Discussions that mention vicodin

Back Problems board


Hi all. I first want you to know my heart goes out to you on this board who have been through so much. I have been lurking, reading all I can, getting up the nerve to post. So here goes....

I guess I have some questions regarding MRI results, but first would like to give you a background. I'll try to keep in brief.

I am a 47 year old female who has experienced bouts of back problems for 20 years, but otherwise am healthy and fit. In Nov. 2001, I ruptured L4-L5, and had diskectomy in April, 2002. Although that surgery made the right leg/butt pain almost disappear, I never got relief from the back pain. In addition to the back pain, I have numbness/tingling in the left foot along with minimal pain in the left outer calf. Unfortunately, my main complaint is the back pain. Excerpts from March, 2002, July, 2002 MRI and October, 2002 X-Rays:
1. Mild posterior disc bulge at L5-S1 causing mild deformity of contiguous thecal sac. Endplate osteophyte with mild facet degeneration and retrolisthesis cause mild right and mild to moderate left foraminal narrowing. Mlld facet degeneration with retrolisthesis.
2. Mild-To-Moderate degenerative disc disease at L4-5 and L5-S1.
3. Post-surgical changes with scar tissue present which encases the proximal traversing right L nerve root sleeve. Few tiny foci represeint recurrent/residual herniated disk material.
4. Grade 1 anterolisthesis lumbar 5 and lumbar 4 during extension which appears relieved during flexion.

I currently take Vicodin when needed, Motrin when I can get by, and am on an anti-depressant, Celexa. When on vacation between Xmas and New Year's, I realized if I could just be a couch potato, I could live with the pain. Unfortunately, I work full time, like to go to the gym, and enjoy being out and about. Have had PT, oral steroid treatment twice, wear lumbar brace when needed, but no injections and no discogram. Neuro wants to do disco next pursuant to fusion surgery. I get the impression from my PCP that he believes I need to have the fusion surgery, but neuro is extremely conservative. I have seen the risks and know the seriousness of fusion surgery and have told my neuro I don't want anything to do with it. However, the pain continues and is wearing me down.

Can somebody tell me what this all means? I look forward to your help. I've seen what you've meant to a lot of people here.