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  • skithetrees
    Member
    Post count: 2

    Dear Dr. Corenman:

    I have had issues with this disk level going back 20 years. In 1999 I had a small disc fragment removed at L5-S1. I have also had a few steroid injections in the past but they only made it worse. I am reluctant to have another epidural. I feel that the only prudent option is a laminectomy. I cannot sit for long periods and I cannot stand for long periods either. I don’t want to have a fusion as I know people who have had this done and it has not turned out well in some cases. The risks are just to great. Doctors tell me I have lost 50% of the disk height at this level. a little over a week or so ago I was skiing and re-injured or tweaked things in my lumbar spine. I hope I did not do additional damage the the L5-S1 disk but it is worse and does not seem to be getting better. It has not returned to my baseline level of pain so I am frustrated that it will not. The pain has been worse. What are your thoughts on a laminectomy and could you be able to do this procedure?

    Best Regards, Brett

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    First question is what is your current diagnosis? Is this a recurrent disc herniation or something else (lateral recess stenosis, degenerative disc disease or???). A current MRI is in order along with X-rays including flexion and extension films.

    Second question is the amount of central lower back pain vs. leg pain you have? Buttocks and sacroiliac pain are considered leg pain. If the amount of leg pain is greater than back pain, this is more likely a compressive nerve problem and can be solvable by a micro decompression surgery. If back pain is the predominant pain, you will have to understand what a small decompression can do and what this procedure cannot do.

    Central back pain is generally caused by disc failure and lack of shock absorption. A microsurgery (not a fusion) can help some of the lower back pain but generally will not eliminate most back pain.

    Yes I can perform a laminectomy (you probably mean laminotomy). I do these procedures about 6-8 times per week.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    skithetrees
    Member
    Post count: 2

    Dear Dr. Corenman:

    Thank you for responding to my note. I do have degenerative disc disease. My most recent MRI was done in January of 2013 and it was done at the Vail medical center.

    I would say that the pain in the left leg has become more severe.. I have not been able to sleep very much because of the pain. I live in the area so will schedule an appointment to see you.

    Best Regards,
    Brett

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    Look forward to seeing you.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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