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I was in an MVA 9 years ago. After a week I started having low back and neck pain. Upon my first MRI, I was told that I had C3-C4, C4-C5 and C5-C6 disc bulges and protrusions. As well, I had two disc protrusions on L4-L5 and L5-S1. I used to be a very active person and this has changed my entire life and ability to do anything. I was sort of maintaining when in December 2005 I fell on ice and re-injured everything that never quite healed properly in the first place. I've dealt with the pain with medication, accupuncture, PT (which always has made me feel worse and is a joke in my opinion), chiropractic care, epideral steroid injections, trigger point injections and most recently a percutaneous discectomy in May of 2007 which actually gave me relief immediately until I began PT then I felt something pop in December of 2007 and haven't been much more than a shut-in since. My latest discogram shows pain at 5 lbs and most normal ppl can withstand pain at 120 lbs from what my doctor tells me. Nerve and facet blocks have not worked. I can't do anything without agonizing pain radiating down my left leg, down my arms intermittently, constant neck pain, a hot burny pins and needles sensation in my groin area and numbness for any amount of time that I sit or lie in one position too long.
So my latest MRIs in Feb and April of this year are now showing disc herniations in C5-C6 and L3-L4 that have caused severe stenosis and are pushing on my spinal cord. I'm 30 years old and been dealing with this since I was 21. Every neurosurgeon I've ever seen has said I'm too young for back surgery, be it a lamenectomy or whatever. I could understand that when I was in pain with only bulges or protrusions but now that I have 2 that are herniated, I'm getting the same stupid answer. And they explain that fusion won't work b/c they can't fuse a bad disc to a bad disc.
My poor husband and mother are fulltime hospice workers now b/c I need assistance with everything. I can't walk without a cane or walker because I've fallen several times due to the weeble/wobble feeling in my low back and numbness in my leg. I'm on over 160 mg of Oxycontin a day, 10 mg of fast acting Oxycodone for breakthrough pain, 3600 mg of Neurontin a day, and about 350 mg of Soma about 6 times a day. Also, they put me on some sort of Prednisone, Medrol Pak or am hospitalized for IV steroids atleast once a month for the past 6 months.
I just don't know what to do. I was always under the impression that once they were herniated that I'd have options, instead, I'm a prisoner in my own body. I'm not at all affected by the medication. It still barely masks the pain but I'm really tired of doctors looking at me like a drug addict rather than someone in constant pain so I've just learned to make due.
Anyone else been told surgery is not an option and found something else that helped? Any other surgeries or procedures that someone might be leaving out that I haven't heard of? I'd really appreciate if anyone who has had a similar injury with the same prognosis would respond.
Thank you very much! Have a good day.


Dear Guest, 

I have had many, many patients like you...Just like You. 
You do not need surgery because you have a disease that affects many parts of the body, but since nerves are so sensitive you feel it neurologically. Usually spinal surgery is not the answer! Most people who have it still have problems. 

You have an autoimmune neuropathy. Check papers about it by Dyke at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Just look up Peripheral Nerve Department Dr. Dyke. That will give you some idea that other people think like I do. 

I know the cause and a treatment, but I am not sure you are still on this site. Write if you want and I will tell you more. 

Yours, Norsk10


I am so sorry to hear of your situation. I had a fall with my dog in 1999. I had immediate pain in my back. I was diagnosed with sacroillitis, which was treated with cortisoe injections once a year into my joint. In 2005, I had a sudden,severe burning, stabbing pain down my right leg starting in the buttocks. I could not move and was given pain medication and muscle relaxants which really did not help me. I was referred to a Neuro surgeon by a friend who had seen this Dr. After an MRI, I was diagnosed with a herniated disc L5 and a bulging disc L4. I also had degenerative disc disease. My Dr. told me they could not do anything and would not touch the L4 bulge. I was 48 at the time. I was in a wheel chair for 3 months, unable to walk, move, bathe, or dress myself before the surgery. After the surgery I had immediate relief of all pain. The only lasting complication was numbness behind my right knee to my right heel. I was fully functional. I was told not to do any kind of heavy lifting or twisting of my body. I had to give up golf, tennis, and skiing. I do have a fully functional pain free life now! I do ride my bike, walk, and swim for exercise now. Swimming is the best exercise because there is no strain on the joints. I really think it is very important to find the right DR. even if you have t get several opinions. Try to talk to as many people as you can to find a great neuro surgeron or neuroloist. I do not believe any one should be suffering with severe back pain. I did not go to any chiropractors, as I think they can do more harm than good. I am an RN BSN and have worked in nursing for 20 years. I must confess I was afraid of back surgery as I know there are not always favorable results. I am so thankful I had the surgery and a great Dr. You just need to find a great Dr. I know you can! Do not give up.


I forgot to tell you, they did a discectomy, laminectomy on L5 with immediate success and relief of all pain. they would not do anything for the L4 bulge at the time. But I have been pain free since.