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23 year old son- herniated L-5

Started by roxy on 12/06/2012 7:38pm

My son has been experiencing significant lower back pain for about 12 weeks. Initially, he went to a chiropractor who did traction/adjustments. Pain did not improve so he went to an orthopedist who ordered an MRI. L-5 is herniated. My son was sent to a pain management doctor. He has had traction for the past two weeks and an epidural today. The next step once pain is under control would be pt. Two weeks ago, my son started to experience severe sciatica. Yesterday, he was barely able to walk, having to lean against the wall to go from on room to another. He had an epidural under fluroscapy at a same day surgery center this morning. How long will it take for him to know if the epidural will relieve the pain? Is there a chance that surgery can be avioded?

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Hi Roxy! I had a herniated L5-S1 disk herniated back in 2010. I had that injection done from my 1st surgeon, and he told me some people will feel its affect in a few days and others in about 3 Weeks. The injection didn't help my pain at all. I had to have a laminectomy/discectomy Feb of 2011 due to the extreme pain I was in. He told me it was my only option due to the fact the disk was out so much. After surgery I began to feel alot of pain in my leg and he said it was normal in the healing process. I got another surgeon who was well know as a top orthopedic surgeon. I explained my pain and the pain throughout my leg, so he sent me to get another MRI. Once I had the films and went back to the Dr he explained the disk re-herniated, and since I had surgery prior I didn't yave any other option besides surgery. He explained there were things he could have tried to do like traction in PT like your son is doing and it sometimes helps part of the disk to go back in place. He said it doesn't put all the herniation back in place, but can relieve pain. He explained there is less than a 4% chance of a disk coming back out. He did a 2nd laminectomy/diskectomy because it's less aggressive then a fusion and he felt that was the best option. Had it in around December, and it seemed to help. I started pt and it seemed to work and help the pain. All of a sudden I started to have alot of pain and the nerve pain was also increasing, so once again I had another MRI. Took films and once again the disk was back out even more and compressing my nerve. I had to go back into surgery and have a posterior & interior spinal fusion which was done this past April, so I'm still healing and dealing with my pain Dr. I've also had 4 nerve root blockers that help a little bit with the nerve pain. I would have your son discuss the option of the nerve root blocker to see if that will help to aleiveate the pain and to get rid of the lack of walking. I would also suggest to apply ice on the area that he is feeling the nerve pain it will help to lesson it a little. Also make sure you both research all options and discuss all option with the Dr before you choose surgery. I will keep you and your son in my prayers that God will help your son to what is the best and most helpful treatment, and also to give you both the strength needed during this difficult time.

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Discuss with the pain management Dr all the option he can suggest to help your son. The nerve root blocker may help to stop the pain he is probably feeling from his siatic nerve. Also when he goes to his next physical therapy appointment to ask about how well traction is to help a hernited disk to go back in place, and also if they know of anyother things that could help him besides surgery. Prayers with you & your son throughout this journey he is on! Keep positive and just take it one day at a time, and try not to worry or think negative. If you don't mind me asking what state are you in maybe someone will be able to also give you names of really good orthopedic doctors?

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I herniated a disc (C5/C6) three years ago. I was in very bad pain. An MRI revealed the ruptured disc. Two doctors told me I required surgery. The third doctor, a surgeon, (who was supposed to be the best) told me that he wanted to give it some time. After Robaxin (muscle relaxer) ,a few pain killers (I tried hard not to go there), 800 mg Ibuprofen regularly, and a traction device, I did get better. it really did take 2 1/2 years to get there. My friend who is a cosmetic surgeon strongly advised against surgery too (he ruptured a disc in his lower back). He said you aren't guaranteed it will be a success and you could have scar tissue and arthritis to deal with if you have the surgery. Over time, he explained that the disc dries up. I am 50. Happened to me at 47. There are exercises which can help. Egoscue.com is a good place to start.
Your son will know if he can endure the pain. Nothing fun about it. Worst thing, besides losing loved ones, that has happened to me. I never thought I'd be right. Today I live a normal life. I occasionally feel my injury when it's cold or when I'm tired. There is HOPE. Please tell him that. I think you have got to get your mind straight. I would also suggest taking Fish Oil. I did that too at the suggestion of my Japanese neighbor.

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One more thing - I had an epidural but it did nothing for me. I hear they do work well for some.

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