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  • buejkins
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    Post count: 1

    Posting here as I have seen a fellow post with similar advice. I hope someone can help.

    First, some details and a patient history:

    I’m a 30 year old, 6ft 3 man with a series of ongoing back problems. It started in May 2012 when I first experienced sciatica in my left leg, which eventually became chronic. After three years of conservative treatments – Chiro, Yoga, Massage, Pilates, Exercise etc. – I was eventually referred for an MRI and I had two herniated (I think the term the surgeon used was prolapsed) discs. After discussing options, I decided to have a discectomy on L4-L5 and L5-S1 in June 2015 as I could not hack the leg pain anymore. It was not a microdiscectomy because of the two-disc issue.

    The operation removed my leg pain but did give me new back pain, which I had not really suffered with prior to the surgery. It took me about three months to recover to a point where I felt I could work and exercise again safely, which was a longer recovery period than I expected.

    In the years since the operation, I have kept active and continued with a program of yoga, Pilates, and other stretches etc. I have had good days and weeks and bad days and weeks with general stiffness (not helped by an office job), periodic spasms and a few tingles in the left leg, but nothing really major.

    Until May 2019 when, with a cracked drainpipe at home, I guess I gave my back too much trauma with leaning and lifting and bending to try and fix the pipe and I felt a sharp pain in my lower back (left side again) around the site of the surgery and up my left side. It felt hot and angry and inflamed and was about a 7/10, in terms of 10 being debilitating and unmanageable, and 1 being no pain. Symptoms have included consistent, low back inflammation (around and above the site of the 2015 discectomy), tingling and weakness in the left leg and an inability to sit or lie down for long. Immediately following the injury, ice, swimming, chiro manipulation and massage helped it to calm down, which was enough for me to go to camping for a music festival (with anti-inflammatory meds); however, it has never completely gone away and has flared up again and again to varying degrees of severity.

    In October 2019, I had an MRI which confirmed general disc degeneration since the previous MRI in 2015 and a possible annular tear in the disc. I have since tried conversative treatments to try and wait for it to heal, but it hasn’t and, recently, I have felt it getting worse.

    What are my options, surgical or otherwise? I just want some good advice so I can put a rehab plan together.

    I am a new father who is about to start a new career as a teacher and to have this hanging over me is really affecting my mental health as I feel I can’t move on with my life.

    I hope you can help.

    Best wishes,

    Liverpool, UK

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8460

    You note a “discectomy on L4-L5 and L5-S1 in June 2015…The operation removed my leg pain but did give me new back pain, which I had not really suffered with prior to the surgery…I have had good days and weeks and bad days and weeks with general stiffness… periodic spasms and a few tingles in the left leg, but nothing really major”.

    “May 2019….I felt a sharp pain in my lower back (left side again) around the site of the surgery and up my left side… Symptoms have included consistent, low back inflammation (around and above the site of the 2015 discectomy), tingling and weakness in the left leg and an inability to sit or lie down for long.

    In October 2019, I had an MRI which confirmed general disc degeneration since the previous MRI in 2015 and a possible annular tear in the disc”.

    I will assume that you have undergone core strengthening and changed your ergonomics to no avail. You need to get the radiological report from your last MRI and paste it here. I hope you have also had X-rays that the results you can also paste.

    Dr. Corenman

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