Prolapsed Disk

Posted , 5 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I opened a heavy window at work in April this year 2014 (twice in a matter of a few days) I've had 11 sessions of physio to which this didn't respond to.  I've had horrendous pain over the months and now had a scan to show a prolapse disk.  On Thurs 27 November I had an epidural injection which doen't seem to have made any difference and I am currently off work this is my 5th week off.  Prior to this had four weeks off intermittently.  I am due to see the Neurosurgeon again on 17 Dec to discuss surgery that he said he can offer me.  I keep as active as possible but to walk sometimes if really painful and I can't work with this.  This has gone on for so long, any advice on how to treat this?  Should this have gone off for this long?  The L5 S1 disk is prolapsed.  Any comments of advice welcome....Thank you 

1 like, 14 replies

Report

14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I know exactly how you're feeling. 

    I slipped a disc and I've been suffering for 10 months now. 

    Like you, I also had the epidural injection and felt nothing and surgery is my next option but it's not something I want to go through. 

    A lot of people have suggested swimming as the movement can encourage the disc to go back AND the water takes your weight meaning your legs and back don't take as much strain. Also, hydrotherapy is something to look into, appearntly it's the most relaxing thing you can ever experience and it really helps with the pain. 

    I've done a lot of research over the last few months and it's actually the gel around the disc that is prolapsed and it can go back in over time (any where to 18 months) but it is vital to rest until you feel ready to do some gental exercise, just don't over do it. 

    I hope you feel better very soon smile

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Katie, I've not been on here for a while.  But about 3 weeks after my injection I began to feel the benefit.  The pain down my right leg has gone completely and my foot pain gone so I can now actually walk without limping and can move around a lot more.  I am still off work and been off now for 3 months.  I have today had some nerve tests done in my legs and none of the nerves are damaged (this is a good sign apparently). 

      I have my second opinion with a spinal specialist on 17 March as they wanted to wait until nerve test results to see whether to operate and wanted to give the injection more time to work.  I have to say I am now only on about 1 pain killer a day which is incredible.  I can walk a few miles without pain. 

      I am taking it easy still as in not running or biking (as not been able to do that for 9 months).  I now await second opinion. 

      I will try the swimming tho, which stroke to you suggest?  How are you?  What is your progress?  Hope to hear from you soon and hope you much better xxxcheesygrin

      Report
    • Posted

      Heyy thats fantastic news. Its nice to hear that someone has had some good news.

      Definitely wouldn't bike or run just yet, maybe just walk for now and work up to a jog, then into a slow brisk run. Front or breast stroke is best for swimming, using your arm strength more than legs and back.

      I had the injection in my spine but sadly it didnt have any affect for me. The paun in my leg is slowly getting worse so im hoping the doctor can give me some idea of what comes next.

      Hope you carry on getting stronger and the injection is the last time you have to worry about your nerve pain. Xxx

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Katie,

      I so sorry you still have this pain, it's completely horrible and definitely know what you are going through.  Will you not consider surgery?  A lot of people who I've spoken with say the surgery saved them, especially as the epidural is not working for you.  See below the comments from Fitch who is a professional swimming coach, he suggests front craw and breast stroke put a strain on the lower back.

      I really hope you get some help soon as 10 months is so long and just not fair whatsoever.  Please keep me informed of how you are getting on.

      Clare xxxlol

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi Clare07477,

    I have 2 on my neck and I at the bottom. If I'm not mistaken, I think it's C 5 & 6 and L 5. Had terrible pains and even had difficulties concentrating at work as well. It was very depressing as I've heard horror stories about how bad it can be and once you get it, it's for life. Ever since then, I've gone to the internet and done some researches as well on disc herniation and the recovery process. Truthfully, my Neuro otho surgean requested that operate and I said no. The good news is, based on my research and forums like this, I've discovered that 90% of ppl with these conditions heal. It says that in order for healing to happen, you spine needs oxygen to heal. Ever since then, I've taken up a little stretching techniques (Pilates) that I've taken off YouTube (something simple and not too complicated and does not strain your back) 3 times a day and swim 5 times a week. On the days I don't swim, I walk about 3km after my evening. I watch my meals and kept my weight down. It's been 3 months now and touch wood, my pain has gone and I live a pain free life. There are occasions I feel a slight pain, but it's very bearable. But this happens very occasionally only. My advice, surgery should be you last option and try these things first.

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi

    Do not under any circumstances swim breast stroke or any frontal stroke!!!. As an ex professional swimming instructor as well as someone who has had a double prolapse at L4/ L5   I Can tell you that this way of swimming places too much strain on the lower back. Best way is to lie on your back and just gently kick your legs up and down like backstroke. Use a buoyancy aid to help behind your neck like a float.

    I had a spinal fusion last September and am now back at work and relatively pain free. I am still in recovery of up to 12 moths but I am feeling so much better than I was. Spinal surgery was only considered by me after waiting 5 years and just having caudal epidurals. They didnt fix the discs which the Surgeons found when operating and so I had an fusion procedure as opposed to a micro disctectomy. I would recommend surgery as your last option.

