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  • Still in pain after three injections

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    Old 08-04-2015, 07:13 PM   #1
    effusion80
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    Still in pain after three injections

    Hello I'm 35 yrs old and have been suffering with a disc problem and spinal stenosis for over three years. Back in 2012 I noticed my back and left leg would hurt time from time. Didn't think anything of it till February 2014 I woke up one morning and my back was hurting so bad I couldn't get dressed. Come to find out after I had an mri done that I had severe spinal stenosis with a disc extrusion and degenerative disc disease. I was referred to a neurosurgeon who referred me to pain management for spinal injections. I finally received my first injection December of 2014 and two more injections in January of this year. The first two injections didn't really help but the third helped for a little while. Now I'm still in pain in my back and I have left and right leg pain more in the left. My left leg tends to feel weak and tired hurts and my toes at times feel like their being bit by ants. I saw my neurosurgeon again and told him I was still in pain and he sent me to get another mri. This mri is a little different with things on it that wasn't on the last one. Also my first mri said severe stenosis this one says severe but the pain is pretty much the same and constant. I also notice when I lay on my back I can kinda feel like my spine is moving, never noticed this before. Has anyone had a similar situation? If so did you have a surgery? Here are my last mri results. At l4-l5 mild grade 1 retrolisthesis is seen. Posterior disc bulge or protrusion is noted. Compression of the thecal sac is noted with a moderate degree of central stenosis. Small annular fissure is noted along the posterior disc margin to the left of the midline. There is asymmetric effacement of the left lateral recess. Bilateral neural foraminal narrowing is seen greater on the left. Thanks again.

     
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    Old 08-05-2015, 07:19 PM   #2
    Mg2121
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    Re: Still in pain after three injections

    Hi,

    I am so sorry you're dealing with this. I know it all way too well. I went, and still am, going through this myself. My pain all began at the age of 33. I also received the 3 injections with no relief and physical therapy until I had an emergency surgery in 2013 from a ruptured disc that led to cauda equina. This was at my L5-s1 level. I had a severe herniated disc and spinal stenosis. That surgery helped me a ton until a year later when I re injured my back leading to my 2nd surgery at the same level which was a fusion in march of this year. I'm still not feeling good and now need to try a spinal cord stimulator. My point is, do what you possibly can to prevent from having surgery because it seems like one you open that can of worms is never ending. And being so young, it just means that we're going to deal with this that much longer. If you can strengthen your core by going to physical therapy or trying something like yoga out, do it. The back is very non forgiving and unfortunately you hear more negative surgery stories than positive, or atleast I do. I wish you the best. I understand your pain.

     
    Old 08-05-2015, 08:13 PM   #3
    effusion80
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    Re: Still in pain after three injections

    Thanks for your story and sharing your information. Sorry to hear that your going thru that. Yea I never imagined I would be in a situation like this so young. It just sucks how a back injury can completely change your life.

     
    Old 08-05-2015, 09:45 PM   #4
    Mg2121
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    Re: Still in pain after three injections

    You're welcome. I agree, it definitely changes things. But, still in determined to get through it. And you will too.

     
    Old 08-05-2015, 10:25 PM   #5
    teteri66
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    Re: Still in pain after three injections

    MG2121~ I am really surprised that a doctor is suggesting a spinal cord stimulator so soon after your surgery. It takes a good year for thefusion to fully heal. Even if it is clear the surgery has not addressed the pain generator, if there is a surgical procedure that would address the pain generator, to me, it makes sense to attempt that rather than opting for going into pain management for the rest of your life. Neurostimulators are not without risk. They used to be regarded as the option of last resort....when a person had tried every other option. Now, with the increase in pain management physicians, they are suggested earlier and earlier.

    Please consider all options before agreeing to the SCS implant.

    What are your current issues?

