11 Replies

  • Posted

    Ooops I made a mistake on first post format. I have been reading the various threads on here all very helpful. 12 years ago i hurt my back . I had an MRI and was told it is the second disc from the bottom that was prolapsed. I cannot remember any more details. I had i think a steroid injection into the area, physio etc. It eased but never really went away. I just learned over the last 12 years to live with the limitations. Every once in a while I aggravate it which means a couple of weeks off work. 8 Weeks ago now I aggravated it again. This time its not gone back to how it normally goes. After 4 weeks it has plateaued out despite physio manipulation, tens and ultrasonic sessions. I have seen the specialist and I am awaiting another MRI. The specialist is talking about doing all the same treatments I had before. It has gotten to the stage of my life where i would rather risk surgery than out up with the limitations i suffer. My employer is at the point of considering medical retirement (i am in 40's) if I cannot get it solved. They want a guarantee that it will not give out again at any time. My specialist seems totally against surgery and suggested a career change (which doesnt help with mortgage , kid etc). I have constant sciatic pain in right bum cheek and right calf. Although it has loosened up over the last 8 weeks i can hardly bend and if i do too much i get a pain spasm in the area where the disc is. I fear that on this occasion i have really "done it this time" but the specialist just doesnt seem to comprehend the affect its having and could have. I have come off pain killers as they were starting to upset my stomach. I appreciate my level of pain is know where near some of you. My concern is by the time I have had my scan the injury will have calmed down and he will think its not worth operating on. I could walk out of that hospital or twist or bend and i could be off work again for another 8 weeks. Its very frustrating. I will post once I have had my scan the results.
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  • Posted

    Hi Stewart sorry to hear your ongoing troubles it must be so frustrating for you. My problems have not been ongoing as long as yours but already my consultant is going to remove the disc as I had first prolapse in 2012 followed by another spasm in January this year. If I were you I would wait until your MRI results are back the problem is unlikely to disappear in the time it takes to get your scan. Discuss again with your consultant as to why he/she feels it would not be operable? Ask for him/her to explain exactly what is going on with it and if you are not happy ask for a second opinion from another spinal expert. Are there any core muscle exercises you are able to do? Does your hospital run a back health clinic? Also I would seek some legal advice regarding your employment rights especially if you have been with your employer for a long time. There are solicitors who specialise in employment law I'm sure they would be able to tell you what your rights are. do you have health insurance? As you could see if you can get the discectomy on that. I have a friend whose employer paid for her to have an operation privately because it was creating problems her being off work. There could be help out there for you if you get referred to the right people. Good luck
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  • Posted

    A operation isn't always the right answer nowadays surgeons only operate on severe cases because otherwise they end up doing more harm then good as the problem becomes worse I have bilateral sciatica and muscle spasms caused by what started of as a disc prolapse so I understand what you are going through.. Has your Doctor ever given you or tried you on nerve pain tablets such as lyrica, gabapentine or antidepressants used for nerve pain such as amitriptyline, or dulxotine or medication for muscle spasms like valium or baclofen? I take lyrica and I find it really helps take the edge of my sciatic pain and I take amitriptyline at night which really helps my back pain . I also take baclofen daily for muscle spasms and it helps to calm my spasms down .
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I am 15 and in October 2012 i had a serious horse-riding accident which caused a L4/5 disc prolapse.I have had chronic back pain ever since.I have been having osteopathy .Last year i had an attack of sciatica so bad that i had to be admitted to A&E .I couldn't walk for a day.In 2013 i went to see my GP about my pain to see about having an MRI scan.She told me that she couldn't book me one as NHS rules state that GPs ca't book MRI scans without sending a letter to a consultant ,who on deciding whether i needed on or not ,marked it down as routine even though my GP had requested an urgent scan.In the end my parents had to pay out £200 for a private scan.

    After a referral letter , from my GP ,i was referred to a pediatric consultant who examined me and then organised a blood test and a MRI scan.The results of the blood test were normal and the scan showed the same as the private one .[L4/5 prolapse] She then referred me[in 2014] to a specialist at the Royal London Hospital who would asses e further and decide on treatment.