    Best of luck.

    Report
    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the above information, I will certainly take this on board.  Always grateful for good info. 

      So you finally had surgery after 5 years (gosh were you pain free with the epidurals in the interim?).  So glad its finally worked out for you.

      Yes definitely surgery as a last option.

      Thanks again

      Report
    • Posted

      The Caudal Eoidurals would last between 6 to 8 weeks but they are supposed to be done every six months to work . This is never possible on the NHS where id wait an average of 12 months between injections. So if your in lots of pain push your Dr for a GP Referal to your local Orthopedic Surgeon to start the process.
      Report
    • Posted

      Thanks.  Yes had the epidural in November and the pain in my leg has now gone completely.  My lower back still bit sore but can walk without a limp.  I have been off work 3.5 months now.  Had nerve tests on my legs this week and none of my nerves are damaged.  I have a second opinion with a neurosurgeon in March as my original neurosurgeon is not sure whether to operate and wanted to see if this will heal itself.  When I had the nerve tests they said it looks like the disc is healing itself.

      As my second opinion appointment is not until March I am wondering whether to still stay off work until then, as I am feeling a bit better, any suggestions????

      Thank you.

      Report
  • Posted

    I hate to say this but ....

    I had no time off work other than the 8 weeks after surgery. The best thing you can do is keep moving. I think the only way they will know what your spine is doing is to give you an MRI scan. I had 3 prior to surgery.over a 7 year period .

    I hope your not in a bad NHS area. I'm in Dorset and they have been excellent although a bit slow on the appointment side.

    Mine was L4/5 L5/S1 a double prolapse but they took out my disc at the L5 level and now I feel so much better. the surgeon told me I'm now jacked up to my correct height as my spine was collapsing and pressing in the nerves, don't put off surgery as for most of us it works !

    Just make sure you know the exact diagnosis and to do that you'll need a recent MRI scan . Get your GP to refer you to your local hospital. Sooner the better. You need this xxxNice before you see your Consultant In March .

    Best of luck

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Fitch,  I live in Manchester so good NHS here.  I had a scan in Sept 2014 which showed a L5 S1 prolapsed disc after that had 11 sessions of physio which did absolutely nothing.  Before the injection I went to see a Chiropractor who made my back even worse I could hardly walk for weeks after seeing him (would never do that again).  It was only the injection in at end of November 2014 that seems to have taken the pain away.  Nerve root tests show no nerve damage (had these tests this week) so second opinion is now March 17 this year.  Do you think they will want to do another MRI scan again seen as only had one four months ago?  My GP has advised not to go back to work until second opinion in March but been off for 3.5 months already.  Do you mind me asking what you think??? 

      Much appreciated many thanks

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi Clare

    If you had an MRI recently then I doubt youll get another done before you see the consultant. They however may decisde to have another one done but due to the cost of these things its unlikely to happen before you see him.

    Like you I also had a bad experience with a Physiotherapist who well meaning back in the early stages tried traction on me as well as some other completewly wrong treatments. I wont reccommend physio to anyone unless they know exactly whats wrong with their spine.

    My MRI showed that I had instability in the L4/L5 section which may have been caused by a fall I had in my early 20's. I also had decompresssion performed at the same time as my spinal fusion. I guess March is not so far away now, I worked for an American company who dont have a generous sick pay scheme and so I was unanble to stay off work any length of time. So what I'm saying is probably best to stay off if your work involves a lot of siiting down or lifting things. You could try Ibuprofen to see if that helps. I dont think Paracetamol is any good with these things although I was on Co-Codamol 30/500 mg just before I had the operation. I had been on thses strong painkillers for several months but really the only thing that worked was a warm wheatbag believe it or not.Just go easy with the Ibuprofen as they can cause tummy issues which i'm sure you dont wish to add to your condition.My Discs never went back after waiting 7 years. Dont discount having an op but lets wait and see what the Surgeon thinks. If your MRI shows the nerve being pressed by the disc then a micro-disctectomy will probably sort you out far quicker than any other method. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Fitch, I work the Council so have been really well supported and also in the Union there.  I did this at work so this has now been diaganosed as an industrial injury.  I have now been off 3.5 months and with me having a sitting down job have been advised not to go back until my Surgeon's second opinion in March.  Like I say the pain down the my leg and foot has gone but I know the disc is still out because my lower back is still sore.  I can walk now without pain and only take one Ibuprofen 600mg in the morning and that lasts me.  Before I was taking 3 of these with paracetamol and co-codamol inbetween.  After the nerve test results they say my nerves are not damaged.  What concerns me is what happens when the injection wears off???  I want to book a summer holiday but won't incase surgeon suggests an operation or the pain comes back.  I went to Egypt in October and couldn't walk it was a nightmare.

      At present just walking but I'm out of that horrible pain.  I know they are hoping this will heal itself.  After the Nerve tests the woman who did these seemed to think this injury was healing itself. 

      I'm really glad you are on the mend that is really good news for you after waiting 7 years.

      Will keep you posted and thank you so much for all the informative inforation you have provided.

      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up