My doctors are confusing me with two very different views of the same thing, so I'm hoping someone here can help unravel the facts.
Recently, a spine surgeon told me that I will now need a discogram due to the fact that a recent MRI doesn't show the info he needs. On the other hand, my regular Dr (i.e. GP/MD) now tells me that if the MRI doesn't show anything, then the discogram is even less likely to since MRI is now the 'Gold Standard' of diagnostics.
[QUOTE=Losy]i would get another opinion but correct me if im wrong somebody, a discogram is a procedure that seeks to mimic/exhasperate your pain so as to id which level is causing the problem
Thanks for your reply, but that's even more confusing because they already know that the prolapse is at L5/S1. Wouldn't knowing that detail already tell them the level the pain is eminating from or am I still confused???
Last edited by chocolate chip; 07-30-2005 at 01:53 AM.
Its the surgeon thats going to operate not your GP. If your surgeon intends taking action ie an op. He may have a reason why he thinks its neccesary. The other option of course is another opnion. What level of pain r u experiencing and have you explored more conservative treatment options. Once you have had surgery you need to be consious of the impact it has on the mechanics of your back - ie if you have a fusion at the levels concerned the domino effect may become a factor in time - That is the discs above take more of the load and strain.
I had a L4/5 L5/S1 fusion 16 years ago and recently experienced a bulge at L3/4 which with conservative treatmrent - physio, stabilising exercises, hydrotherapy - exercise in water, appears to be settling - the exercises I do have become part of a daily routine and are extreemly important if I am to stay healthy
Good luck and I hope this is of some help - remember surgery is the last option
Thanks for the advice Losy. It's much appreciated and I will definitely give any options for surgery some serious thought. The trouble is that things are so bad now, I don't think it can get any worse.... or at least I hope not!!
To what extent does your back stop u from working, exercising etc. To me the words "cant get any worse" equates to bed ridden, high levels of pain relief medication such as oxycontin. Its all relative and you will find people on the boards whos life r adversely affected by their back probs and you struggle to get through each day
[QUOTE=Losy]To what extent does your back stop u from working, exercising etc. To me the words "cant get any worse" equates to bed ridden, high levels of pain relief medication such as oxycontin. Its all relative and you will find people on the boards whos life r adversely affected by their back probs and you struggle to get through each day
Yup!! You describe my condition exactly. Bed-ridden, high levels of pain etc etc In short, I'm unable to walk, sit or stand for more than a few minutes at a time (if I'm lucky!) so I'm in constant pain unless I am lying down with my knees raised on a pile of specially-placed cushions - a position which I had to discove for myself. I also have an array of many other symptoms too but I won't bore you with the details.
I've been left dazed and confused by different Drs with diametrically opposed opinions and advice.
Well bedridden was my second name for nearly 20 years prior to my L4-L5-S1 fusion. I must have had a 100 back attacks and each one took me weeks to recover from. My surgeon would not do a fusion on anyone who was young and with very good reasons. Did the fusion help? Nearly died because of complications during surgery. Three months till I was walking and a full year before the severe spasms went out of my back. Six years later I experienced sciatica again on a regular basis with periodic acute attacks although not a frequent as prior to surgery. Now here I am 22 years after surgery with daily nerve pain and very limited walking with a cane. All my levels are bad and there is no cure.
One prolaspsed disc (bulging?) Surgery? Simple discectomy at most! Fusion is the surgery of last resort as it usually causes even greater problems with time. Unless you have been bedridden for several months and permanent nerve damage seems likely I wouldn't even consider any surgery at all. As hard as it is to believe the level of pain really doesn't have that much to do with the seriousness of a back problem. Serious conditions can give no pain and simple muscle spasms can be excruitating. I have several friends who have bedridden attacks on a regular basis, recover and resume their normal activities.
Most adults have bulging discs in their backs and don't even know it. So it is a good sign that your doctor wants a discogram as he has to be sure what is the source of your pain. Bulging or herniated disc does not always equal pain. How much time has passed from the beginning of this attack and how many times have you been bedridden in the past?
So be cautious and go slowly as the cause of your pain may be from a totally different level than your bulging disc. Just know that surgery is not usually a permanent cure for the pain of DDD as any competant physician will tell you. Good luck and I hope that things start to get better and that your pain lessens.