SpineUniverse Community Advice
Get help and share your story with others who know what you're going through.
Please register or log in to join the discussions!

New here and trying again for answers

Started by zeeipad on 10/24/2011 3:08pm

I guess I have done enough lurking. I am not the best storyteller so you will have to bear with me on an explanation of what I have been through so far. I will apologize in advance for the length of this post. I am 39 (almost 40) and Male.

My story starts in July of '09. My Wife and I went hiking one day and coming back downhill, walking became very uncomfortable. Every step on my left foot became an electric sledgehammer to my lower back. After around 2 miles on uneven terrain, we were finally back to the parking lot to where I had to drive home on a stick shift with a heavy clutch. That was pretty uncomfortable.

The pain just got worse after I got home. My Wife had to talk me into going to the E.R.

Now I am not the type to go to Doctors unless it something that very unbearable. I just don't like going to Doctors. I also have a Phobia of Needles. Imagine that.. and I have 2 tattoos. Does not make sense, I know. Consider I almost passed out on my last Tat...lol. Not exactly the Manly thing huh?

I got to the ER and they checked me out and said they would be right back with a shot of something for my Back. I told them no thanks. Just get my release papers ready. So they got them ready but also gave me a script of lortabs for a week and told me to follow up with my Doctor (when I never set up my Insurance with one when I got it).

The Pain meds did not work but I find a Doctor to see. The next 3 visits with this guy were not good. I was getting blown off and not told anything. Heres some robaxin now go home. I did get Physical Therapy and it did nothing. Even the PT said its is not doing any good and that I really needed to see some type of back specialist. During this time, I started back spasms that put me in tears.

The third visit with my Primary Doctor was the last with him. I asked him if he would send me for an MRI. Nope, you don't need it. After some discussion about what the H*** is the problem, He looks at my Wife and ask her what does she want him to do. I am about to go off. He ask me the same question so I stayed nice and thanked him for his time. “I am sorry for bothering you. I will just go see a Doctor to see if they can evaluate a medical condition.” This guy was useless. I go to the desk, get my paperwork, file a complaint and reschedule with another Doctor in that group I heard about.

We are into 2010 at this time. Saw the new Doctor and he was very decent. Sent me for an MRI after doing some movement test on me. Come back for a follow up after the MRI and was told he see some problems. He sees some bulging disk and some bone spurs in the area I am complaining about. Gives me a TENS Unit and shows me how to use it. Different pain Meds. Cool. I feel like someone is actually trying to help.

The TENS Unit helped calm the spasms. I was wearing it 24/7 on a setting that massaged and just numbed out the area. Pain meds do nothing.

A few months later, I have to put the TENS Unit on max settings, I start having some shocking zings down my left leg if I turn wrong. Some numbness in areas. Some Urinary leakage. Problems responding to my wife in specific ways. Insomnia due to pain and possibly worries. I cannot pick up my 2 year old Daughter or run... heck.. even walk fast to play with her. My left foot acting out of normal while walking.

Back to schedule again with the Doctors group. They tried to give me the first guy again. Not happening. So they give me another Doctor since the second one was not available for 2 months.

I see the third one, He did the mobility stuff and added in “Anal Profiling”. OK, not a prostate exam but I could not tell the difference. He talks to me and said he is sending me for another MRI and set me up with an appointment with a Neuro-Surgeon. I am still thinking bulging disk and bone spurs as I am not told anything different.

The Neuro visit. I was examined. The same mobility test. No Anal Probing. Then told basically that I have some problem but I don't have problems. Huh? He told me all he could do was give me a shot in the back. Grrrrreat! Just what I don't want. Screw it, I get the shot in the spine. It hurt. It really hurt to me. You know, after about 10 minutes, I could bend over but with a different type pain. He said that would be the muscles being sore from overuse. The original pain was not there though. He said I could get these shots from my Doctor whenever I had the pains come back. The shot lasted under a week. Remember my phobia of needles? Not happening. He also said more pills and more Physical Therapy (which I would have had to pay for myself). I learn to just deal with all the symptoms until 2 weeks ago.

Tens unit is not working for me on the pain at all and barely on the spasms. All the other problems are still there but not at a level I can just ignore or adapt myself to. I decide to try to find a different medical group to get in to for a opinion outside the original group but I want to see me records first.

I go and pay for copies of all my records. I am focusing on the Last Doc and the Neuro though. Please note I have been dealing with this over a year after seeing the Neuro where he said he could do nothing for me.

Last Doctors assessment before Referral to Neuro (March 2010): (Best I can read of the copy)
LBPE Cauda Equina Syndrome
Slow Progression
MRI Verified Annulus Rupture
Refer to NS

Anal Tone (then something I cannot read but starts with a D) and I cannot decipher the rest of the writing.

