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 12-24-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Gas City,Indiana USA
Posts: 3
bogartpar HB User
Unhappy Lower Back Pain - the curse

I am a 55 year old male who in my earlier years was very active in many Sports especially those that included Full Contact. Pole Vault, football,Soccer, Golf, Hunting, weight lifting, Basketball, etc.... I have had back pain for at least the last 15 years. Right lower back, upper hip area. The pain radiates down my right side of my right leg nearly down to my ankle. I have numb toes on each foot. I have at least 3 MRI's during these years with the last one about a week ago. I go back to see my pain specialist in about two weeks.
What concerns me is that as I read the results of the MRI report it appears to say that there is nothing significant about my lower back. I assure you that something is causing this pain. Can you help me interrupt my report? Is that what the report is saying? What could be causing this pain. I am afraid of surgery. The report says:
Sagittal and axial images were obtained which demonstrate the lumbar vertebrae to appear well maintained. There is no marrow replacement of edema. There is mild desiccation of the L4-L5 disc with mild to moderate desiccation of the L1-L2, L2-L3, and L3-L4, discs with moderate desiccation of the L5-S1 disc. There is a small central disc protrusion at the lumbrosacral level; however. this does not cause any effacement of thecal sac or exiting S1 nerve root. There is no lateral extension in to the neuroforamina. Overall there is no appreciable spinal stenosis or neuroforaminal encroachment identified. The level of the conus is normal with no paraspinal abnormalities.
IMPRESSION:
Small central disc protrusion at the lumbrosacral level causing no effacement of the adjacent thecal sac or the S1 nerve roots.
NO appreciable spinal stenosis or neuroforaminal encroachment is seen throughout the lumbar levels.

 
The following user gives a hug of support to bogartpar:
GraciePearl (12-27-2011)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 12-25-2011, 07:35 AM   #2
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: bellefonte, pa
Posts: 315
cheryl1213 HB Usercheryl1213 HB Usercheryl1213 HB Usercheryl1213 HB Usercheryl1213 HB Usercheryl1213 HB Usercheryl1213 HB Usercheryl1213 HB Usercheryl1213 HB Usercheryl1213 HB Usercheryl1213 HB User
Re: Lower Back Pain - the curse

Others here can "read" MRIs, I can't. But I can comment a bit. I mention it a lot b/c I do think it is relevant, I'm the daughter of a neuro (his partner did my L5/S1 fusion in Aug). From Dr Dad and my own medical life (endometriosis was a primary demon pre-2009 when the back hit), imaging can be very hit-or-miss. A "healthy" person may have an MRI that looks like a mess, while a person can have VERY REAL crippling pain but "look" perfect on a screening picture.

I don't know WHY. As I mentioned, I was an endo patient before being a back one....with endo, a woman can have a LOT of tissue growth but not know until it interferes w/ conception. On the other hand, I never spoke about increasing pain until I passed out from it at work (I'd passed out at home....but louder when the chair falls out).....I have fairly little "growth" but a ton of pain. This is a pretty common thing in endo...amount of growth doesn't determine amount of pain and a little bit on just the wrong spot can keep a woman in the fetal position.

I diverted....the point is, many diagnostics are imperfect. Keep pushing to find a source and find help....I'm glad I have on both the endo and back (first said it was a tiny tear, in the end the surgeon said it was the worst disc he'd seen in years, and he does several fusions a week). DO NOT EVER let anyone doubt your pain is real. YOU know if it is.

I'm 34 (33 at the time of the operation, 31 when the back hit me) and was a gym rat even until the surgery....vanity pounds to lose, but still "look" healty and fit. There's an added frustration in that....both b/c people assume you are healthy (got some HORRID looks for rushing to get a train seat sometimes....) and b/c it feels even more unfair. Of course, no one deserves pain, but it is sp hard if you feel you did/do everything right...i eat well, I ran (now walk), I lifted weights (and not too wimpy ones either!!). I was MAD...esp since the back just added to a lifetime of woes. I still get mad...and I think that's OKAY, as long as it isnt paralyzing.

I can't say much of help diagnostically (although I hear more stories of one-leg issues, both is different to me). But keeping your head cared for is good too. So know it is REAL, know that you are not abnormal for having "normal" pics when you ARE in pain, and keep pushing. Sometimes it just takes the doc who has "seen it before" or happens to remember that day in school....or the one willing to work with you to play detective.

Best wishes.

