Chronic Back Pain for Years

Posted by jlfisher56 @jlfisher56, May 2, 2017

6 back surgeries (extensive cervical and lumbar fusions) with neurological complications. Left with chronic pain. Accident happened in Nursing career 1992 and worked with first fusions until 1999 (failed fusions). At my age, and as a former nurse educator, I never wanted to had to rely on medication/s for the severe pain. Having thoroughly exhausted exploring sites using non-pharmaceutical methods, using psychological methods, biofeedback, trying to accept my limitations, i.e., I still believe somewhere…out there…is hope. The strong medicine has caused gastroparesis, further complicating my health problems. They are too numerous to write and I will not focus on them. I am looking for “help” and guidance. If I can be of assistance to anyone throughout their trials, (perhaps similar to some of what I have gone through), I will.

@marield65

Anyone have several back issues that involved epidurals and spine surgery and/or fusions? And I need,yet again another fusion. I am 72, otherwise good health, but am so tired of my back issues and need some help in deciding what to do about another surgery. I am in chronic pain, on meds for the pain if the epidurals don’t work. Am in denial right now about needing another surgery but sooner or later will need it and need some support right now. Anyone else have problems with constant back pain or issues?

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I received y referral ,when I called to make appt ,she said they don't receive referrals and I,'ll have to fax it to the ?this is something new to me ,ever hear of that?

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@marield65

Anyone have several back issues that involved epidurals and spine surgery and/or fusions? And I need,yet again another fusion. I am 72, otherwise good health, but am so tired of my back issues and need some help in deciding what to do about another surgery. I am in chronic pain, on meds for the pain if the epidurals don’t work. Am in denial right now about needing another surgery but sooner or later will need it and need some support right now. Anyone else have problems with constant back pain or issues?

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Hi Katie 65, today it's three weeks since my fifth spine surgery and I'm without any back or leg pain for the first time in a year and a half. I'm 76 and it was a long and difficult surgery, my surgeon says recovery will take six months. I had two lumbar laminectomies and three fusions plus plates and screws, that's a lot to do all at once but so far it's like a miracle! Find the best neurosurgeon you can and go for it…..you've got a lot of living left to do!

Liked by lifetime

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I recently had lumbar surgery for remove the facet between L2-L3 and fuse the joints. The surgery was completely successful and removed the arthritic spurs on my spine from pressing on my nerve root. I was shocked at the residual muscle pain following the surgery and am still surprised at how stiff and rigid my back muscles still are. I have been having deep tissue massages, doing stretching exercises, going to PT and today had dry needling done. My muscles relax a little bit after the massages and it is too soon to know the outcome of the dry needling. I would like to know your recovery stories to get ideas on what has worked for uncramping and relaxing your back muscles and how long it took. Thank you in advance for your responses.

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Hello, @2011panc — so glad your lumbar surgery removing the facet between L2-L3 and fusing the joints has been successful and that your arthritic spurs pressing on your nerve root are now gone.

Sounds like your residual muscle pain following the surgery has been pretty intense. It also sounds as though you are taking a lot of wise steps to reduce that, with the deep tissue massage, stretching, PT and dry needling.

I moved your post here, where many members have talked about back pain and in some cases, lumbar surgery. I'm also tagging other members like @missysue @bittermonkmt @jkrauss @tonydi @twokitties @ladyjane85 @maxiesmom @marield65@briansr @commongood @19lin @gailb @mand2900 who have talked about lumbar surgery to encourage them to share about their recovery stories (or those of a loved one) and any tips they may have to relax the back muscles and how long that may have taken after surgery. @sandytoes14 may also have some insights.

Which modality have you found helps the most so far, @2011panc, with relaxing your back muscles?

