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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

So I had my follow up appointment with my NS today to discuss results from my lastest MRI. The news was both good and bad as far as I'm concerned. The good news is that the MRI showed no damage to the previous surgery site and no other herniated or bulging discs on the side where I'm having pain now. The bad news (at least in my opinion) is that this is pain that I'm gonna have to learn to live with. According to the NS, the pain is a result of degenerative arthritis in the joints of my lower back, something that can't be reversed. Was referred to a pain management doctor for injections and pain blocks. Was told this should provide relief for weeks to months at a time. I'm willing to try anything at this time. Has this line of treatment worked for anyone else? Just relieved that no further surgery is required.
Just to clear a few things up. I was already suffering from degeneration and arthritis in the lower L5 region of my back prior to the cyst developing. This was due to having suffered a ruptured disc in my back in the '80s. That injury was treated with steroids as I opted not to have surgery. I've always had flare-ups from time to time with back pain in that area but the pain would eventually go away with a little rest and relaxation. The pain from the cyst was another type of pain altogether. Constant pain that radiated down the left side of my body into my feet. The surgery ended that almost immediately. But now this pain on the opposite side, post surgery, is a constant pain. Similar to what I was experiencing pre-surgery, but now much worse. Since the latest MRI showed no disc damage, I'm assuming it is age and arthritis related. Also, I have a very physical job that requires a lots of standing, climbing and walking on unstable surfaces. So, I guess I'm relegated to dealing with it through pain management. I'll just have to see hoe that works out.

Thanks for all the feed back and conversation. It was truly a help.
PapaBill -- Yes, my initial cyst that was removed during the surgery, had formed inside the spinal cavity at the L5 region. My current pain is starting to mimic the pain I was having before my surgery. I was told that since the pain now only extends down to my knee, that it indicates issues with the facet joints and deterioration in that area of my back. If the pain progresses and starts to impact my foot and lower leg (tingling, numbness, etc.) that would be a sign that the cysts were now compressing and affecting the nerves more and something would have to be done at that time. As in another surgery.

So right now, I'll just continue to take the pain meds and wait for the first round of facet joint injections to see if that provides me some relief.

I was able to view a couple of images on the MRI disc but other than the spine itself, I had no idea what I was looking at or for.

By the way, has anyone told you what causes these synovial cysts to occur? Haven't been able to get a good answer to this question. My doctor just says it may be a heredity issue. Gonna try to research this question more thoroughly.

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