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Old 12-20-2003, 03:50 PM   #1
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Amy R. HB User
Question symptoms for tear/facet/si

Hi, I (like everyone else) am wondering what in the world is wrong w/ me. Some of my dr's point to disc tears, some mention facet prob's, and some blame my problems on si joint dysfunction.

I know symptoms vary person-to-person, but there has to be some consistency here.

Does anyone KNOW their pain came from a tear, and what was it like?
Does anyone KNOW their pain was facet-related? What was it like?
What would si j d feel like?

I know what I feel....but I don't think they really listen. Most of my pain comes from the "dimples" in the low back. The sacrum hurts all day everyday - stabbing and aching - and by the end of the day I'm stiff as if I have arthritis. Movement feels good while I'm doing it, but I pay by the end of the day. I absolutely canNOT do extension. Flexion feels good. I just don't know which of the above this sounds like!

What are those 'dimples' anyway??

 
Old 12-22-2003, 10:09 AM   #2
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mokita HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

[QUOTE=Amy R.]
Does anyone KNOW their pain came from a tear, and what was it like?


What are those 'dimples' anyway??[/QUOTE]

Hi Amy!

I have a tear @ L4-L5 (see rest of history in sig!). Most of my pain is in right dimple...wraps around to right hip. There's more,....but, if I have to point to an area, that w/b it.

I don't have probs w/ facet joints. How do I know? My doc, who'll be performing my Nucleoplasty and has done 2 caudal steroid injections for my displaced coccyx/inflammation, did some simple twisting/bending tests while pressing on (what I'm assuming) my facet joints (or close).

Also, my docs do not think there's anything wrong w/ my SI joint. I asked...and they did tests (stretching/pushing/pulling) in office to rule it out. After all those tests and after the steroid injections didn't take care of all my pain, a discogram was ordered. That showed the tear and was positive for my everyday pain.

Unfortunately, w/ a tear, that seems (to me) the only way to prove your pain is discogenic...coming from the tear.

Hope this helps a little. At least you won't feel like you're alone in the pain....my dimples hurt, too! I actually have what appears t/b dimples in my lumbar area! I always kind of thought they were cute! Until I got older and they started hurting!

Take care!

Karen

 
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Old 12-23-2003, 03:36 PM   #3
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Amy R. HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

Oh my gosh. It sounded like you were describing my pain. I am so excited you are getting a nucleoplasty. Tell me....is that for the tears??? Whenever I read of them, they mention it's for contained herniations (I'm sure you have those, too), but I was wondering about tears. I will follow your story if you post.

I see your pain came after delivery! I had a baby 21 months ago, and I was so scared I would die or end up disabled, and I was fine (vag delivery). Then I hurt myself 10 months afterwards! Go figure!

I'm proud you went on to have another kid despite the pain. Was it worse, or did it get better? My chiro said it can go either way. Sometimes, pregnancy brings complete relief, or it can be hell. Was your CSection b/c of your back?

I want so badly to have another kid. I'm 29 but I keep calculating how long it will take to get better, then try...and I'm so mad that this back has even stolen the option to try from me.

I can't believe a tear can make the si hurt! Why can't things just hurt where the problem is?!?

Good luck with your nucleoplasty. I'll be praying for you. I know that dimple-hip-everywhere-else pain oh too well!!!

 
Old 12-23-2003, 06:15 PM   #4
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Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

Amy ~

Yes, I have a contained herniation. The tear hasn't gone thru the outer part of disc into dural space. The hope is that, by reducing amt of 'stuff' inside disc, the leaked stuff can reabsorb into disc...and, if I'm reading it right, the tear will then be able to heal. I'm not sure if it's partially due to the heating during the proc, or what exactly. Will ask that...or can look into the details a bit more.


I got pregnant w/out ever having be dx'd properly. I stopped taking the vicodin as soon as I got pregnant. About 4 mos into it, w/ weight gain, I ended up being in pretty bad pain, and needed to take darvocet just to make it thru day. I'd pop in half - take as little as possible. But, I made it. The C-section was bcuz I started having contractions every night on 1/10/02. She was due 2/23/02. I had her on 2/8. I couldn't take it any more. Every night, for 3 or 4 hrs, I'd have contractions 5 minutes apart, for 45 sec to 1 1/2 min. Not enough to wake up hubby or call my mom to watch my older baby...enough to exhaust me. I was only 2 cm and going nowhere...had doc visits 2x/wk. He'd put me on monitor and say 'yep, you're banging away!...still only 2 cm" Finally, I begged to have the baby, so they did amnio - lungs were mature, had her. 8#4oz, 20-1/2 ".

I'm 40 or I'd have more. Heck w/ the back....it'll survive.

Well, my 3 yr old is needing me to get her to bed. Will check in w/ you later!

Karen

 
Old 12-23-2003, 06:47 PM   #5
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Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

What a big baby! I'm glad you had the C! Weren't you worried about the pushing? Well, like you said, you hadn't had the diagnosis.

I'm glad you got to 2, but I guess that wasn't enough! The furthest I ever got before the horrible inducement was .5cm, after walking, climbing stairs, everything. I couldn't believe it.

