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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hello all,

I'm new to the board, but like most of you not new to back pain.

I'm 26 and have been suffering from a herniated L5/S1 disc as well as general DD for over 3 years. I am, or well, used to be extremely active: mountain biking, skiing, running, climbing, heavy weight lifting, etc.

After the initial shock of pain, and general lifestyle changes I made when I first discovered my herniation 3 years ago, PT, cardio, and a moderate weight program seemed to do me well. I had a few bad episodes that would last a few weeks, but I usually recovered. I'm still only a shadow of my former self. I've lost 45 pounds of muscle since this all began, and I'm a lean guy to begin with.

Unfortunately, the last 6 months has been nothing but down hill. I'm now suffering from constant numbness, loss of strength, and loss of motor function in my right leg and foot. I'm pretty much in constant pain; I can't even mow the grass let alone do basic house hold tasks.

I tried the DRX9000 decompression/traction treatment, but it didn't help or alleviate the nerve compression in my lower spine.

The doctors I have seen my area are of no value and have antiquated skills (IMHO).

So, I'm independently looking for noninvasive procedures that will alleviate the nerve compression/herniation and give me a few more years before of a semi-active life before my next disc goes and I'm back in this same position again. Speaking of which, my neck has been in constant pain and I'm having nerve pains and muscle twitching down my left arm. This is all new to me.

So, I've seen two/three procedures which seem to hold some promise before trying something drastic like ADR. (Feel free to offer other procedures if you think they're better).

The first is PLDD (Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression) pioneered by a guy in NY. I think the gist is the insertion of a laser into the disc, nuke some of the nucleus, thereby creating a partial vacuum and pulling the herniation aware from the nerve column.

The second, which it seems I can find more information on is endoscopic discectomy. I think (although I could be mistaken) is that in one variant the surgeon goes in with a laser to remove the herniated part of the disc, while in the second they use a probe to cut away the herniated part and possibly push it back into place.

I did a search on these boards, and didn't find any mention of PLDD. What I'm really interested in is pro/con, compare and contrast against the these procedures. Like many of you, I'm trying to guide my own path through this and praying for a positive outcome. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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