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Old 09-21-2009, 06:13 AM   #1
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Bulging disc - strange symptoms

Hello.
I'm only twenty. A year ago I've experienced the first incident with a bulging disc. First I've felt severe low back pain. I wasn't able to bend and basically every change of position was painful. A general practitioner suspected disk problems however he only gave painkillers and an anti-inflammatory. After a week the pain disappeared totally. However, after another week I've started to feel strange pain in the left shin. One night the pain woke me up. The second day I had to go to the hospital because the pain was unbearable; I nearly fainted. I got CAT scan which show a small disc bulge [B]L5/S1[/B]. After two weeks in bed I started rehab (laser, interdyn, cryotherapy, exercises and massage) and after three weeks I was totally pain free.
This year in July the pain came back. But now it's different and strange. At first, I've experienced pains in the same place - shin. But it's milder yet very irritating - pins and needles, stinging. So I went to neurologist and he referred to rehab (diadynamic, cryotherapy, exercises and massage). And for about a week it seemed that the rehab helped me. But now the situations is becoming strange. I rarely feel something in the left shin but I began to feel pins and needles and stinging in my both right and left feet (it switches sides), especially in toes. I can feel it even when I lie in bed, though I don't have problems with falling asleep and sleeping.
Recently a doctor showed me also two simple exercises of McKenzie technique. First: lying on stomach, raising your torso with your arms. Second (after having sat for a long time), hands on my lower back, bending backwards. It's interesting because I don't feel pain in the left shin when I do the exercises. But when I sit and I straighten up my lumbar back I feel a strange pain in the left shin for a little while.
Also when I lie in bed on my right or left side pins and needles in feet get worse. Moreover, when I swim I feel pain and needles and numbness in the left shin and in the left foot's toes.
Two additional data: 1) All the doctors said my lordosis is rather shallow. 2) I've got small scoliosis.
The question is: Why so strange symptoms? Is it going to get worse? Am I going to have bladder or fecal incontinence? What can I do with it all? My personal doctor says that I don't have to worry and don't get concerned with the pain. Well, I'm not concerned with the pain, I'm concern with the possibility of my health situation getting worse...

 
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: Bulging disc - strange symptoms

so that CT you had was about one year ago? did they ever actually follow that up with an MRI of that area too just to REALLY see much more in depth into that whole area down to the cord level? while a CT is fine for detecting certain findings, it can only go down into that whole spinal area to a certain limit, then it requires at least a good contrasted MRI. i really do think just considering that almost all real spinal issues like your simply ARE progressive in nature, just getting an MRI done now to see how things have changed and what could be casuing your progression of symptoms just needs to be done right now. believe me, even in only about six MONTHS time, alot can change within anyones spinal area, and after a year, well it just needs to be done for you. once you obtain that MRI, that will kind of show what your very next steps should be at this point.

but right now, just see your doc for the referral for a good contrasted MRI. this just is needed right now before anymore types of therepies are considered. good luck with this and please let me know what you find out. marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 09-21-2009, 08:34 AM   #3
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Re: Bulging disc - strange symptoms

Thank you for quick response.
Yes, I had an MRI in April this year because of minor pains which eventually got away after I started swimming every day. The MRI showed very small bulge. Recently, my doctor has said that he thought MRI is not needed at the moment. He said no to bother... But I'm not as optimistic as he is. All I'm saying is that my symptoms simply don't make sense. Pins and needles switching from foot to foot and from time to time also pain in the left shin...

 
Old 09-22-2009, 09:28 AM   #4
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Re: Bulging disc - strange symptoms

do you actually have your very own copy of that MRI report in your possession? did YOU ever actually see it or did your doc simply 'tell you' what he was reading? it CAN make a huge difference in some cases. i would think by this time that you could have some other issues besides "just' that bulged disc going on there. things like stenosis or other issues can also create strange symptoms like yours. one other possible here is that the real source or true generator actually could even be much further up inthe spinal area than they looked at with the MRI? if there is simply anything at all up beyond that area that is impacting like your spinal cord itself,it could produce similar symptoms towhat you have going on there. i cannot imagine a simple "small" bulge creating the more pronounced types of symptoms you have going on there. anytime you are having actual bilateral types of symptoms like you currently are,there is usually sonme type of a 'centrally' located issue that just is big enough to actually impact both extremities. this is true with the legs and the arms as well.

i really would first, obtain your own copy ofthat MRI report just so you have it for your own files but moreso to actually read thru it yourself to simply see what you were NOT possibly told about by your doc that is actually possibly a true hard finding. unfortunetly for alot of stupid reasons, not all docs will simply tell any given patient about real true findings in any MRI report. so this is really why people just always need to obtain their own copies of them.

then, depending upon what may also be in that report or not in it, i would seriously see about getting the rest of that whole spinal all the way up to the c spine also MRIed too. it is just a matter of actually tracking your symptoms back to any possible more likely causes. if the reason is not in that lower spinal well, then you just go up, ya know? there can just be some things further up or many different types of more congenital issues going on that simply are possible to have within the spinal cord too in some people. i was born with one inside my spinal cord that i never knew was even there til it just showed up as an incidental finding on my c spine MRI while we were simply trying to find the disc i had herniated. it was just there right in the cord at about the c 7 t 1 level.

while i am in no way saying this is what you have, i am merely trying to let you know that there just CAN be certain things we can have in any parts of our body that we were born with that don't get known til they are found during routine scans for something else kind of thing? if no findings that actually would explain your symptoms got picked up on that MRI, you just have to look at possible areas that could produce those types of bilateral symptoms. going upwards and scanning that would just make common sense, ya know?

but DO get a copy of that report so you can actually read thru it and look at the very end in that summary for any real hard findings since that is the place they would be. let me know if anything else showed up. marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 09-24-2009, 07:51 AM   #5
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Re: Bulging disc - strange symptoms

I do have a copy of my MRI scan. Thanks for Your suggestion, I'll try to take a closer look on the images.

 
Old 09-24-2009, 09:36 AM   #6
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Re: Bulging disc - strange symptoms

if you only have the hard films, you also really really need that copy of the report that went with it that gets made by the interpretting rqadiologist to really know anything. MRIs are just almost impossible for us lay people to actually 'get' anything really significant out of them. tho some things can show themselves in that main side view pic they take which is about the only one that we can make out anything on, that report is where the 'findings" would be written. so that report is what needs to be obtained right now.

you can obtain your very own copy by either just going to the facility that did your MRI and signing the release and they will print one out for you right there. or you can obtain one thru your docs office which is about the same with signing that release? but it can sometimes take a bit longer depending upon how your docs office is with your records and how they release them. but the facility would be very easy and you would get it right away. i always sign a form before every single MRI i have done for them to simply send me my own copy in the mail. pretty simple. but just go there and they should be able to just do it right then and there. its just a matter of them popping it up on their computer then printing it off while you wait. takes them only minutes actually. but DO get one. let me know what showed up in that summary at the very end of your report. Marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 09-24-2009, 09:37 AM   #7
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Re: Bulging disc - strange symptoms

You know yourself better than your doctor. And these symptoms can be indicative of nerve impingement in the spine. It's not something you want to wait around to see if it heals - nerve damage can be permanent or get worse if not addressed. Not trying to scare you.....but you want to move forward and advocate for yourself based on the symtpoms you are having. If you just had low back pain with no leg/feet symptoms then conservative care right now would be good and an MRI might not be needed. But once you have any numbness/tingling in the extremities it can indicate some nerve involvement.
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
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