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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hello -

This is my first post. I have had back problems since I had hip replacement surgery (for congenital acetabular dysplasia) in 2001 at the age of 45. When I was 21, my ortho predicted that by the time I was 40, I would be in so much pain that I would have no choice but hip replacement. I was stubborn, scared of the surgery, and refused to have it done for about 5 years, so not only was I in pain all that time, but I walked leaning to the left. The hip replacement took away my pain in my groin, but I immediately started having back pain. Went to physical therapy twice for it, and it only made things worse. All they told me then was that I had degenerative disc disease. They told me to take double the maximum amount of over the counter Motrin - 12 pills a day! and that was that. So, I made it with the pain somehow. Lower back, mid back sometimes, left buttock and all the way down my left leg. Both legs feel like rubber sometimes, tingly other times, numb at night in bed for some reason, and 95% of the time, HURT along with my back.

In 2005, my mom was given hydrocodone, which she shared with me till her death from cancer early this year. It helped a lot. I had no insurance at that time, so I was not seeing a doctor. Yes, it was wrong, but I was in pain. And, I paid for it with the withdrawals after she died.

I had to wean myself off it pretty fast, which was awful. I realized I needed to get serious about my back if I wanted any quality of life at all. So, back to the ortho doctor i went.

When I saw my x-rays, I wanted to cry. I am CROOKED. My rib cage, spine, and even my pelvis all lean to the left. I was told I have -

Scoliosis - my left shoulder is much lower than my right. My left hip was the bad one. Is there a pattern here?
Spina Bifida occulta
Degenerative disc disease
Bone spurs on the lower spine

I made them give me a copy so I could show people. "Hey... you don't believe I hurt? Take a look at this!" I was given Mobic and Cymbalta. They don't help a whole lot, but maybe I am used to the quick acting hydro, and need to give these time to work. I plan to tell the doctor when I go back in 2 weeks that I think I need something stronger. Problem is, I am a little afraid to take the hydrocodone again. It helps the pain, but I like the way it makes me feel too much. I'm being very honest here.

I had an MRI today. The doctor said something about wanting to do surgery, but I said I would like to try EVERYTHING else possible first. So, he said something about some kind of shots in my back for the pain.

What else can they do for me? Do I HAVE to have surgery? I am terrified of back surgery... more than I was of the hip replacement.

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