FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS, MAYBE LONGER, I'VE HAD BACK PROBLEMS. IT INITIALLY STARTED OUT IN THE RITE HIP, TRAVELING DOWN RITE LEG, AND INTO MY FOOT. AT TIMES MY LEG WOULD GO NUMB, AND THERE WERE TIMES I'D LOSE THAT LEG COMPLETELY AND FALL DOWN. I HAVE SEEN DOCTORS UPON DOCTORS AND TO THIS DAY AM STILL HAVING PROBLEMS. I'VE HAD INJECTIONS FROM L5 TO SI AND SCIATIC NERVE. I HAVE MRIs, CTs, MILOGRAM, AND A DISCOGRAM. ALL SHOWED THAT THE BOTTOM THREE DISCS ARE GONE-THE STUFF IN BETWEEN THEM--AND WHATEVER CONNECTS TO THE SCIATIC NERVE IS GETTING SMALLER. I'M TOLD I HAVE DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE AND FACET JOINT SYNDROM. HOWEVER, I'M NOT A CANDIDATE FOR SURGERY, AS IT MAY DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD. THE NEURO-SURGEON I SAW EVEN HAD A TLSO (TURTLE) BRACE FITTED FOR ME, BUT IT REALLY LIMITS MY MOBILITY. I CAN'T WALK ACROSS A STORE W/O BEING IN PAIN; I CAN'T STAND AND DO DISHES W/O PAIN; I CAN'T DRIVE W/O BEING IN PAIN AFTERWARD; I CAN'T SLEEP AT NITE W/O PAIN; I CAN'T TAKE CARE AND ENJOY MY GRANDCHILDREN; AND I'M REALLY STARTING TO GET DISCOURAGE. I'M ONLY 43 YRS. OLD, ALL OUR KIDS ARE GROWN AND NOW IT IS JUST ME AND MY HUSBAND--THE YEARS WE ARE TO ENJOY--BUT WE CAN'T BECAUSE OF MY BACK. I AM OPEN TO AN SUGGESTIONS AS TO HOW I MAY RELIEVE SOME OF THE PAIN--I AM TAKING PAIN MEDICATION, MUSCLE RELAXERS, ULTRAM, AND ZONEGRAM (IT'S NEW ON MARKET--SIMILAR TO NEUROTIN). I TAKE ALL THESE MEDS AND STILL AM IN PAIN, BUT NOT AS BAD W/O IT. I AM ALSO OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS ON SEEING ANYONE SPECILIZING IN THIS FIELD (I DO SEE ANOTHER SURGEON ON THE 11TH). I'M GLAD TO KNOW THAT I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE IN THIS PREDICAMENT, AND BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY ALL YOU GUYS HAVE MY SYMPATHY. I HATE PAIN CAUSE IT HURTS! AND I HURT. I'M GLAD I FOUND THIS SITE AND KNOW THAT I AM NOT ALONE. THANKS FOR LISTENING, AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING PART OF THIS FORUM.
Hi, Misty and welcome to the board. I see you are planning to see a new surgeon...exactly what I would suggest. I do not understand why you are not a surgical candidate...according to what you wrote, it seems to me that you are. You have 3 discs gone....that means your spine is falling down onto itself which is causing more damage.
If this next surgeon isn't more open with you...laying out options that will help, not bandaids like injections...then move on to still another. If you get 3 or 4 that say you cannot have surgery, then it is time to find a good pain management doctor. The meds you are on are definately not suited to severe pain; they are too mild. It's no wonder you hurt constantly and get little relief. Honestly, I don't know why fusion surgery hasn't been discussed or why your present doctor would think it would make you worse. Did he ever explain himself?
Good luck with the upcoming surgeon visit ( a spine specialist, right?)...I hope he can help you.
and the wait is over ~ YOU ARE a part of this forum
I have 2 things to say.
SEE ANOTHER Dr >> A SPINE SPECIALIST
SEE ANOTHER Dr ASAP.
You are in TOO much pain and discomfort. I do not know exactly why your current Dr says surgery is not available to you, perhaps he's not able to surgically help you, (sounds more like the case to me) Run, don't walk to see ANOTHER Dr.
*QuietCook is right: GET ALL of your records and films/studies etc... and have then with you at your initial appt with your NEW Dr!
are you currently in PM? If not, you should be! Especially since you've been told surgery is not an option for you. NOBODY should live the life you've described. You don't have too!
I am so glad you've found this board. You'll find so very many people with the same fears, concerns and frustrations as you have.
Do hope to see you post regularly and we all wish you welll ~
Like those before me I would strongly suggest exploring other opinions. I was in a similar position many years. I saw 3 surgeons all of whom had varying opinions and attempted different things. The third however started from scratch. He reviewed my previous films then ordered a series of scans of his own before agreeing to do a double fusion at L4/5 & L5/S1. The eventual outcome was positive however it tok me some 12 moonths to make a full recovery. The fact that I had glandular feever at the time of surgery didnt help. Today I have more problems with the bone donor site (illiac crest)than anything else.
Pain management is also an option pre and post surgery
you have been given some great advice here. Get to a pm doc asap. You can tell people here where you live and they can give you some advice on locating a good one.
Get that second surgical opinion! Make sure the surgeon you choose is a spine specialist and not a general orthopaedist who dabbles in spine work.
Once again, I am certain you can get direction from here.