     
    Old 08-05-2015, 10:49 PM   #6
    Mg2121
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    Re: Still in pain after three injections

    I have radiating pain that comes from my left lower back down my left leg that is relentless. And as time passes it is not improving. Now, I am becoming weak on that left side. They did another mri showing scar tissue that is impinging on the L5 nerve root. My neurosurgeon said he didn't want to go back in just because of scar tissue and even if he did, he feels it will only come back. I don't want to go this route but I also don't want to take narcotics for a long period of time and I want to get back to work as soon as possible. However, I also want to heal. I'm conflicted myself.

     
    Old 08-05-2015, 11:13 PM   #7
    teteri66
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    Re: Still in pain after three injections

    Effusion80~ Welcome to the board. Has anyone suggested having surgery? I am guessing that due to your age, doctors are not eager to perform a fusion surgery at this point.

    The retrolisthesis is a spondylolisthesis that is slipping toward the posterior side. This is a situation where one vertebra slides over the top of the adjacent one. It can be stable, meaning it is not slipping any longer, or "active," when it creates some instability at this spinal segment. This can result in a spinal nerve getting pinched. Currently, the only effective way of dealing with a spondylolisthesis is with a fusion...which makes the segment immobile.

    There are two areas in the spine where spinal nerves are compressed. One is in the central canal. The other is in the neuroforamen, which are openings located at each vertebral segment and linking the vertebrae together. This opening allows a spinal nerve to exit the central canal and to go out to innervate a particular area of the body.

    Stenosis means narrowing. When the central canal or a neuroforamina is narrowed due to some disease process such as a herniated disc or enlarged facet joint, inflamed tissue, etc., there is less room for the nerve and irritation or compression occurs. The resulting pain can be felt at the point of compression in the back, or anywhere along the path of the nerve. You mention having more pain in your left leg. The MRI indicates that both foramen have stenosis, but the left is worse than the right. In addition, there is an annular tear in the disc on the left side...so it makes sense that you would have more pain on the left side.

    What does the surgeon suggest as a plan of treatment?

     
    Old 08-09-2015, 11:22 AM   #8
    effusion80
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    Re: Still in pain after three injections

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teteri66 View Post
    Effusion80~ Welcome to the board. Has anyone suggested having surgery? I am guessing that due to your age, doctors are not eager to perform a fusion surgery at this point.

    The retrolisthesis is a spondylolisthesis that is slipping toward the posterior side. This is a situation where one vertebra slides over the top of the adjacent one. It can be stable, meaning it is not slipping any longer, or "active," when it creates some instability at this spinal segment. This can result in a spinal nerve getting pinched. Currently, the only effective way of dealing with a spondylolisthesis is with a fusion...which makes the segment immobile.

    There are two areas in the spine where spinal nerves are compressed. One is in the central canal. The other is in the neuroforamen, which are openings located at each vertebral segment and linking the vertebrae together. This opening allows a spinal nerve to exit the central canal and to go out to innervate a particular area of the body.

    Stenosis means narrowing. When the central canal or a neuroforamina is narrowed due to some disease process such as a herniated disc or enlarged facet joint, inflamed tissue, etc., there is less room for the nerve and irritation or compression occurs. The resulting pain can be felt at the point of compression in the back, or anywhere along the path of the nerve. You mention having more pain in your left leg. The MRI indicates that both foramen have stenosis, but the left is worse than the right. In addition, there is an annular tear in the disc on the left side...so it makes sense that you would have more pain on the left side.

    What does the surgeon suggest as a plan of treatment?
    I see the surgeon on Tuesday. I went to physical therapy a few times, didn't help and after the three injections I had I'm not sure what else can be done. Even when I work it hurts and I have a sedentary job sitting down all day. When I sit my back and legs hurts with legs going numb. When I stand or walk its the same thing. At this point just not sure what else can be done just liveI in pain for the rest of my life?

     
    Old 08-09-2015, 08:56 PM   #9
    teteri66
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    Re: Still in pain after three injections

    It is a good idea not to rush into surgery. On the other hand, one can also wait too long. As a general rule, the longer a nerve is compressed the greater is the chance of suffering permanent nerve damage. There is no way to predict how long this process may take.

    When conservative measures have been tried and have failed, sometimes surgery is the only option. It may not bring back things to their original state, but it may keep things from getting worse.

     
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