 
Old 12-25-2011, 06:36 PM   #3
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Gas City,Indiana USA
Posts: 3
bogartpar HB User
Smile Re: Lower Back Pain - the curse

Cheryl1213 - thank you so much for the info and encouragement. I needed to know that this not the first time someone has seen this type of situation. I hope my pain Doctor has the patience to help me uncover the cause. They put me in the most comfortable position while doing the MRI. I wonder what that disc would like like if I were standing in the machine? or Better yet standing with weight in my arms. I wake up several times a night in pain and just feel so discouraged. I can survive if I can reposition myself in most conditions during the day but at night I am awake till my brain just wants to scream and I give into it and awake to one hundred % and go to the chair, floor, sofa, wherever, till I awake again. Meds. help during the day along with being able stay moving. I retired at 55 because I just couldn't stand suffering in public. My regular pain management Dr. was killed in a plane crash, now I have met with his partner one time and he ordered the new MRI. But I can tell, I sense it, - he just doesn't want to mess with me. I go see him soon so he can read the report. The business centers around pain medicine pumps. My older Dr., the one who was killed, agreed with me, no invasive action till we have too. Its the "here we go again" feeling. Feeling like a criminal, drug seeker, having to hit the road again to find a Dr. who has the Balls to help. I understand completely the Dr's position to protect themselves and I have empathy to their plight. Finding the compassionit one is hard work. You want a competent Dr., and one who fights for your relief. What angels they are. They ride a very fine tight rope. God Bless Them. Central Indiana can be a lonely place when you feel hopelessly, embarrased, humlified, and like a criminal. Only those of us who have learned to accept the curse of endless pain truly understand this plight. Dependecy or (addicted) are two sisters we live have learned to live with. Pray for me that God helps me to continue to stay positive, and hopeful of the future. To those of you who share this plight, God bless you for staying strong, being honest with yourself, and being committed to live a great life, taking care of those who surround and love you , living by the Golden Rule. You will be rewarded. Thanks again.

 
Old 12-25-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Gas City,Indiana USA
Posts: 3
bogartpar HB User
Smile Re: Lower Back Pain - the curse

Cheryl1213 - thank you so much for the info and encouragement. I needed to know that this not the first time someone has seen this type of situation. I hope my pain Doctor has the patience to help me uncover the cause. They put me in the most comfortable position while doing the MRI. I wonder what that disc would like like if I were standing in the machine? or Better yet standing with weight in my arms. I wake up several times a night in pain and just feel so discouraged. I can survive if I can reposition myself in most conditions during the day but at night I am awake till my brain just wants to scream and I give into it and awake to one hundred % and go to the chair, floor, sofa, wherever, till I awake again. Meds. help during the day along with being able stay moving. I retired at 55 because I just couldn't stand suffering in public. My regular pain management Dr. was killed in a plane crash, now I have met with his partner one time and he ordered the new MRI. But I can tell, I sense it, - he just doesn't want to mess with me. I go see him soon so he can read the report. The business centers around pain medicine pumps. My older Dr., the one who was killed, agreed with me, no invasive action till we have too. Its the "here we go again" feeling. Feeling like a criminal, drug seeker, having to hit the road again to find a Dr. who has the Balls to help. I understand completely the Dr's position to protect themselves and I have empathy to their plight. Finding the compassionit one is hard work. You want a competent Dr., and one who fights for your relief. What angels they are. They ride a very fine tight rope. God Bless Them. Central Indiana can be a lonely place when you feel hopelessly, embarrased, humlified, and like a criminal. Only those of us who have learned to accept the curse of endless pain truly understand this plight. Dependecy or (addicted) are two sisters we live have learned to live with. Pray for me that God helps me to continue to stay positive, and hopeful of the future. To those of you who share this plight, God bless you for staying strong, being honest with yourself, and being committed to live a great life, taking care of those who surround and love you , living by the Golden Rule. You will be rewarded. Thanks again.

 
Old 12-26-2011, 08:46 AM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,457
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: Lower Back Pain - the curse

Welcome to the board.

Cheryl has given you some good information. As you know, members of the board do not have formal medical training, but speak through experience and information gained through the years as a fellow back pain sufferer. I would agree with your assessment that your MRI does not reveal anything that a spine specialist would be able to treat...and you definitely do not show anything from the MRI that would indicate that surgery is in your immediate future!

It is important to remember that imaging, be it MRI, CT scan, X-ray, etc. is just one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. The doctor will perform a physical exam, including a basic neurological exam, take an oral history of medical issues and listen carefully as you describe your symptoms. Only then will he put the information together to form a diagnosis.

I had what was considered a successful lumbar fusion in 2008, but it did not begin to resolve my pain. After a year of healing, rehab, etc. I felt just as I had prior to surgery. Thus began my hunt to try to find answers. My surgeon ordered yet another MRI, which showed that everything looked great; I had fused; hardware was in place; there were no nerves that showed any compression. So, my surgeon indicated there was nothing further he could do.

Note: as I was to learn, when a spine surgeon tells you there is nothing further he can do, all that means is that there is nothing obvious that he can do to resolve the pain. He could not justify, ethically, and to the insurance carrier, why he was performing surgery. "Exploratory" surgery doesn't really exist any longer unless the patient is self-paying.

So, the patient is sent to pain management.

I won't bore you with the details of my journey, but will tell you that things can be wrong, things that cause a great deal of pain, that do not show up on a MRI. Positional MRIs are not well-accepted yet. Because of the technology involved in using an open "tube" the magnets are not as strong, and thus, the imaging is not as good. I went to one neurosurgeon with a big reputation who wouldn't even take a look at my positional MRI, calling it a "gimmick."

