I've been lurking in your lovely forums for about 4 weeks now, and I'd like to introduce myself and my story. I'll try to keep it concise.
Occupation: Desk warmer (A very passionate one, my work is very important to me!)
- Untreated & misdiagnosed trauma at age 9 (fell flat onto back on concrete, no scans or treatment received, just no sitting for 6 months)
- Chronic whole back pain throughout childhood managed through chiropractics
- Childhood depression & anxiety, massive weight gain
- Escalation at age 15, chronic debilitating pain in spine, ankles, knees
- Maintained active, sporting lifestyle despite this
- Diagnosed with os trigonum in ankles, hypermobility
- Diagnosed with Schuermanns disease, kyphosis and lordosis. Degeneration of discs throughout, extra partial vertebrae in lumbar spine, commentary made on 'stress fracture' in mid to upper back and sacrum/cocyx stress fracture and partial fusion
- Pain managed with exercise (strength building) & chiropractics
- Ankle pain treated with orthotics & steroid injections
- Escalation of depression & anxiety, treated through CBT & anti-depressants
- Knee pain escalation to age 18, scan revealed full circumferential cartilage tear, removed through arthroscopy
- Continued escalation of back pain to age 20, forced to retire from high level sports
- Development of nerve pain in right outer thigh aged 20, continued worsening
- Pain managed as adult through chiropractics, exercise physiology
- Pain escalation at age 24 following commencement of full time desk warming, development of nerve pain in back of neck
- Pain identified as being caused by lack of blood flow to anterior serratus muscles due to mid back nerve damage, forced to cease weight lifting
- Failed management through physiotherapy & massage therapy
- Continued 'flare ups' of low back pain throughout adult life, managed through exercise (walking, Pilates) and posture
- Identified 'Ehlers Danlos Syndrome' as potential diagnosis - not discussed with PCP
- Escalation of depression & anxiety, treated with anti-depressants & limited CBT
- Grief at age 26 - death of Mother (aged 57, suspected EDS, no clear cause of death)
- Consideration of bariatric surgery to treat now restrictive obesity
- Severe low back & associate leg nerve pain flare up - non-responsive to rest, painkillers, TENS etc
- MRI (lumbar only) shows similar findings to previous; pseudo-articulation bilaterally at L5/S1, disc desiccation with loss of height at T11/12, T12/L1, L1/2, L4/5. Disc extrusion with thecal sac indentation at L1/2, L4/5. Annular fissure L4/5. Bilateral facet joint hypertrophy at L5/S1
- Appointments sought with Neurosurgeons and Orthopedic surgeons
- Neurosurgeon: will shave protruding L4/5 disc if I lose 25kg, then perform spinal fusion if I lose 50kg. 'Might help leg pain, probably won't help back pain'
- Referred to pain specialist for epidural (awaiting appointment now)
- Orthopedic surgeon: Can perform disc shave at L4/L5 (will fix leg pain, probably make back pain worse), doesn't recommend fusion, advised to pursue bariatric surgery
- Bariatric surgeon appointment scheduled next week
- 2x 5mg Endone per day
- 1x 75mg Lyrica at night
In sum, most things hurt most of the time! My normal state is aching in the small of my back, burning in my right leg, stabbing in my right shoulder blade and tingling/icey pain on the back of my neck, nerve ache in left shoulder.
I'm working on pursuing significant weight loss to ease pressure, and am hoping the epidural will make the lower back pain manageable without narcotics. My plan is to re-assess disc surgery once some weight is lost, as while the nerve pain is awful, it doesn't prevent me from working.
A big thank you to anyone who managed to read all of that, I hope to see you around in the forums!