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Old 02-18-2007, 02:10 AM   #1
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seth ks HB User
back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

everywhere i look online it talks about how a discectomy has a 90% success rate at fixing leg pain caused by a herniated disc and how the operation is less effective in fixing the actual back pain; however, they never actually quantify this and tell you what the chances of fixing the back pain ARE!! perhaps there are no studies of this, although i can't imagine why not... anyway, i don't have any @$#%* leg pain, i just have excruciating back pain. for instance, i am having a really hard time sitting at this computer long enough to type this. i used to be able to lie down and get relief but these days even lying down hurts. is there anyone out there who can give me an answer, even if only esoteric and anecdotal? has anyone out there had a discectomy for back pain only??? please help me understand what is happening to my body!!

 
Old 02-18-2007, 03:51 AM   #2
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Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

well I don't know about the discectomy. But I do know that just because you aren't having leg pain now doesnt' mean you won't, cross your fingers.

How long have you been dealing with it and what treatments have you already tried? Does the pains help with back pain? I live in chronic back pain so I understand and many of us here do.

I wish you the best in finding the answers you need.

 
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:37 AM   #3
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Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

[QUOTE=yvette777;2806218]well I don't know about the discectomy. But I do know that just because you aren't having leg pain now doesnt' mean you won't, cross your fingers.

How long have you been dealing with it and what treatments have you already tried? Does the pains help with back pain? I live in chronic back pain so I understand and many of us here do.

I wish you the best in finding the answers you need.[/QUOTE]hi, sorry it took so long to respond to your comment but this website wouldn't recognize me so i had to get a new email account and sign up again with a new (slightly) screen name. i've been in pain for two years, and i've done chiro, PT, shots, pills, microendoscopic discectomy, more shots, more PT, more pills. i'm waiting to get a microdiscectomy -- this time without the scope. my mri still shows a herniation, so the first surgery missed it entirely. i may very well have leg pain in the future, but my question is will this operation fix my back pain (without consideration of the leg issue). isn't there anyone out there who JUST has back pain??? i'm really starving to know if there are any other people like me out there. every injury i have ever gotten (i'm an athlete, at least i used to be) has been something weird and esoteric that doctors either couldn't diagnose right away or that were like something else but just a little bit different. it is this sense that i'm somehow different and that remedies are available to others that are not available to me that is so frustrating!!!!

 
Old 02-18-2007, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

I think this issue is debatable depending on the doctor, in my opinion. I can tell you what my NS told me at my initial consultation. I went in with bad low back pain and leg pains, more in the right leg. He said we can go the more conservative route and do the micro-d, which in his opinion would help fix the leg pain, but couldnt guarantee it helping my back pain. He said, if i didnt have leg pain, that he would suggest a fusion or disc replacement for the back pain. I elected to take the more consevative approach, and still have the back pain and leg pains/ weakness. I was told the leg pain continues due to the large amount of scar tissue surrounding the nerve and another NS I've seen recommends a 2 level fusion ? Good luck to you, there's a lot of us that can sympathize with your back pain.

 
Old 02-18-2007, 12:28 PM   #5
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Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

[QUOTE=avglenn;2806821]I think this issue is debatable depending on the doctor, in my opinion. I can tell you what my NS told me at my initial consultation. I went in with bad low back pain and leg pains, more in the right leg. He said we can go the more conservative route and do the micro-d, which in his opinion would help fix the leg pain, but couldnt guarantee it helping my back pain. He said, if i didnt have leg pain, that he would suggest a fusion or disc replacement for the back pain. I elected to take the more consevative approach, and still have the back pain and leg pains/ weakness. I was told the leg pain continues due to the large amount of scar tissue surrounding the nerve and another NS I've seen recommends a 2 level fusion ? Good luck to you, there's a lot of us that can sympathize with your back pain.[/QUOTE] my back pain is worst when i am sitting upright in a chair. i can walk pain-free for about an hour, but lying down hurts, although not as much as sitting. unfortunately i have a pretty bad case of plantar fasciitis which prevents me from walking very much. running is out of the question! when is your pain the worst?

 
Old 02-18-2007, 02:40 PM   #6
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Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

[QUOTE=seth ks;2806861]my back pain is worst when i am sitting upright in a chair. i can walk pain-free for about an hour, but lying down hurts, although not as much as sitting. unfortunately i have a pretty bad case of plantar fasciitis which prevents me from walking very much. running is out of the question! when is your pain the worst?[/QUOTE]

My pain is worst when I sit for longer than 20 minutes. If I push it for 30 to 45 mins then I get severe tailbone pain also and makes it tougher for the rest of the day. I use to walk around my block, but I would get 3/4 of the way and my foot & leg pain would intensify, my back would tighten up and my gait would be off. So I use a stationary eliptical bike that has the back support and ride with little resistance for 10mins a day or so 2x day. Its much easier on th back and gets blood circulating through the legs and loosens the back up. So my walking is limited. I will go grocery shopping and push the cart & take extra aisles for exercise and helps for support holding on to the cart. Sounds silly, but I try and be active as much as possible. Plus I do get bored being at home all day.

 
Old 02-18-2007, 03:18 PM   #7
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Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

[QUOTE=avglenn;2807049]My pain is worst when I sit for longer than 20 minutes. If I push it for 30 to 45 mins then I get severe tailbone pain also and makes it tougher for the rest of the day. I use to walk around my block, but I would get 3/4 of the way and my foot & leg pain would intensify, my back would tighten up and my gait would be off. So I use a stationary eliptical bike that has the back support and ride with little resistance for 10mins a day or so 2x day. Its much easier on th back and gets blood circulating through the legs and loosens the back up. So my walking is limited. I will go grocery shopping and push the cart & take extra aisles for exercise and helps for support holding on to the cart. Sounds silly, but I try and be active as much as possible. Plus I do get bored being at home all day.[/QUOTE]
there is nothing at all silly about being as active as possible!! before my injury i was a personal trainer, my whole life was about exercise; but today i am a shell of my former self. i still go to the gym as much as possible but i work out with very light weights and can only do certain exercises that leave my back out of the equation, like bench press and preacher curls. going to the gym is the only thing that is keeping me sane these days. you have to keep the rest of your body as fit as you can or back pain will make you real old real fast!!

 
Old 02-18-2007, 07:30 PM   #8
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Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

I had surgery on a herniation L 4-5 6 years ago and had both low back and leg pain before the surgery, it took care of both. Did they mention your facet joints at all? I started having alot of low back pain 2 months ago and have trouble sitting for long about 85% of the time, and even laying down it still hurts non stop. Then I have short periods ( hours ) where I have none. They took x-rays and did an MRI and said there were changes in the facet joints, and arthritis. This pain managed to come on right after I walked 17 blocks while on a vacation and then came back to the cold damp weather here in Minnesota, so I wasn't sure if it was the stenosis I have or something else. They believe it may be my facet joints. I go to the doc tomorrow to schedule injections for this. When did your pain start?

 
Old 02-18-2007, 07:36 PM   #9
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Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

What type of surgery did you have on your disc, Kasey ?

 
Old 02-18-2007, 07:39 PM   #10
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Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

I think they call it a laminectomy? or discectomy? where they just take out the herniated portion.

 
Old 02-18-2007, 07:51 PM   #11
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Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

Sorry Seths, I asked how long you had been in pain, then saw you wrote 2 years. I would suggest asking your neuro. if the site of your herniation is the reason you don't have leg pain. I had leg pain because it was herniated out to one side. This is just a guess, but maybe yours is centrally located so it doesn't affect one of your legs? I read up on it so much when I had mine and the leg pain was almost always a main symptom but that doesn't mean it is in every case depending on how it is herniated. You have been through all the treatments i went through before surgery and surgery is to take care of the pain so I can't imagine it not helping you but I definately understand your hesitation in having it when the doc tells you that, but maybe that is a safety measure on the surgeons part just in case. They also told me it may not take care of all of it and that it was not a cure. I would ask your neuro. why you would have surgery if it may not take care of your back pain, and why you have no leg pain. I really feel for you and understand, been there for the past 30 years, some good, some horrible, some not too bad. Good luck

 
Old 02-19-2007, 01:12 AM   #12
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seth ks HB User
Re: back pain WITHOUT leg pain: can a discectomy help

[QUOTE=Kasey443;2807492]I had surgery on a herniation L 4-5 6 years ago and had both low back and leg pain before the surgery, it took care of both. Did they mention your facet joints at all? I started having alot of low back pain 2 months ago and have trouble sitting for long about 85% of the time, and even laying down it still hurts non stop. Then I have short periods ( hours ) where I have none. They took x-rays and did an MRI and said there were changes in the facet joints, and arthritis. This pain managed to come on right after I walked 17 blocks while on a vacation and then came back to the cold damp weather here in Minnesota, so I wasn't sure if it was the stenosis I have or something else. They believe it may be my facet joints. I go to the doc tomorrow to schedule injections for this. When did your pain start?[/QUOTE]

they said nothing of the facet joints. my pain started march of 2005 when i was leg pressing about 600 lbs and did one rep too many without a spotter. the disc just popped under the stress. i wasn't really in that much pain from it until the next week, when it felt almost totally better, i went for a jog and after about 2 laps around the track something went horribly wrong and the pain got worse and worse until i could barely walk about an hour later. i was on my back in bed for 10 days after that and then i didn't have any pain except sitting down, running or bending forward. slowly, over the next year it got worse and worse and began to be a problem even lying down. last march (2006) i had the endoscopic discectomy, which did nothing. around august 06 there was a big paradigm shift in my pain (about one month into PT) and i had to go on opiates, which i hate almost, but not quite, as much as the back pain. i had epidurals and nerve block injections during the holidays which left me in more pain than before the shots. today i am waiting for approval for a second surgery from medi-cal (i had to go on disability because i was self-employed and like too many americans i didn't have any health insurance) and now i am just playing the waiting game. i've become a pro at that.

 
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