Since you mention playing contact sports, and you have pain in both legs, I am wondering if you've had a flexion/extension x-ray of your lumbar spine?
You might have a spondylolisthesis, which is a situation where one vertebra slips over the top of the adjacent one. It is more common in athletes who were involved with contact sports or sports where the spine was in extension, like gymnastics, diving, dancing, etc. It is not always obvious on MRI, but usually clearly seen on the flexion/extension x-ray.

It can cause no symptoms at all, or it can slip and cause enough instability that a spinal nerve can get "pinched." Sometimes it causes pain to move from one leg to the other. You might want to ask your doctor whether there are signs of spondylolisthesis...or retrolisthesis, anterolisthesis.

The desication of the lumbar discs that is referred to in your MRI is a sign that there is some general degenerative changes characteristic of arthritis. Desication means the discs are drying out or losing fluid. Sometimes a disc will look dark on MRI -- this is an indication of desication.

The human spine begins the aging process in our 20s...so few people are too young to begin to experience some early signs of arthritis or desication. This can be a painful condition even though it doesn't look like much in any imaging.

It would be handled with medications and physical therapy. There is something called muscle balance therapy that has proven to improve a patient's condition without surgical intervention -- or I should say, it works for some people!

Sorry, my thoughts are rather unfocused this morning....hopefully I've given you a little bit to think about, and I am happy to answer any questions you might have.

 
Old 12-27-2011, 06:22 AM   #6
Newbie
(female)
 
GraciePearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 7
GraciePearl HB User
Lightbulb Re: Lower Back Pain - the curse

Hello, bogartpar. This may be the day your prayers are answered! I have fought for nearly two years with miserable back pain. When the doctors tell me they can`t find anything, and I tell them something IS causing it, they all just stand around and look at me like I fell off the back of a UFO.

I have scoured - scrubbed! - the internet looking for help, or hope, and yesterday I may have found it. I ran across a condition called "cutaneous ilioinguinal nerve entrapment sybdrome". I would copy and paste an article if I were allowed to - but there are lots of Google replies to the term.

I have had back pain, groin pain, pain all the way down my leg to my toes. Unrelenting pain, 24/7. And this diagnosis sure matches my symptoms - finally!

Go and investigate it - and may it be the answer to your prayers. If not, we`ll just have to keep on diggin` and prayin`!

 
Old 12-27-2011, 07:10 AM   #7
Newbie
(female)
 
GraciePearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 7
GraciePearl HB User
Re: Lower Back Pain - the curse

Wow! I can`t find my post to you - I just made it half an hour or so ago... anyway, I came back to give you a nice warm hug... don`t give up - the answers are there...

And be sure and check this out: "cutaneous inguinal nerve entrapment syndrome"

 
Old 12-27-2011, 09:32 AM   #8
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 119
peps90436 HB Userpeps90436 HB Userpeps90436 HB Userpeps90436 HB Userpeps90436 HB Userpeps90436 HB User
Re: Lower Back Pain - the curse

There is nothing more frustrating than knowing you are in pain and having the docs tell you that there is nothing showing up. Some of them seem to make it sound like it's all in your head or that you are making it up.

I even had one set of doctors trying to convince me that quitting smoking and changing my diet would take care of my back pain! Really? I know smoking isn't good for me, but quitting isn't going to cure my back pain. My diet . . . sure, I don't eat as big of a variety of veggies as I should, but I don't live on fried foods and junk food, and am within the weight range for my height. When this started, I was only about 110 pounds at the most (I'm only 5'2"). So I don't eat salads, that's not going to fix my back pain either.

I went through similar issues for the last 6 years, until May of this year when I started with a new doc. In my case, there one one phrase in the results from my first MRI that all the docs until this one had skipped, ignored or whatever. It was a small phrase that mentioned 'posterior hypertrophic changes L4-5'. Facet Joint Syndrome . . . two diagnostic Medial Branch Nerve Blocks later, and we had the answer I had been looking for for over 5 years. I have since had RF Ablation at 3 levels and have had a major reduction in my back pain. I have a couple of issues in my right hip including SI Joint Disorder, but I will be talking to the doc about those next week when I go see him again. I may be able to get that under control with exercise, now that I can do exercises again.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Lower back pain, tingling in foot, GP dismissing it!...... Daisycat22 Back Problems 12 03-02-2011 11:14 AM
How I "fixed" my lower back pain ronny314 Back Problems 2 09-10-2010 01:24 PM
Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?) thebluecoat Back Problems 14 04-25-2007 11:46 AM
Please offer advice/help for lower back/hip pain sealover Back Problems 4 04-05-2007 03:56 PM
Lower Back problems cause neck pain ? shawley Back Problems 18 03-22-2007 06:00 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 (1004), Apollo123 (904), Titchou (847), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (759), ladybud (754), midwest1 (668), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:33 AM.



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!