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Old 02-10-2004, 08:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 33
wolebearsnc HB User
Unhappy new...confused need help....

hi there... I am brand new to this board & need help...
am going to try to explain the best that I can about my situation & hopefully I can get some answers to my concerns here...
anyway here goes...
4 years ago I had back surgery for a buldging disc on L5....the surgery was a great success....have been pain free 90+%....
over the past 6 months I have seen my Family dr. who did an xray & sent me back to my Nero surgern I saw 4 years ago ...family dr said he saw nothing on the xray....
nero surgen did an MRI & said HE sawe nothing on the MRI BUT degentaive disc disease[how could he see DDD if he saw nothing on the MRI]...
he sent me to Physcial theropy ....that was a joke....the PT was wonderful BUT I couldn;t get passed the 1st exercize she asked me to do which was these knee to chest bends....tried to use the balll BUT that made the pain in my legs so bad I could hardly stand it....
the PT released me back to my Nero sugen ....she told me that she felt that I have spinal stenosis....& that she wrote to recommend that I may need surgery to stabilize my back.....she told me that she is not a dr. BUT that this was her recommandation .& that if the dr. ordered me to have steriod injesctions that I needed to get a 2nd opion ....that I have nerve issuse that need to be addressed & that steriod injections were only a QUICK Fix & not the answer I need to help ease my pain[I have been a hair dresser for 30+ years & bending over a shampoo bowl ect ect is just making my pain worse]...
anyway saw my nero surgen today & the 1st thing out of his mouth was the steriod injections....said that there was nothing HE could do sugerically to help me with this DDD...
he did NOT see anything on my MRI that makes him think I have spinal stenosis ....BUT the PT thinks this is what I have....BUT I have been reading a lot of posts here & see alot of peole having surgery for DDD....I am so confused ...
I am going to call & make an appt. for a 2nd opion....
I don't know what to do... I donlt know who to beleive.....
I am also scared to death as I am in so much pain & as of last week had to quit my job doing hair because I can't get to work ...I have to have my 15 year old son help me get out bof bed in the morning & the pain meds[vicodine] are a joke...all they do is make me constapated[sp....sorry]...
this is no way to live ,,,I am only 48 years old & feel like I am 80 ,,,
I also have a strange situation as my husband lives in NJ & our son & I live in NC[job transfere & my husband only has 4 years left to be able to retire ]....
also our son has a form of Autism[asperger] & NC is the best place for the 2 of us to live,,,,
if any onw can tell me what I need to do or guide me what I NEED to do at this piont I would really appreciate it ...
do I need to take the recommandation of the PT & NOT have the injections ....do I listen to my Nero surgen ...do I get a 2nd opion[which this one I am already going to do...
I have a ton of peopke telling what I need to do BUT they do not have DDD & donlt want to make the wrong choices ...
I have people tellin gme to go to a chorpracter[sp]....am not to sure I should do this....
please I need help & support ...
thanks in advance
wolebearsNC

 
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Old 02-11-2004, 12:05 AM   #2
Mart7
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Posts: n/a
Re: new...confused need help....

I am sorry you have been going through so much. My situation sounds very similar to yours. I had surgery in 1999 (microdiscectomy - L4-L5), it was a complete success. I was released from the hospital earlier then expected and I actually left the hospital walking better then I walked in. Back in November I injured my back attempting to lift a 50 lb bag of water softner salt (stupid I know) -- my 6 ft son was with me and was yelling NO MOM DON'T! I felt the pull immediately (of course my son proceeded to load our shopping cart with the remaining bags of salts lifting them like they were rag dolls). Well, I could barely walk when we left the store and couldn't walk at all by the evening. Thinking it was probably just a strain I didn't even called my Doctor; but when I didn't see much improvement, I scheduled an appointment to see him. (He basically just felt it was a strain and prescribed vicodin and soma.) When I didn't improve after a few weeks he ordered x-rays. Unfortunately, he has a very busy office and the xrays got misplaced and I didn't find out until January that I have DDD. Well, of course since I didn't know something was really going on with my discs I way over-did during the holidays and probably ended worsening my condition. I just saw my Orthopedic surgeon and according to the more specific x-rays he had done; I now have a collasped disc in the L-4/L-5 and will require fusion surgery. I am still awaiting an MRI so he can get an even clearer picture of what is going on. I am sorry that this post is so long (I tend to be very long winded), but my main point is that after the run-around I have gotten I am very leary. I really think it would benefit you to look into getting a second opinion, it won't hurt to have another surgeon look at your test results. You need to get relief from the pain and the peace of mind of knowing that all is being done to treat your condition. Please keep us posted on how you are doing, and I hope you get some relief from the pain very soon.
-MJ

Last edited by Mart7; 02-11-2004 at 12:07 AM.