    When I went to this appointment, the consultant examined my movement and then told me that the i would need to be referred to a specialist pediatric spinal surgeon who would decide treatment options with me.Later on that month, i received a letter which had an appointment for physio and stated that my 'condition' was lifelong .A s the appointment is for May ,i haven't been to see the surgeon yet, but recently , i have started to have urinary incontinence and this weekend i had a severe sciatic attack again ,but this time i was sofa bound for the weekend and needed a cane to help me walk the next week.

    Pain killers have no effect on me and the only ting which gives me temporary relief[3 days at most!!!] is acupuncture for which i am seeing a osteopath 2 twice a month for treatment.

    Do i need surgery? i am becoming tired of waiting and having to live with this as i cannot participate in the sports that previous to the accident i enjoyed.I cant run and i have limited movement in my back.

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  • Posted

    Thank you for the replies. I am sorry it has taken a few days to get back to you all. It has given me plenty of food for thought when it comes to the way forward. I hope Amarz,, Mgezie and Hannah that answers can be found that help with your own injuries. I recognies there are a lot worse out there than me. 2 weeks until MRI day and a month until Back to the specialist. Not going to hold my breath. Good luck to us all smile Stu
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  • Posted

    I've suffered with back pain from the age of 16, at the ripe old age of 38 I was admitted to hospital with three

    prolapsed discs along with foot drop! I tried everything you could name over the years but this time, as an

    absolute last resort, I opted for the disc op. Yes it did work to cure the foot drop and I was thrilled to bits, I was up and about the day after and after a couple of weeks, pretty much back to normal. Everyone is different,

    but after years of pain, you learn to get on with some things that would stop others in their tracks.

    Nearly a year later, the exact same thing happened, only this time on the other side!! Needless to say I was

    offered the op but decided to try to treat it myself - in the form of medication and exercise etc.

    I now sit typing this, another year on, absolutely crippled with pain awaiting my referral to the ortho team for

    the disc op again!

    All I will say is that you need to seriously consider your own personal situation, your age and your own history. I now know a number of people who have suffered with back pain for many years who have had the op on

    their disc a number of times. It's not to be taken lightly and may not be the "be all and end all" of your issues.

    Consider the lifestyle you lead, your diet and weight. Help yourself as much as possible, taking advice from

    those in "the know" - none of us like to hear that our own lifestyles can sometimes contribute to our own state but it is a fact.

    A good friend of mine has had his third disc op, I'm looking at my next op as a temporary fix if I'm honest.

    I don't mean to down talk this, I just want all of you to see the other side, I've had the op once, refused it for

    the second time, this third time, I have no choice.

    Good luck to all in whatever path you choose to walk!

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  • Posted

    Here is my official results after my scan.  Hope you can explain it better than me.  My specialist is leaving me a month with taking no action. !!

    There is a focal disc herniation at L4/5 which is relatively central and although it is modest in size there is a constitutionally narrow canel due to short pedicles and there is resulting crowding of the caude equina nerve roots, it is a little asymmetrical appearing worse on the right , the right lateral recess is narrowed. The exit foramen is clear

    L5/S1 shows dehydration with significant loss of height but no herniation

    the vertebral body height, alignment and marrow is within normal limits. The cord instrinsically appears normal.

    Opinion : given the right sided symptoms the most likely aeltiology is compression in the right lateral recess of the transiting L5 due to disc herniation at l4/5 however there is some central narrowing of the general root crowding.