A second doctor signs off as evaluating the chart and concurs with the examining Physician.

Neuros Report on April 2010 says (picking out parts of the report)

“Also sent with patient is a report of the note from the primary care physicians office with a diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome which is not supported by the radiographic or physical findings.”

“”appears to be suffering from lumbar myofasical pain syndrome”

So my own online research shows that Cauda Equina Syndrome could paralyze me. 2 Doctors say it is MRI verified. Neuro Doc say the MRI does not support it and I have something else. Which one is right? You know I might have like to have been told about this Cauda Equina thing in the office back then. Now I am just confused. Do I have it? Am I risking not being able to walk if I do something wrong? Is it the myofasical syndrome and what can I do to get rid of it? Whatever I got, I just want to get fixed. I am really gaining weight because I cant get out and walk around much without pain. Really getting stressed. Were I used to be a 1 pack a day smoker trying to quit.. I am now about 2 1/2 packs with no thoughts of quitting. I am going to set up with mental help too. My Wife suggested I might need it. I look at myself and I can see I need it.

So here I start this journey for answers …. again. Hope I can find some.

Do you find this discussion helpful?

5 Responses


Hi Zeeipad
You may want to ask for a Myleogram with a CT scan, It shows the nerve roots bettter. I would definately find a different group entirely and start at page one so they don't get influenced by the other Dr.s prognosis and come up with thier own. If you live in the Houston area by chance the Dr.s to see are the Orthopedic Associates group. Especially Dr. Kushwaha. Or just get in the phone book and find a good Neurosurgeon with a M.D. and P.H.D. they can spot something off of the Myleogram films in about 10 seconds it seems like and be right on the money. Theres also a Sacroiliac joint that gets overlooked alot of times. All I can say is it sure seems like the wrong group of Dr.s your with. You need to call where you had the MRI and get a copy of all the films. That way when you go to see a new Dr. they can look at where you were and might be heading or see something completley different the other Dr.s overlooked. Keep us posted and keep asking around. Hopefully you will get a answer quickly. Do a lot of reading on here also and you may spot your same problems with someone who found the answer.


Thanks. I am trying to get in with my Wifes Doc. I like him. He has been nothing but up front with my Wife every time. I am in N.E. Tennessee.

Thanks for the tip on the CT scan. If it show things better than the MRI, then maybe he will order it. The 2 different medical groups are connected to share info by computer, so he can pull my MRI's up on his computer in his office. I do have a disk copy of my own anyways.

I have just been doing online research of stuff I found in my records so far. The more I do, the more confused and ticked off I am getting. The Neuro says the problem is a Muscular problem... ok... so why did he hit me with the Highest dose of DepoMedrol? 80mg DepoMedrol and 1.5 cc of 0.5% Marcaine. I am reading of problems with the Depo. Thats to the point of Phizer having to relabel it years back. It is not supposed to be used for muscular problems and can cause a more severe problem in my back. Wonderful!

Maybe I need to stop looking up this stuff.


.welcome zeeipad,
I am an experienced nurse,I can help u decipher and understand ur report.
The most immportant issue since it has been confirmed is the cauda equina and the anular tear.
basical that means u have a tear in ur annal inteatinal area and the cauda is pressing on bowel area causing u loss of control. very important this matter is taken care of immediatly,all your feces can be leaking into your body..(not good),I had my surgery in march and cauda was an issue they always checked for,(which I dont have). so I highly suggest u get w neuro and put a push on your options, whether it be surgery or whatever the neuro surgeons plan of action is. The spurs u have are pressing on nerves causing u the pain.As a healthcare professsional I highly reccomend staying on top of this situation,now Im not a doctor, but I do know enough that this is an issue not to take likely.. sorry to hear of your situation,good luck and feel better..RENE :)


Thanks for the info Rene. Just great. Nothing against you... just the possibility and the amount of time. But I am not sure if it is the Cauda since the Neuro said it “”appears to be suffering from lumbar myofasical pain syndrome”. I just don't have a definite answer.

I am trying. I can only work as fast as the Doctor... if I can get past the friggin secretary at the desk and phone. My Wifes Doc said he would take me when I talked to him a few months back. We are going to try to stop by the office tomorrow.


Still blocked by the Secretary. Going to try again tomorrow. I have a letter with scanned copies of my medical reports in a sealed envelope with his name on it. Maybe he will get that. I am also calling in on some Mental Health tomorrow. I have more problems than just the back thing for him to look at.

A couple of my friends suggest going for Social Security. My Wife says try for it. I don't really want to go down that road though. I know what it is like since my Wife is on SSI. I am more of the flavor of "Fix me up coach and get me back in the game." Now that I might be looking at there is no fix so your game is over, does not sit well. My Daughter is only 3 so I have to be able to do something. I hate not being able to play with her like I want to.