 
Old 02-11-2004, 05:49 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 33
wolebearsnc HB User
Talking Re: new...confused need help....

[QUOTE=Mart7]I am sorry you have been going through so much. My situation sounds very similar to yours. I had surgery in 1999 (microdiscectomy - L4-L5), it was a complete success. I was released from the hospital earlier then expected and I actually left the hospital walking better then I walked in. Back in November I injured my back attempting to lift a 50 lb bag of water softner salt (stupid I know) -- my 6 ft son was with me and was yelling NO MOM DON'T! I felt the pull immediately (of course my son proceeded to load our shopping cart with the remaining bags of salts lifting them like they were rag dolls). Well, I could barely walk when we left the store and couldn't walk at all by the evening. Thinking it was probably just a strain I didn't even called my Doctor; but when I didn't see much improvement, I scheduled an appointment to see him. (He basically just felt it was a strain and prescribed vicodin and soma.) When I didn't improve after a few weeks he ordered x-rays. Unfortunately, he has a very busy office and the xrays got misplaced and I didn't find out until January that I have DDD. Well, of course since I didn't know something was really going on with my discs I way over-did during the holidays and probably ended worsening my condition. I just saw my Orthopedic surgeon and according to the more specific x-rays he had done; I now have a collasped disc in the L-4/L-5 and will require fusion surgery. I am still awaiting an MRI so he can get an even clearer picture of what is going on. I am sorry that this post is so long (I tend to be very long winded), but my main point is that after the run-around I have gotten I am very leary. I really think it would benefit you to look into getting a second opinion, it won't hurt to have another surgeon look at your test results. You need to get relief from the pain and the peace of mind of knowing that all is being done to treat your condition. Please keep us posted on how you are doing, and I hope you get some relief from the pain very soon.
-MJ[/QUOTE]


Mj ...wow you too have been going threw a lot....I am in going to call today for an appt to get a 2nd opion as I still am not to sure about these steriod injections....thanks fro replying to my post as I have read a lot of posts here & that is why I am ???? my results that have beeen done so far...
thanks again
wolebearsnc

 
Old 02-11-2004, 07:09 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 102
GracieGirl HB User
Re: new...confused need help....

I completely understand how you feel. I have been to 8 drs and they all seem to say different things. Who do you believe? Do a lot of reading. My opinion, is surgery should be your last option. Especially since you have already had one. You were correct in stating that you PT is not a dr, keep that in mind....I have had the epidurals. They did nothing for me, but I know a lot of people who they really helped. Some of which avoided surgery by having them. Sometimes they are a band-aid, but sometimes they are long lasting. As long as your dr doesn't think they will harm you, you may have nothing to loose. I don't know how effective they are with DDD, though. I would look into it. I also know what you me with the PT and the pain meds. There isn't a pain killer that phases my pain. I am now on Vioxx and Soma. The Vioxx really does help some, but of course there is still pain. I would definately get a second opinion. The first dr that looked at my MRI misdiagnosed me completely. Also, I would be leary of a chiropractor. I went to one about 7 months ago and I am soooo much worse than before I went. I wish I had never gone. In fact, I am having another MRI today to see what new damage is there since then. Finally, I know how frustrating this is. I am only 30 and my life is at a stand still. I had to quit my job I loved and am very limited in my "activities". My poor husband has to do almost everything for me. Hang in there, and don't do anything unless you are comfortable with it. Good luck.
__________________
GracieGirl

5/02 onset of low back pain
11/02 physical therapy, pain same
5/03 physical therapy, discharged, not effective
7/03 lumbar MRI, disc protrusion L5-S1, annular disc tear
8/03 chiropractor, physical therapy, pain worse
10/03 MRI thoracic spine, 2 small hemangiomas, trace fluid on lungs
11/03 tested for Lupus, negative
11/03 orhtopedic surgeon, canidate for future artificial disc replacement surgery when approved
1/04 epidurals

 
Old 02-11-2004, 07:39 AM   #5
Inactive
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 64
Pippin HB User
Re: new...confused need help....

