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Thread: what can I do?

  1. #1

    what can I do?

    My MRI conclusion: "Discogenic degeneration at L1-l2, L3-L4, L4-L5 and L5,S1. Moderate sized broadbased posterocentral disk protrusion at L4-L5 with moderate to severe spinal stenosis and mild bilateral foraminal stenosis..Mild spinal stenosis at L5-S1with mild foraminal narrowing." PT & excercise (bending) make my lower back hurt worse - spinal shots scheduled, but didn't help in my neck, standing or walking turn my leg from spine all the way down the back of my leg into a terrible painful weak mess & I fall a lot now. My PCP says she doesn't think surgery is the answer, wants to go conservative - this's been going on since April 15, when I broke 5 ribs & hurt my back in a bike accident - pain meds don't even dull it - what can I do? I don't even know what 1/2 of this all means, except that I hurt across my hips & down my leg - Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Go see a specialist ASAP. I've found that PCPs have no clue when it comes to sci.

    Good luck.

    Hopefully one of the nurses will chime in soon.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

  3. #3
    It does not appear that the OP has a spinal cord injury, but instead has significant spinal (not cord) problems.

    I would agree that she should see at least two specialists to get opinions about surgery, but with the understanding that spinal surgery for these types of conditions often does not relieve pain, and is generally only done to try to prevent or treat actual neurologic deficit (such as weakness, loss of sensation, or bowel/bladder problems). The surgeries themselves can cause cord damage as well. A neurosurgeon and a spinal orthopedic specialist would be good choices for the two opinions.

    (KLD)

  4. #4

    ok, what now? I'm confused

    I had an injection in the lowest part of my spine, down at the tailbone (I think she called it a caudle) and it helped with my back pain, but didn't help with the leg pain & such - now (last couple of weeks) having some problems realizing when I 'need to go' and have started (unfortunatly) wearing adult diapers to prevent accidents. The doctor said I have disks pressing into my column close to the cord, that there's a tear in something (again, confused) and the nerves are also pinched, that this (the injection) wasn't a 'cure' but a 'bandaide' and to be very careful bending, not to twist, not stand for long or walk unless I have to ....
    I'm confused on what to do, how to proceede. I guess my problem isn't really an SCI, but what is it?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Coleen View Post
    I had an injection in the lowest part of my spine, down at the tailbone (I think she called it a caudle)
    Sacrum?? Coccyx?? what bony levels? It should been included in your consent (check this document). What was injected?

    It helped with my back pain, but didn't help with the leg pain & such - now (last couple of weeks) having some problems realizing when I 'need to go' and have started (unfortunatly) wearing adult diapers to prevent accidents.
    Have you discussed self intermittent catheterization with your doctor? Seen a good urologist? Had urodynamics testing?

    doctor said I have disks pressing into my column close to the cord, that there's a tear in something (again, confused) and the nerves are also pinched, that this (the injection) wasn't a 'cure' but a 'bandaide' and to be very careful bending, not to twist, not stand for long or walk unless I have to ....
    A dural tear or a disk tear? If so, where? From what? Pressing into your spinal canal I suspect, not the column (bone) which would not cause you problems. If it is low, you probably have a cauda equina injury. The cauda equina is made up of the peripheral nerves that come off the spinal cord in the lower lumbar and sacral areas. Damage here will generally cause bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction, and may cause weakness in the ankles and lower legs as well.


    I'm confused on what to do, how to proceede. I guess my problem isn't really an SCI, but what is it?
    First, you need to see this doctor again and don't leave their office until they explain this to your satisfaction, in language you can understand, with diagrams, etc. Is this a neurologist or what is their specialty?

    Then you need to request a referral to a good neurosurgeon for an evaluation to see if anything can be done surgically (and if your doctor is already a neurosurgeon, to someone else for a second opinion) and then to a physiatrist and a good neurologic urologist.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    I believe the coccyx was the injection site - really low down where the tailbone starts. It's the "right aspect of the L-2 vertibral body extending to the right pedicle..." and the problems are inabibilty to always know when I have to BM, leg weakness & pain going from my just above tailbone, I seem to have to uninate all the time. The doctor doing the injection said something about the cauda equina, but I didn't understand it. I just hurt & needed some kind of relief. And how big is the spinal canal supposed to be? Mine is 11mm at one point, 9mm at another & 6 at another. I see a counselor, am a type 2 diabetic, which could have something to do with the need to urinate a lot, but the urgency or lack there of is new. The doctor doing the injections does just that now, it's her practice, and I don't know what any other speciality she has is. My PCP is the one 'in charge' of all of this - she's a ARNP & I've known her for 16 years. She was wrong about my neck, though, and had a back surgery herslf with some kind of not good complications - I think she might be afraid of the same for me.
    Last edited by Coleen; 07-18-2009 at 04:01 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    its not to lesson your pain at all, or that it is difficult to accept the chronic progressing of disc disease. which I am personaly farmilliar with. aparently I have many bulging disks and stenosis too, but is the cord compressed? it can happen that a herniated disk can squish the spinal cord. it was very hard to see my higher injuries due to the degeneration I apparently have, however it was the swelling of the cord, which showes on mri, but first there was, loss of bladder and bowl control, foot drop, spasticity, loss of sensation,and and in fact a rectal exam that diagnosed the possibility of a cord injury for me. then more tests like evoked potentials, emg, and I forget that other reflex thing, and test by a neurologist. if you do have compressed cord, surgery would proly be a good idea, just dont let a inexperienced dr cut on you. but I think you should not be offended too much by kld, the sci nurse. cord and spinal root issues are seperate. not to say that you are not welcome to hang out or anything, but well its not the same bone and cord. bones heal, and even some nerves can regrow in a way, spinal cord cant seem too. it takes the info to the brain and a back to the limb or body function. not sure about the injection you mentoned. are you saying that an injection caused a cord injury, or nerv injury?

  8. #8
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    sorry for your troubles by the way.

  9. #9
    Thanks, but no, the injury (or whatever) is from a combo of DJD & a bike accident in April. If it's not an SCI, then what forum should I be on? No real offence taken, by the way. Still just confusion, don't want to 'be' where I shouldn't. The bones (?) are supposidly (do disks count?) ok, but there's a lot of other stuff, bulging, a rupture, etc. Like I said, I don't want to intrude. Where should I look for help/answers besides my PCP who seems to be afraid of 'other options' besides PT (Hurts more with this) and injections (3 times a year? That's not much help)
    My counselor says I need to relax, excercise & talk to my PCP, but again...
    Last edited by Coleen; 07-18-2009 at 04:35 PM.

  10. #10
    Sorry to bother you guys, I'll back off. Thanks anyway.

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