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Old 08-06-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
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Disc Protrusion L5/S1

Hey all,

I recently found out that I have a disc protrusion at L5/S1, and I'm honestly quite a bit terrified. I've read online that most people get better in time with either PT/chiro work/etc., but seeing all of the discussions regarding surgery and years of pain here freaks me out!

Here is more regarding my situation:

24 year old female, had "thrown out" my back a few times in the past, but apart from that, no real health issues.

So, in mid March I'm out to dinner with friends, and suddenly start to feel this awful pain in my lower back, which only gets worse throughout the night. The only thing that made it better was taking off my heels. For the next two months, I try to endure the pain. I see a doctor, and they just prescribe me muscle relaxers and anti inflammatory, and say I’ll be fine in a just a few days. Not the case. I am able to live my life, and get around, but my back still hurts, and I have trouble bending over.
Mid May I start going to a chiropractor who does massage on my lower back and glutes, and cites that most of the tension is in my glutes—but that he thinks the whole thing is muscular, and dates back to when I was hit by a car 4 years ago (there was no back injury from that accident). That helps for a while, but he then says he wants to do SASTM on me (apparently really breaking down all the muscles), and that seemed a bit much, so I stopped going. At this point, I feel much much better, and can bend over and move around again. With the exception of some muscle tightness still, I feel good to go and think this problem might be over!
At the very beginning of July, I’m having sex with my boyfriend, and he pushes hard against my legs, and I feel something pull real bad. I go back to the doctor, and get ordered Physical Therapy. The first week, I am in SO MUCH pain. Its hard to sit up, sit down, get out of bed, anything. Sitting is the worst. I dread getting in my car, going to work etc. And I can feel the pain in my tailbone. I continue with PT, and am generally feeling a lot better.
About a week ago though, I thought I felt some pain in my calf. It is very very mild. I don’t know if I would even call it pain. Its mostly a “to the touch” sensation, so if I don’t touch it I don’t notice it. I finally get an MRI done, and get the results back, with protrusion in L5S1.
I would say that right now, the majority of my pain is in my glutes, and hip area. And most of it feels like a muscle ache. I have trouble sleeping at night, but I think that’s partially due to buying a new bed that is just too firm (my boyfriend wakes up with back pain when he sleeps in it too). I can move around pretty well now, pick things up off the ground, and generally am not to bothered by my pain. It’s still uncomfortable to sit for a prolonged period of time though.
Do you think I will require surgery? I am so nervous from reading about disc issues because it seems like no one ever gets any relief, surgery or not. My parents seemed unphased (apparently my dad has three disc herniations—he has always had back pain, but he has never not be able to live his life).
I have to wait to see a spine specialist, so any guidance or support would be much appreciated. I feel like I’m way too young for this to be an issue

 
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:39 AM   #2
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

Ive had disc problems for 17 yrs and most recently severely and just had fusión surgery. Over the years I suffered alot also. Having an mri finally should get you some better treatment by Dr's hopefully. I tried all I could all these years, surgery is def the last resort when all else fails and you Cannot live daily life and pain is unbearable. I AM new here, but I recommend Getting 2-3 opinions from different Dr's. And check their credentials. Ask each of them all your options. I had success with epidural steroid injections in my cervical along with therapy and traction. It did not work for my lumbar though. But this is just me. I had a fusión with screws and rods put in. My dad just suddenly ruptured two discs at age 76, always healthy back entire life. He had (i think it is called) a discectomy. They just Took out the ruptured part of his disc. He feels 100% better at 3 weeks and is off all restrictions. Everyone is different, it is Very scary too. I AM not a Dr, this is just my story. Keep looking on here, I found lots of info that I then made sure to ask each Dr ?'s About. Good luck and I wish you pain free.

 
Old 08-06-2012, 12:14 PM   #3
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

I have every sympathy for anyone that suffers with this type of back pain, like you I went through all the various different things like pain meds, physio.
I was told that I had syatica (sp?) at first, it wasn't until I had some final xrays when I got to the point of not being able to walk for more than 5 - 10 min intervals without sitting that they found the disc had disappeared on
L5-S1 level.
My only option was surgery, I had spinal fusion, it took a while for everything to settle down, but I can honestly say it was the best thing I had done, I have a few twinges but nothing that I can call severe pain anymore.

You know you have back pain when you have dic problems, thats for sure.
So its something to consider, but not something to take lightly thats for sure.

