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  #1  
Old
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Join Date: December 30th, 2006
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Pain in the ...

Argghhh. Just found out I have a pretty damaged L3/L4 disc. Can't hardly walk. Pain shoots through lower back and down my leg past my knee.

First appointment the neuro surgeon has is January 31.

All I hear are horror stories when people talk about back surgery. Of course with it hurting this bad surgery will be wonderful.

Anyone have good news??
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  #2  
Old
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Join Date: January 7th, 2006
Location: Houston, TX
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Three years ago or so I suffered from a pair of herniated disks - L4 and L5. I was determined not to go under the knife, so I tried *everything* else first. What worked for me was Pilates. I had a series of one-on-one sessions with an instructor, and after the first time, I felt a little better. After a month, I felt a ton better, and after a half a year, I had little sign that I ever had a problem (though I would still get some twinges from time to time). The sessions lasted about 8 weeks, then I started doing the exercises at home. Now, three years later, I'm back to normal. No pain, no twinges, nothing.

At its worst, the pain kept me confined to my bed for days at a time... it was a struggle just to get up to go to the bathroom.

Back surgery is risky - very risky - as you know. I would strongly suggest looking into other methods first.
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  #3  
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Join Date: January 17th, 2005
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throw in a good bone cracker and you'll have my mothers story equal to that of Hectic. She is just now recovering from a bulged disk. I think the search term might be "core strengthening"

I hope that you'll be able to avoid the knife!
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  #4  
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Join Date: October 9th, 2007
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About 5 years ago, I ruptured my disc at L5/S1. My wife was pregnant with our girl at the time. We had talked about me staying at home, as she had a higher income.

I never did go for surgery. And we did have a heavy girl...just over 10 lbs. I still remember crawling up the steps in the morning to get to her room. It wasn't so bad when I was just standing, but those steps were a killer. Looking back on it all, I think it was the steps that had actually helped strengthen me.

Today, I have no problems. Sure for a couple of years after the incident, I had some moderate flare-ups, but no surgery and I am fine. I believe that it can be fixed through therapy...whether it be your own creative therapy or a PT. Good luck and I wish you the best.

-sfcom
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  #5  
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Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visitourmall
Argghhh. Just found out I have a pretty damaged L3/L4 disc. Can't hardly walk. Pain shoots through lower back and down my leg past my knee.

First appointment the neuro surgeon has is January 31.

All I hear are horror stories when people talk about back surgery. Of course with it hurting this bad surgery will be wonderful.

Anyone have good news??
Sorry to hear that visitourmall,

But, if you're going to get any back-surgery done any time soon, I hope you have done a lot of research on that, before you go under the knife.

I have no personal good news about that, but for what is worth, I know that when it comes to messing around with the vertebral column, you should get at least a few more opinion's, never mind just a second one, because any small mistake can leave you with paralysis.

The other day I saw a commercial about "Inversion Tables", but since it was a commercial about "One Inversion Table", I will not post that link.

Just search about Inversion Therapy System on Google before going under the knife, and who knows.......

Good luck.
  #6  
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I herniated my L4 - L5 as well and I did Physical therapy and took up walking and within 3 months the pain in my leg stopped and after 6 months I was just like new.....I am not one who wants anyone to cut on my spine, but with that, my brother, my father and my grandmother have under gone back surgery and are all right as rain....
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  #7  
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No good news at all when it comes to back pain.....just yesterday my Chiro worked on my L4 where I have had pain for years. I bought a VERY good office chair, sit upright with great posture and reluctantly go to the gym and it has helped alot.

When it gets REALLY bad I break out the vicodin - which is good and bad.....I love that it takes the pain away and I LOVE the buzz with no calories....but I hate not being mentally productive when I have to take them. Plus, after a while you start salivating for one every 4 hours.....at which time I throw them down the toilet or send them to Rush Limbaugh!

Good Luck! No Fun At ALL!
  #8  
Old
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Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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hmmm all of us with our back injury stories. lol
First, anybody who's ever had a serious back ailment knows it's not funny so very, very sorry to hear about yours. and hope you get some relief from the pain very soon.

Pretty similar comments as the others. I've had a degenerative disc and a few other issues with it for quite a few years. My advice is to seek the opinion of an osteopathic doctor. My family doctor back then was one and he believed surgery was only the last resort. (most osteopaths I think are like that)

For quite a while I went to him every single day for treatments (getting there after it happens is the toughest since you're not really able to stand up straight and are in so much pain. lol After you get some type of pain medicine it'll feel a little better. ) took pain medicine for quite a while, didn't do much moving around for quite a bit, manipulation treatments by him (think may be similar to chiropractic but not sure) but they help I guess to align your back.)

Only after the pain lets up, then I started the back exercises and still do em at least 3 or 4 times a week (if I don't do em, then I'm in big trouble) The pilates are similar and my doctor also says yoga is very good. Don't do any exercising tho til pain has let up. Verrrrrry important. The whole purpose is that the exercises make those other muscles stronger and they kinda take over the work that the discs were doing and the pain lets up.

Everybody's back boo boos are different tho so just cos something may help one person doesn't mean it will help another. I know of a couple people who've done the surgery and still had the pain afterwards. As long as I do my exercises now, I'm ok. (don't go bungee jumping or anything, but except for flare ups every once in a while, I'm ok )

My Dad has Parkinsons and also ankylosing spondylitis. Won't go into detail with it but it's a very painful spine disease. He also does exercise every day and is pretty much ok. (he wouldn't do the bungee jumping and he's not about to do laps but he can move) Before he got to that point don't remember the name but it was kinda like when you have the dye to determine damage with your heart. They inject you with it in a hospital and then sorta like epidural shots were given to him. The dye made it so they could really pinpoint the problem areas. That helped him tremendously cos he was in constant pain and not able to move before. Mine was in the very beginning, too. I was just in tears all the time but too pigheaded to even go to the doctor cos I thought for sure he'd tell me I had to have surgery.

