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Does a discectomy resolve lower back pain?


steffij1
Posts: 4
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(@steffij1)
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Joined: 9 years ago

Hi
I have just stumbled across this website, and I am so glad! My story is (and I will try to keep it short) is that my back pain has gone on for 4 years now and I'm at the end of my tether. After 2 years of osteo/chiro/pyhsio treatment, which provided great, short term relief but never seemed to last (oh, and being told to 'sit up straight' by my GP and prescribed Ibuprofen) I had an MRI scan done privately in July 2010 which showed a degenerative disc bulge at L5/S1. The surgeon recommended an epidural (I don't have BUPA, so ouch in more ways than one!) which had no effect whatsoever, following which he recommended a discectomy. I went to see another neurosurgeon friend for a second opinion, and he advised me to try the pain relief route first. To cut a long story short, over the last two years I have had two lots of facet joint injections, the second of which has given no improvement at all. Rather than further injections, the pain consultant has referred me back to the neurosurgeon, and I am being booked in for a discectomy.
However, unlike so many on here, it is my back pain which is far worse than my sciatica. I do have some pain down both legs, tingling and numbness in the foot- but it is my lower back which is unbearable. I rarely sleep through the night, and am constantly changing position due to pain; my lower back aches constantly and is extremely stiff, and I have 'hotspots' of pain in both sides of my lower back and down into my buttocks. It's obviously worse in the morning, but where previously had some relief into the day/evening, that is non existent now.
I'm 47, have always been very active (tennis, swimming, gym etc) and I really try to help myself with regular exercises and Pilates- but even that hurts!
Having put up with it for 4 years, I don't feel I can anymore and am feeling pretty desperate.
My question is whether anyone has been in a similar situation i.e. back pain far worse than leg pain- and a discectomy has improved the situation?
Thanks to everyone who has posted their story on here- I will carry on reading, the personal stories are so much more informative and detailed than you get from the professionals!

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steffij1
Posts: 4
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(@steffij1)
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Joined: 9 years ago

PS worn joints

I forgot to mention I also have worn joints, so no doubt they are causing pain too- which I suppose won't be resolved by the discectomy!

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Tashanie
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Joined: 11 years ago

Simple answer yes I had more back pain the leg pain and yes surgery revolutionised my life

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steffij1
Posts: 4
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Joined: 9 years ago

Hi Tashanie, thanks for your reply. If you have time, can you let me know whether your situation, disc prolapse etc was similar, and how the surgery helped etc?
Many thanks!
Stephanie

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Tashanie
Posts: 1924
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Joined: 11 years ago

I had a prolapse at L4/5 caused by fall down the stairs. I suffered with it for over 10 years before I had surgery.

The surgery was done by a neurosurgeon NOT an orthopaedic surgeon since what I had done was a spinal chord decompression - but they do it by removing the portion of the disc that is pressing on the spinal chord - which is effectively a discectomy.

It totally relieved both the leg and back pain. I was able to stand upright for the first time in months. In fact my b/f (now husband) of over 6 months said he had never seen me stand totally upright before.

The months of walking with back pain do mean that you will probably still have a tendency to muscular lower back pain as you get used to walking normally again - but trust me the surgery is worth it

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steffij1
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Thank you so much for sharing your story Tashanie- it's really reassuring to hear a success story!

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Sophie1
Posts: 1
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New Member
Joined: 9 years ago

Hi Steffij1,

I haven't ever had surgery for my back pain. It's quite different as my back pain derives from years of dancing. (I started dancing when I was 7 and I am now 32). I had chronic back, leg and foot pain. So bad that there were days where I couldn't get out of bed.
The doctors weren't able to do anything, even though i wish they could have offered me something other than crappy pain killers.
I had lots and lots of holistic treatment which helped for a little bit but nothing permanent.
In the end I took the advice of a friend and bought some of the insoles that are massaging that go in your shoes! They have been a god send. I also ended up getting some custom made shoes (and you can get all types!) as it all just helps with you body alignment which has helped massively with my back and leg pain.
It's not a cure to your pain, but trust me it's worth having something up until your doctors decide what the best course of action is.

I wish you luck!

xx

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DavidLogan
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Joined: 8 years ago

Post Reply:

I have a large of information about back pain and its cure. For more detail go to this link.
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Mtbw
Posts: 176
 Mtbw
(@mtbw)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Hi
I have just stumbled across this website, and I am so glad! My story is (and I will try to keep it short) is that my back pain has gone on for 4 years now and I'm at the end of my tether. After 2 years of osteo/chiro/pyhsio treatment, which provided great, short term relief but never seemed to last (oh, and being told to 'sit up straight' by my GP and prescribed Ibuprofen) I had an MRI scan done privately in July 2010 which showed a degenerative disc bulge at L5/S1. The surgeon recommended an epidural (I don't have BUPA, so ouch in more ways than one!) which had no effect whatsoever, following which he recommended a discectomy. I went to see another neurosurgeon friend for a second opinion, and he advised me to try the pain relief route first. To cut a long story short, over the last two years I have had two lots of facet joint injections, the second of which has given no improvement at all. Rather than further injections, the pain consultant has referred me back to the neurosurgeon, and I am being booked in for a discectomy.
However, unlike so many on here, it is my back pain which is far worse than my sciatica. I do have some pain down both legs, tingling and numbness in the foot- but it is my lower back which is unbearable. I rarely sleep through the night, and am constantly changing position due to pain; my lower back aches constantly and is extremely stiff, and I have 'hotspots' of pain in both sides of my lower back and down into my buttocks. It's obviously worse in the morning, but where previously had some relief into the day/evening, that is non existent now.
I'm 47, have always been very active (tennis, swimming, gym etc) and I really try to help myself with regular exercises and Pilates- but even that hurts!
Having put up with it for 4 years, I don't feel I can anymore and am feeling pretty desperate.
My question is whether anyone has been in a similar situation i.e. back pain far worse than leg pain- and a discectomy has improved the situation?
Thanks to everyone who has posted their story on here- I will carry on reading, the personal stories are so much more informative and detailed than you get from the professionals!

This question is impossible to answer. What do you mean with ‘resolve’. There are always risks. But there is also a success.
In some cases this surgery is the only way (incl save life).
There are many researches and the best way I think to consult with doctors and their experience

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