Discussions that mention cyclobenzaprine

Back Problems board


I have had back pain for almost 3 years and now I am considering surgery and would welcome information from anyone. I have tried therapy a few times and have seen results in the past but not recently. I changed my career from construction to technical support which involves sitting all day and this is becoming bothersome.
My primary doctor is against any surgery but finally agreed I should at least speak to a surgeon.
The surgeon recommended a new MRI in jan 2003 and these are the findings.

1. Moderate sized left paracentral disc protrusion at L2-L3.

2. Slight central disc protrusion at L3-L4 and L4 L5.

3. Slight diffuse bulging annulus at L5-S1

4. Degenerative arthritis involving facet joints of lower lumbar spine.

I have not had a chance to go over all of this with the surgeon but spoke with 1 of his assistants who says I should have a cage built around the lower disc for stability. He also mentioned a 40 minute laser procedure for the disc at L2-L3.

I have flare ups about every 6 months that last about a month and it makes it difficult to walk or sit or stand. I currently am recovering from a flare up and will return to work in 2 days. I am not big on taking medicine but starting last sept 2002 my right leg went numb and has bothered me ever since. It is not numb now but any time i sit to long or drive my car i get pain in my lower back in my groin and my foot gets hot and my heel hurts real bad. My primary dr. says it is just sciatic nerves and has prescribed me a anti-inflamatory, lortab, and cyclobenzaprine, the last which i quit taking because i could never stay awake and know i take something called methocarbomal which is a muscle relaxer but seems to keep me awake.

I have spent time reading alot of articles since finding this site and have heard alot of people saying they are having there hardware taken out, is it a bad idea to get a cage?
If I do a simple laser surgery how long before i need a second surgery?
Also do they need to operate on every disc or can they find out which one causes my leg pain?
I see my surgeon in 3 weeks and I am trying to arm myself with alot of questions.
Every doctor I have seen so far says I will know when it is time for surgery, how will I know? I go to the doctors for these answers I dont know how to tell if I need surgery.

I am married and have 3 little kids and I hate not being able to carry them all the time and play with them. They are all very understanding but I want to play sports with my kids.
Sorry if this is to long it is the first time I have ever posted anything. Again I thank anyone who would be able to offer any info on how you know it is time for surgery and how you know you have a good surgeon, and any pros and cons to back cages or surgery in general?
Thanks John