Advanced search

Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.

Two torn discs

(13 Posts)
Whatfun Wed 05-Feb-14 20:37:36

I have had excrutiating pain in my back since June. I've been having regular physio but it's just got worse. I can stand for about five minutes, but can't walk anywhere other than within the house.
My life has completely stopped. I can't work, walk my dog, do the shopping, cooking,housework etc.
I am currently on 3600 of Gabapentin,500 of Naproxen and a 20mg morphine patch. Not doing much tbh.
I had an MRI a few weeks ago that showed two discs it lumbar spine have radial tears and are pressing on my spinal cord. I have been referred to the spinal surgeon and physio.
The first thing physio said is that she would be very surprised if he operates as they don't do surgery "just for pain".
I jus want to sob. I can't go on like this for much longer, I have no life.
Does anyone have any advice, or experience of surgery for this?

Whatfun Wed 05-Feb-14 20:40:30

Sorry for all spelling mistakes.
I should add that I am also on 30mg of Amytriptylene . All these medications make me feel completely spacey and I look dreadful.

Fantasyfootballfan Wed 05-Feb-14 20:53:12

They absolutely do operate for pain. DH had spinal surgery 4 years ago for a prolapsed disc which was rendering his life almost unbearable. Following surgery he has now been totally pain free. However, his operation was done privately and maybe the surgeons are quicker to operate when it's not on the NHS.

Whatfun Wed 05-Feb-14 21:01:33

Yes Fantasy, that's what I'm beginning to think. I know people who went privately and had surgery the next day. If it is NHS policy that I can't have surgery, I will go ballistic.
I have never been in so much pain. I've been doing the physio exercises since June. Nothing has improved.

I just want to be able to walk my dog, and mooch round charity shops. Not a lot to ask
I currently have raging cystitis as well, so I'm feeling just peachy.

vitaminC Wed 05-Feb-14 21:01:43

I've had something very similar (2 slipped discs pressing on the nerves) since mid-November, but I'm not in the UK, so I don't know what care is available for you, I'm afraid.

I've had 2 rounds of injections into my spine under local anaesthetic (3 products each time: cortisone, another anti-inflammatory, and a painkiller). The first round didn't work, so the second time it was done under X-ray, to allow the doctor to inject much deeper, into the disc.

It's been a week and I've already reduced the dose of painkillers I'm taking, by half. In another week, the doctor thinks the pain relief should be sufficient to start physio to build up the muscles in my back and hopfully prevent a reoccurrence!

Has you doctor not suggested anything similar? I'm sorry you don't seem to be getting much help. Maybe you need to hassle them a bit, to get the care you need? sad

Kleptronic Wed 05-Feb-14 21:08:58

They do operate for pain, a family member had two discs removed and a prosthetic disk put in, plus lots of metal caging. There is also a residential pain management course at St Thomas' in London, but it's a long road and a lot of assessment to get on that. There is a pain management centre local to me which does good work, maybe there's one not too far from you, get a referral in the meantime while you wait for the surgeon?

See your surgeon and hang on in there. I've had this myself, although I was lucky and the pain resolved after ten years (I damaged mine as a teen, they really wouldn't operate - I had traction, which they don't do any more, meat tenderiser injected into the prolapses, ditto, then the modern version of traction). Nowadays I have to keep my core strong with Pilates or I get raging sciatica, but having a reason to keep strong is not a bad thing for me.

I know how you feel, it is excruciating, endless agony, but it will not last forever; one way or another it will end, and you can be helped to manage the pain. <hug> for you.

Whatfun Wed 05-Feb-14 21:35:04

Thank you for all your replies. They do make me feel more hopeful.
I have been doing Pilates core exercises twice a day since June.
When I saw another consultant before Xmas, he told me to go a long walk everyday with my dog. Had the man not listened to a word I had said ? I put him right and he looked suitably contrite.
Last week I decided to meet my friend in John Lewis cafe. I parked right next to the doors and walked across the ladies clothes floor to the cafe. But, about half way across, my back went into spasm. I sat down in the chair outside the changing rooms. I had my stick with me. I put my head down between my knees and grunted with pain for about half an hour. Not one person stopped to ask if I was ok. Not even the staff in the changing rooms.

Kleptronic Wed 05-Feb-14 22:16:36

It is hard when people, especially consultants (!) don't listen, I sometimes think it's simply too hard for those not in pain to empathise, although you'd think a medical professional would give it a go.

Nightmare being incapacitated by pain in public and being ignored. I've had that too, mostly on buses. That is awful of the shop staff, I think those people ought to be ashamed of themselves, leaving anyone sat doubled over groaning without inquiry is wrong!

Whatfun Wed 05-Feb-14 22:24:00

I fully expected someone to come over to see what I was groaning about. I would have trundled over out of sheer nosiness and to see if I could help.
I am so fed up of professionals not understanding the level of pain, and saying to go away, do your exercises and I will see you in a month.
I've just been in bathroom to clean teeth and face. Felt sick and faint after about ten minutes. Had to sit on side of bath with head down.

Kleptronic Wed 05-Feb-14 23:35:21

Could you keep an exercise diary? In bullet points, to plonk in front of them and pre-empt their next thought? I think anything which differentiates you from the next person, who possibly never does do any exercises, could be helpful in consultations. At least they couldn't trot out the standard response.

Matildathecat Thu 06-Feb-14 01:29:15

whatfun, sorry you are suffering so much.

Yes, of course they operate for pain. I would imagine it's the most common reason for disc surgery. Your physio seems a bit misguided confused.

Is it a neuro surgeon you've been referred to? Do check because you don't want orthopaedic one here. The main difference is the waiting lis ( of course) but I've had surgery twice for this and once private and once nhs. The op is the same. My nhs surgeon proved a lot better.

If there is a long wait injections could help but again, there are long waits. Sigh.

Please come and join us on The Back Story thread. We certainly get it. Your description of the JL episode could have been me so (((((()))))))). We don't have a cure but you will get sympathy, knowledge and the odd laugh.xx

Ps I miss dog walking, too.

Whatfun Thu 06-Feb-14 09:27:48

I have been referred to a spinal surgeon. I am seeing the spinal physio this afternoon. I am feeling so grotty and I am not in the mood to be treated like a five year old. I think I might explode. I've been doing the bloody exercises, I'm losing weight, i know the operation might not work etc etc.
I will come and join you on the other thread

Matildathecat Thu 06-Feb-14 09:42:49

Sorry, my last message reads wrongly.

The main difference between nhs and private is the waiting list.

The difference between neuro and orthopaedic is that you want (?) a neuro operating on the tiny delicate structures of your spinal nerves and discs.

See you on the other thread. smile

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: