I have been going through severe back pain now for about 18 months. I currently have compressed disc in the L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1, with tears in two discs and ofcourse degenerative disc disease(arthritis). My pain stems from the lower back out to my left hip with shooting pain down the left front leg, sometimes on the right leg, pain in the back of the left leg, minimal movement flexing back and to the left, with constant pain, walking, standing, sitting, driving, bending, pretty much doing anything. I get headaches from the constant pain and all this affects my work and home life dramatically. I have been through many different Nuerosurgens, Nuerologists, Pain Clinics, Primary Care Doctors and still no results. I initially went through physical therapy which only made my back worse, been going through the Chiro now for a year which seems to do nothing but help with my migraines, received steriod shots, and some other kind of shots to help relieve the pain, discogram, discectomy, MRI's, Cat Scans, X-rays, Bone Scans and now on my way to get a myelogram to further pinpoint the issue. After all this, I still suffer from constant pain which has affected every aspect of my life. I have been on various medications (percacet, vicoden, flexeril, elavil, cymbalta, motrin, naproxin, etc.)to assist in pain management, in turn, none have helped.
I am only 38 years old and dread the idea of having possible surgery with either a disc replacement or fusion, or having a an implant to shock the nerves. I am at my wits end and don't know what to do.
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Have you found a good pain management doctor? What helped me is a good PM doctor who coordinates well with my orthopedic spine surgeon. They've helped me reach a balance of pain meds that keep me somewhat functional.
You have run the gamut of all that there is to do to see what is wrong. Now you've reached the point of having to decide what to do. Have none of your doctors suggested what you need to do? Or are you just reluctant to accept what they have suggested.
You story was mine almost word for word. When I had my last EMG, my spine surgeon looked at me and informed me that I was out of time. I had nerve damage in both legs, with it being more severe in one than the other. His comment was that there was nothing else that he could do now except operate. I had done PT, shots, exercises, drugs...I would have run naked in the back yard with a headress if I thought it would have helped! My hubby lost patience and finally yelled at me to schedule the surgery. I wasn't very pleasant to be around any more as it was affecting my life.
So I had a three level fusion scheduled and done 4 years ago this past Feb. There were some other complications that occured, but the pain that I used to have from those discs is gone. What a difference. OK, so I carry some hardware in my back..It's better than the pain that was trying to control my life.
You need to decide if you are going to let the pain rule your life, or if you are going to rule the pain. It's as simple as that. It is up to you. I am sure that one of those doctors has talked to you about doing more than just medicating, right? Maybe it's time, huh? Ask questions here. There are alot of smart folks that can give you advice and guidance. We have all been through what you are struggling with. I am back at work, 40+ hours a week. Do I still have bad days, yup. But they are far less than before the surgery, trust me on that one! So, ask away, but consider your options. You probably are causing permanent damage to your legs already...and the longer you wait, the less chance you have for the nerves to return....[/COLOR]