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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hello - I normally am over on the spinal board because my cervical was my overwhelming problem and where I have done all my surgeries, but I also have lots of thoraic and lumbar issues. My L5/S1 is completely centrally herniated out and I have bi-laterial sciatica, similar to your situation. I have not had lumbar surgery and not sure I am going to. Surgery isn't always the answer to taking away pain, I have 2 successful surgeries but I am still in pain. I was told same thing as you about bladder/bowel (cauda equina syndrome).

The good and bad about your thecal sac (surrounds your spinal cord) is at this level in your lumbar your spinal cord does not run that far down - it only contains nerves, the bad is that you could get cauda equina syndrome from the nerves being compressed and central herniations are more at risk to get it, but it is rare. You will know if you need to go to the ER. In my thoracic I have bulges and I have one at T6-7 that hurts quite a bit so I know how you feel, but I am in pain management for the total situation. I have a Hemangioma spanning T10-12 on the vertebral bodies now and it is not causing spinal narrowing and is not cavernous which is the type they really worry about. SOunds like your hemangioma is like mine so that was not a focus for the doctors other than they watch it.

For the leg pain I have found epidurals to help quite a bit and highly recommend it when you see the PM doctor. I have the pain on both legs all the way to toes and I have done epiruals since June 09 and successfully put that pain to a liveable level from not being able to sleep and walk.

I do not do any physio because every time I have tried it has made be worse off and they stop it. HEat and ice work wonders on that sciatica, especially ice that nerve on the backside of your leg for 20 mins at a time. I sleep with heating pad on auto-timer.

In the very beginning of my problems back 5 years ago I was medication averse, I was scared of it and didn't understand when used properly how it can make life liveable. People over exaggerate addiction - yes for some it is a problem, but most of us it is more dependence - our bodies get used to the medications and we would have withdrawal if we stop taking it, but if you take it as prescribed and follow doctors directions - the pain management people will ensure you safely use the medications. If you have a pre-existing addiction problem you probably need to put some steps in place to ensure you don't fall down that hole. The PM will help you choose the combo that will achieve your goals. I am on Fentanyl patch as my primary medication and I never feel doppy or high or anything - so finding the best med for you will help you function.

Sorry you have these problems, there are many of here with almost exact situations - it seems pretty bad now, but you can get a lot of this in a more acceptable range and eventually learn what works for you. Ultimately you need to listen to the doctors and if you think you need - get a 2nd opinion. Take care and if you have more questions or need support you can always Private Message me.

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