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Torn disk L5
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Torn disk L5

I have had a MRI done and it shows i have a torn disk in my L5 due to a car accident.
My question is should i continue on the the med. that control the pain mean while it heals on its own.
I have a great back doctor and he has given me a shot but that didn't help,so now i was referrered to back
surgeon and i hated him he had no sympathy what so ever. I need help, answers, your input. PLEASE!!!!!!!!
Tags: torn, l5, disk
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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454186_tn?1388978568
Time is an important factor in healing. The symptoms of a torn disk can take four to eight weeks to improve significantly. Keep walking if you could.
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Avatar_n_tn
i can honestly answer this question. i also had a torn disc at L5-S1 with nerve displacement...nothing worked for the pain...however...time DOES heal the torn disc. it just naturally heals itself....BUT you have to take extreme measures to ensure that it heals and doesnt get re-ruptured. do not do any lifting over 5-10 pounds...EVER!  restrict yourself as much as possible, from the basics that the dr tells you...no bending, twisting, climbing, kneeling, etc....when you go to the grocery store and you know that you will be filling the buggy with heavy items......or just filling the buggy up with groceries...PLEASE take someone with you to push, turn the buggy. it WILL cause you to re-rupture the disc. i was referred to a surgeon, but i was reluctant to agree to it. the ONLY thing surgery helps with is the sciatic (leg) pain.....surgery will NEVER help with back pain itself. im certain that the disc MIGHT heal itself within a few weeks, as poster stated...i cannot state exactly how long it does take for it to close up....but i can tell you that it took me well over a year to have pain free days. im at my 2 year mark...and each day gets better and better. i do still, and will ALWAYS have limitations and restrictions. 6 months ago, i could not go to a movie theater and sit there for 2 hours and be able to stand up straight like a normal human being.....i had to literally walk...in very much agony....hunched over, until it loosened up to where i could stand straight again. i went just last week to the movies, first time during the last 6 months...and i was sooo amazed, and soooo happy....that after a 2 hour movie...i got up and left like a normal person again...a touch of pain..but it was tolerable....and i wasnt embarrassed to walk out of there as i have been prior. ever since i got hurt, i refused to do "normal" things on a "normal" basis, anything that involved sitting for more than 10 minutes...because of the embarrassment i felt of not being able to stand up normal. i will ALWAYS have flare ups....as the saying goes...."once a bad back, always a bad back". but as long as i watch my p's and q's.....my flare ups are becoming less frequent.

2 years ago.....heck even a year ago....i would have BEGGED for surgery.....today...im glad that i stuck it out and didnt have surgery. time does heal...as long as we take care of ourselves. and another thing....having surgery doesnt guarantee that you will get better...in might cause more issues with your spine....AND almost guaranteed you will have scar tissue to deal with later on down the line...which will mean more surgery to remove the scar tissue....and...even though i developed arthritis in my back shortly after injury (im 36) ....having surgery increases your chances of developing arthritis in your back.....so to me...the cons very well outweighed the pros. its actually a personal decision that YOU have to make....and most everyone will tell you that...(except for the surgeons).....unless there is a medical urgency to have it done....such as loss of bowel function, not feeling your legs to be able to walk, etc.....you dont HAVE to have surgery done. of course surgeons are going to say "yes you need surgery"....guess why??? thats their career...their source of income.....they rely on your money to make money to feed their families and buy expensive luxuries.

i made my decision based on that...as well as....if surgery cant make me 100% pain free  (as i stated, it cant help with back pain relief).....and it puts me at a high risk for scar tissue and arthritis.....why would i trade one pain....for another??? i'll just keep the pain that i have...and deal with my limitations. as long as i watch what i do...im 70% better than i was a year ago..or even 6 months ago. (pain wise and limitation wise)
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for all your advise i really appreciate it.
Another question for you since you seem so wise. How about any kind of exercise i
tried almost everything and all it does is seem to flare it up. any suggestion
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Avatar_n_tn
you are welcome. ive been working on that myself....but it seems that i never get too far with it before something happens to set me back. over the summer, i walked every single day. started out at 1 mile per day...and slowly increased it to 4 miles a day. i decided one day to to 5 miles...bad bad bad mistake!!! i pushed myself too hard....ended up being "down" for 2 weeks recovering from it...and when i managed to get back to it...i could barely do 1.5 miles per day!! UGH how frustrating and mad that made me!

