It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-08-2001, 05:19 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tallahassee, Florida (Crawfordville); United States
Posts: 51
Queeniebean HB User
Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Hi all. I recently posted about having excruciating pain in my low back, so bad that walking was hard and painful....hunched over like an old woman! Well, I just got the results of the MRI. But I don't know what it means. I have not seen the Dr to discuss it yet. It says that I have "desiccation and "diffuse" bulging of the lower L5 and S1 disk". What the heck does this mean??? I know one thing: it hurts very bad...I have been in agony! What comes next...will I need surgery? Please, any response will be welcome...I have not had a response to my prev post yet... <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/frown.gif">

Thanks,
Mary

------------------
The Queen of Life

 
Old 10-08-2001, 07:56 PM   #2
Inactive
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Twin Cities, Minn
Posts: 28
FREDO HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Hi Mary - Sorry, I thought someone had answered your last post. I have some limited knowledge of your MRI, from research I did when I went through my L-5/S-1 fusion.

Here goes: The dessication part means your disc has been losing/lost its gel-like interior and has gotten thinner/shrunk, even more so when compression has also helped the disc to "bulge" in assorted directions. What this means to me is the disc doesn't have enough "filler" to act properly as a spacer between your vertebra's, and with the bulging going on, not likely to be able to heal itself (which they can do) within the three to four month usual time line.

Best guess is your doc is going to tell you that fusion surgery is necessary at L-5/S-1. This is the most common site for back problems/surgery. There are a couple surgical options once the decision has been made to fuse. The biggest question is whether to go into the back (posterior), or go through the front (anterior), and finally, the 360 degree fusion which is done thru belly and back.

I really think, if that is all the info you have (MRI), it is just a matter of when you want to have it done. I believe most of the pain is your two vertebra are basically rubbing together - bone-on-bone. VERY painfull. This also can eventually cause nerve damage, further deterioration of bone, and unless treated, vertebra above and facet joints at S-1 can become further involved, causing more pain and physical destruction.

Let me know what your doc says. As noted, I went thru Posterior Laminectomy(L-4) Discectomy L-5/S-1) with Fusion (PLIDF). Which you are 90% headed for (in my opinion). So any questions or help I can offer, just give a shout.

------------------
FREDO

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 10-08-2001, 08:33 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tallahassee, Florida (Crawfordville); United States
Posts: 51
Queeniebean HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Hi Fredo.

I have read many of your posts and I am so glad you responded. That helps me understand my problem SO much better! I hope you are doing better. How is your back and pain these days?

I hope I don't have to have surgery. It sounds like it would be a long recovery period. Am I right? I guess it would vary person to person. Today, I called the Dr. and asked if my results from the MRI were in. Well, they were, but the nurse never called me back and when I tried to call her, she never returned my calls. Well, this ticked me off, <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/mad.gif"> so I marched right over to the imaging center where I had the test done and demanded a copy of my report! They happily handed it over.

I'm not sure if it's bone on bone, but it sure feels like it! I have been in so much pain I have cried many times because of it and the Lortab just takes the edge off. At times, I can hardly stand up but a few minutes at a time. I just feel the pain getting overwhelming and I have to sit down. But sitting hurts too! <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bigcry.gif"> Did you have problems with sitting and standing? How well have the pain meds worked for you? I'm sorry to ramble, but I have so much to say, and still have not said it all!

I am so glad I found this site. Everyone I have encountered has been so caring and attentive. Fredo, you are the best!

Take very good care,
Mary <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/wave.gif">

------------------
The Queen of Life

 
Old 10-09-2001, 06:19 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Deerfield, IL USA
Posts: 24
MaggieB HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Mary, Before dashing off to have surgery, you should try to get some PT which will help you find exercises to loosen the muscles in your back as well as exercises to strengthen your trunk muscles to take some of the strain off of your back. They also do really cool stuff like ultrasound and heat treatments which will help the muscles spasms. It sounds like much of your pain might be from spasms. I agree with Fredo that surgery is in your future (I have the same thing and I'm going in for fusion surgery in three weeks) but the PT might relieve some of your pain right now and prepare you for recovering from surgery down the road. It stinks to know that inevitably you're going to end up in surgery but if it takes away the pain, you've gotta do it. Keep us posted. Good luck. Maggie <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bouncing.gif">

 
Old 10-09-2001, 07:20 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tallahassee, Florida (Crawfordville); United States
Posts: 51
Queeniebean HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Hey Maggie. I hope you are doing well and having a pain free day. <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/biggrin.gif">

My doctor did in fact refer me for PT. He referred me to a clinic...I think it's called something like "sports medicine and PT clinic." I didn't realize that PT would be so good for a person, let alone offer exercises (I've never been to PT and don't know anyone personally who has).

I am hoping to put off surgery for as long as possible. I have heard so many horror stories about folks being put out for months and losing their jobs because their bosses didn't understand...etc.

My back has hurt me SO bad today. I cried earlier...out of frustration AND pain. My low back has been hurting for 5 and a half weeks. I have frustration that my doctor only gives me a few pain meds and expects them to last a month...(we're talking 15-20 Lortab 10/500 now!) The pain is sharp and debilitating. It goes down my left thigh sometimes. A few times, I had tingling all down my left arm, right to the fingertips. I have NEVER had back pain this bad, even when I was pregnant and in labor! Funny thing is, I didn't do anything (that I know of) to injure myself. No falls, no car accidents, no lifting, (although I did pick up a 50 lb bag of dog food a few weeks ago <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/nono.gif">)

I gave a copy of the MRI report to my boss today. I also gave her a detailed doctor's note for being out all last week. If they fire me, do I have any legal recourse, being that I have a legitimate reason for being out a lot? If they fire me, they will have to deal with one ****** off woman!! <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/mad.gif">

Thanks again, Maggie, for your reply. All the posts help me to understand my illness SO much more! God bless you, and I hope this post finds you feeling well and happy. <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/wave.gif">

Take good care,
Mary


------------------
The Queen of Life

 
Old 10-09-2001, 09:07 PM   #6
Inactive
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Twin Cities, Minn
Posts: 28
FREDO HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Hi Mary - Wish you wern't in such pain. Have your PCP refer you to a Orthopedic Surgeon, or a Neuro-Surgeon, whichever can get you in the quickest!! The point of this is to have them see your MRI (bring report and films), so they can talk to you about options and PRIMARILY get you on stronger pain meds!! You don't need to be sufferring (sp?) for no good reason. Unfortunately, alot of primary care physicians just don't get it as to the severity of pain.

Either of those specialists will put you on decent medication, and advise/refer you if they think you should be doing any physical therapy, or any further tests. After you have seen one of them (and get some relief so you can think), get a referral to the other for a second opinion. Your PCP should be willing to do that with no fuss.

If its looking like to long a time to see another doc for relief - take your MRI write-up and go to emergency room, tell them you are just sick with pain, and what your doc is prescribing is'nt helping. This works, and is a back-door way of letting your PCP know his/her meds arn't making it. The ER attending physician will help you, and also either call your doc, or send a copy of the ER report to them. Docs don't like it when ER docs say "you arn't doing right by your patient" and usually come around. If not, and you need to go to ER again, DO IT.

Wow, sorry this got so long winded; one last thing. As long as you have docs statement you can't work (when you see specialist, they will also give you letter for work saying excused until further notice), your company can't fire you without big federal trouble. The FML (Family Medical Leave Act) says you can't be fired/released for a minimum of 90 days, and in some cases 6 months. Most employers won't harrass you about taking time off if you have docs statement, as they know it. Do you by chance have short term or long term disability insurance through employer or privately?

Thats it for right now. Get that appt so you can get some relief, or go to ER!. Let us know whats up, wishing you the best.

------------------
FREDO

 
Old 10-10-2001, 12:18 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 1
Bigdaddy HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Mary,
Please look into my earlier topic titled "McKenzie PTs" and go to the website listed and try to the best of your ability to get to a certified or diplomaed McKenzie PT. This cert/dip means this person has sought out and completed extensive training in the Mechinical diangnosis and treatment of the spine, they have passed a very rigorous test, and many times have completed a residency program and passed yet another test. I have been trained this way, and not that I could help you specifically (I would need to evaluate you), but I have helped many, many ,many people with this method - usually people who have already been through the medical ringer. Please do this.

 
Old 10-10-2001, 02:19 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tallahassee, Florida (Crawfordville); United States
Posts: 51
Queeniebean HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Hello, Bigdaddy.

Thank you for the link to the website. I have been scheduled by my PCP for physical therapy on Oct. 20th, and as a matter of fact, the place I am going for care is a McKenzie clinic!! Talk about a coincedence!! <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/biggrin.gif">

I am a little nervous about going, mainly because I have never been to PT before. I am trying to remain upbeat, despite severe pain. Some days I can hardly walk! It's been almost 6 weeks since the onset of my symptoms, and it hasn't got any better. Just worse! Pray for me you all...and I will do the same for you; that you will have many pain free days and nights. <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif">

Oh, one more thing: do PT doctors prescribe pain medications?? Ten days is an awful long time to wait, and crawl around the house with no pain control!