    anyone explain all that

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    • Posted

      Hi Stewart if I were you I would ask the consultant to give you an explanation in plain English laymen terms, but it sounds like there is some bulging disc L4/L5 which is resulting in some narrowing of the canel which is the hollow tube that the spinal and other nerves run down and this may be compromising your nerve if it is you will probably be getting sciatica which is nerve pain and probably down your right leg. The dehydration might be because as we age the discs become more solid and hard and this happens to everyone,  sounds like there is no problem there.  Only a medical specialist can explain this to you and your consultant is the set placed to do this. The reason they are not taking any action is because they want to see if your body will reasorb the disc, I think in 85% of cases this is what happens. They don't like to operate unless your body is not sorting itself out. I have just had a micro discectomy 2 weeks ago but have been compromised by my herniated L4/L5 since May 2012 when it first went into spasim. Your consultant will probably call you back from time to time to monitor your progress before deciding if operating is right for you. It might also help if you keep a diary including your pain levels when doing different activities so you can pinpoint things that are making it worse and avoid doing them. They may also offer you physiotherapy to help you strengthen your core muscles. Hope you get some professional explanation and feel better soon.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Amaz - its been ongoing for 12 years.  My physio for this recent episode has now ended.  Although I am by no means prejudice I was struggling to understand a lot of the explination given to me by the consultant.  I had to keep asking him to repeat and I starting getting a bit embarrsesed and I dont think he was particularly happy with me asking him to repeart stuff. He got up and walked out and 1 point so i took a pic of the scan results on the screen  ( i am pretty sure he left just to let me read it or take a pic or write it down myself smile ).  I have been researching it tonight on google as well and wiki pedia is a great help.  Sadly my employer isnt so understanding as I am on light work for another month.  sad
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    • Posted

      Sounds like your consultant should use plain English! Mine luckily was excellent and had a good sense of humour. I honestly think part of the coping is understanding what's going on so you know what you can do and what you should avoid. But like nixbadbax says even an op is no guarantee of a fix. I do feel sorry for you that you have spent 12 years suffering. Do you think your job or lifestyle is contributing to the problem? I am hoping that yoga will help me long term with the core muscles which helps stabilise your back. I've come to the conclusion during the past couple of years and plenty of reading other peoples experiences that a back problem might be something that never goes away you just have good and bad days. Hoping your good days outweigh the bad ones, and your consultant owes it to you to explain your condition so that you understand what can and can't be done to help you improve your life for yourself. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Hi Stewart72987

      I've had 24 years of on and off pain, discs in and out, foot drop, basically all types of back related issues. I would be very surprised if anyone could suggest anything I've not tried, including some mad "alternative" methods.

      I reached a point where physio, traction etc. just wasn't getting me anywhere. Although I do a set of exercises every day to strengthen my core, I keep my weight sensible, don't eat too much rubbish, rarely drink, don't smoke.......my list goes on.

      I've had all the physio, NHS type treatments, reflex stuff, alternative stuff, different exercise types, injections, I've had the op, I'm going through the process of another op now, it's all bla bla bla to me to be honest, because that's me and that's been me for years, from a silly fall I had back when I was 16 years old!

      Some things I've done have helped, the key is to try absolutely anything and everything as you may find something that gives you a bit relief. Take anything the NHS offers and only pay if you have to, I live in the north east and our physio teams do participate in alternative therapy i.e. Acupuncture etc. If you can afford to try other treatments, then go ahead. For me personally, the Chiro treatment was the biggest waste of money, for you it may be a dream cure.

      I can literally sneeze, or open a chest, a door etc. and it can set my back off its absolutely ridiculous but that's how my back works. I still do what I want when and if I want because there's just nothing that I can do to stop it happening, clearly I have a weakened back or whatever fancy word there is for that. It does my head in at times but I have to get on with it.

      Don't stop doing anything because of it, but be sensible, leave the body popping at the local night club for when you're recovered! Work has been an issue for me too, I've been off nearly six weeks already with this awful crippling pain. 

      It's a nightmare at times but fine other times, seriously, keep your spirits up, there are others who know exactly how you feel, it gets to you at times but you manage it better at other times. I realised a long time ago that this is how it's going to be and I have to get on with it. I hope you find something that helps you but trust me, it's not the end of the world if you don't. Try anything to help, if you think it's mad, then don't let anyone know.

      I've had a 'monkey bar' fit in my house and that really helps stretch my back out, it was only a few pounds but it helps.

      I hope you get sorted out, don't let it knock you down too much :0)

       

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