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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Hello,
Back in December, I started to have pain in my left buttock that i associated with running and weightlifting. I'm not as fit as I used to be, but that's cause I was crazy with it for a few years, so I'm still fit, or was as of December. Anyway, I'm not big, 5'7'' and 130, so weight isn't a problem for me. The pain wasn't bad at first and since i've been a runner for >10 years, just figured it'd go away on it's own.

Six weeks later, it was getting worse. What was some soreness in my buttock started turning into a burning sensation into my hip. I saw a dr. who sent me to a physical therapist for piriformis. While doing the pt, the pain started to work down my leg. First my calf was getting pain, then my ankle. I stopped running 2 weeks in pt, just to make sure i was doing as much i could to rest and fix my body. After 1.5 months of pt, i was worse than when i started, when I was able to touch my toes by bending at the waist quite easily. Now, it's takes some work to tie my shoes. I don't blame the pt, i think the pain's advance was just a coincidence of timing with the pt. I went back to the dr., he realized i was worse than before and he sent me to a orthopedic specialist.

The specialist is supposed to be one of the best guys in the area. I don't doubt that he knows about backs, but his bedside manner, for lack of a better term, needs work. I don't think he even spent 15 minutes with me at the MRI follow-up. The MRI showed what the dr. described as a pea-sized herniation of L5-S1. He said he could operate and mentioned fusion. I declined.

I was considering getting an epidural, but then, i don't know if that will really fix the problem. I have pain constantly, but mostly, it's not horrendous. Sometimes, i think i walk funny because of it, but i mean, i can make a quick jog to the next building and Saturday, i spent the morning shoveling soil for a garden. So, yes, i think about pain. But i'm not really worried about that.

I'm more concerned with how much further this will go. The MRI was a week ago, so about 4 months after the pain started and 2.5 months after it really started to worsen and it showed a small bulge. Is a herniation LIKELY to worsen? I know that it CAN (as in i can also fall down the stairs and break my leg any day), but if i've given up running and biking (for now anyway), will it start to heal on it's own? If it at least stops getting bigger and i were to choose surgery, is a fusion really necessary? Can't the dr. just cut out the bulge? Or will more of the disk extrude to fill the spot formerly occupied by the removed section? Being mostly young, I've read that the material in the disk is still pliable and that messing with it is not suggested and that it might be better for older people, who've had the material sort of solidify, use surgery. But if the surgery is just removal of the bulge, it doesn't seem like it should have as big an impact.

My mind still spins with the fact that i was able to run with the underclassmen in ultimate frisbee and now, i can't even tie my shoes without pain. I'm coming to grips with that fact, but it's not easy.

I know the disk doesn't actually get back to normal, but a couple of people have said that the bulge should shrink or dehydrate(according to specialist), at least reducing the pain i have. Is it possible for a herniation to kind of heal and subside, so that one can do the activities they used to?
[QUOTE=runagainsoon;4225633]Hello,
Back in December, I started to have pain in my left buttock that i associated with running and weightlifting. I'm not as fit as I used to be, but that's cause I was crazy with it for a few years, so I'm still fit, or was as of December. Anyway, I'm not big, 5'7'' and 130, so weight isn't a problem for me. The pain wasn't bad at first and since i've been a runner for >10 years, just figured it'd go away on it's own.

Six weeks later, it was getting worse. What was some soreness in my buttock started turning into a burning sensation into my hip. I saw a dr. who sent me to a physical therapist for piriformis. While doing the pt, the pain started to work down my leg. First my calf was getting pain, then my ankle. I stopped running 2 weeks in pt, just to make sure i was doing as much i could to rest and fix my body. After 1.5 months of pt, i was worse than when i started, when I was able to touch my toes by bending at the waist quite easily. Now, it's takes some work to tie my shoes. I don't blame the pt, i think the pain's advance was just a coincidence of timing with the pt. I went back to the dr., he realized i was worse than before and he sent me to a orthopedic specialist.

The specialist is supposed to be one of the best guys in the area. I don't doubt that he knows about backs, but his bedside manner, for lack of a better term, needs work. I don't think he even spent 15 minutes with me at the MRI follow-up. The MRI showed what the dr. described as a pea-sized herniation of L5-S1. He said he could operate and mentioned fusion. I declined.

I was considering getting an epidural, but then, i don't know if that will really fix the problem. I have pain constantly, but mostly, it's not horrendous. Sometimes, i think i walk funny because of it, but i mean, i can make a quick jog to the next building and Saturday, i spent the morning shoveling soil for a garden. So, yes, i think about pain. But i'm not really worried about that.

I'm more concerned with how much further this will go. The MRI was a week ago, so about 4 months after the pain started and 2.5 months after it really started to worsen and it showed a small bulge. Is a herniation LIKELY to worsen? I know that it CAN (as in i can also fall down the stairs and break my leg any day), but if i've given up running and biking (for now anyway), will it start to heal on it's own? If it at least stops getting bigger and i were to choose surgery, is a fusion really necessary? Can't the dr. just cut out the bulge? Or will more of the disk extrude to fill the spot formerly occupied by the removed section? Being mostly young, I've read that the material in the disk is still pliable and that messing with it is not suggested and that it might be better for older people, who've had the material sort of solidify, use surgery. But if the surgery is just removal of the bulge, it doesn't seem like it should have as big an impact.

My mind still spins with the fact that i was able to run with the underclassmen in ultimate frisbee and now, i can't even tie my shoes without pain. I'm coming to grips with that fact, but it's not easy.

I know the disk doesn't actually get back to normal, but a couple of people have said that the bulge should shrink or dehydrate(according to specialist), at least reducing the pain i have. Is it possible for a herniation to kind of heal and subside, so that one can do the activities they used to?[/QUOTE]

I hope you at least try to get some chiropractic advice first..
I have had this surgery back in 1989..full fusion with a laminectomy.

I have such stiffness after a few hours of walking or working in the yard.I hear that the surgury today is less invasive, mine cut me right thru my waist muscles and I think that is took me almost a month to walk again. My legs feel like logs after a day in the yard and I cant get up out of the chair.

you also need to rest...stretch..low impact things only...its the weight of our own torsos that creates so much pressure on the spine. I was a machinist back then thinking I could just lift things like heavy metal vises and parts..but our backs are not equipped for that,and I didnt have that great of a core strength..

perhaps hanging from your feet, one of those elevation boards so that gravity can stretch you out...it helps me out when it gets too bad for me.

Surgery is a very last resort..





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