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Hello forum, I am 64 years young and my pain started about 18 months ago.  It started as a stabbing pain at the top of my right buttock and has progressed to chronic middle back extending to my right hip. Radiology report says severely degenerated L4/L5 disc, with severe right side foraminal stenosis. I don’t have leg pain,weakness or numbness.  Prior to this I was active- jogging, car hobbiest and home DIY.  I’ve been to PT, 2 chiropractors and have had 2 steroid injections- at L5 and the sacral area.  I have tried tramidol but it doesn’t really help.  I also try to stay active walking and mild exercising, but it seems to make the pain worse.  I have seen two different spine doctors and both say not a candidate for surgery and to continue PT.  I am in the process of getting a 3rd opinion from a prominent surgeon at (edit) in Philadelphia.  My biggest problem is I can’t sit for more than 30 minutes without intense pain setting in.  I would appreciate any feedback/encouraging words the forum can offer.

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Comments

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

    According to my surgeon, doctors are usually more concerned about leg pain than back pain, he went as far as to say that surgery was to help the leg pain and if it helped the back pain it was a bonus, I have been lucky with surgery because it has always helped my back pain also. I think you are doing the right thing by getting another opinion, I have had to do that also, that's the way I found the surgeon I am with now.

    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.

    Chip 

    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Hi neaswa and welcome to the Forum. I'm curious as to why they say you are not a surgical candidate. Is it because they don't think the problem is 'bad enough' to warrant surgery? 

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,711

    I'm also curious as to why they are saying you are not a candidate for surgery. A third opinion is a good idea. Let us know what you find out.

    Take care,
    Sandra

  • Thank you for the feedback.  Sandra,  I expect to hear from the surgeon this week so I’ll let the forum kno know.  The first surgeon I saw over a year ago told me no surgery.  When I asked why he said- because the pain from the surgery may be greater than your current pain.  One thing I’ve learned is than back pain can be complicated to treat.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,711

    It can be very complicated. The most important thing is to find the source of the pain and that in itself can take time.

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  • I had intense lower back pain and no feeling in my legs. The doctor did the surgery and other then pain from time to time less often now that scores have been removed. I was 29 when I had the first of 3 back surgeries. I was to the point were I could almost never sit just in a crouching position. Since surgeries I have gone back to work and school with normal daily function. Good luck with everything

  • I spoke with the surgeon today.  He recommends 3 level fusion L2 through L5.  5-6 hour minimally invasive surgery with rods, screws and cages to replace degenerated discs.  I’m lucky I’m retired cause I couldn’t hold a job with this pain.  I have restarted PT again which hopefully will provide some relief, but i think eventually I will probably elect surgery since I’ve been at this for 18 months.  I’m sore when I ride my lawn tractor and even my pickup truck.  Pain is considerably worse than a year ago.  I would appreciate any feedback from the forum.

  • neaswa

    Surgery is always a hard decision, I have a 3 level lumbar fusion myself, I fought having it for several years and now I wish I had gone ahead with the surgery when it was offered the first time.

    Chip

  • Thanks for the encouraging words,Chip.  

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,711

    I also had lumbar fusion surgery and I was 60 at the time. I stayed in rehab for a week after surgery and still believe that is the best thing I could have done. Recovery went smooth and was I never in a lot of pain. I took my recovery serious and 6 weeks later I was back to mowing the grass, riding my Harley and gardening.

    Keep us posted on how you are doing.
    Sandra

  • Thanks Sandra.  That’s very encouraging.

  • Update, I’ve been doing PT daily now for 3 weeks.  No hint of pain relief yet.  Doc says he’ll reassess after 5 weeks.  I did get a 2nd opinion on the 3 level fusion and doc said try a facet joint injection which I’m scheduling.  He said if injection provides relief there is a much simpler surgery to address the arthritic facet joint.  If the PT and Injection don't help I will likely schedule the fusion surgery.  I feel so unstable around my waist area like there’s very little is supporting my upper body.  

  • Sounds like a good plan

    Chip

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