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@jlfisher56

Thank you Justin and I gladly will share my story if it can help anyone. It is very lenghty so I will try to keep it as abbreviated as possible but to the point. I can understand some of what physical therapy you “might” have gone through post-op with an ankle fusion (had a total rt knee and lt hip replacement). You are correct…long and hard.
I injured my back as a nurse involving a patient. For 2 years I was misdiagnosed as a “lumbar strain” when actually it was a cervical cord compression at C5 to C7. I did have a slight herniation at L4 and slippage and most pain seemed to come from there. My bowel and bladder were affected, legs were weak and arms. I worked in the NICU as “light-duty” using a special back brace but over 2 years continually symptoms became worse. The head of physical therapy stated my EMG showed more from the cervical or upper thorax than lumbar. I started to pronounced arm weakness, neck pain,and cervical headaches. The physiatrist stated, “I tell the doctors to always check the whole back because often the problem is coming elsewhere and not where the patient’s pain is.” My doctor “knew” better and thought MS but the MRI was negative.
To shorten the story, I went to the”pioneer of back surgery” in Philadelphia (an orthopedic surgeon I knew) and saw his neurologist. First glance he noticed in my face the abnormal jaw reflex and the change in the curvature of my neck into an “L” shape. I had almost a “total” compression C5-C6 and C6-C7 just about as bad. My doctor stated I should have been dead or a quadriplegic and was amazed I was even walking. I had an anterior fusion 2 years after my initial injury (1994) and then the slippage and herniation L4-L5 worsened (I was working part-time as an instructor at my hospital).
I needed trimming L4 and fusion L5-S1 with hardware posterior in 1995 and kept working. My symptoms improved with some neurological deficits remaining but not that severe. Pain only when walking too much and not taking enough breaks. As time went on, I started have all the original symptoms reoccur.
I had what is called a “failed” fusion. My fusions were unstable and areas above and below were herniating or impinging nerves. The peripheral nerves to arms, legs, bowel and bladder and now increasing pain happening more and more were becoming constant. In 1998, thorough testing (discogram, MRIs, EMGs, i.e demonstrated I had a “bad” back). I almost fell off the litter when the x-ray doctor told me.
These were extensive and because of years of the “failure”, permenant nerve damage has remained even though some did get better. I had a posterior cervical fusion C4-C7 and 6 weeks later anterior cages and posterior fusion L3-S1 Lumbar area. I developed a post-op hematoma and infection of the lumbar fusion which worsened the neurogenic bowel and I needed 2 bowel operations and am left with a functioning colon but only 18 cm. The neurogenic bladder did become better in time.
I am sorry this is so lengthy but if I can help anyone, just a little more. I know length can turn people off! I developed scar tissue in the spinal cord arachnoiditis (lumbar area found in my testing before my refusions) that causes a lot of chronic pain, had nerve pain and chronic pain, which worsened as the years have gone by. Due to the nerve damage to my bowel, plus certaain medications, gastroparesis (decreased contraction of the nerves to the stomach) which can be very serious. I had botox to the LES plus take medicine to help the stomach to contract. Also, my fusion healed crooked, and I have “torticollis” (very painful), and get botox every 3 months. Many of my problems went undiagnosed for years, thus causing permanence of my symptoms to some degree.
I do apologize for the length. I do not want to bore or act like I have it worse than others. If I can help anyone or if anyone can help me. I greatly would appreciate it. I have tried many “mental” and “physical’ therapies plus my TENS unit as an adjuvant but still need my chronic pain and gastric medications. Some of the chronic pain medications are continuing to “destroy” the stomach nerves which really upsets me. I’d love to get off everything but after all these years and all the complications, am loosing hope. I keep praying.
Best to you with your ankle. I am sure you have your good days as well as bad and the “weather” isn’t always your friend. It is funny how so many have told me they can predict the weather from their “bone” injuries and I must agree LOL. Take care. Joan

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I have had three cervical disc fusions in my neck. I have been left with chronic pain. I take Tramadol, Tzanidine (muscle relaxer), and Lyrica daily. I am wanting to go off the Lyrica as it makes my brain fuzzy and I can't remember a lot. I am on 600 mg per day and have gone down to 400. As I wean off it, pain has kicked up. I am wondering if I shouldn't go off it completely. I had Botox injections (30) 6 weeks ago and the pain from surrounding muscles spasming that did not receive a Botox shot are just now starting to subside and I can hold my head up again. The quality of life with chronic pain is very limited… I am constantly looking for something that will help as I am only 48 and have the rest of my life to battle this pain. Does anyone know of an alternative?

