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Damaged / herniated discs in lower back. What to expect?

(10 Posts)
Monroe Mon 05-May-14 15:47:22

After over 18 months of pain and lots of investigations, a recent mri has shown I have "clear deterioration" in my lower back between my L4/L5 and L5/S1.

I have been told I have been referred to see a neurosurgeon and can expect an appointment in the next 3 weeks but nothing else.

Can anyone say what treatment I might expect? Also what I should be doing, if anything, in the meantime. Painkillers have no effect and activity leaves my leg in severe pain so I am trying to take it a bit easier without putting my life completely on hold

Matildathecat Mon 05-May-14 17:07:15

Oh dear, sorry you are suffering. Please do join us on the Back Support thread. If you read through there is loads of info about this type of injury. Are you on meds? We've tried the majority and can advise.

Remember one thing. A neurosurgeon is, what it says on the tin...a surgeon. So he will be assessing you for surgery. You don't mention whether you've had injection, physio or anything else but they are worth exploring. I'm sad to say that some of us don't have happy stories of surgery although it can of course be wonderful. It's worth exploring other routes, too, though. Injections can be extremely effective for nerve pain in the leg.

And this condition does, apparently resolve eventually but can take up to two years. Anyway do join is and we can at least offer support.

Monroe Mon 05-May-14 17:45:06

Thank you Matilda I'll check out the other thread.

I started with hip pain over a year ago. I was prescribed
Naproxen and underwent months of physio both of which had no affect.

An mri on my hip showed a slight tear and I was given a
steroid injection which didn't help at all. Because the pain was now travelling down my leg I pushed for the mri on my spine which showed the damaged discs. So this is where I'm up to. I've had no treatment specifically for my back ad such and I'm just waiting to see what the neurosurgeon might say

grimbletart Mon 05-May-14 17:59:31

I had the same herniated discs as you OP with severe sciatica shooting down one leg and also into my bum. I used to crawl out of bed on hands and knees and go through extreme pain just to stand up. I was also told that the problem can resolve itself in a couple of years. 17 years later and after a total waste of money on physics, injections, osteopaths etc. not to mention putting on a couple of stone because I could barely move they finally agreed to surgery (the reluctance was because of possible spinal cord damage).

As I said I would end up in a wheelchair anyway if they didn't try to cure me as opposed to messing around with injections, physio etc. (it was the physio who finally told the doctor that she couldn't do a thing for me and I urgently needed surgery by the way) I finally got my op 20+ years ago.
Instant cure. I was in the gym a month later, lost all the weight I'd put on and have kept it off since. Never had any more trouble - 17 wasted years though sadly.

I am absolutely not saying you should have surgery - it's not the answer for lots of people - but I am saying that if non-surgical techniques don't work within a reasonable time don't let them faff you around for years fobbing you off.

FWIW I had two herniated discs, pressing on a nerve, it really hurt, but only for about 6 weeks.

The surgeon wanted to operate, but I did not want that. Went for second opinion, was given te advice to pretty much continue as normal, to NEVER let myself get overweight, and had an injection.

It improved and I found swimming helped and a good bed with not too soft a mattress.

All fine now ( touch wood), it seemed to have stabilised itself somehow.

Hope it works that way for you too.

Bring someone to surgeon meetings, as it can be a bit overwhelming, and that way you can both remember more clearly what was said ( though my husband fainted, LOL, the wuss)

L4 and L5

Monroe Mon 05-May-14 18:24:56

Thank you both. Grimble, I will bear that in mind when looking at my options. I don't know how you coped for all that time but I'm very pleased surgery worked so well for you.

Fiscal I'm glad yours has stabalised however after 18 months of constant pain I am not holding out much hope on that front. I'm definitely not overweight and have quite an active lifestyle however carrying on as normal is no longer an option. A simple day of taking the dc's out to the local nt park on Saturday left me almost unable to walk yesterday. The more I do the more it hurts. I currently have pain down the back of mythigh, through my knee, down my shin and into my ankles and the bridge of my foot. And the hip pain never eases sad

I am hoping however that know they have found the cause they will at last be treating the right thing

Vickyknight85 Fri 17-Jun-16 14:03:44

Hi ladies, bit of a long shot. I'm new to this. I'm looking for some support also. Have had herniated disc for 6 years now, this last year my worst, had an MRI proving a L5-S1. The last 8 weeks have been my worst, off work, can't do everyday jobs or look after my children. Depression started creeping in m, surgeon said he couldn't do a lot to help back in October 2015, but I now have nerve damage/pain down my left buttocks and pins and needles in my left foot. I am having steroid injections waiting list 6-8 weeks. How are you all coping now?

Imnotaslimjim Fri 17-Jun-16 14:19:51

Vicky, you might want to start your own thread, this is an old thread, from a couple of years ago. If you click on general health then start new thread, you can do your own

Vickyknight85 Fri 17-Jun-16 14:31:26

Have done thank you

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