Take very good care,
Mary <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/wave.gif">

------------------
The Queen of Life

 
Old 10-10-2001, 04:22 PM   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 1
Bigdaddy HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Mary,
Are you going to see Suzanne Switilla at Tallahasse Orthopedic and Sports PT? If so, this is very good as she is a diplomaed McKenzie PT. No need for any anxiety on going to this PT as evaluation and treatment is based upon YOUR response to specific movements - different pain and pain responses mean different things. Not to say PT will be the answer, but with this PT you should know fairly rapidly. Let me know.

 
Old 10-10-2001, 04:59 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Deerfield, IL USA
Posts: 24
MaggieB HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Mary, I agree with Fredo about seeing an Ortho or Neuro surgeon as soon as possible. Stick with the PT in the meantime. About being fired, you can be fired for excessive sick time use even if you have a legitimate excuse. You need to talk with your Human Relations (Personnel) office about applying for FMLA or disability leave. It's classified differently from just plain old sick time. It requires a special federal medical form to be filled out by a physician. Get on that one fast, just in case. Good luck. Maggie <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bouncing.gif">

 
Old 10-10-2001, 08:40 PM   #11
Inactive
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Twin Cities, Minn
Posts: 28
FREDO HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Hi Mary - Have you gotten a referral to a specialist? Physical Therapists can not prescribe ANY meds. Check your referral sheet and make sure the doc has decided which exercises to do. If left to the PT to decide (NOT good), wrong or further damaging exercises might ensue. PT's go through a school like a dental tech, would not trust my body to thier decisions. There is advanced training for Physical Therapists all the way to Master's Degree (sister-in-law has this).

Ask if your PT has advanced degree before taking to many suggestions from them. I worry that you might accept whatever they say, and end up hurt worse.

Please seek stronger pain meds if you still need them, as your body will take longer to heal if your in severe pain, and you over-adjust/guard movements that you know cause you pain; thereby putting more stress on other muscles, causing more pain, etc. etc. The chain isn't broken.

Whatever you decide, wish you the best..

------------------
FREDO

 
Old 10-11-2001, 05:15 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tallahassee, Florida (Crawfordville); United States
Posts: 51
Queeniebean HB User
Re: Desiccation and diffuse bulging of L5-S1

Hi Fredo. I hope you are doing well today. I sure am not!

I called my Dr. today and asked for more pain meds. They were supposed to call me back, but didn't. So, I took your advice and went to the emergency room and took the MRI report with me. Well, the ER doc didn't seem to think I was in all that much pain, and even said that bulging disks do not usually cause much pain. I told him I was in severe pain, and that I would NOT waste my time waiting four hours in the ER just to get pain pills!!! He also said that he has seen folks throw their disk out by lifting something small. (I told him I lifted a 50 lb bag of dog food several weks ago.)

I was so ****** off at his indifference to my pain! <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/mad.gif"> He prescribed Skelaxin and an anti-inflammatory drug. He acted as if I were only there to obtain narcotics!! I wanted to knock him upside the head. <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/hammer.gif"> He even called my PCP and got him in on it too! I don't know what I will do...I think I will obtain a second opinion.

I have not been referred yet, but probably will be referred to Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic. I am going in circles here, and the pain is getting worse! I feel like no one believes me, but fortunately my hubby does! He has been so supportive to me. I have even had tingling all down my left arm to my fingertips, which I also told the ER doc. And he did not believe! My appointment for PT will be Oct. 20th at 10:20 am. Wish me luck, and I will take your advice on asking if they are certified...etc. Any and all suggestions are welcome...thank you so much for helping me out! <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/round.gif">

Take good care,
Mary <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/wave.gif">

------------------
The Queen of Life

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
I have 2 bulging L4-L5 and L5-SI annular tear pkw2010 Back Problems 2 06-15-2010 12:19 AM
Disc desiccation + Tarlov & Epidermal Cysts - Pain & Headaches swtdrms Brain & Nervous System Disorders 0 12-07-2009 12:52 PM
Hip surgery should proceed with bulging disc? Roadbiker Knee & Hip Problems 1 04-22-2009 09:39 PM
hamstring weakness with L4, L5 bulging discs minstrel2 Back Problems 4 01-27-2009 12:35 AM
lumbar disc desiccation ancarrie Back Problems 0 11-17-2008 05:23 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Ibuprofen
Lyrica
Morphine
Neurontin
Oxycontin
  Percocet
Soma Tylenol
Valium
Vicodin




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



teteri66 (1120), gmak (131), SweetPeainSF (78), maltluver (71), twohands (64), pebblebeach3 (63), cheryl1213 (51), Moldova (46), ibake&pray (41), workinmom572 (40)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1011), Apollo123 (909), Titchou (856), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (761), ladybud (755), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:56 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!