Annular tear pain continues

Hi all. This is abit like groundhog day but i am still hoping to find ppl on here in a similar position to me or were. I have had a L5S1 disc protrusion with central  large annular tear for over 10 months now. I am currently on a public waiting list to get a Tlif surgery done, but only as a last resort. I am still hoping to avoid surgery obviously. I have pretty much exhausted all the common non surgery stuff. I work in a factory so i'm having a hard time there. Currently working 2 days a week. I would say my biggest issues are when bending and being on my feet for long periods. Just looking for anyone in or was in a similar scenario. Thanks, Adam.



  • Can you get any time off work?

    IMO it’s not smart to keep doing things that aggravate the tear. How can you heal naturally otherwise?

    Was this tear triggered by a sudden injury?

  • Yeah i get what ur saying and that has crossed my mind. Nah the tear is due to probably about 6 yrs of very physical work in a factory.

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  • Partly because i have a great work ethic even at my own body's expense. I was silly.

  • Hi ajhadsy,

    I kind of know what you're going through. I have two bulging discs, one central extrusion and one central protrusion for a grand total of 4 damaged lumbar discs. One of them (I can't remember which) has a probable radial tear.

    I got them from a decade or so of working in a ship's engine room, coupled with terrible posture and excess weight (I had quietly reached the clinically obese level over the last year). 

    I've been off work since December, and am due to start again in May, but that depends on what the doctor thinks. 

    Like L4_L5 I would strongly advise you not to aggravate the damage and stop physical work (i.e. bending, lifting and twisting) completely for now if that's possible in your situation. You just set yourself back weeks or months when you do that.  I know it's hard... drives me nuts when something rolls under the bed and I can't get it for myself. Or when I have to get someone to lift a 10 kilo bag of kitty litter for me. But I guess it's worth all the frustration. A full recovery is the bigger prize we need to keep our sights on.

    I really hope you manage to avoid surgery and find relief. 

  • Thankyou very much for your advice and kind words  arbap. Very much appreciated.

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  • If you've been treating your condition with conservative treatment and you see no improvement or pain relief, you should be looking for a more permanent solution. After 6 weeks, your doctor should start talking about back surgery to see what's going on. MRIs, CT Scans, X-Rays all confirm the need for a surgery or not, so you know they're trying to help you and not just sell you a surgery. 

  • Thanks Audrey for your advice. Yeah i have seen 3 neurosurgeons, mind u 2 of them said can't help me and the 3rd recommended a Tlif as a last resort only. Had an mri and 2 ct scans. The mri picked up the disc protrusion and large annular tear at L5 S1 and a bulge at L4L5. Thanks again

  • After 10 months i guess i am hoping for a bit of a miracle to avoid surgery. Especially considering i am still working 2 days a week atm and need to.

  • Did you see a neurologist or pain management doctor to ask them if you’re a candidate for injections?

    When surgery is not an option that’s what I would do anyway.

    Good luck. Please keep us posted.

  • I've had 3 cortisone injections, physio and stretching, hydrotherapy, changed my diet and exercise routines dramatically. Currently i have lost 5 kg but plan on losing 5 more. I also had a discogram.

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