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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


I am 33, married, and up until last December very active. I was driving home one evening and both my upper back and lower back began burning. It kept getting worse and worse until it literally felt like something caught on fire in me. I spent a few days on the floor not thinking much of it. Thought it would go away...

I will skip ahead to not bore you with the details.

The MRI showed a large herniated disc between t6-7. Nothing in the lumbar. 2 NS and 2 Ortho Sugeons later, I still have had very little done for me. The cortisone shots helped. But I am still ruined. Currently, I have gotten my pain level somewhat under control, but I am still unable to do anythign in life that I enjoy. I am debating surgery.

I started 75 mg lyrica last week. I am also on a small dose (5 mg) of lexapro which also provides surprising relief, but I have to take it with Nexium as it tears up my guts. Since starting the lyrica, I have not taken a single Vicodin. Ultram makes me crazy. I told the doc to give me back the vicodin or I would be taking the .357 magnum pain cure. Guess he believed me.

So, I am now walking 3 miles a day, and have lost about 15 pounds. Can't do much else though. Can't even sit on the couch... have to lay on the floor. Did I mention I am 33? I am however still improving... but it is sooooooo slow. And improvement is measured by things like... I was able to sleep on my stomach last night and only woke up with a pain level of 2! Whew hoo! Where did my life go?

Next week I am scheduled to have dye shot into the discs. With my 80/20 insurance plan, all I have done is throw money at the doctors, and although they need to make payments on the new Mercedes, it is getting old. So, here is where I need the advice.

:confused: Question 1.) I have been told that this thing may heal on its own. After reading the long thread on thoracic injuries, that seems like a false hope to me. Has anyone ever gotten their life back by waiting?

:confused: Question 2.) I have been told by 1 doc he can't do anythign for me, and the other 2 told me they would crack my chest open and deflate my lung to fix it. BS! :nono: The fourth doc told me that he would go through the back, take part of my rib, and use it to fuse the vertebrae. 3 days in the hospital. I figure with my 80/20 that should be about 10g's. Could pay it, but it will be devestating. Willing to do it if it will give me back my life though. Any suggestions?

:confused: Question 3.) Been reading about a guy named Doctor Jho in Pittsburgh. Sent him my MRI and he says I am a candidate for his microsurgery. I would be out in a day and it is only a small cut. No fusion. Asked my other doc about it and his response was that microsurgeons have created a lot of parapalegics doing this. This is in a vascular watershed area and it is largely a frowned upon surgery by other NS's. Jho's called back and I shared this concern with them. They responded that other doc's don't know what they are doing, and Jho walks on water, yada, yada, yada. Have any of you dealt with him on a thoracic surgery? What happened?

I am willing to do just about anything or nothing. I just want to know that I am on the road to recovery, whatever that may be. Thanks for whatever help you can give me.

-john





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