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  • Police Officer Needs Help With Back Pain

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    Old 09-03-2008, 10:27 AM   #1
    TopGun821
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    Police Officer Needs Help With Back Pain

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to the site and I hope someone can decipher this for me?
    I am a 44 year old police officer who previously was very active prior to herniating my l4-l5 and l5-S1. I had a laminectomy (3/25/08) on the l4-5 to relieve leg and back pain or so I thought. I continue to have severe back pain especially when active and sitting for a few minutes. I have minor radiating leg pain, numbness and tingling in my foot and sharp pain in my big toe but not on a regular basis and I cannot stand upright. I just had an MRI conducted which reads:
    L1-2 mild desiccation of the disc, no disc bulge, protrusion, or stenosis.
    L3-4 facet hypertrophy but no significant bulge, protrusion or stenosis.
    L4-5 desiccation of the disc and bulge. There has been right hemilaminectomy. Enhancing tissue in the lateral recess of the right neural foramen and along the right side of the spinal canal consistent with granulation tissue and perineural fibrosis. It does extend to the distribution of the right L5 nerve root. Facet hypertrophy and disc bulge contributes to neural foraminal narrowing without focal soft disc herniation, stenosis or impingement identified.
    L5-S1 there is desiccation of the disc and a bulge touching the thecal sac and narrowing the neural foramina. Facet hypertrophy contributes to mild stenosis without impingement.
    Could any of this be causing my discomfort?

    Last edited by TopGun821; 09-03-2008 at 11:29 AM. Reason: REMOVED WORDS NOT NEEDED

     
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    Old 09-04-2008, 02:18 PM   #2
    sandim
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    Re: Police Officer Needs Help With Back Pain

    [QUOTE=TopGun821;3714587]Hi everyone,

    I am new to the site and I hope someone can decipher this for me?
    I am a 44 year old police officer who previously was very active prior to herniating my l4-l5 and l5-S1. I had a laminectomy (3/25/08) on the l4-5 to relieve leg and back pain or so I thought. I continue to have severe back pain especially when active and sitting for a few minutes. I have minor radiating leg pain, numbness and tingling in my foot and sharp pain in my big toe but not on a regular basis and I cannot stand upright. I just had an MRI conducted which reads:
    L1-2 mild desiccation of the disc, no disc bulge, protrusion, or stenosis.
    L3-4 facet hypertrophy but no significant bulge, protrusion or stenosis.
    L4-5 desiccation of the disc and bulge. There has been right hemilaminectomy. Enhancing tissue in the lateral recess of the right neural foramen and along the right side of the spinal canal consistent with granulation tissue and perineural fibrosis. It does extend to the distribution of the right L5 nerve root. Facet hypertrophy and disc bulge contributes to neural foraminal narrowing without focal soft disc herniation, stenosis or impingement identified.
    L5-S1 there is desiccation of the disc and a bulge touching the thecal sac and narrowing the neural foramina. Facet hypertrophy contributes to mild stenosis without impingement.
    Could any of this be causing my discomfort?[/QUOTE]

    Hi Top,
    I'm the wife of a police officer and well familiar with back problems so maybe I can help....
    L1-2 - your disc is drying out. That is a common finding as we age.....
    L3-4- facet hypertrophy means that the facet joint is thickened, and that comes from pressure, wear and tear of the facet joint. This can be painful for some.
    L4-5- your disc is drying out and is bulging. Most doctor's don't think a bulging disc is a problem, but having had that myself, it can be painful if is pressing at any time on a nerve. That can change with movement. You have scar tissue in the right neural foramen ( where the nerve exits), along with scar tissue along the spinal canal. This is a common finding after back surgery, however, it probably is the biggest contributor to your pain issues in both places. The bigger problem is that the scar tissue is also involving the right lumbar nerve root at the L5 level. Again the facet is thickened and that also can be contributing to your problem.
    L5-S1- you again have a bulging disc and this time is touching the thecal sac- that houses the spinal nerves at that level and the bulge is also touching the neural foramen.
    The problems that you are having at L4- S1 are probably where your continuing pain problems are coming from. Your surgeon is probably going to suggest some injections to see if it helps. The biggest problem that I see is at the L4-L5 , and the scar tissue problem is usually not something that they would do surgery for, but in your case, since it is touching the nerve, they may very well recommend that.
    I hope this helps.
    Sandi

