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New and Frusterated

Hi I'm new to this Board. I've recently been seeing a neurosurgeon/pain specialist that I had to work my butt off to get a referral to go see one. (another long story)  I was in a bad car accident when I was 20. I am now 35 and after 14+ years of managing my pain with chiropractic/massage and just keeping tabs on my body mechanics my back is finally at a place where I can't manage it myself anymore. I got an MRI and found I have 3 bulging disk L3/L4, L4/L5 and L5/S1. Plus I have mult canal narrowing. I get sciatica and lots of pain my right hip along with constant back pain that fluctuates day to day. My NS gave me a epidural steroid injection a couple weeks ago and no change, other then the next day I thought I was going to die from the pain and the muscle spasms. I took 6 hours for his office to finally call me back, but that's another story. Then yesterday I go in for my follow up and I end up seeing his PA not him, and she proceeds to tell me that I'll "GROW out of my pain as I get older. WTF!!!  Has anyone ever been told this or heard of this?! I was floored. I'm scheduled for a facet injection next week and I'm starting with a new PCP in August and I think I might have to find a new NS. I'm so frustrated and depressed over all this. I have two girls at home ages 9 and 5 and there are so many things I have to miss out of on because "Mommy's hurting again"  


  • Hi Rose13Bud,

    I would definitely be seeing another surgeon, either a neurosurgeon or an orthopaedic spine specialist.  I am no doctor but comparing your advice to what I have experienced I think you are fully justified to be angry.  Do some research online of specialists in your area and read patient reviews of them, then ask for a referral to the one you choose.

    Hope this helps,


  • I would tell the surgeon what the PA said. While some back issues stabilize over time you don't grow out of them. I have the same lower back issues and they have only gotten worse over time and now involves l2/L3 as well. You would right to get more opinions and help

    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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  • wajihwwajih torontoPosts: 48
    Your comments on "growing out of the problem " are extremely appropriate and can't be less than this. At the age of 35 with three disc bulges and multiple canal/recess narrowing/stenosis there is more likelihood of "Growing in " instead. Yes for sure you need to see another NS as soon as possible. Until then please try to manage pain by pills. There are so many types that you would have to try different ones to see which one works for you.
    Good Luck
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,033

    Hi Rose13bud,

    I agree with Phil, it's time to do your homework and research to find a new surgeon. Growing out of spine issues isn't an option. Getting a few more opinions will help you make a confident choice on which path you take. We have to take charge and be our own advocates of our health.

    My situation was a bit different but I was forced to find a new surgeon about 5 years ago and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Everyday I remind myself how fortunate I am to have access to such an awesome medical team.

    Wish you the best and keep us all posted here on your journey,


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,441
    hi rose13bud

    welcome to spine-health

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  • @Rose13bud I think maybe the PA meant that bulging discs can get better with time. They can actually, or they can get worse. It just depends on the structures around your discs. If you're not comfortable with your actual surgeon, I would get a second opinion. Although, I don't think they are going to reccommended surgery for bulging discs unfortunately. It seems like pain management might be a better choice for you injections and treatment. Keep us updated! 

    Retrolisthesis C4 of C5 and C5 of C6
    Spondylolthesis C5/C6
    Disc protrusions with Annular Tears C3/C4, C4/C5, and C5/C6
    Disc Material Compressing Spinal Cord C3/C4
    Severe Forminal Stenosis C5/C6
    Ankylosing Spondylitis 
    Annular Tears L3/L4 and L5/S1
    Enlarged Facet Joints/Facet Anthrosis L3/L4/L5
    PLIF with Rods, Cage, and Pedicle Screws-L4/L5
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