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L5-S1 mild disc Desiccation - Surgery options?

I know this is a forum and I am not supposed to seek medical advice, but I wanted to know if anyone in my situation, got any permanent relief.

I have been managing my back pain with a weekly Diclofenac sodium.

I have pain when I sit for prolonged times and when I try to wake up, I feel like my back is going to give up. Thats when I pop one pill. I take 1 pill  every 8 to 9 days and it lasts me.

Got Steriod shots to the lower back and it helped for 3 days and the pain came back.

Did PT for months and never really helped much.

Wanted to know if anyone went thru this and got any relief temp?



  • Welcome AngryMonk we’re glad you’re here!

    Surgery is a big decision, the best advice I got on that was from my surgeon, he said when you can't stand the pain anymore that it would be time to discuss surgery. There are a lot of us that have found relief from surgery, myself included, but it doesn't always go that way, as I said, it's a big decision and only one that you and your doctor can make.

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Here’s a great article about back pain on Spine-health that you might want to check out: Back Pain Overview: A Guide for Understanding Back Pain. The article outlines common lower back pain causes, symptoms, and treatments. It’s a very comprehensive article. I hope you find this information helpful.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Thank you Challenger.. I do agree surgery is a big decision and should be the last option. 

    I just wanted to know what people with same condition as i do had to do to get by? So far with Diclofenac sodium, I can get a week without hurting myself. The way I see it, DS reduces the inflammation and there by my pain is subsided. I hate to pop the pills and god knows the side effects in a long run.

    I just wanted to know the options I have, this pandemic has forced me to stay home and not risk contracting the virus at doc's offices. Hence this topic.

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713


    Most of us on this forum are in chronic pain to some degree. We all deal with it in different ways, including meds, PT and injections. It all boils down to how much pain you can tolerate and for how long. Everyone is different and for the most part the pain never completely goes away.

  • My pain is manageable and after reading some of the posts, I think I am better off with managing my pain.

    I just wanted to know what options are available, other than pain pills for a Disc Desiccation, which is listed as a part of degenerative disease. 

  • I would echo the comments of everyone else on this board - I think you will *know* when it's time for surgery. Surgery is a one-way trip, while everything else is trial and error. You may be looking at a microdiscectomy, or a fusion if you went the surgical route. A fusion takes a full year before you feel normal again. 

    Something that helped me tremendously was a good brace. Ask your doctor for a referral for a custom LSO brace. Your insurance would rather do an off the shelf, but in my experience, a custom brace was the only thing that gave me lasting relief because it truly relieved the pressure around the spine. The off the shelf ones never quite fit right and frankly they make them to accomodate all sizes.

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  • I really appreciate the comments passed on here. I am going to see a neurosurgeon soon and will decide what he suggests.

    I do agree that using an inversion machine did help me a bit but it is giving me huge headaches and cant take it anymore.

    I had two MRI's so far and both came with mild disc Desiccation due to aging (only 48 yrs old) and I can live with a weekly Diclofenac sodium, but I would want to avoid tablets if I can.

  • AngryMonk - I'm jumping in this discussion a few days late, but just wanted to send positive healing thoughts your way.  I was able to find significant relief when my spine specialist performed a radio frequency ablation.  I've also found relief with back massage therapy. Unfortunately getting a back massage might be difficult because of the pandemic.  The state I'm in just recently allowed this service to open up again.  I've got an appointment in August (yay!).  Go to someone highly qualified and professional.  Also, keep us posted.   Your story helps people who come to this forum seeking general suggestions and moral support.  This "place" has been a mental health savior for me!  

  • Thanks Mjcg. The doc I wanted to see is on vacation or unavailable for another 2 weeks and I am waiting for him to come back so I can see him.

    For the past 4 years, my back is holding up as long as I dont stress it or dont do stupid things like lifting weights or not maintaining good posture when I sit.

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