I've seen a bunch of surgeons, too, and gotten different opinions from them on exactly where the problem is, and exactly what to do about it. But hang in there. Get another opinion. If the MRIs and Xrays were done at an outpatient facility, call them and find out how you can get copies of the Radiologist's report. These reports are very specific about each vertebral level and whether (or not) they see anything out of the ordinary.

I don't think you should see a chiropractor until you know what's up with your back. But, that's just a personal opinion. I feel the same way about the epidural steroid injections. The injections serve two purposes: 1) they are analgesic, i.e., they may give you pain relief and 2) if they give you pain relief, then they serve as a diagnostic because it proves the medication has reached your pain generator. But doing hit-or-miss epidurals is useless unless they know what levels/nerves they are targeting.

I have finally decided to not have an open surgery on my back. Instead, I'm opting for MISS (minimally invasive spinal surgery) at a clinic in Florida. I have foraminal stenosis at L5/S1 (severe) and L4/5 (moderate).

 
Old 02-11-2004, 07:52 AM   #6
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 131
delilah1963 HB User
Re: new...confused need help....

[QUOTE=wolebearsnc]hi there... I am brand new to this board & need help...
am going to try to explain the best that I can about my situation & hopefully I can get some answers to my concerns here...
anyway here goes...
4 years ago I had back surgery for a buldging disc on L5....the surgery was a great success....have been pain free 90+%....
over the past 6 months I have seen my Family dr. who did an xray & sent me back to my Nero surgern I saw 4 years ago ...family dr said he saw nothing on the xray....
nero surgen did an MRI & said HE sawe nothing on the MRI BUT degentaive disc disease[how could he see DDD if he saw nothing on the MRI]...
he sent me to Physcial theropy ....that was a joke....the PT was wonderful BUT I couldn;t get passed the 1st exercize she asked me to do which was these knee to chest bends....tried to use the balll BUT that made the pain in my legs so bad I could hardly stand it....
the PT released me back to my Nero sugen ....she told me that she felt that I have spinal stenosis....& that she wrote to recommend that I may need surgery to stabilize my back.....she told me that she is not a dr. BUT that this was her recommandation .& that if the dr. ordered me to have steriod injesctions that I needed to get a 2nd opion ....that I have nerve issuse that need to be addressed & that steriod injections were only a QUICK Fix & not the answer I need to help ease my pain[I have been a hair dresser for 30+ years & bending over a shampoo bowl ect ect is just making my pain worse]...
anyway saw my nero surgen today & the 1st thing out of his mouth was the steriod injections....said that there was nothing HE could do sugerically to help me with this DDD...
he did NOT see anything on my MRI that makes him think I have spinal stenosis ....BUT the PT thinks this is what I have....BUT I have been reading a lot of posts here & see alot of peole having surgery for DDD....I am so confused ...
I am going to call & make an appt. for a 2nd opion....
I don't know what to do... I donlt know who to beleive.....
I am also scared to death as I am in so much pain & as of last week had to quit my job doing hair because I can't get to work ...I have to have my 15 year old son help me get out bof bed in the morning & the pain meds[vicodine] are a joke...all they do is make me constapated[sp....sorry]...
this is no way to live ,,,I am only 48 years old & feel like I am 80 ,,,
I also have a strange situation as my husband lives in NJ & our son & I live in NC[job transfere & my husband only has 4 years left to be able to retire ]....
also our son has a form of Autism[asperger] & NC is the best place for the 2 of us to live,,,,
if any onw can tell me what I need to do or guide me what I NEED to do at this piont I would really appreciate it ...
do I need to take the recommandation of the PT & NOT have the injections ....do I listen to my Nero surgen ...do I get a 2nd opion[which this one I am already going to do...
I have a ton of peopke telling what I need to do BUT they do not have DDD & donlt want to make the wrong choices ...
I have people tellin gme to go to a chorpracter[sp]....am not to sure I should do this....
please I need help & support ...
thanks in advance
wolebearsNC[/QUOTE]

Hi wolebearsNC,

I've been diagnosed w/DDD in my cervical spine C4/C5. I just had my first ESI (Epidural Steroid Injection) in my cervical spine on 2/2. I would say so far I have about 30% improvement...a couple of things I want to mention...

You can have up to a series of 3 of these shots about 3 weeks apart per year. Whether or not you go beyond the first shot depends on your level of improvement. I think as long as you are showing some level of improvement, they keep going. Everyone's improvement is different, some experience none at all, some are pain free indefinitely.

