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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

I am 26 years old. My neurosurgeon says that I’m a good candidate for a Charite disc replacement (L5-S1).

Back in August of 2003, I was in a bad car accident. A car decided to make a left turn on red and slammed into me (the oncoming traffic) at 55mph. I had severe bruising, but luckily no broken bones. It took about five months for me to heal and the numbness went away after a year. What did not go away was the extreme pain with numbness in my lower back/buttocks and numbness and shooting pain into my right leg. This has continued and remained constant since then.

My physical therapist told me after a few months, back in December of 2003 that I had no physical restrictions and that it looked like I was “making up” my pain. Sometimes the pain was worse on one side of my lower back. I also got the shooting pain down my left side and she said that I was telling “different stories” and that it was in my mind. She said that I could “lift a horse” and it wouldn’t hurt me. I went to the gym and worked out thinking that if I could strengthen my muscles and get myself in top shape that the pain would go away. I was in so much pain at the gym, but I endured it, because it seemed that nothing was wrong with me. When I would run on elliptical machine, I would have no feeling whatsoever in my feet and tingling pain down the backs of my legs, as well as pain behind my knees and burning, aching pain and bruising feeling all over my lower back.

I asked over and over for an MRI. It took 4 months for my doctor to refer me, so that I could get one. I finally got the results that I had a bulging disc with impingement on the nerve and DDD at L5-S1. I had lumbar facet injections a month later, which provided some temporary relief. I continued PT and the pain got gradually worse. I would get bolts of pain down my leg that would send me to the floor, if I didn’t have something close to hold onto. I took every pain medicine available… probably tried 15 different kinds. Ultram worked the best with less side effects, but I don’t like having pain AND not feeling like myself. I have continuous pain that is bearable when I do no physical work and put no strain on my back. I also must remain at a consistent weight. If I am over 135 lbs (5’8”), the pain gets worse.

Since then, I have had a couple trigger point injections that provided little if any relief. I also had another lumbar facet block, another MRI, which showed no change, and a discogram, which proved that my pain is coming from the L5-S1.

My doctor is recommending an ADR. I want to have kids in a couple years and I don’t really like any of my options. I can stand the pain only when it is at its best, and that requires very little strain on my back. I can’t sit for more than 20 minutes without getting up, and that is with my own comfy chair or sitting on a pillow. I can’t sit on a hard surface at all. I just want some feedback to have some peace of mind that I’m doing the right thing.


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