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I don't even know what to title this...

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Old 04-25-2005, 01:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
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mom2kaia HB User
I don't even know what to title this...

I am in a very bad place right now.

Last summer I had a herniation at L4-L5 with nerve root compression. Sorry if that isn't the right terminology but that is what the doctor told me.

The only treatment I had was regular chiropractic care (still going on) and exercise at home (still happening to the best of my abilities). I have been doing okay.

In March I had pain daily and that went away at the beginning of this month. Yesterday while getting dressed something happened and I am in severe pain today.

I am meeting with my doctor to discuss a referral to surgeon. Making this appointment felt like booking a date for my execution. I am terrified. I have heard bad stories about people coming out worse off than when they went in. Not only that but my current job does not have disability benefits and when I don't work I don't make money. Because the job doesn't have those benefits I cannot get government assistance either because I haven't been paying in to something for at least the last 4 of 6 years.

Part of my problem is that I am overweight. I have lost 113 pounds in the last few years but I am still considered obese. I have a "pooch" in front that hangs down slightly. This "pooch" is mostly skin but some fat. When I support the "pooch" with my own hands I feel immediate relief. Part of me wonders if my big stomach is what is causing the problem. No matter what I try though there is no getting rid of it.

I have had some people tell me that I could have some type of surgery to remove this. Does anyone know if that is true? I dont' think a plastic surgeon would do liposuction of the fat that is there because isn't that considered cosmetic? And I don't know if they will take the skin off because there is still some fat there. But I would rather do that before I have a more invasive back surgery. And because it would not be for cosmetic reasons I might be able to get it covered by insurance, either my husbands or OHIP (I live in Ontario, Canada).

If anyone can offer some advice, stories, anything, I would appreciate it. I am only 29 years old. I feel like I am 60. And I can't live like this anymore.

Last edited by mom2kaia; 04-25-2005 at 01:56 PM.

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Old 04-25-2005, 02:34 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 83
et318 HB User
Re: I don't even know what to title this...


You can certainly see the back surgeon for his/her opinion, but at this point I would think you are a candidate for much more conservative treatment before proceeding with surgery.

Where does your pain start and travel to? (e.g., right low back through the buttock down the outside of the right leg to the shin).

Given your past L4-5 HNP with nerve root compression it may have recurred. What nerve root was compressed and on what side? PT, Epidural Injections and other treatments should be given a whirl before jumping into surgery.

Old 04-25-2005, 02:41 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 342
Rampage HB User
Re: I don't even know what to title this...

they've said that larger "items" (female!) caused back pain, so why not extra weight? i'd lost the bulk of my weight prior to my accident, but still lost more b/c i didn't want the weight to compound the pain. which it does.

i would like more info too on your back pain, but i'm wondering if a temp solution might be a type of back brace? maybe that might help you feel better until all your options are figured out?

just a thought...hope we can help.
Accident '00
Sciatica, L3-4 Tear, Spinal Stenosis, DDD L3-S1
IDET '04
Laminectomy '06
Fusion (BMP) L4-5 '11
Anterior Fusion (BMP) L3-S1 '13

Old 04-25-2005, 07:02 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11
mom2kaia HB User
Re: I don't even know what to title this...

Thanks for your help.

This latest pain is actually in the right side this time (it was left side and left leg/foot last time) and has been staying away from my legs and feet (thank God). It is just to the right of my tailbone. Last night during the night it was on both sides and caused pain from my hips to my toes! Today it has been better.

As far as my weight, I have no doubt that is causing a lot of the problem. My thoughts about having my "pooch" removed to alleviate some of the back pain might work however that doesn't correct the damage already done so I wonder if it's even worth it. I do still plan on losing more weight however that is hard to do given my limitations. As early as six weeks ago I was walking three miles an hour on our treadmill. Now I can't even walk one mile an hour with out sciatic pain starting within the first few minutes.

I will continue with the chiropractor since he has been a great help to me up to this point. And after the doctor on Wednesday I will update. I would prefer to stay away from pain meds but I have been enjoying my percocet these last couple of days!

Thanks again.

Old 04-26-2005, 10:28 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11
mom2kaia HB User
Re: I don't even know what to title this...

I am also wondering if anybody has any information on endoscopic discectomy surgery. This sounds like the only surgery I think I could get the nerve to go through from what I have read online. If surgery is my only option I am really terrified about it. I live in Canada too and can't find any information about doctors who perform the surgery here.

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