I have been in pretty moderate pain for about two years. I've had countless steroid injections and facet injections and up until a recent unsuccessful RFA of L2-L5 through SI was diagnosed with facet joint pain. I had both sides of my back fried in the RFA and had NO relief what so ever. Now that we have eliminated the facets, my PM doctor decided to go after the discs. i had a discography done 2 weeks ago, which was horribly painful, and i tested partially positive on 2-3 and 4-5. My PM referred me to a surgeon to discuss possible disc replacement or fusion. The surgeon, after looking at my CT scan said that my discs looked great, no bulges, herniations, ruptures of any kind so he absolutely would not recommend surgery. Well that's all good and well, but it doesn't explain why seemingly good, healthy discs are giving me so much discomfort and pain. I have been on pain meds (Norco 4 x a day) for almost 2 years now and i hate taking the meds but they're the only things that help me get through the day with a full-time job and raising a 4 year old. My back hurts all the time. The surgeon mentioned a sensitive disc disease (is there such a thing?) and said i might benefit from a I.D.E.T. Does anyone out there have a similar diagnosis? I am so discouraged and just don't know what to do. I am only 40 years old but my back makes me feel like i'm so old and decrepit and my quality of life has taken a drastic nose-dive as i am in constant chronic pain and am so tired of it. Chronic pain is so exhausting. Please...does anyone have any words of advise or guidance? Thanks CL in Austin
Sounds like you have a soft tissue injury... could even be Myofascial Pain Syndrome which is what I have.
Did your doctor do Basal Branch Nerve Blocks before the RFAs? To my best knowledge they should have done 2 series of them a month apart and then decided at the end of the 2nd month if the RFA was the next logical step based upon the effectiveness of the 2 BBNBs. That's how my doctor explained it to me, but at least 2 other people have mentioned their doctor doing RFAs [B]despite[/B] the fact they didn't get any benefit from their BBNB's.
If you didn't get any relief from the BBNB's or your doctor didn't perform them at all as a precursor test, I would suggest shopping for a new pain management specialist. RFA's are time consuming and costly. I suspect that the doctors who did RFA's despite test results that contraindicated the procedure did them simply for the money.
The more I think about your post, the more I get the feeling your PM is tossing darts at a diagnosis board... Personally, I would start looking for a different PM.
I wondered the same thing about soft tissue injury. Do you remember any inury or accident before this pain started coming on? I injured my neck in a car accident, and it was all soft tissue injury, yet so severe, I could not move my head at all, and was in constant pain. I did not fracture anything, break anything, rupture anything. I spent about 6 months in PT for this as I was told it would not go away on it's own.
Thank you so much for your reply. i appreciate it so very much. And you are correct, my PM doctor is sort of throwing darts but he's honest about it. He says he's really not sure what's wrong with me so we both agreed to be really aggressive about trying to find a diagnosis. As for the RFA, I was actually the one that pushed for it. I had 2 friends who had it done and it totally cured their pain so in my head, it was going to cure me. I knew that there was a chance that since i didn't get great relief from the diagnostic injections but i wanted to get it done anyway. I think for now, i'm just going to take a break and try to let my back heal from this last discogram. I am in considerably more pain since the procedure and frankly wish i could even get back to my old pain. Thanks again to everyone for their input. I'll discuss soft tissue but i don't think that's what it is since i tested partly positive for disc pain. But it may be a little of both. thanks again. I'll keep updating. CL in Ausitn