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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi everyone I need some help. I have severe lower back pain mainly on the left side and have had this for about 15 years. I had an EMG and nerve conduction study done in 2005 and it showed damage in the nerve root in the L5. Well about a year ago I started having numbness in my left hip area and then I started having pain in my butt and down my leg so my GP sent me to have an MRI and this was the what the impression was

(1) mild degenerative changes in the lower lumbar spine. no central canal or neural foraminal stenosis is appreciated. An annular tear and small disc extrusion are suspected at L5-S1

I was then referred to a Neurosurgeon that sent me to a PM doctor in May for an epidural injection that did not work at all and I now have severe pain in my left forearm due to phlebitis caused by the IV they put in. Next the Neuro sent me to have a Myelogram and then another emg and nerve conduction test. I went back to the Neuro on Friday and he said the emg was normal and so was the myelogram. So now I am confused because the pain in my lower back is still here and gets really bad when I sit for a period of time or stand still for a long time. I do not currently have any numbness but it has alway been a recurring thing. I am just wonder what could be wrong because I am currently on medical leave from work due to this and there has got to be a reason for the severe pain that gets worse each time.
Hi, I can also attest to the fact that torn discs can cause alot of pain! In '05 I had 2 large herniations, one of which was torn. Before I had an MRI, this pain was so horrific and for me it was very localized. It was a deep, deep, searing burning pain in a very local spot that felt like it was deep in my spine. It felt like someone was pouring acid in there. It brought me to tears and that pain caused me to vomit constantly. I pointed to the area on my spine that I felt it was..and lo and behold, when I had my MRI, that was exactly the area of my herniations and tear. I cant quite remember now, but that deep local burning pain did subside for me after a coulple weeks, though I still had nerve pain and spasms from the herniations. My PM told me that local burning was probably from the gel inside the disc leaking out onto the surrounding nerves. And another thing, my MRI report mentioned the herniations (among other things) but didnt' mention the annular tear. It was my PM who saw the tear. He even showed me the MRI and explained what was what and showed me where the tear was. When comparing it to other discs, I could see the difference. So MRI's don't necessarily show everything and the Doctors who interpret them don't always see everything. I would say that you should get another opinion.

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