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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Hello all, I've been reading this site and it seems like a very supportive and informative community.

Here's my husband's story:

1995: discectomy L4-L5 for bulging disc.

1996: Disc started to leak another surgery L4-L5

Fairly successful surgeries. After recovering, he lived with moderate daily pain (3). If he overworked his back by playing Hockey with the kids or yard work he would be in pain the next few days, ranging from 8 - 5.

March 2003 - Put in a new water heater and blam-o excruciating pain.

Dr. said it was a muscle pull. Perscribed vicodin and valium. No numbness anywhere, pain strictly in the back. 4 weeks later, numbness in right hip, extending down to the calf and foot coupled with severe (8) pain. -- no pain in the back. Now taking a total of 6 vicodin (5/500), 6 Advil - 2 pills three times a day.

6/2003 - MRI done and have been to Dr. for results.

L4 - L5 bulging slightly. Nerve is pinched in the middle area. Also, L3-L4 now bulging (huge) and the middle area of the spine/nerve is small. I hope this makes sense.. I do not know the technical terms the doc used.

Dr. Recommendations: Steroid Injections or a discectomy on L4-L5 and L3-L4.

My husband is leary of both. He doesn't want to mask the pain w/ the injections. From reading here, it seems the injections work only about 50% of the time and repeated treatments don't seem very successful. Husband is also hesitant about another surgery. The doc said it would take only 2 - 4 weeks to heal (could that be a true statement?) I think he thinks it's easier to stay on the meds. Realizing that they are masking the pain as an injection would but somehow he is able to rationalize it.

He has not persued PT. Due to time issues since he is still working full time.

As I am not a doc and am also very concerned about him, I've told him I'd support whatever decision he makes...but I am reluctant to give him an opinion one way or the other since he will be the one living with the results.

I guess what I'm asking you for is: Which Would You Choose and Why? and are there any other meds that help you with the constant pain?

Thanks in advance for any insite/advise you can give us.

Tiffany.



[This message has been edited by Quantum (edited 06-07-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Quantum (edited 06-07-2003).]





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