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@jlfisher56

Thank you Justin and I gladly will share my story if it can help anyone. It is very lenghty so I will try to keep it as abbreviated as possible but to the point. I can understand some of what physical therapy you “might” have gone through post-op with an ankle fusion (had a total rt knee and lt hip replacement). You are correct…long and hard.
I injured my back as a nurse involving a patient. For 2 years I was misdiagnosed as a “lumbar strain” when actually it was a cervical cord compression at C5 to C7. I did have a slight herniation at L4 and slippage and most pain seemed to come from there. My bowel and bladder were affected, legs were weak and arms. I worked in the NICU as “light-duty” using a special back brace but over 2 years continually symptoms became worse. The head of physical therapy stated my EMG showed more from the cervical or upper thorax than lumbar. I started to pronounced arm weakness, neck pain,and cervical headaches. The physiatrist stated, “I tell the doctors to always check the whole back because often the problem is coming elsewhere and not where the patient’s pain is.” My doctor “knew” better and thought MS but the MRI was negative.
To shorten the story, I went to the”pioneer of back surgery” in Philadelphia (an orthopedic surgeon I knew) and saw his neurologist. First glance he noticed in my face the abnormal jaw reflex and the change in the curvature of my neck into an “L” shape. I had almost a “total” compression C5-C6 and C6-C7 just about as bad. My doctor stated I should have been dead or a quadriplegic and was amazed I was even walking. I had an anterior fusion 2 years after my initial injury (1994) and then the slippage and herniation L4-L5 worsened (I was working part-time as an instructor at my hospital).
I needed trimming L4 and fusion L5-S1 with hardware posterior in 1995 and kept working. My symptoms improved with some neurological deficits remaining but not that severe. Pain only when walking too much and not taking enough breaks. As time went on, I started have all the original symptoms reoccur.
I had what is called a “failed” fusion. My fusions were unstable and areas above and below were herniating or impinging nerves. The peripheral nerves to arms, legs, bowel and bladder and now increasing pain happening more and more were becoming constant. In 1998, thorough testing (discogram, MRIs, EMGs, i.e demonstrated I had a “bad” back). I almost fell off the litter when the x-ray doctor told me.
These were extensive and because of years of the “failure”, permenant nerve damage has remained even though some did get better. I had a posterior cervical fusion C4-C7 and 6 weeks later anterior cages and posterior fusion L3-S1 Lumbar area. I developed a post-op hematoma and infection of the lumbar fusion which worsened the neurogenic bowel and I needed 2 bowel operations and am left with a functioning colon but only 18 cm. The neurogenic bladder did become better in time.
I am sorry this is so lengthy but if I can help anyone, just a little more. I know length can turn people off! I developed scar tissue in the spinal cord arachnoiditis (lumbar area found in my testing before my refusions) that causes a lot of chronic pain, had nerve pain and chronic pain, which worsened as the years have gone by. Due to the nerve damage to my bowel, plus certaain medications, gastroparesis (decreased contraction of the nerves to the stomach) which can be very serious. I had botox to the LES plus take medicine to help the stomach to contract. Also, my fusion healed crooked, and I have “torticollis” (very painful), and get botox every 3 months. Many of my problems went undiagnosed for years, thus causing permanence of my symptoms to some degree.
I do apologize for the length. I do not want to bore or act like I have it worse than others. If I can help anyone or if anyone can help me. I greatly would appreciate it. I have tried many “mental” and “physical’ therapies plus my TENS unit as an adjuvant but still need my chronic pain and gastric medications. Some of the chronic pain medications are continuing to “destroy” the stomach nerves which really upsets me. I’d love to get off everything but after all these years and all the complications, am loosing hope. I keep praying.
Best to you with your ankle. I am sure you have your good days as well as bad and the “weather” isn’t always your friend. It is funny how so many have told me they can predict the weather from their “bone” injuries and I must agree LOL. Take care. Joan

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@robin33330 …I am not practicing medicine w/o a license…not a Dr or nurse but have lived w chronic pain for Apr 6 years? Anywho…for Tramadol to provide any relief the dosage prescribed made me SO sick. Do you go for pain mgmt or is this your PCP. Maybe you should ask for a referral to reputable pain mgmt clinic? Doesn't sound like the Tramadol is helping. May need to take it up a notch. Hope I helped. Everyone in this group is here to help you and offer advice plus their own stories, trials and tribulations!

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@robertrm

Hi, this is @robertrm. Love to join this. What do I need to do?

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Pick your group interests, set up in your profile..jump in and ask questions , advice, personal experiences…whatever issues you would like to read about or discuss! Welcome to the group(s). Everyone is here to help you!

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@mikee

Sorry to hear a story so similar to mine. While doing an internship in Chemical Dependence at a hospital, I also worked as a nursing assistant. I was making a hospital corner on a bed, sneezed and blew out a disc in my back. Surgery for repair at L5-S1 was the start. That was 1975. Since then there have had 17 back and neck surgeries. My lady says that I have the longest butt crack in the world.

I developed fibromyalgia in the 80’s and autonomic peripheral neuropathy in the 00’s. I’ve been in chronic pain for many years. Since the DEA put pressure on the FDA to make it more difficult for us to get opiods, I have had problems getting the one drug, morphine, that works for me. As a former Chemical Dependence counselor and inpatient and outpatient treatment director, I’m very aware of the dangers of misuse of medications. I’ve never overused any drugs.

If you take meds as prescribed, you won’t get into problems. Naturopathic medications have not been effective, for me. The government doesn’t tell that the number of suicides has increased among chronic pain suffers who can’t get their medications. It’s the people who abuse illegal substances that are addicted. Please don’t disparage or denigrate your need for such medications. Use as needed.

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@mikee you are so right My rheumatologist had me on Vicoden for my fibromyalgia,L2fracture,and other back issues he told me the same thing it's those who don't take them as prescribed that become addicted .I'm retired nurse and know the difference but those that abuse it are giving us a bad rap who listen to Dr.

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@jlfisher56

Thank you Justin and I gladly will share my story if it can help anyone. It is very lenghty so I will try to keep it as abbreviated as possible but to the point. I can understand some of what physical therapy you “might” have gone through post-op with an ankle fusion (had a total rt knee and lt hip replacement). You are correct…long and hard.
I injured my back as a nurse involving a patient. For 2 years I was misdiagnosed as a “lumbar strain” when actually it was a cervical cord compression at C5 to C7. I did have a slight herniation at L4 and slippage and most pain seemed to come from there. My bowel and bladder were affected, legs were weak and arms. I worked in the NICU as “light-duty” using a special back brace but over 2 years continually symptoms became worse. The head of physical therapy stated my EMG showed more from the cervical or upper thorax than lumbar. I started to pronounced arm weakness, neck pain,and cervical headaches. The physiatrist stated, “I tell the doctors to always check the whole back because often the problem is coming elsewhere and not where the patient’s pain is.” My doctor “knew” better and thought MS but the MRI was negative.
To shorten the story, I went to the”pioneer of back surgery” in Philadelphia (an orthopedic surgeon I knew) and saw his neurologist. First glance he noticed in my face the abnormal jaw reflex and the change in the curvature of my neck into an “L” shape. I had almost a “total” compression C5-C6 and C6-C7 just about as bad. My doctor stated I should have been dead or a quadriplegic and was amazed I was even walking. I had an anterior fusion 2 years after my initial injury (1994) and then the slippage and herniation L4-L5 worsened (I was working part-time as an instructor at my hospital).
I needed trimming L4 and fusion L5-S1 with hardware posterior in 1995 and kept working. My symptoms improved with some neurological deficits remaining but not that severe. Pain only when walking too much and not taking enough breaks. As time went on, I started have all the original symptoms reoccur.
I had what is called a “failed” fusion. My fusions were unstable and areas above and below were herniating or impinging nerves. The peripheral nerves to arms, legs, bowel and bladder and now increasing pain happening more and more were becoming constant. In 1998, thorough testing (discogram, MRIs, EMGs, i.e demonstrated I had a “bad” back). I almost fell off the litter when the x-ray doctor told me.
These were extensive and because of years of the “failure”, permenant nerve damage has remained even though some did get better. I had a posterior cervical fusion C4-C7 and 6 weeks later anterior cages and posterior fusion L3-S1 Lumbar area. I developed a post-op hematoma and infection of the lumbar fusion which worsened the neurogenic bowel and I needed 2 bowel operations and am left with a functioning colon but only 18 cm. The neurogenic bladder did become better in time.
I am sorry this is so lengthy but if I can help anyone, just a little more. I know length can turn people off! I developed scar tissue in the spinal cord arachnoiditis (lumbar area found in my testing before my refusions) that causes a lot of chronic pain, had nerve pain and chronic pain, which worsened as the years have gone by. Due to the nerve damage to my bowel, plus certaain medications, gastroparesis (decreased contraction of the nerves to the stomach) which can be very serious. I had botox to the LES plus take medicine to help the stomach to contract. Also, my fusion healed crooked, and I have “torticollis” (very painful), and get botox every 3 months. Many of my problems went undiagnosed for years, thus causing permanence of my symptoms to some degree.
I do apologize for the length. I do not want to bore or act like I have it worse than others. If I can help anyone or if anyone can help me. I greatly would appreciate it. I have tried many “mental” and “physical’ therapies plus my TENS unit as an adjuvant but still need my chronic pain and gastric medications. Some of the chronic pain medications are continuing to “destroy” the stomach nerves which really upsets me. I’d love to get off everything but after all these years and all the complications, am loosing hope. I keep praying.
Best to you with your ankle. I am sure you have your good days as well as bad and the “weather” isn’t always your friend. It is funny how so many have told me they can predict the weather from their “bone” injuries and I must agree LOL. Take care. Joan

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robin33330,

One day at work when I was suffering from nerve pain from the pinched radial nerve coming from my neck I asked a coworker for some Tylenol. She hauls out this bottle of an NSAID that had B-vitamins manufactured into the pills. I was really amazed by how much better I felt.

Thiamin, Pyridoxine(B6), and Cyanocobalamin(B12) So I went to the store and got a B-100 complex and the next time I needed some pain reliever I took the Tylenol and the B-100 at the same time. The B-100 has more B vitamins than just the 3 that pill contained.

I cannot take Tramadol as it upsets my stomach among other things. Ketoprophin is another one that hurt my stomach, so that is out as well.

B Complex, as far as I know, will not harm you. But, for me it was the coupling of the 2 together (NSAID and B complex) that really brought relief.

I hope this helps you. Pain is as bad as visiting a haunted house.

Eileena

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@jlfisher56

Thank you Justin and I gladly will share my story if it can help anyone. It is very lenghty so I will try to keep it as abbreviated as possible but to the point. I can understand some of what physical therapy you “might” have gone through post-op with an ankle fusion (had a total rt knee and lt hip replacement). You are correct…long and hard.
I injured my back as a nurse involving a patient. For 2 years I was misdiagnosed as a “lumbar strain” when actually it was a cervical cord compression at C5 to C7. I did have a slight herniation at L4 and slippage and most pain seemed to come from there. My bowel and bladder were affected, legs were weak and arms. I worked in the NICU as “light-duty” using a special back brace but over 2 years continually symptoms became worse. The head of physical therapy stated my EMG showed more from the cervical or upper thorax than lumbar. I started to pronounced arm weakness, neck pain,and cervical headaches. The physiatrist stated, “I tell the doctors to always check the whole back because often the problem is coming elsewhere and not where the patient’s pain is.” My doctor “knew” better and thought MS but the MRI was negative.
To shorten the story, I went to the”pioneer of back surgery” in Philadelphia (an orthopedic surgeon I knew) and saw his neurologist. First glance he noticed in my face the abnormal jaw reflex and the change in the curvature of my neck into an “L” shape. I had almost a “total” compression C5-C6 and C6-C7 just about as bad. My doctor stated I should have been dead or a quadriplegic and was amazed I was even walking. I had an anterior fusion 2 years after my initial injury (1994) and then the slippage and herniation L4-L5 worsened (I was working part-time as an instructor at my hospital).
I needed trimming L4 and fusion L5-S1 with hardware posterior in 1995 and kept working. My symptoms improved with some neurological deficits remaining but not that severe. Pain only when walking too much and not taking enough breaks. As time went on, I started have all the original symptoms reoccur.
I had what is called a “failed” fusion. My fusions were unstable and areas above and below were herniating or impinging nerves. The peripheral nerves to arms, legs, bowel and bladder and now increasing pain happening more and more were becoming constant. In 1998, thorough testing (discogram, MRIs, EMGs, i.e demonstrated I had a “bad” back). I almost fell off the litter when the x-ray doctor told me.
These were extensive and because of years of the “failure”, permenant nerve damage has remained even though some did get better. I had a posterior cervical fusion C4-C7 and 6 weeks later anterior cages and posterior fusion L3-S1 Lumbar area. I developed a post-op hematoma and infection of the lumbar fusion which worsened the neurogenic bowel and I needed 2 bowel operations and am left with a functioning colon but only 18 cm. The neurogenic bladder did become better in time.
I am sorry this is so lengthy but if I can help anyone, just a little more. I know length can turn people off! I developed scar tissue in the spinal cord arachnoiditis (lumbar area found in my testing before my refusions) that causes a lot of chronic pain, had nerve pain and chronic pain, which worsened as the years have gone by. Due to the nerve damage to my bowel, plus certaain medications, gastroparesis (decreased contraction of the nerves to the stomach) which can be very serious. I had botox to the LES plus take medicine to help the stomach to contract. Also, my fusion healed crooked, and I have “torticollis” (very painful), and get botox every 3 months. Many of my problems went undiagnosed for years, thus causing permanence of my symptoms to some degree.
I do apologize for the length. I do not want to bore or act like I have it worse than others. If I can help anyone or if anyone can help me. I greatly would appreciate it. I have tried many “mental” and “physical’ therapies plus my TENS unit as an adjuvant but still need my chronic pain and gastric medications. Some of the chronic pain medications are continuing to “destroy” the stomach nerves which really upsets me. I’d love to get off everything but after all these years and all the complications, am loosing hope. I keep praying.
Best to you with your ankle. I am sure you have your good days as well as bad and the “weather” isn’t always your friend. It is funny how so many have told me they can predict the weather from their “bone” injuries and I must agree LOL. Take care. Joan

