Mind if I join?
It's not about me, though. It's about dh (44 yrs old). He's pretty much computer illiterate and I'm trying to help him as much as I can. You all sure seem like a nice and experienced group. I apologize in advance for this lengthy post!
In May, after a tremendous amount of pain, dh had his first MRI. That opened up a can of worms as I'm sure you all can relate. Here are the results:
L2, 3, 4 - near complete loss of disc space, Mild to significantly advanced DDD within all lumbar vertebral discs, minimal disc bulging at L2-3, small disc protrusion at L3-4, with narrowing of the left lateral recess. At L4-5 there is diffuse disc bulging with superimposed large disc herniation, and at L5-S1 - small central disc protrusion with conjoined nerve root.
The ortho sent dh for epidural treatments with no success or relief of radicular pain. Enter neurosurgeon. By this time, six weeks of extreme pain have passed. Surgery is suggested for immediate relief but not until a cervical MRI is done. More results:
C3-4 - broad based disc bulge, facet hypertrophy w/ bilateral moderate to severe neural foraminal stenosis, minimal thecal sac effacement. C4-5 - osteophyte and right-sided facet hypertrophy w/ mild to moderate right neural foraminal stenosis. C5-6, broad base disc bulge, bilateral facet hypertrophy w/ mild to moderate bilateral neural foraminal stenosis. C6-C7 - moderate sized broad based disc bulge w/ facet hypertrophy and bilateral neural foraminal stenosis.
Dh had surgery for the large herniation in July. The disc was cephelad and pieces that had broken off were successfully retrieved. No more radicular pain. BUT! Now the domino affect starts and he is in constant lower back pain and the shooting pains start at 7 pm like clock work. He can barely straighten up, let alone sit, stand, walk, etc... There are some days when just to keep holding his neck up is too much. He has entered into a pain management program which started with facet injections at 5 different levels and goes for PT this week for the first time. No relief from the injections, however. Essentially he has been in pain for 5 months and there has been no relief. In order for him to receive a cervical fusion, the lower back needs to be stabilized.
He's been on long term disability for two wrecked knees and just received his denial from SSDI a few days ago. They indicated that he was only having lower back problems, has been treated for that and for the knees, and is only in a minimal amount of discomfort. Go figure.
If you've made it this far, thanks so much. I know there are other options out there for him and we're reaching a state of desperation in trying to get him some type of relief. Being weightless in a pool seems to help but he can't live in it.
Last edited by kaybee; 10-05-2004 at 08:52 AM.