i have recently started using the wii fit....most of what seems to agree with me...but i cant seem to stick with it long enough to see if i will get actual results. i used it for 3 days...got GREAT muscle work out, and was VERY VERY sore (muscle wise) so thought it best to give myself a break...well....then dh decided to have me test a massage chair at a local store a few days later, to see how well id like one. well...some of it felt great...some parts of it really didnt feel good (in the areas of my bad disc)....the next day i woke up with BAD back/leg pain....sooooo.....i couldnt get back to my wii. then i got to the point to where i was ready to get back to it...and voila....i got out of my van one day, apparently twisted the wrong way to get out from behind the steering wheel....felt a twinge of pain in my back....15 minutes later, i was ok. next day???  my OTHER leg was hurting....nerve pain...so i thought OH BOY!!!! ....but a week later...and i was finally better. i am going to ATTEMPT this one more time starting Monday....lol.


I havent tried it yet, but I just purchased "The Firm" from QVC....from their demonstrations, it really looks like its something that I would be able to do...but, I havent tried it out yet, so I cant really answer that question at this time.

The only suggestion that I have is to go at it very slowly.....attempt one exercise a day, and just see if that causes any pain/problems. id give it a couple of days before i tried to add a new exercise...so that if you develop a problem, you can pinpoint exactly which exercise hurt you.

The wii fit, really isnt strenuous at all.....for the most part, it doesnt really seem like you are doing anything more than just "playing"....but...you really will feel the difference muscle wise. lol.  yoga is definitely a very good start....just watch certain moves though..as they require bending and twisting.....just avoid those for now.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'am new here, and it looks like you have alot of answers, to many of my questions,  I tore L 3/4/5   have had PT  and injections its been 5 months since it happened,  I still have pain although everyone thinks its in my head, trust me its not,  can sit still,  very long,  trouble sleeping/  off balance at times, leg / lower back both sides, one sometime then the other, back of the leg/  I'am going to be 59 next month, seems like if I do anything, it causes pain,  but recently my doctor has gave me anti depress pills I'am not depressed its not in my head its in my back,  taking tramadol, naproxen, was on soma, and also taking the anti depressant and a couple others he has gave me, have a tinge unit and  do try to exercise, everyone said I should be fine at 6 months, not there, doctor has me lifting 30 lbs 2/3 of the day,  not working? well with my back!  
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Avatar_m_tn
Some torn disks cannot heal on their own, and they only way to avoid the pain is through surgery. Next week I am having orthoscopic laser surgery on a torn disc in which nucleus pulposes has broken through and is leaking into the spinal canal. If I had a surgeon review the MRI first, I would have saved myself a great deal of time and pain. My spinal specialist interpreted the MRI images as an extruded disk and he provided me with 2 steroid injections helped for 2 weeks. The he ordered physical therapy with the hope that the push ups would force the the extruded disk back in place. PT managed to make the problem worse by forcing nucleus pulposes through the foramen and irritating the nerve bundle exiting the L4. Like FairLady, I too am 59 and have gone through tramadol, naproxen, anti depressant route with zilch results.

I've researched various surgical procedures and have elected to go with the orthoscopic route as there is no cutting of muscles, immediate pain relief, minimum recovery time, and excellent follow-up. I've spoken dirctly to about 20 who have had the surgery at the L5 and L4 levels and all but 1 have had positive results. May sound goofy but I'm looking forward to the surgery.
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