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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Hi (long story, apologize upfront),

I have been diagnosed with mild diffuse disc bulge and small midline focal disc protrusion at L5-S1. In addition, I have numb toes in my right foot, numbness in the ball of the foot, burning sensation down my right shin (feels like a match is being held to my leg), and good old-fashioned back pain.

The first time I had an MRI (2001), I was sent to a surgeon. He said it was non-surgical and gave me a pamplet on back pain and a bill. Pain continued to worsen and another MRI was done in 2003. Not much change and the same surgeon was abrupt and said non-surgical. When I insisted that I was in a lot of pain, he relented and sent me to a pain specialist.

First the pain specialist did a nerve conduction study and an EMG. He stated that I had severe nerve damage. Then he gave me various drugs (many of which are now supposed to cause heart problems). These did not help much, so we next tried cortisone shots. First one was good, second caused pain to increase. So he suggested no more.

Pain comes and goes, so nothing was done for a while. Suddenly, I had sharp pain on opposite side (right) and went to dr. He put me on heavy steriods, pain killers and sleeping pills. It worked to reduce the immediate pain, but still needed third MRI. No real change noted on MRI.

I have an appointment at the Duke Spine Center.

Finally, my question. What treatments are available? Successes? Failures?

Any help would be apprciated.





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