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Old 09-16-2013, 01:21 PM
 
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Default L4/L5 + L5/S1 ruptured discs

Anyone else rupture a disc in their spine? How did you deal with the pain. I hurt my back about a month ago and just received the MRI results...definitely shredded my back with L4/L5 and L5/S1 ruptured discs. The sciatic pain can be unbearable at times, especially when sitting, which has made me almost completely helpless. I can't drive to the grocery store or drive distances anywhere, can't sleep very well even while on medication, and can't do anything that requires sitting.

Did you get surgery? If so, how long ago? Are you still pain free or did you have your pain drastically reduced? God I hope I don't have to suffer through more months of this absolutely debilitating pain. Getting old stinks!
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Same exact spot. Had surgery in Dec 1992. Post-op was bad as I had a fusion with steel rods and bone graft. Much better after 5 days. Had to wear a huge back brace for months to protect it. Back to half day work at 10 weeks. Full day at about 4-5 months.

Felt great for many years until L3-L4 started going bad. Neurontin and losing weight stopped that. No leg pain since then, maybe 8 yrs.

Go for it, I was never sorry.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Rocky Mountains
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Yep, had to have surgery on my L4-L5 in my mid 30's. It started out as just a mild herniation, a bulge, but it ruptured and just got worse and worse. 9 months later I was risking permanent nerve damage and I was being debilitated by the disc herniation both in terms of functionality and the sheer excruciating levels of pain! I tried physical therapy (BIIIIG mistake, made me so much worse!), epidural injections, and pain pills, and chiro. The pain only increased as time went by, but I was very scared of surgery and just tried to fight through it. By month 9 I had developed full blown acute cauda equina syndrome, which is a medical emergency, and saw a surgeon who scheduled emergency surgery the next day. It was amazingly effective and I kicked myself for waiting so long. I still do have some back pain, several years post-op. But it is more manageable, and the debilitating symptoms I had before are gone. No sciatica whatsoever anymore. I regained all function that the equina syndrome caused. I'm fully functional again, and have been able to pick up my old hobbies of hiking, mtn climbing, skiing, and yes even backpacking.

The thing with back pain is everyone is different. And each person will react differently to different treatments. Be careful listening to advice of others. What works for one may not for you. People hear back pain and just think "big deal, I've had a sore back, or pulled a muscle. Everyone has back pain. Just take some meds, do some therapy, and you'll be fine". That INFURIATES me. I went through hell at work trying to get them to understand my situation. Back pain can range from mildly annoying to full-on debilitating, even to the point people consider suicide (as I myself did) to even committing it. I have also read that people with chronic back pain tend to lapse into long term depression. It can be very, very serious, and if you aren't careful you can make injury worse, and that can have LIFE-LONG repercussions.

I would recommend trying more conservative measures if you can stand it. My friend just this summer suffered an injury while riding a mountain bike, and his pain was approaching debilitating as well. However, he did well after receiving an epidural injection, which did nothing for me. But, he was able to delay or possibly even avoid surgery. The problem is if you are pinching the nerve to the point it is causing nerve damage, the longer you wait, the lower the likelihood of a favorable outcome after surgery.

Good luck, I know how hellish it can be. Every second is consumed with pain, it's depressing, and you can feel hopeless. Hang in there.
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