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Old 01-28-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
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Question Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

See profile for details,I saw a dmayn with a repair to an annular tear(tears really) just like mine,PLEASE let me know how you are and what to do,I'm new on hear and have tried to message you and can't,please and thanks in advance if you can respond.......from a desperately seeking mom!

 
Old 01-28-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

I don't know if the poster you referred to is still on the forum. If you want to write a bit more about your annular tear, what symptoms you have, etc. I'm sure someone could offer some tips.

 
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

The L4-5 and L5-S1 are biforaminal annular tears with a broad-based disc displacement at the L4-5 level and shallow disc displacement at L4-5,my symptoms are severe pain,like so intense a freakin navy seal couldn't tolerate,if I try to do silly things like standbup straight for more than 10 min,walk more than 40 ft,bend to load the dishwasher,a trip to Wal-Mart for 5 items,which is a rare attempt,takes a half hour bc I have to take breaks and just sit down in the middle of the isle to get relief then I can go again,I have terrible muscle spasms,low back is tender to the touch,could still be from discogram 2 weeks ago,which I'm thankful for,had MRI's,CT's,PT,3 NS,neurologist,rheumatologist,multiple visits to my PCP crying in pain for 9 mths and all agreeing they don't think I'm faking but can't find anything wrong so no pain meds,I thought of killing myself at one point,was sure a terminal diagnoses was just around the corner bc surely you couldn't hurt like this and not be dying,and finally did what I considered to be giving up and regret no doing long ago and requested a PM consult who said I'd had every scan and needed disco and these are my results,when we asked what he would suggest if I was his wife he just rubbed his head and said IDK,bc all 3 disc can't be treated,with other bulges a fusion isn't a great idea,ADR not an option bc of the rest of my back,I received this news on 1/23 I worked on the ortho unit,,but have been off since last May,finally got to give a diagnoses other than I'm starting to think I'm crazy on 1/26 and was asked to resign,I have a WONDERFUL life,truly blessed,just need to be able to live it!!Please help!!,and Thanks

Last edited by RLGraham; 01-28-2012 at 12:31 PM. Reason: Adding

 
Old 01-28-2012, 12:40 PM   #4
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

When I had an annular tear diagnosis, the doc had some of the best words I've heard from the medicial world (and I have a lot of chronic issues so have seen dozens of docs). He said "medically, this is very minor. But I know firsthand it still feels like a bullet to the spine." I love the language there that validates the pain but also reassures a bit too.

The treatment he recommended at the time was epidurals and PT. I can't quite tell if you've tried the epidurals, but may be worth asking about. That doc's take had been that they can sometimes giv enough relief to make PT more effective.

 
Old 01-28-2012, 12:54 PM   #5
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

Thanks girl,I have had three epidurals,PT for 5 months,and during those 5mths PT was all I could do it made the pain much worse,I couldn't even pull my 3 yr olds pants up all summer long,I even tried one not approved by insurance bc of his different modalities with some relief but it was all passive therapy which felt great but didn't help once I was out the door,tried private instruction Pilates,TENS which provides relief but seems to make me sore once it's turned off,pool therapy which feels good but hasn't gotten me anywhere,healthy diet,I've always been extremely active,a person that uses my gym membership 3-5 days a week,I still maintain a healthy weight,my PM mentioned IDET when I INSISTED on a non-surgical option but didn't seem to think it was a great idea,I'm still wanting more options but IDK,any info is GREATLY appreciated!!!

 
Old 01-28-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

I did end up needing surgery myself...too early for a full verdict but I do think I've improved and it was clear once he was in there that the disc was destroyed. Keep fighting and asking....we NEED to be our own biggest health advocates. And the little one givs you an extra reason to look for relief so you can be a happier and more energetic parent!

 
Old 01-28-2012, 03:25 PM   #7
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

Have you been diagnosed with stenosis? Your symptoms sound like the pain one gets from stenosis.

Are you working with or have you consulted with an orthopedic spine surgeon or is the PM ordering the tests, etc? Who was it that told you that you weren't a candidate for surgery? From what you described, I only count two discs, not three. Is the disc above the L4 vertebra also bad?

What were the results of the discogram?

 
Old 01-28-2012, 04:56 PM   #8
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

I posted the most concerning disco I posted on previous post,I think the third disc is the T11-12,there's no mention of stenosis on MRI,CT,or Myelogram reports,I see a surgeon on 17,it's a new one,I've only been in PM since Dec 20 and he has done the discogram and just said he thinks I should see a surgeon but doesn't "think"I have many options.Is there any treatments being looked into for this??Would all my scans have showed stenosis??Thanks.....againand I am very determined to move forward with my life,I know I will,I just don't know when!

 
Old 01-28-2012, 07:25 PM   #9
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

RL,

Hi, so sorry you are going thru so much pain. I too had annular tears mine were at L4/5 5/6 levels. I went to a PM specialist who had been trained in Intervertebral Disc Biacuplasty which is similar to the old IDET but they use two cannulas (SP?) in lieu of one. He performed this procedure on my discs at two separate times (because they were found at separate times) and it repaired my discs. This is a non-evasive procedure. I had to wear a hard shell brace for about 6 weeks afterwards and then a soft one at night and then two weeks afterwards.

I still have a little achyness in my lower back at times but I also have fibromyalgia so that could be the culprit at this point. (its been about 3 yrs since the last one was done and 4 since the first one)

I'd check this out, search this procedure online and find a Dr. who has been trained in this procedure. If you want you can private message me for more info.

The first time I had it done I had a hard time getting my insurance to approve it, had to appeal it and stuff but finally got there.

Hope this helps and good luck. btw, do you use ice when you are having muscle spasms? Really worked well for me.

CJ

 
Old 01-28-2012, 08:26 PM   #10
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

Stenosis would be easily visible on any of those tests.

Is your pain mainly in your lower back, or do you have some in your leg or legs?

 
Old 01-28-2012, 09:52 PM   #11
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

Back only,from 3-4 inches below bra strap area to panty line,bilateral,never had ant shooting pains,I guess my question should have been would spinal stenosis been noted in the radiology reports?

 
Old 01-28-2012, 10:02 PM   #12
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Re: Annular Tear,HELP!!!!!

Yes, stenosis would be noted.

Since you don't have leg pain, you should ask about biacuplasty. It is usually performed by a pain management specialist rather than a spine surgeon...because it isn't surgery! I personally don't know anyone who has had it done, and I don't know how commonly it is done. It is a fairly new procedure, approved in 2008, I believe.

 
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