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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

I was recently diagnosed with these back/spine problems. The doctor did explain some of what is going,but the whole time it felt like a blur because I was so upset and nervous. I'm seeing a specialist soon. In the mean time is there anyone that can help me understand what is wrong with my back, or give any advice etc? My doctor told me it's bad! How bad is bad in my case??

Here is the run down on my MRI

multilevel servre facet arthropathy
servere degenerative disk disease at L5-S1
servere central canal stenosis
multilevel posterior disk protrusions
Twohands has given you a good case scenerio. You do have multiple problems in your spine and are probably experiencing some nerve pain. If I were you I would get at least 2 opinions as to the proper treatment and what kind of surgery is recommended. The best doctors to do this, of course, is Orthopedic Spine Specialists and neurosurgeons....both should be fellowship trained and limit their practice to the spine. Personally, I prefer an Ortho spine specialist as I find them more "down to earth" and willing to go into detail with their patients. Of course, that is only my experience and there are plenty of people who swear by their neurosurgeon. Only you can decide what doctor best suits you and you can do that by seeing several specialists before deciding on a course of action.

Researching the terms in the MRI will be helpful so that you have a better understanding of what is going on.

I hope you will continue posting and keep us updated on how things are going. Best of luck to you.

It is a bit scary, isn't it? I can still remember my first appointment with a spine specialist and I was a wreck going in, believe me. Unfortunately, I wasn't well versed in issues concerning the spine and blindly agreed to surgery since that's what the neurosurgeon advised. It was not the right thing to do! If I knew then just half of what I know now, I would have gotten at least 1 more opinion, maybe 2, and one of them would have been an orthopedic spine specialist.

In hindsight, I realize that the surgery was possibly unavoidable, but there was no other options offered to me. Afterwards, I continued to have a good deal of pain, sometimes worse than before the surgery. After much prodding, the neuro agreed to more testing and said I had re-herniated that same disc and another laminectomy was needed. Again, I agreed and that began my long journey.

Since you have time before seeing the specialist, try keeping a diary that records your pain levels....what you were doing, what makes the pain worse, what helps the pain, where the pain is and what kind of pain it is. That will help paint a picture for the doctor and along with your test results, will help him to offer options for treatment. Do get at least a second opinion, not from a dr. in the same practice. Since this first appt is with a neurosurgeon, it would be good to get your second opinion from an ortho who specializes in spine and devotes his practice to the spine only.

There is tons of information on the internet that can help you understand what is going on, and what kind of treatment might be helpful. Learning some of the terms will allow you to interact with the surgeon better and will also make you more comfortable.

One last thing....I have always found it helpful to have another person with me. That second set of ears helps, and I have found most doctors to be more forthcoming when there is a "witness" so to speak.

I hope you will stay in touch and keep us updated on how you are doing.

Best wishes.


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