Results from my latest MRI showed posterior annular tear centrally with a dash of mild facet arthropathy in the L-5/S-1 area. My general practitioner noted that the disc tear is "more than likely cause of pain. Will heal, can take a long time."
I first experienced the pain in the summer of 2003 while I was a mile into a 2 mile run and it had been sporadic up until I had ACDF for a disc herniation at C-6/C-7 in December 2004. It has been steady since then but never radiating (I count my blessings every day my sciatic nerve is not impinged after experiencing radiating pain from C6-C-7). I was on vicodin 5/500 for about a week and then put on 50mg tramadol when the physician would not refill.
Weight: 187 lb
Question: How long should one expect this thing to heal or am I in for another herniation?
Last edited by dezispec; 04-24-2005 at 07:51 PM.
Reason: Titled was misspelled
i got mine in may 2000 and had to get a SERIOUS non-op (idet) done last summer in the hopes it'll go away. so far, so good...but tears do NOT heal themselves, and not everyone recovers from non-op (i'm keeping my fingers crossed).
you will need to look through non-op and op procedures available to see what you can get done. i would look seriously into long-term solutions...sounds like you want to remain active. as one who used to be a dancer, the last thing i wanted was to feel 85 at 35. the longer you feel this way, the harder it is to remember how you were!
Annular tears can heal on their own. The reaon that most don't is that the sufferer is unable to tolerate the pain level or level of disability for the duration of time that can be required. There are multiple non-operative treatments for annular tears that you should investigate. Rampage mentioned a good one in IDET. Just like surgery these do not work for everyone but given your age and relative healt they would be good alternatives to lumbar surgery. Whatever action you choose to take, do it soon. The stronger ou are when you undergo one of these procedures, the less road you must climb to get back to normal.
I would suggest you find a good board certified pain management specialist to explore options with. He/She should be skilled with interventional pain procedures such as IDET, Nucleoplasty and Discography.
valid point...i do stand corrected on the healing part. mine wasn't gonna heal on its own...i think it may have something to do with the size of the tear. mine was HUGE.
i went to an ortho for making all of these decisions, rather than a pm, but what's most important is to find a competent, qualified, trustworthy expert. that's paramount in my book.
and i also agree that, given your age & health, that trying non-op first is VITAL. idet was my last hope, and although insurance doesn't cover it, i had to give it a try. i just couldn't do surgery yet.
however, if surgery is your only or best option, fusion is rough but the best of those is called bone morphogenic protein. artificial disc replacement has had good results too. again, don't work for everyone, but these 2 are the most recent and therefore have the best success rates.
had discogram/discography, so can give feedback on that...although there's another thread discussing that topic that should be close to the front of this board.
It helps greatly and I thank you all. I opened the thread partially to see if I'm just a whimp as well. The impression I get from my GP is that this shouldn't hurt that bad. I beg to differ. Perhaps since she ordered the MRI and we didn't find pieces of disc plastered all over my spinal cord she believes it's nothing. It's true this stuff is a psychological monster as well as physical.
Non-operative is certainly what I would like. It takes too long to recover from surgery in my book. IDET looks like a good route now that I looked into it a bit more. I will have to see if insurance covers it or I'll have to start saving money again.
Much appreciation Rampage. Funny, I said the same thing to my wife the other day, except I said 80 instead of 85.
As well et318. I am in super health (except for a few discs of course) and sure would love to keep it going as long as possible.