Central L5-S1 Disc Herniation (quite long, sorry)
I have been dealing with chronic lower back issues for the past 7 years now but, since I had a T7-T9 fusion back in November 2008, they have gotten substantially worse, which my surgeon said they may. I've had a series of MRI's, and a bone scan over the past 18 months because the pain in my back, testicles and legs has gotten to the point of being excruciating on a daily basis, even though I am taking Oxycodone, Ibuprofen, Xanaflex and Topamax as prescribed by my pain clinic physician in order to help combat my symptoms, which include stinging, grinding, stabbing and burning in my back, and the normal numbness, tingling and aching in the legs. I also get a lot of weakness in my legs too but recently, this has become bilateral whereas before, this was all on the left.
The first MR showed a bulge in L5 and S1, along with Stenosis, DDD and Arthritis. Shortly after this MR, I had had an episode where I lost the use of my legs for 4 days. I was kept in the hospital with no testing apart from Neurological stuff and bedrest. Since that, I've had 4 more episodes and was referred to my Ortho surgeon who advised that no surgical intervention was necessary! 6 months later, the next MRI showed an Annular tear in L5 and nothing else had changed. Now, this latest shows I have a full blown herniation in L5 AND S1 but centralised to boot! My pain physician has done at least a dozen epidural shots and, we decided to stop them because they aren't effective anymore. The last one we did last all of 5 days! I've been through two rounds of physical therapy which did me more harm than good.
I'm not a scalpel happy person by any stretch of the imagination but, I am wondering if anyone can give me any glimmer of hope for any non-surgical ideas on this because at this point, I'm willing to go to the ends of the earth, to pay whatever it costs to get myself fixed so I can play with my kids again, so I can have a day where my pain is less than an 8 even when taking pain meds, to be able to sleep at night.
Thanks in advance for any advice anyone can give me.