop foot or that sort of pain again. 

      Apparently the two main reasons people go privately is orthopaedics and eyes as I suppose they are not accute and it is felt people can hang on. Heart and cancer are better with the NHS. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Cathy, it's not good news.I have been waiting months to see another consult after already having 2 operations on L5/S1.I have been for another MRI and I have nerve damage in left leg with sciatica. I have had to pack work in and then ESA told me I had to prove I wasn't fit for work. They eventually after 6 months they sent their doctor out who confirmed it.My MRI showed nothing , then 3 months later after I had another type of MRI from the back which showed I had multiple pretuding disc and something about my Facit joints.I have been waiting that long that I can barely walk and get pain in back and both legs.The council sent an occupational therapists out who said I needed I stair lift and walk in shower but if I do get funding for it.It could take 12 to 18 months. I've come to the conclusion that the nhs system is being phased out and people just have to suffer unless they go PRIVATE which I cannot afford as bringing Wife and 3 kids up . Basically just treat like second class citizens even after working 30 year's and paying into the system . Sorry for being so glum but that's how it makes you feel sometimes.Dean.
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    • Posted

      Glum is how I am feeling Dean! I am in the same boat financially and would need to take out a loan as I too have 3 teenagers! I just feel it is all too easy for these Drs to say "off you go and see how things go" Ive been doing that for 8 years now and things are crap!

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  • Posted

    I am very sorry to hear your story, unless one has had back pain they have absolutely no idea what the trauma is like.

    Might be worth a second opinion from a private surgeon, you have had the MRI scans which is good, £200 max. The NHS is suffering and Orthopedic is the busiest dept by someway.  

    The pain clinic can be helpful it's not just phsycological advice.

    Take care, God bless x

     

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    • Posted

      I asked my GP about a Private Consultation with a Neurosurgeon and he says that unless you are going to carry on using the same Surgeon you have had the consultation with your just wasting your money because no Nhs Surgeon will follow his opinion. Which brings you back to the vicious circle.I have finally got an appointment with a Nhs neurosurgeon in 3 weeks and am going to see what he says. I have got a feeling I need major surgery such as spinal fusion. Thanks Dean.
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    • Posted

      Possibly it's affirmation of what is achievable and what's not. In Cathy's case her GP has given her the worst case scenario perhaps a second opinion is worth while. 

      Of course I'm not a professinal, but the NHS is flat broke and operations are expensive. 

       

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    • Posted

      I was lucky some insurance and some inheritance helped me out, but I would have put it on a credit card to get my back fixed.

      Being self employed, my earning potential had dropped by 70%, in the long run it would have been a good investment. You can't put the toothpaste back into the tube.  

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  • Posted

    Dear cathy, first of all i am sending you a gentle hug, i knw from bitter experience even a hug can hurt.

    i never really understood what serious back pain can feel like until i developed it. Wrist trauma as it affects everything you do.

    i had a spinal fusion 4 weeks ago and a discectomy 8 months ago. I promise you i can relate to you. 

    Please get a 2nd opinion. I was in turmoil, i couldn't cope waiting for NHS i had excruciating nerve sciatica pain all on my left side my buttock, thigh, leg and foot, lost the knee jerk reaction and my foot felt wooly. I am also diabetic insulin dependent and the stress of pain, days in bed played havoc with my blood sugars. I take gabapentin, tramadol, diclofenac, diazapam fr muscle spasms. My operation cost £10,000 my dad lent me some of the money he couldn't bear to see the suffering. I have no nerve pain 

    now, no weakness in my foot. Early days after fusion i had the ALIF anterior lumbar infusion which meant through the stomach to get to my spine, the major organs are moved to the side to prevent cutting throught some muscle.

    if i won the lottery i would pay for you to get further treatment as already said on here the NHS is strained to the hilt.

    i saw a consultant mr Paul Rhys Davies, google him fr inspiration he fixed a young man who is a professional dancer and was beaten up so bad it looked that he wanted dance again but he is.

    i hope you get some help x

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply Laura. It is good to hear of a auccess story and Im glad your on the mend. How many discs were bulging/protruding in your case and what ones if you dont mind me asking? Xx
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  • Posted

    HiCathy

    strangely enough the same discs as you. 

    I remember having low back ache for about 3 years before i went to GP, what started off like period pain type back ache went pop and the sciatica pain was the worst.

    when i mentioned to my GP approx 3 years ago about low ache back pain she gave me voltarol gel. I would say to anyone get an MRI scan its what shows clearly whats going on. The mRI cost me £300 the waiting time on NHS was too long.

    i hope the tablets you are taking i hoe you are getting some respite today. X 

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  • Posted

    I have eventually been given An appointment to see a surgeon 😄. It obviously pays to cry hysterically all over your orthopeadic consultant 😂😂😂
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    • Posted

      Hi Cathy, so glad you have got an appointment. I'm a little puzzled though, my Orthopaedic Consultant is my surgeon, they all are. Are you seeing s different type of surgeon? 
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    • Posted

      Yes its a neurosurgeon I will be seeing and who will ( hopefully ) be doing to operation because it is so close to the spinal cord. I think if it is bone work/structural surgery then it would be an orthopeadic surgeon I would see.

      The orthopeadic consultant that my GP referred me too vets who gets to go onto the next stage, or not as the case may be.

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