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Jamie Olson

No. My chiropractor just takes it easy, does not try to force the adjustment. If with a gentle movement it does not move she can and does use some massage, but unlike the one I had used for a few years, she does not try over and over again to snap stuff back into place. Jerry was rough and may have contributed to the arthritis problem I suffer from.

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Have been having constant severe lower back pain for past 7 years with increasing numbness/weakness down right leg. I have asked my doctor for many years to please order an MRI so we can see what is going on. He says over and over that it is not needed. He finally relented about a week ago, as I am now (as of a few months back) in a wheelchair 24/7 due to unbearable back pain. My doctor has given me nothing for pain nor ever given me any type of muscle relaxers. He said it best, "to tough it out". He also will not refer me to specialist as he says this is not necessary either..
Results of my MRI:

"L1-L2: No significant disc bulge. No spinal canal stenosis or neuroforaminal narrowing.

L3-L4: Diffuse disc bulge with superimposed right subarticular zone disc extrusion, with approximately 11 mm caudal migration of disc material.
There is bilateral facet arthropathy and facet effusions. There is spinal canal stenosis, primarily secondary to disc bulge. There is narrowing of the lateral recesses bilaterally, with abutment of the descending right L4 nerve roots.
There is severe right neural foraminal narrowing.

L4-L5: Broad-based disc bulge. There is moderate bilateral facet arthropathy. There is moderate right neural foraminal narrowing.

L5-S1: Broad-based disc bulge.. Moderate bilateral facet arthropathy with facet effusions bilaterally. Moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, greater the right.

S1-S2: Broad-based disc bulge. Severe bilateral facet arthropathy, with a left facet effusion. Extraforaminal synovial cysts are noted to project anterolaterally from the left facet joint, with significant encroachment upon the exiting nerve roots. There is an additional small synovial cyst projecting inferiorly from the facet joint. Mild right and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing."
END OF MRI REPORT.

Please, please help. I don't know where to turn, and I don't even begin to understand the MRI results. My doctor just told me , "Nothing to worry about."
But pain increases daily and I have no quality of life.

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@lifetime

Have been having constant severe lower back pain for past 7 years with increasing numbness/weakness down right leg. I have asked my doctor for many years to please order an MRI so we can see what is going on. He says over and over that it is not needed. He finally relented about a week ago, as I am now (as of a few months back) in a wheelchair 24/7 due to unbearable back pain. My doctor has given me nothing for pain nor ever given me any type of muscle relaxers. He said it best, "to tough it out". He also will not refer me to specialist as he says this is not necessary either..
Results of my MRI:

"L1-L2: No significant disc bulge. No spinal canal stenosis or neuroforaminal narrowing.

