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Old 03-05-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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Angry L5-s1

I have a severe L5-S1 and the doctor said their is enough to function on what will happen if it ends up bone on bone ?

Last edited by pooterdog; 03-05-2012 at 08:23 PM.

 
Old 03-10-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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Re: L5-s1

[QUOTE=pooterdog;4939493]I have a severe L5-S1 and the doctor said their is enough to function on what will happen if it ends up bone on bone ?[/QUOTE]

Are you referring to disc degeneration at L5-S1?

 
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: L5-s1

I found the companion post which states:

"L5-s1/ddd

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Does, any one know what will happen if i do not recieve survery on my l5-s1. What will be the out come without surgery"

Your doctor will be able to answer these questions best. For some people, the discs heal on their own. For others, if the vertabrae are actually bone on bone, the vertabrae fuse together on their own. You should ask your doctor whether you have osteophytes (small bone growths) on the adjacent vertabrae. If so, this may be an indication that the vertabrae are in the initial phase of self-fusing or autofusion. Not all doctors see autofusion as entirely negative; it depends on the patient's age, flexibility within the spine, and how painful the patient's daily life is.

 
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:19 AM   #4
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Re: L5-s1

I was bone on bone in the cervical area C5-6 C6-7 for 5 years before the pain became unbearable and I had ACDF. Everyone one is different. You and your surgeon are the best people to discuss the issue and make a plan.

 
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
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Re: L5-s1

When the disc collapses, people are usually looking at artificial disc replacement surgery or a fusion....but the timing of it is usually up to the person.

Last edited by Administrator; 03-12-2012 at 11:53 PM.

 
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:04 AM   #6
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Re: L5-s1

About 3 months ago, my ortho did an x-ray and said I am bone on bone at L5/s1 and nearly there at L4/L5. I have a fairly high threshold to pain. So, when they ask you on a scale of 1-10 what your pain is, I respond a 6. Evidently that doesn't trip any alarms for an Ortho. (I have been to a 10 on the pain scale...I could barely speak I hurt so bad).

what I have now is constant aching and referred pain over my left buttock, in the left hip, in the back of the left knee.

When I stand after sitting a while, I can't move for about 10-15 seconds. When I do walk, it is with a pronounced limp. My left leg is very weak...for example, when I get into my car, I have to lift my leg in...I can, however, still drive. Being on my feet for great lengths of time causes great discomfort in my hip.

The doctor thinks I am underreporting my pain, yet he wants to wait to see if the pain gets worse or better on its own.

I am exhausted because I wake between 5 to 10 times a night from the pain in my hip and back. Aleve knocks the top off of the pain, but doesn't take it away.

Should I get a second opinion...is there an alternative to waiting...am I causing permanent nerve damage by waiting.

Can anyone offer any insight, suggestions?

 
Old 03-19-2012, 10:45 AM   #7
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Re: L5-s1

Welcome to the board, Barbara ~

Is the ortho someone you see for other issues, or is does he only deal with issues of the back and neck?

With only an X-ray to go on, you are only getting part of the picture. It sounds like you have disc degeneration or possibly disc herniations and that there is some nerve involvement, which is causing the weakness in the leg. You will need MRI to see what is going on with the nerves, muscles and soft tissue. Without this imaging, anyone would simply be guessing if they say you are not causing any permanent damage by waiting, since they cannot see how badly a nerve may be getting compressed.

Generally speaking, the longer the nerve is compressed, the greater the chance of the nerve being permanently damaged.

I would suggest you make an appointment with a fellowship trained spine specialist for a "second" opinion. This could be either an ortho spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon who limit their practice to issues of the neck and back. Even if you do not require surgery (and they would also recommend conservative treatment first), you will have a proper diagnosis and will know how to see if you ever do require surgery.

 
Old 03-19-2012, 12:52 PM   #8
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Re: L5-s1

Unfortunately, this is a board certified Orthopedic Surgeon with main focus in adult and pediatric spine....but that doesn't mean I can't see someone else. I am in Billings Montana and this doc was from the largest group. There is a neurosurgeon whom I trust implicitly and I am not beyond going to see him.

As further background, I indeed do have degenerative disc both in the c-spine and lumbar spine. In the mid-90s, I blew out the disc big time at L5-S1...blocked about 80% of the spine below L5. I waited six excruciating days for surgery to remove the cartilage. I have lost about an inch in height. For several years, I was blissfully pain free. But, for about a year, the pain has been increasing and the weakness becoming more exacerbated.

Without committing to anything, what are my possible option? Fusion? Disc replacement? I haven't a clue and this guy wasn't very forth coming. I almost think he was figuring I was looking for drugs. It was a bit disconcerting.

 
Old 03-19-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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Re: L5-s1

Without knowing much about your case, I would think the possibilities range from replacing the disc with an artificial disk, to a fusion with instrumentation. There is another procedure where a disc spacer such as the "X-Stop" is inserted in the space between the two vertebrae to hold the space. It sounded like a perfect solution to my problems, but I turned out not to be a candidate for it. You do have to meet specific criteria, as is also the case with the artificial disc.

Otherwise, there are things like steroid injections and oral medications for the pain, if surgery is not found to be necessary.

 
Old 03-19-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
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Re: L5-s1

[QUOTE=teteri66;4946937]Welcome to the board, Barbara ~

Is the ortho someone you see for other issues, or is does he only deal with issues of the back and neck?

With only an X-ray to go on, you are only getting part of the picture. It sounds like you have disc degeneration or possibly disc herniations and that there is some nerve involvement, which is causing the weakness in the leg. You will need MRI to see what is going on with the nerves, muscles and soft tissue. Without this imaging, anyone would simply be guessing if they say you are not causing any permanent damage by waiting, since they cannot see how badly a nerve may be getting compressed.

Generally speaking, the longer the nerve is compressed, the greater the chance of the nerve being permanently damaged.

I would suggest you make an appointment with a fellowship trained spine specialist for a "second" opinion. This could be either an ortho spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon who limit their practice to issues of the neck and back. Even if you do not require surgery (and they would also recommend conservative treatment first), you will have a proper diagnosis and will know how to see if you ever do require surgery.[/QUOTE]

 
Old 03-19-2012, 09:09 PM   #11
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Re: L5-s1

Saying thanks, who left answers!!!
I have made a surgery apt. For march 28th, in Barcelona Spine Center, Dr. Pablo Clavel, as far as I know he is the only one who does a artificail disc thru the front entrance only. My othro doc here took a look at the procedure and said it was "slick". Those who want to view this procedure go to www.bcn-sc.com (click on 2nd video) shows a short version artificial disc that goes thru the front only and leaves no instrumentation in your body. I am using the money that I got thru a car wreck settlement on my neck, but my back is worse so thats what Dr. Clavel suggested was the most urgent to have repaired. Need any other answers , please contact me.

It is so much cheaper to have this procedure done out of the country. Dr. Pablo Clavel has excellent Acredidations also!!

Last edited by pooterdog; 03-19-2012 at 09:18 PM.

 
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