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disc herniation L4/L5 23 year old male

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Old 01-24-2010, 01:07 PM   #1
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Smile disc herniation L4/L5 23 year old male

Hi I am a 23 year old male.
Had a back injury three years ago- diagnosed with a trapezoid muscle tear across the back. took about two years to heal and spasms to stop. My X-rays at that time showed the alignment in my neck was a bit off but nothing to be concerned about.

Last Summer a few weeks after the spasms and discomfort caused my activity in my back had ceased, I felt pain i could relate to a muscle tear in a small part on my right hamstring. I only felt this pain when I was lying on my stomach. I was traveling at that time and when it got slightly worse every week. in the next two months I went to work ( desk job ) regularly and felt as if i tore my hamstring. I went to see the doctor and he treated me for that same reason. (anti inflammatory drugs )Around August is when the pain was severe and my day was exhausting. I would sweat a lot in my lower back and when i finally decided to stop all activities and rest it out I realized some weight loss due to the toll i put on my body.
I could not stand straight my muscles i my lower back were weak and i could not lift up my neck.

Over these two months the pain spread throughout my right leg and that was when i just walked into the emergency clinic. Got to see a specialist in the fracture clinic and had xrays, CT scans that were all negative.

I then waited a few weeks to get a MRI.

MRI Results ( after which i was instructed to rest in bed ) :
L4-L5 demonstrates a central disc herniation measuring 16mms in vertical height. 16 mms in transverse and 6 mms in AP causing mild to moderate spinal stenosis and compression of the L5 nerve roots within lateral recesses.
Exiting Nerve roots are unaffected.

Prominently L4-L5 disc pathology as described with some mild to moderate spinal stenosis and compression of the L5 Nerve roots bilaterally within the lateral recesses.

After two months of physio the pain was successfully localized to one place in my lower back. I could stand upright and walk around and seem normal and in good health for about an hour .... after which I would crash. ( Pain in leg not like the cramping pain from before but still pain enough to realize that I should stop what I was doing and rest to avoid any further injury. I have been doing that including physio for about 4 months now ( physio 2- at home do the exercises since then)
I have a meeting with the surgeon for the first time this coming week.
Are there any questions that I should be asking him ?
Has anyone here had a similar experience.. if so i know it must be hard to get back to normal ... what did you do ?

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Old 01-24-2010, 04:52 PM   #2
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Re: disc herniation L4/L5 23 year old male

I had my first spinal fusion at about your age and the level below (L5--S1). You can ask the surgeon what treatments are possible, including surgical and not surgical, and ask what he recommends. Be sure you are seeing an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon or Neurosurgeon.
Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

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