Hello, my name is Jay I’m 42yrs old and I live and work in New Jersey
Two terms doctors have used to describe my problem but what are they actually saying. If you read the texts, these words are nothing more than a fancy way to say you have low back pain caused by disc disease. Ok so I have a disease, what are my options? Well let’s see this started in 2005, sooo, many epidurals, blocks, ablations, and pain meds later by 4 different pain doctors, and lastly trips to several surgeons find me in the same or worse condition I’ve been in for the better part of 8 years.
Tests you ask? Sure I’ve had discograms, which clearly show a full thickness annular tear para-centrally and to the right at L5-S1. An X-Ray which only shows some slight spondylolisthesis at L5 and CT scans which show the same L5 herniation with the added bonus of a 2-3mm right kidney stone, yay.. what fun that’s going to be when it’s time to pass it. Lets not forget the countless MRI’s I’ve had which show pretty white cotton ball disc spaces until of course you get to L5 which is black as the night and thin as a rail. And what also has doctors perplexed is that when I get bad radicular pain it is always down the left leg not the right. That pain has only been intermittent though it comes and goes whenever it wants I guess but when it comes it’s the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. What is constant though is that lower back pain it just never goes away. my pain doctor says that he has tried all the conservative options available to me at this point.
I still manage to make to work everyday. I mostly sit and do very little walking. At home I don’t do much, god forbid I go food shopping with my wife. By the time I get home I’m a mess. The sad part of it all is that I was always really active. Early on I was able to get by with the epidurals and meds like Celebrex. I was an avid scuba diver and runner, served more than my share of tours in Iraq made it home safe thank god and now I feel useless and crippled.
All of the information gathered over the course of 8 years and doctors say they really don’t see what could be causing me so much pain. The last doc which I saw last week said “ I really don’t see any instability there it’s just a herniation”. So I asked him why not just perform a discectomy? What was his answer you ask? It was priceless; he said, “Well I don’t think that will help your pain”. Great doc, so what will, I asked. I mean I believe what he tells me. If it will not help then it will not help. His answer was just as baffling as the last “go see someone else”.
I’m writing more as a way to vent frustrations than looking for some diagnosis or solution. After all, this is the internet how could you possibly examine me here? However; I do realize that I cannot be the only one who suffers from something like this and I’ve always been a big believer in learning from other people’s experiences hence my being here.
Anyway, I am following this lasts surgeon’s advice. I mean what other option do I have. I made an appointment next week with yet another surgeon. I hope to be able to get some kind of answer or recommendation. This is not great quality of life.
Sorry for the long post, Thanks for listening!
L5-S1 ALIF w/Titanium Plate
Posterior Pedicle Screws w/rods