L3-L4: Diffuse disc bulge with superimposed right subarticular zone disc extrusion, with approximately 11 mm caudal migration of disc material.
There is bilateral facet arthropathy and facet effusions. There is spinal canal stenosis, primarily secondary to disc bulge. There is narrowing of the lateral recesses bilaterally, with abutment of the descending right L4 nerve roots.
There is severe right neural foraminal narrowing.

L4-L5: Broad-based disc bulge. There is moderate bilateral facet arthropathy. There is moderate right neural foraminal narrowing.

L5-S1: Broad-based disc bulge.. Moderate bilateral facet arthropathy with facet effusions bilaterally. Moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, greater the right.

S1-S2: Broad-based disc bulge. Severe bilateral facet arthropathy, with a left facet effusion. Extraforaminal synovial cysts are noted to project anterolaterally from the left facet joint, with significant encroachment upon the exiting nerve roots. There is an additional small synovial cyst projecting inferiorly from the facet joint. Mild right and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing."
END OF MRI REPORT.

Please, please help. I don't know where to turn, and I don't even begin to understand the MRI results. My doctor just told me , "Nothing to worry about."
But pain increases daily and I have no quality of life.

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@lifetime not be redundant…but are you sure you need a referral? Are you seeing a pain specialist. If you have Medicare..I'm 99% sure you can self refer. Is this guy your PCP? Part of a network? Demand a referral! Its your right . if he is not your PCP have them refer you! This really is terrible and I feel for you. I have had chronic pain for over 5 years. Stick up for yourself. Demand a referral!!! Ask around for a reccomendation for a pain management clinic. Sign a release for copies of all your records. You have that right too.! Hope you have a friend to stand with you! If necessary…who's your emergency contact.We are all here for you and there are a lot of knowledgeable folks on here!

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@lifetime

Have been having constant severe lower back pain for past 7 years with increasing numbness/weakness down right leg. I have asked my doctor for many years to please order an MRI so we can see what is going on. He says over and over that it is not needed. He finally relented about a week ago, as I am now (as of a few months back) in a wheelchair 24/7 due to unbearable back pain. My doctor has given me nothing for pain nor ever given me any type of muscle relaxers. He said it best, "to tough it out". He also will not refer me to specialist as he says this is not necessary either..
Results of my MRI:

"L1-L2: No significant disc bulge. No spinal canal stenosis or neuroforaminal narrowing.

L3-L4: Diffuse disc bulge with superimposed right subarticular zone disc extrusion, with approximately 11 mm caudal migration of disc material.
There is bilateral facet arthropathy and facet effusions. There is spinal canal stenosis, primarily secondary to disc bulge. There is narrowing of the lateral recesses bilaterally, with abutment of the descending right L4 nerve roots.
There is severe right neural foraminal narrowing.

L4-L5: Broad-based disc bulge. There is moderate bilateral facet arthropathy. There is moderate right neural foraminal narrowing.

L5-S1: Broad-based disc bulge.. Moderate bilateral facet arthropathy with facet effusions bilaterally. Moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, greater the right.

S1-S2: Broad-based disc bulge. Severe bilateral facet arthropathy, with a left facet effusion. Extraforaminal synovial cysts are noted to project anterolaterally from the left facet joint, with significant encroachment upon the exiting nerve roots. There is an additional small synovial cyst projecting inferiorly from the facet joint. Mild right and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing."
END OF MRI REPORT.

Please, please help. I don't know where to turn, and I don't even begin to understand the MRI results. My doctor just told me , "Nothing to worry about."
But pain increases daily and I have no quality of life.

Jump to this post

@lifetime you need to see another Dr.Pain specialist or orthopedic Dr.Shame on that Dr.letting you go all this time he should be reported to the AMA.

