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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

I have been reading your posted for a couple of days and there are some very well educated people out there who are giving great advice, so I am asking for your help and thank you in advance...

I will give you my quick overview without the overwelming details:

I am 34 with a 20 month old daughter. I fell off my porch around 8/2004 when she was just a few months old. Started developing lower back pain soon after and finally had an mri in 3/2005 which showed a herniated disk- L5 S1. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon and had 1 epidural. It worked slightly after about a month but didn't last long. My family was relocated this summer and so my medical condition was not given much attention...but with regular exercise and not sitting much (which is easy with a toddler) I managed the pain with ibuprofin - 800 several times a day which my primary care said was ok. Once we were settled in to the new house in 8/2005 I was pretty much back to being in full pain 24 hours a day- my back numb like I had spent the whole weekend moving, my right calf totally cramping up and my bottom having shooting pains (right side). So, got a new primary care in November finally after getting my daughter all caught up on her medical needs etc. and he referred me to phys. therapy and a nonsurgical dr at the same time b/c I told him outright that I wanted to get well quickly and hopefully with the aid of probably epidurals- get pregnant again (really not rational looking back on it but I thought I could "tough" through it). I did the ptherapy for about a month and it made things SO much worse and my nonsurgical dr. started me on neurotin and epidurals and nerve blocks and suggested that we try this first and then get back on to the therapy to strengthen my back after the pain subsided. He did the epidural and a nerve block and it did nothing. He suggested a second (of both), which we did the following week, and a third of both the following week and was truly suprised that these did not help. By now I am thinking, ok I know people have these microdiscectomy's all the time, that is where I am heading...but he recommends a nerve test and also a discogram b/c there are other non surgical treatments he can do in house that are less invasive. The emg didn't show any nerve damage the the discogram was painful and he couldn't even get "into" the ruptured disk space. So I suggested redoing the mri, which we did 2 weeks ago. At the follow up- he said right off the bat- you need to see a surgeon. I knew this b/c my disk is totally black and even in my limited education, could see it was sticking way out into the nerve space which showed me it was not just ruptured, but totally herniated! So he referred me to an orthopedic dr who recommended the microdisc. at first. But, I also told him that I realized it would be a while before I could have the second child at this point but that it was very important and that I realized there was a strong chance or reherniation with my active life style after a discectomy. At this point, he recommend the fusion b/c he said if I was his sister, he would take the longer recovery time for the knowledge that the disk would never cause anymore problems, during pregnancy or chasing little ones around. I of course, have a second opinion lined up with a neursurgeon b/c I have heard mixed emotions about each type of doctor. I am torn between wanting a "quick" fix (maybe) or just going for the fusion, but my head tells me not to jump into the last resort with technology changing every day.

Sorry this turned out so long- but I truly value your opinion with so many of you experiencing such similiar situations ( and my heart goes out to you in worse conditions than me). I also forgot to mention that I am on Kadain twice a day and sleep medicine and the occasional percacet for breakthrough pain although I still feel pain 24 hours a day. I can truly say my quality of life is deteriorating and I am starting to really get depressed about the fact that I think I will have to deal with this my whole life. But, I am truly optimistic that there is a solution which involves educating myself,seeking the best medical care and learning from others experiences.

Thanks again for any opinions you may have on where I should go from here. I am also curious to see how you feel about the epidurals back to back. As I have been reading a lot of posts and talking to people, it seems so strange that they were back to back. I also didn't mention I took oral steroids in various stages as well that did nothing.

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