I meant to ask you, and sorry I'm asking so much, but do you ever get stiff? Like you're 90, and you can't lean, but just stand straight up? I get this way every evening, and not even Vioxx, Alleve, etc helps. You'd think these anti-inflammitories would help joint stiffness.

Did you ever think about Enbrel??
Thanks for writing back.

 
Old 12-23-2003, 10:02 PM   #6
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Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

Hi Amy,
I don't know if this helps. I have been Dx. with extensive facet joint hypertrophy. Along with arthritis of the l4-5 and the l5-s1. I have constant pain on both sides of my lower back. Sitting for more than 15 min. gives me the worst pain of all. Also standing in one spot. I feel ok moving but after a while I start to get tight and need to bend forward to stretch my back. When the pain is at it's worse it goes around to my hips and sometimes down the sides and front of both of my legs...but never past my knees. The Ortho. said that is one of the ways to tell if it is the facets. The pain wouldn't usually go lower than your knees. I hope you are feeling some relief soon. I also hope you get a Dx. shortly.

Lorie
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Old 12-24-2003, 05:20 AM   #7
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Amy R. HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

And my legs do that, too! But just the thighs! No one listens when I tell them about the front or sides of the legs, b/c they always expect me to talk about pain in the back of the legs, and I just don't have that. How did you get your diagnosis? I'm fighting WC to get a diagnosis. I wish I were smart enough to become my own dr. I would love to get facet injections, b/c I absolutely cannot do extension, and curling in a ball and bending all the way helps. From what I understand, that can sound like the facets. I'm the same way w/ exercise - it feels so good to do it (light walking, being in h20), but if I do, I'm so stiff that night, I can't move at all. So..should I do it or not? Who knows!

 
Old 12-24-2003, 05:43 AM   #8
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lfoster21 HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

[QUOTE=Amy R.]And my legs do that, too! But just the thighs! No one listens when I tell them about the front or sides of the legs, b/c they always expect me to talk about pain in the back of the legs, and I just don't have that. How did you get your diagnosis? I'm fighting WC to get a diagnosis. I wish I were smart enough to become my own dr. I would love to get facet injections, b/c I absolutely cannot do extension, and curling in a ball and bending all the way helps. From what I understand, that can sound like the facets. I'm the same way w/ exercise - it feels so good to do it (light walking, being in h20), but if I do, I'm so stiff that night, I can't move at all. So..should I do it or not? Who knows![/QUOTE]

Amy, I really feel for your frustration. I've been going through it for about 2 1/2yrs. The original xrays, emg's and mri's were good and the Dr. finally gave up and said he thought I had fibromyalgia and I've been learning to live with some amount of pain since then. However, I fell at work and I had never felt pain like I felt that night and to this day. The only way they found the facet prob. was after 6 weeks of being treated for a sprain/possible cracked vertabrae, I was still in pain. (The Ortho. said it shouldn't take that long to heal either one.) He ordered ct Scan and it showed the facet prob. and OA.

Symptons: Pain worsens with sitting or standing in 1 spot too long.
Bending as far over forward temp. helps.
At it's worse, pain down side or front of thigh, never backside.
Suggestions: Make sure you are seeing an Ortho. not jsut P/C
Ask for ct scan
Write out your questions and ask about facet, specifically.
Ask for P/T if you don't already have it.
Most important, ask for copies of your med. records each visit.
collect them and submit them to W/C yourself. You'll probably be asked to sign a release form once a mo. or so from you Drs. but it is worth it. Keep all your records together. My employer never sent my records to the state. I found myself having 20 days to collect all my records and get them in to the state or they were going to drop the case. W/ W/C, you are also entitled to a 2nd opinion. If you don't think your Ortho. is listening to you...find a new one.

Good luck and I will be praying for you.

Lorie
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Old 12-24-2003, 06:58 AM   #9
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Amy R. HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

I CANNOT believe they tried to blame that on fibro. If someone said that was what was wrong with me, I don't know what I'd do! You don't just "get" that at work in an accident!! I have found myself a good neuro, and am relying on my lawyer to get me off the wc panel and to the dr of my choice for all of my treatments, not just an IME (my employer broke the law by never showing me a panel). But it's so slowwwww. My fear is that it's gone too far - I read once that back pain gets harder to treat the further along you are. I am wondering if it can be fixed at this point. I don't know if 11mo is a long time or not. What treatment are you going to do? Have you had facet injections, and have they helped? I'm going to ask for some. I'll be praying for you. W/ 2.5 years, you are much stronger than I.

 
Old 12-24-2003, 08:29 PM   #10
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lfoster21 HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

[QUOTE=Amy R.]I CANNOT believe they tried to blame that on fibro. If someone said that was what was wrong with me, I don't know what I'd do! You don't just "get" that at work in an accident!! I have found myself a good neuro, and am relying on my lawyer to get me off the wc panel and to the dr of my choice for all of my treatments, not just an IME (my employer broke the law by never showing me a panel). But it's so slowwwww. My fear is that it's gone too far - I read once that back pain gets harder to treat the further along you are. I am wondering if it can be fixed at this point. I don't know if 11mo is a long time or not. What treatment are you going to do? Have you had facet injections, and have they helped? I'm going to ask for some. I'll be praying for you. W/ 2.5 years, you are much stronger than I.[/QUOTE]

Hello,
I have just gotten this dx. and have a referal for the injections. I will keep you posted as to how they work. I am hoping that it works and that it lasts a while. I hope you are having a great christmas/holiday.

