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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Hi, I will try to make this short. I am looking for help from people who may have had an experience similar to mine. I have a history of back problems, and had a laminectomy at L 4-5, 2 years ago for a herniated disk, at the same time I was told I had spinal stenosis and DDD. The laminectomy took my leg pain away and i no longer walked with a limp. However, I have never been able to stand for 20 minutes or more without pain and pressure in my low back and legs, I am guessing because of the stenosis. Before x-mas I was doing more walking and standing than I normally do and woke one morning with horrible low back pain that also goes into one leg. I can only walk with my legs very close together or the pain turns my foot out and either way causes me to limp. This seems to be different than the herniated disk pain so when I looked it up, it sounds like sciatica. I also have trouble sitting, and if I am not carefull, have a stabbing pain in my front upper leg where my leg and pelvis meet. Do you have any suggestions, opinions, and treatment options? Does this sound like sciatica or a reinjury of my back? Also, I posted on 2 other boards and received no replies. I already know that this does not sound too promising and do not have unrealistic hopes, I just want opinions of people who have been in my postion. Thankyou so much. Kamden
Hi Kamden: I had the exact same L4-5 laminectomy in March, 1993. I, too, have DDD and spinal stenosis. In fact, about 14 of my spinal disks are degenerating. I am a 55 year old woman who did a great deal of lifting over the years. I still have pain and I always will, due to the fact that once the spine is damaged, it tends to "tweek out" and send pain messages, even though damage is not being done. The disks themselves, as they degenerate, actually are "burning their proteins out" (like a dying star, sort of) and this also causes pain. It also depends upon how deeply your nerves are embedded into the disk material. zi cannot stand or sit long either. It is simply a fact of life with lumbar spinal troubles. If I am waiting in a dept. store line, I must shift the weight of my body from leg to leg, slowly swaying my hips back and forth. To sit, you need a lumbar roll in the curve of the low back. You can use a rolled up towel; make sure the seat you sit in has back support and use the roll at all times. I no longer could work as a secretary/data entry/word processor once my lumbar spine gave out. That was at 43 years old. Laminectomies are done to decompress nerves to save them from permanent damage and to remove leg pain. They don't help the back pain; spinal surgeries are done to save your nerves from damage. What you need is pain control and a physical therapist to go over proper lifting (which you most likely have already had). You and your doctor must keep on top of your spine, looking for changes in pain level and new numbness and tingling. Also, be aware of the "saddle area" being numb (that is usually L5-S1), the disk below the one you had the laminectomy. If you get total numbness in saddle area, you have 24-48 hours to have emergency surgery done to save your bowel and bladder nerves; otherwise, they could be damaged permanently. My entire lumbar spine has torn, damaged disks. I can still walk, but I take opiate pain meds to give me somewhat of a life. Take care, Patmg P.S.: If you have further questions, please ask. I am dealing with a possible complications from a gall bladder surgery done Nov. 6th, so if I drop out of sight for awhile, that is why.
[QUOTE=Kamden]Hi, I will try to make this short. I am looking for help from people who may have had an experience similar to mine. I have a history of back problems, and had a laminectomy at L 4-5, 2 years ago for a herniated disk, at the same time I was told I had spinal stenosis and DDD. The laminectomy took my leg pain away and i no longer walked with a limp. However, I have never been able to stand for 20 minutes or more without pain and pressure in my low back and legs, I am guessing because of the stenosis. Before x-mas I was doing more walking and standing than I normally do and woke one morning with horrible low back pain that also goes into one leg. I can only walk with my legs very close together or the pain turns my foot out and either way causes me to limp. This seems to be different than the herniated disk pain so when I looked it up, it sounds like sciatica. I also have trouble sitting, and if I am not carefull, have a stabbing pain in my front upper leg where my leg and pelvis meet. Do you have any suggestions, opinions, and treatment options? Does this sound like sciatica or a reinjury of my back? Also, I posted on 2 other boards and received no replies. I already know that this does not sound too promising and do not have unrealistic hopes, I just want opinions of people who have been in my postion. Thankyou so much. Kamden[/QUOTE]

Hows it goin Camden, I waited awhile before replying to this, and realized we're all in the same boat no matter how you look at it. Anyway, I'm comin on 18 years post op ACDF C6-7 and 3 years post ACDF C5-7 w/hardware. Have experienced many different painful symptoms in the last year and absolutly nothing visible to diagnose. Dr's won't say (artifacts on MRI and they can't see)but I'm pretty sure its stenosis (or scar tissue, or bone spur, or fusion gone bad syndrom, or who knows what) and from what I've read in the last year the symptoms can come and go and be wide and varied. Not to mention, they can happen just about anywhere on your body no-matter where (level) the stenosis is. The biggest (and the hardest) thing I've learned over the last while is to slow down and listen to what your body is telling you. Oh, and you have to agree with it too. My every move has to be thought out and deliberate, or I screw up and turn too far or do too much increasing that wonderful thing we love so much. Radiculopathy is what I think its called. Something happening to the nerve here but it hurt WAY over there. Its taken three years to realize what is causing the pain, and thats getting out of bed in the morning(or afternoon). Presently my three greatest allies are faith, hope and determination w/this board coming in close behind. I never thought I'd hear myself say this but I'm starting a pain mangement course in a couple of weeks and I am really looking fwd to it. Theres a wide variety of thing to do for yourself out there and it up to you try them until you find the one for you. I too am on opiates as they afford some relief. Anyway, good luck for now, and may the pain fairy dry up and drop dead.





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