REPLY
@lifetime

Have been having constant severe lower back pain for past 7 years with increasing numbness/weakness down right leg. I have asked my doctor for many years to please order an MRI so we can see what is going on. He says over and over that it is not needed. He finally relented about a week ago, as I am now (as of a few months back) in a wheelchair 24/7 due to unbearable back pain. My doctor has given me nothing for pain nor ever given me any type of muscle relaxers. He said it best, "to tough it out". He also will not refer me to specialist as he says this is not necessary either..
Results of my MRI:

"L1-L2: No significant disc bulge. No spinal canal stenosis or neuroforaminal narrowing.

L3-L4: Diffuse disc bulge with superimposed right subarticular zone disc extrusion, with approximately 11 mm caudal migration of disc material.
There is bilateral facet arthropathy and facet effusions. There is spinal canal stenosis, primarily secondary to disc bulge. There is narrowing of the lateral recesses bilaterally, with abutment of the descending right L4 nerve roots.
There is severe right neural foraminal narrowing.

L4-L5: Broad-based disc bulge. There is moderate bilateral facet arthropathy. There is moderate right neural foraminal narrowing.

L5-S1: Broad-based disc bulge.. Moderate bilateral facet arthropathy with facet effusions bilaterally. Moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, greater the right.

S1-S2: Broad-based disc bulge. Severe bilateral facet arthropathy, with a left facet effusion. Extraforaminal synovial cysts are noted to project anterolaterally from the left facet joint, with significant encroachment upon the exiting nerve roots. There is an additional small synovial cyst projecting inferiorly from the facet joint. Mild right and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing."
END OF MRI REPORT.

Please, please help. I don't know where to turn, and I don't even begin to understand the MRI results. My doctor just told me , "Nothing to worry about."
But pain increases daily and I have no quality of life.

Jump to this post

Hi,@tennessegirl!!
My Doctor is actually my Primary Care Doctor at the VA (Veteran's Administration) Medical Center. I am a Veteran.
I have put in a request several times to the proper office to ask to change doctors, but this had been years ago, and so far they say they are too understaffed. In fact, they highly, highly discourage any change. One nurse bluntly told me that if I put in another request to change doctors, I will become labeled as "a troublemaker patient", and I sure didn't want THAT, she said.
My Primary Care Doctor is just a General Practitioner, with no specialty as of yet.
You are giving me so much courage!! I will do my very, very best, but my pain overrides everything. Even my doing this. It is so hard to think.
Thank you again for caring!!!

REPLY
@lifetime

Have been having constant severe lower back pain for past 7 years with increasing numbness/weakness down right leg. I have asked my doctor for many years to please order an MRI so we can see what is going on. He says over and over that it is not needed. He finally relented about a week ago, as I am now (as of a few months back) in a wheelchair 24/7 due to unbearable back pain. My doctor has given me nothing for pain nor ever given me any type of muscle relaxers. He said it best, "to tough it out". He also will not refer me to specialist as he says this is not necessary either..
Results of my MRI:

"L1-L2: No significant disc bulge. No spinal canal stenosis or neuroforaminal narrowing.

L3-L4: Diffuse disc bulge with superimposed right subarticular zone disc extrusion, with approximately 11 mm caudal migration of disc material.
There is bilateral facet arthropathy and facet effusions. There is spinal canal stenosis, primarily secondary to disc bulge. There is narrowing of the lateral recesses bilaterally, with abutment of the descending right L4 nerve roots.
There is severe right neural foraminal narrowing.

L4-L5: Broad-based disc bulge. There is moderate bilateral facet arthropathy. There is moderate right neural foraminal narrowing.

L5-S1: Broad-based disc bulge.. Moderate bilateral facet arthropathy with facet effusions bilaterally. Moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, greater the right.

S1-S2: Broad-based disc bulge. Severe bilateral facet arthropathy, with a left facet effusion. Extraforaminal synovial cysts are noted to project anterolaterally from the left facet joint, with significant encroachment upon the exiting nerve roots. There is an additional small synovial cyst projecting inferiorly from the facet joint. Mild right and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing."
END OF MRI REPORT.

Please, please help. I don't know where to turn, and I don't even begin to understand the MRI results. My doctor just told me , "Nothing to worry about."
But pain increases daily and I have no quality of life.

Jump to this post

Oh, thank you, too,@lioness!!! I needed that!!!!!

REPLY
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