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Need some advice on what to do next

Hello All,

I want to share my story with you in order to hear some of your thoughts and own experiences and any advice you may have. I'm 31 years old male, 5 11 and 195lb.

I started to have pain in back of my right leg around May 2017. Visited sport medicine doctor. First, did the take home exercise and then did PT. By August 2018, I was pain free.

I started to feel numbing and tingling in my right leg around June 2018. Visited the same doctor and did MRI on my lower back, then the doctor referred me to spine surgery doctor this time.

Here is MRI result:

Moderated disk space narrowing at L5-S1 and mild disc space narrow at L4-5 with disc desiccation and small anterior and lateral osteopathy at both levels. Small incidental hemangioma in the L5 vertebral body.

L4-5: Broad-based central/right paracentral disc protrusion and mild facet joint degenerative changes, producing milkd to moderate canal stenosis with possible impingement of the right L5 never root in the right lateral recess. Mild to moderate foraminal narrow bilaterally.

L5-S1: Broad-based central/right paracentral disc extrusion, with possible impingement  of the right S1 nerve root in the right lateral recess. No associated canal stenosis. Mild facet joint degenerative changes bilaterally, with foraminal narrow mild to moderate on the left and mild on the right.

I had 3 injections(7/2/2018.7/31/2018,9/18/2018) with the new doctor on L5-S1, but none of them worked. Not even one day. I haven't visited the doctor since then  because I know the next option is either more injections (max 5 times a year) or surgery(We talked this at the first appointment). I have tried medical massage after this but didn't help either.  Usually, I don't feel much pain during the day if I take Naproxen and do some exercise in the morning. I have been trying to do the exercise multiple time a day. However,  the pain comes back the next morning.

Are there any other options out there? Is it possible that L4-5 caused the pain? I checked the injections notes. All the three injections locations are on L5-S1.



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,699
    edited 01/07/2019 - 2:54 PM

    hello michael_disk 

    welcome to spine health

    this is a guide to what mri findings mean. members are not permitted to give an opinion on an mri finding.


    treated with conservative measures such as physical therapy and mild medications.  many times these situations can be cleared up and the condition can be resolved without any additional treatments.


    some more treatments may be needed, such as spinal injections, ultra sound and stronger medications.  there are always the possibility of more aggressive treatments if the conservative measures have not helped.  most of the time, surgery is not an immediate solution.


    need for stronger medications would be required.   surgery may be necessary to correct the condition

    another key word to look for is unremarkable.  that is a positive statement

    new member information guideline / checklist 


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,482


    If it were me, I would make an appointment with my doctor, go over the MRI and let him explain it. Then I would talk about other options, even surgery if necessary.
    Something you do need to think about is nerve damage while waiting. I have permanent nerve damage and I have to deal with it 24/7, it's not fun. Your last 2 questions can only be answered by your doctor.
    Take care and keep us posted.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical Story  
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  • I agree 100% with memerainbolt you do not want to let it go long enough for permanent nerve damage because you don't know what you will lose, I have waited too long before and have permanent numbness in my left foot am lucky that is all I  ended up with 

    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • Michael_diskMMichael_disk Posts: 4
    edited 03/20/2019 - 4:55 PM

    Just an update:

    I had L4-L5 and L5-S1 microdiscectomy on Thursday, Feb 28. After the surgery, my right leg felt great but March 3rd Sunday morning I woken by very strong nerve pain on right leg and had to take naproxen. The pain got better suddenly on March 16th, but I can still feel my right leg bothers me. It's combination of a little bit uncomfort/pain/numbness/tingling.It's hard to describe the feeling. I had first post-op  on Monday March 18, I didn't meet the doctor but his PA. I told PA the pain I had and asked if the pain is normal and he said not necessary. He said he is a little bit worried and prescribed me methylprednisolone. Told me to go back for second post op following op which is in three weeks.

    Right now, I feel almost same as before surgery. Not sure what's the next step but just hope for the best. Also probably going to change the doctor if pain doesn't go away. I see the PA way more often than the doctor.

  • challengercchallenger Posts: 1,259
    edited 07/10/2019 - 3:27 PM

    Sorry you are still in pain, if you continue to have nerve pain you may need to ask about nerve specific medication.

    As far as seeing a PA goes, you will most likely find that is what you will get at most if not all offices these days.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

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  • My legs pain got a lot better since my last update. I only feel slightly uncomfortable when laying down on stomach. Somehow, the sharp pain on my right leg came back two days ago(Similar pain level as before surgery). Is this normal? Should I contact the doctor or wait a few days? Honestly, I really have no confidences  with doctor. Probably ask me to wait and see or ask me if I want another MRI.

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