     
    Old 09-04-2008, 05:18 PM   #3
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    Re: Police Officer Needs Help With Back Pain

    Hi,

    Sandim gave you a good explanation so I won't add much about those things. I also had a laminectomy in '06 for severe stenosis due to herniations, tears, bone overgrowth, and thickening and buckling of a ligament into my spinal canal. I could not stand up straight either, it was horrible. I did have surgery and had multi-level laminectomies, foraminoty, and cleaning of some lateral recess'. I did good for about 5 or 6 months, then suddenly developed severe sciatica where my left foot was completely numb for almost 2 months, I had lightning pain going from my rear down into my ankle. I finally had another MRI and it was found I also had alot of scar tissue from surgery. I also had a piece of tissue (either scar or disk material) stuck in a left lateral recess (which is a small area that a nerve passes through. Unfortunately, scarring happens, and there's no way to predict if it will end up being a problem after surgery. I did all that I could to try to prevent it, but it happened anyway and so I have problems from it. Now I also get severe nerve pain on & off around both outer hips and more recently I'm getting pain down the front of my left thigh. I've also had strange bouts of shocking pains in so many areas, I cannot count.

    From where you describe your symptoms, it's probably coming from the L4/L5 or L5/S1 area, which is where mine was. Of course I can't diagnose it, but it's just a guess from me. Since your MRI states you have perineural fibrosis, that means that scar tissue is wrapped one or more nerves which can cause alot of pain & symptoms. Plus the facet hypertrophy may contribute as well.

    So since I've had some of the same problems and I had severe pain & symptoms for over 2 months (until I had a nerve block done)..I would have to say Yes, some of those things on the MRI can be causing your symptoms. My bet is probably the scar tissue. And scar tissue is hard, so just think of hard tissue wrapping around & touching a nerve.

    What did your doctor say to you about this? Or did he say there was nothing that would be causing your pain, as many of us on here have heard time & again.....

     
    Old 09-05-2008, 08:42 PM   #4
    TopGun821
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    Re: Police Officer Needs Help With Back Pain

    Thank you BayBreeze. I appreciate the response. My Dr. is in no hurry to see me. I had the MRI on the 3rd of Sept. and my appt. is on the 30th. However, he has scheduled me for an funtional capacity exam.

     
    Old 09-05-2008, 08:50 PM   #5
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    Re: Police Officer Needs Help With Back Pain

    Wow, what an in-depth response. I was certainly not expecting this much information. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Tell your husband to be safe out there, as we both know his job is very unpredictable and can turn dangerous at anytime. I got hurt on the job when I went to handle a call which I thought was going to be more or less routine. I left with two ruptured discs and a lot of unnecessary pain. I can honestly say I absolutely hate workers compensation due to always trying to cut costs instead of looking out for my best intrest. Thank you again.

     
    Old 09-05-2008, 10:10 PM   #6
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    Re: Police Officer Needs Help With Back Pain

    Hi Top,
    You're welcome. As I said, I've had to earn my way around the back pain section for some time, so I am too familiar with a lot of the pain causing problems.
    It is not out of the norm for doctors to give you appointments a month or more out, especially if they are waiting for test results. I hope that he can do something to relieve the pain you are in.
    I will pass along your wishes to my husband, he's on duty tonight in fact. We are expecting flooding......
    I know just what you mean with workers comp.....we've had our own share of dealings with them. They don't worry about anything but saying you aren't injured seriously, and getting you back to work asap.....
    Best of luck to you Top, stay safe and be careful. Let us know how you make out with the surgeon.
    Sandi

     
    Old 09-06-2008, 05:30 AM   #7
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    Re: Police Officer Needs Help With Back Pain

    Yep, I agree, it's definitely not unusual to wait a month for an appointment. I've never gone through worker's comp. so I don't know that process, but I have waited sometimes even 2 months to get in to see a doctor when I was in agonizing pain. And now I'm having to find an alternate way to get my meds, I cannot get into my Rheum's office for a whole month, meanwhile my lupus meds will run out, not to mention I have a rash I wanted him to see. I did, however, get in to my Pain Management office in a couple days to talk about med problem, so that was a plus. BUt sometimes one gets in quick, other times, the wait is forever. Yet....at least for me, while I am there and if they tell me to make another appt., I can easily get one 2 weeks later, so how is that?

     
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