A friend of mine had a series of 3 (3 weeks apart) 8 years ago and hasn't had pain since. She had disc herniation L5 and S1 I believe.

Just be sure you have a qualified doctor sticking you with the needle. An anesthiosiolgist is preferred, under fluoroscopy (live x-ray) is another must so whoever it is performing the injection can see exactly where they are.

The injection site is sore for a couple of days, but for me it was definitely not as bad as my regular pain. Also I had a day of feeling like I was in a hot flash...cortisone flushing through my system. I was sedated (Versed) during the procedure, which I think is more common with cervical injections, and in any case makes the procedure a breeze since I didn't remember a thing! LOL.

I've been to chiros a plenty and while I get some relief it is always temporary. My condition is not a "I threw my neck out" and after a couple of adjustments I'm back on track. IMO that's when a chiro is great. However, I am in a chronic situation and want more than temporary relief, so I am willingly going after these shots. If it doesn't work, I'll formulate yet another plan.

I wouldn't discount it until you find out more about it and why your doc thinks it's the way to go.

Take care and let us know how it goes.

All the best,
Del

 
Old 02-11-2004, 10:01 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 33
wolebearsnc HB User
Thumbs up Re: new...confused need help....

wow!!!! thanks so much ALL of you for your great support...I am feeling so much better [mind wise] ....I am waiting to hear back from another nero surgen office to get in for a 2nd opion.... its not that I wnat back surgery I just to make sure that I am doing the right things NOT to have surgery....yes I still may have to have surgery BUT I just want to make sure these choice are the right ones....
thanks again & will keep all of you posted...
wolebearsnc

 
Old 02-11-2004, 10:42 AM   #8
Mart7
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: new...confused need help....

[QUOTE=wolebearsnc]wow!!!! thanks so much ALL of you for your great support...I am feeling so much better [mind wise] ....I am waiting to hear back from another nero surgen office to get in for a 2nd opion.... its not that I wnat back surgery I just to make sure that I am doing the right things NOT to have surgery....yes I still may have to have surgery BUT I just want to make sure these choice are the right ones....
thanks again & will keep all of you posted...
wolebearsnc [/QUOTE]

Just wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts and I hope you get some answers from your second opinion. I certainly agree -- surgery is such a major step -- I am scared to death. It is such a catch-22 ... I just feel like so much of my life and functioning has been so impacted by this constant pain and the nerve related issues I am experiencing. I am very involved with my children's schools and serve on may boards in my local community --- but I am feeling my limitations so strong and it so frustrating. Anyway, just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you and I total relate to what you are going through. Please keep us posted on what you find out.
-MJ

 
Old 04-18-2010, 10:18 PM   #9
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 223
Blog Entries: 4
Myofascial Pain HB UserMyofascial Pain HB User
Re: new...confused need help....

Some clarifications and alternate suggestions...

First, steroidal injections do not typically have any anesthetic component. Cortisone and all the other steroids act to reduce inflammation and thus reduce pain by reduction of pressure on the nerves that the inflammation produced. Other than providing some type of topical analgesic, injecting an analgesic would only serve to confuse the results of the treatment. The doctor's would have to guess if it was the steroid or the anesthetic that helped. So unless one's pain was preventing other diagnostics say an MRI that required your not moving and the pain was making your body jump; diagnostically they will inject just the steroid or just the analgesic.

Get a referral to a Pain Management specialist if you can... most of the back specialists I saw were Spinal Osteo/Rheumatologists... So their focus was on the spinal bones and disc joints. Just like a neurologist is only going to be seeing nerve problems... Turns out my condition is a soft tissue injury, torn myofascia in my back. Which none of the doctors prior to the PM specialist even considered could be the problem. So they had me on a course of PT that tore my fascia further and "set back my recovery by a year at least if not multiple years" the PM specialist said.

Now after countless Trigger Point Injections (TPI's) ranging from 28 to 12 per session, 9 Basal Branch Nerve Blocks (BBNB's) and 4 Radio Frequency Ablations (RFA's), I am back to a point where I am doing PT again though this time, the right variant of PT that won't tear my fascia further.

As far as Chiropractic treatments go... I've had some success with what they call Directional Non-Force Technique. Personally, I be seeking the right diagnosis before proceeding with any treatment, but if you really feel the need to see a chiro this variant has the least potential for exacerbating your condition in my humble opinion.

~Myo

 
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