Lorie
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Old 12-25-2003, 08:44 AM   #11
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mokita HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

Hi Amy!

Yes, I am really, really stiff in the morning. But, I am on oxycontin 20mg2x/day and percocet 3x/day. So, I wake up in the wee hours, between 5-6:30, and take my oxycontin before I even get out of bed. If I sleep thru to 7 and get up out of bed....it takes me a long time to get going. I often say I feel like I'm 90. Not fun. Even w/ the oxy....I'm still stiff, but functional, thank God.

I have heard of Enbrel helping w/ tears, actually. In the Back Problems board...there's some info on it if you want to check it out. I am getting close to my Nucleoplasty, so doubt I'll be changing anything w/ meds for now. The docs will want to be sure that if my pain is getting better, that the Nucleoplasty is doing it. I sure hope that's the case and I can begin a weaning process in next 1/2 yr or so.

My first baby ~ my water was leaking @ 4:15 am. I waiting for hubby to get up, told him...he's like "What???" I called doc, said I had no pain, no 'gushing' and I already had appt sched' for 11am. Doc said 'keep the appt unless something more happens'. Sent hubby to work...then, around 8:30, GUSH. Water REALLY broke. Called hubby...he started home, I got my bag ready cuz I knew I'd be having baby cuz after water breaks, they make sure you have it. Went to doc, they said Yes it broke (duh)..sent me to hosp..but, said no hurry cuz I was only 1.5 cm. Got to hosp, checked me in..I'm not even having contractions other than Braxton Hicks...they hooked me up to pitocin....that was around 12 noon on 9/21. I had my baby @ 9:19am on 9/22/03!!! So, from 4:15am 9/21 to 9:19am 9/22. No wonder my poor body suffered! She was posterior, so even tho they gave me the epidural and I didn't feel anything, the damage was being done.

Ok....my youngest needs my attention....a toy needs assembled!

ttfn

Karen

 
Old 12-26-2003, 05:52 PM   #12
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mxrider929 HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

[QUOTE=Amy R.]Hi, I (like everyone else) am wondering what in the world is wrong w/ me. Some of my dr's point to disc tears, some mention facet prob's, and some blame my problems on si joint dysfunction.

I know symptoms vary person-to-person, but there has to be some consistency here.

Does anyone KNOW their pain came from a tear, and what was it like?
Does anyone KNOW their pain was facet-related? What was it like?
What would si j d feel like?

I know what I feel....but I don't think they really listen. Most of my pain comes from the "dimples" in the low back. The sacrum hurts all day everyday - stabbing and aching - and by the end of the day I'm stiff as if I have arthritis. Movement feels good while I'm doing it, but I pay by the end of the day. I absolutely canNOT do extension. Flexion feels good. I just don't know which of the above this sounds like!

What are those 'dimples' anyway??[/QUOTE]
these symptoms sound exactly like mine. my 3rd. p/t said hyperextension of back.my job is constant lifting,bending,in awkward positions.(pop delivery guy)and the pain is finally getting easier to deal with.how did you find out about this (tear) what test did they run?

 
Old 12-27-2003, 09:31 AM   #13
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Amy R. HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

Hi, mxrider! I cannot believe you continue to do your job w/ that pain. What do you think has helped to make it a little more tolerable...just time maybe?? How long has it been? The tears "kind of" showed up on an mri in the form of a 'high intensity zone' - a bunch of white outside of the disc which means there's probably a tear. I would need a discogram to tell me if that's what - or all - that generates my pain, but for now I'm stuck in WC and am getting nowhere.

 
Old 12-27-2003, 09:39 AM   #14
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Amy R. HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

Hi, Karen!

I didn't realize you were on so many meds. My dr's act like Alleve or Tylenol should suffice. That's like telling someone in labor to take a Tylenol! Now I take Ultracet, but that's easy to build a tolerance to. That Pitocin is horrible. I didn't know your baby was posterior. I was worried from reading so many books mine would be. Did they say that's a cause for your back pain?? I can't imagine forcing a posterior baby out w/ pitocin, that would be unbearable! Did it cause tailbone pain? I ended up on it b/c my water had been leaking for several days (I told them, they didn't believe me), and by the time I convinced them, I already had a nasty infection. They said it might not hurt so much the next time w/o an infection, but once pain is that high, I don't think there's any variation to make any difference. I never dilated past 0.5" on my own. I hope you had a good Christmas. Are you sure you should be assembling toys?

 
Old 12-28-2003, 01:55 PM   #15
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Amy R. HB User
Re: symptoms for tear/facet/si

Karen,

I forgot to ask...what will your recovery from the nucleoplasty be like? I know you mentioned you will need a lot of help.

 
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