Like others, if you do decide on surgery, make sure to get maybe 4 or 5 opinions. Don't get references for the other doctors from any of the doctors who know each other.... or you're apt to get the same opinions.

Really hope you feel better soon or at least get some relief and hope whatever option you choose helps you fast.: Will think positive thoughts for ya )
  #9  
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When you are in the acute part of a herniated/damaged disc it is the worst pain ever. After it settles down, the muscles relax and you are on pain meds that make it so you can tolerate it, then start looking at options. I have had surgery on herniated discs in my neck, and have dealt with my back without it. In BOTH cases there are still flare ups. I will go without surgery for as long as possible. Therapy, a good massage therapist, pilates and other appropriate exercise is what you will need either way, so go that way before going under the knife is what I would recommend. However, you need to know what caused the damage and if it is something that therapy can't repair and you require surgery to avoid permanent damage, then you get the surgery.
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  #10  
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Join Date: January 17th, 2007
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I don't have any advice for you, unfortunately, but I sure do sympathize wth your pain. I hope you feel relief and that it comes quickly.
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  #11  
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oye

I'd share my next door neighbor's story... but it wouldn't cheer you up

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you
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  #12  
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Join Date: January 21st, 2008
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I really feel for you. My husband broke his neck in '82, though he still walks (Docs say he is a walking mystery), he also has degenerative disk disease. He is in 7-10 pain constantly and is on many apin meds...My suggestion to you is...get a couple of opinions, swim, pilates, yoga...whatever floats your boat...work on your abs and that should help somewhat...When you have tried absolutely everything, THEN consider the surgery...He has had many surgeries and is actually going to have another one tomorrow, they are scarey and painful. Discuss with the surgeon all aspects of recovery, how long will you be out of commission, what is the pain levels going to be, etc...My husband will be home for 10 - 12 weeks this time and well, what can I say...Thrilled NOT. Back to you though...please check out all avenues before making your decision, and all the lick in the world to you...You are now in my prayers.
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  #13  
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I don't know anyone who has had back surgery that I would consider successful. I would look into every possible alternative first.
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  #14  
Old
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Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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I also recommend checking out other options than surgery. I damaged my L3-L5 when two 240 lb. linebackers hit me in college football practice. I put up with 22 years of terrible pain until I found a physical therapist who fixed it. It turned out to be a temporary fix, but she taught me how to correct it with some very easy excersizes. I also got occupational therapy lessons that taught me how to lift, rake leaves and other tasks that we all take for granted. Once I felt better I took Karate lessons that furthered the therapist's teachings. Today I'm going skiing!
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  #15  
Old
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Join Date: December 12th, 2007
Location: Charlottesville, VA
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My back was broken in a car accident in 1996. Believe me, surgery was a Godsend.
Definitely investigate options, and in the meantime, try acupuncture to relieve the pain.
I will say a prayer for you. It does get better!
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  #16  
Old
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Join Date: January 19th, 2008
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Back Surgery ?.....

Hi !

I'm gonna say that I've known folks who have had they disks fused together, and a few removed too. Damn long stories.

I recommend that you seek natural methods first. Exhaust every option before going to get surgery.

My bro.

Steve
  #17  
Old
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Join Date: July 11th, 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 119
I know where you're coming from, I injured my L5-S1 and had been sent to see a couple of different Neuro Surgeons, but ultimately decided against surgery after seeing my next door neighbor undergo 4 back surgeries in less than two years. If you are considering surgery, do as much research as possible into different treatments first. I found that using a tens unit helped reduce the pain a great deal.
  #18  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplebear
My advice is to seek the opinion of an osteopathic doctor. My family doctor back then was one and he believed surgery was only the last resort.
I agree with purplebear, try consulting an osteopath - especially one that specializes in pain management. Even an Anesthesiologist who has trained in Pain Management, just be sure their degree is DO rather than MD.
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  #19  
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Join Date: July 26th, 2007
Posts: 394
My mom had back surgery, but still has numbness in her leg.....

My hubby had two collapsed vertebrae in his neck..... they were pinching a nerve and causing him to loose control/feeling of his arm.... our neurosurgeon is one of those guys who keeps up with the latest technologies.... during the last week of November, he removed the two vertebrae completely and replaced them with new artificial ones.... Tim was only his 4th patient to undergo the procedure.... it's THAT new.... he's done great and is glad that he had it done.....

Wishing you well.
  #20  
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Join Date: December 30th, 2006
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Thanks everyone. My appointment with the neuro surgeon is Thursday. So far no relief. The burning down my lower back and leg is nerve wracking.

Wanna go surgery last, but man this sucks.
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  #21  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visitourmall
Thanks everyone. My appointment with the neuro surgeon is Thursday. So far no relief. The burning down my lower back and leg is nerve wracking.

Wanna go surgery last, but man this sucks.
Burning = nerve being pressured = not good

Good luck and keep us posted. My burning is still centrally located, treatable with ice and not down into my legs. Yours is lower.

kayecee, I think that artificial vertebrae is a GREAT idea, my neck still has problems and I had fusion 9 years ago. Something that won't "re-crush" sounds wonderful.
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