Hope you get relief from your pain soon xxx

 
Old 08-10-2012, 04:52 AM   #4
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

, i had a sudden pain started in my right thigh one month back which i ignored but gradually pain started increasing then 15 days back i consulted orthosurgeon who told me for MRI, the mri shows L5 S1disc herniated and space contracted to 8 mm and indentation of thecal sac shown with abutting nerve , more on right side.
what should I do??

atul gupta

 
Old 08-10-2012, 05:01 AM   #5
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

, i had a sudden pain started in my right thigh one month back which i ignored but gradually pain started increasing then 15 days back i consulted orthosurgeon who told me for MRI, the mri shows L5 S1disc herniated and space contracted to 8 mm and indentation of thecal sac shown with abutting nerve , more on right side.
what should I do??

atul gupta

 
Old 08-10-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

I suggest getting second opinion always. Try a neurosurgeon maybe. I had on and off luck with traction at PT and injections for years until my recent injury was the final straw and only option. Good luck.

 
Old 08-26-2012, 06:22 PM   #7
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Smile Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

I also have experienced a L5-s1 herniation and I toughed it out for 6 months, then got two steroid shots which did help, while being on light duty I re injured the disk from a 4-5MM herniation to a 15MM herniation, this was such unbearable pain, I had searched message boards for a long time to find the right path, I have received several options, I went with a neurosurgeon who did a great job(I did as much background on him as possible) It has been 2 1/2 years and i feel great. My advice is if you decide to have any surgery to give enough time and exercise to cause it to heal right(I have heard to many stories about people feeling better and doing things to early) I have since changed my life style to deal with back problems and furthered my education to help prolong any further injury. I hope you feel better and good luck

DC

 
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:36 AM   #8
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

Hello to all,
Very interesting discussion so allow me to jump in and share my case withyou. I believe through such discussions we can help each other, although eachcase is different from the other.
My clinical view: Strong pain in the rightleg only during some activities (bending or sitting for long time)
The finding of my MRI was as follows:
Right posterilateral disc protrusion at the L5/S1disc level with moderate compression of theright descending S1 nerve root.

I am 2 months after the origin of the problem and i am following theconservative method of treatment with laser and electrotherapy.
My question is how long it takes for a disc like thisto be healed?

 
Old 10-24-2012, 08:31 AM   #9
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

first I want to tell you that most people that return can talk about the problems still have problems, that most people that get fixed go on living there lives and don't come back and talk about it... I too had l5s1 herniation, did the disk ectomy, re herneated and finally just did disc replacement. My back feels better now I'm just feeling residual inflammation pain Or at least I hope that's what it is...I hope everything works out for you, there will always be people here to talk to if needed

 
Old 10-24-2012, 10:07 AM   #10
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

To all posting in this thread....try to stay strong and avoid surgery until it is the absolute last resort. I've been posting here as I have struggled with herniation and nerve inpingment for several years, at L5/S1. My last episode has caused numbness in left leg and foot....BUT.....I'm getting better. Having given in to FMLA from work, 4 injections this year, tons of patience and persistence in doing exercises and going to PT....just hang in there if you can.

I may one day end up on the surgery table....but not yet. Be your own advocate, ask lots of questions even when you know your doctor may wish you were not so long-winded, and listen to your own body. That's my best advice.

There is lots of good information on this board and I appreciate everyone who comes back and posts good results....whether they have chosen surgery or not, because everything positive helps everyone of us.

I hope we all continue to feel better and stronger...

 
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:00 PM   #11
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

I agree with Calin, everyones situation is different,and if you can avoid surgery it is the best option, try conventional methods first...and I hope you progress an get better...lots of people have avoided surgery...listen o the doctors and if your body is hurting take a time out and give your body what it needs... rest and don't overdue it

 
Old 10-24-2012, 11:32 PM   #12
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

As I mentioned before I am following the conservative method of treatment with laser and electrotherapy. This week we started exercises also. I think patience is the key factor here. Only those with the same problem can realize the situation and the pain we have every day.

 
Old 10-25-2012, 04:54 AM   #13
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

Quote:
Originally Posted by adopastos View Post
As I mentioned before I am following the conservative method of treatment with laser and electrotherapy. This week we started exercises also. I think patience is the key factor here. Only those with the same problem can realize the situation and the pain we have every day.
Would you share about laser therapy? I'm not sure what that is and am certain it is not something that has been offered to me, so I am interested. Electrotherapy I assume is like a tens unit, correct?

 
Old 10-25-2012, 12:18 PM   #14
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

High Intensity Laser Therapy - HILT is the method. You can finf a lot of info on the internet. For me is working just fine. After 5 or so therapies shows results.Electrotherapy is like a tens unit i suppose.

 
Old 10-25-2012, 04:31 PM   #15
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Re: Disc Protrusion L5/S1

i have 2 lower disc that are bulging ive has in injections in my spine been to pain mangement and now they want me to do funtional capacity exam i cant stand for more than 5 minuts and i am in so much pain the more i more the more i hurt my suragan dont dont i need surgry on my back so what do i do now

 
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