Back & Neck Community
disc degeneration & bulging @L3-4
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to back and neck problems, exercise, pain, sleeping, and physical therapy.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

disc degeneration & bulging @L3-4

Hello
I recently fell 12 feet, landing on the right side of my rear end.
A CT Scan was performed on my torso and head as well as chest x-rays.
Nothing was found to be broken, and there was no apparent internal bleeding.
After a few weeks, recovery seemed to level off, and not improve much.
Last week, I had an MRI which indicates "At L5-S1, moderate disc changes and a centrally located posterior disc protrusion with associated annular tear. This disc herniation does appear to be slightly more prominent in the upright standing position. Also, mild degenerative disc changes and disc bulging at L3-4."
My question: What does this mean to me? Will this cause lifelong issues for me? I work in construction and my job involves at times, a fair amount of heavy lifting, bending, crawling, climbing, etc. I am on "restricted duty" currently, with a weight restriction of 40 pounds.
Please advise.
Related Discussions
7 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
1194360_tn?1265072204
Well, I'm glad to hear that you even survived a fall of 12 feet!  I had very similar injuries to my spine from a much lower fall.  My nerve root at S1 was torn.  I have an extra L6 vertebrae where the disc ruptured, as well as bulges at L2-L5.  If you heal properly you should'nt have a lifetime of misery. Everone heals at a different pace.  Your worst problem is the "annular tear", that means the gel like substance (nucleaus pulp) in the center of the disc has leaked out of it.  This can cause great pain, and irritate the nerve next to the disc.  It can and will heal though, try not to worry.  The nerve can take a very long time to heal, if it's involved, and L5-S1 damage can affect the leg. But it does'nt mean it WILL! You could heal completely in 8-12 weeks. But you must not do any "twisting" motions for 6 months or it could rupture again.  The next year will be very important to you in your healing process, please be careful. You must use your legs when you lift, but if your are young and strong I'm sure you'll do alright.  It was a wakeup call to me to try to strengthen my body.  I wish you a speedy recovery, and the greatest of luck.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I had an MRI recently due to some lowe back pain and the chiropractor recommended spinal decompression.  What do you think?

My MRI:
...At the L4/L5 and L%/S1 levels there is diffuse disc desication.  There are posterior annular disc bulges flattening the ventral thecal sac.  The neural foramina are patent.  There is small superimposed lef posterolateral disc herniation and L5/S1....

Also says I have straightening of the normal lumbar lordosis.

Is this serious?  
Blank
1194360_tn?1265072204
Wow!  You need to go to Google and Wikipedia and begin entering every word of your MRI that you don't understand.  All of the medical jargon will be explained, and then it will shed a better light on your condition. These could be normal changes due to the ageing (aging) process, small herniations are common.  Good luck!
Blank
1194360_tn?1265072204
Um, I just read on your profile where a Dr. want to charge you 5 grand to have spinal decompression!  Can you go to a sports medicine specialist for a second opinion? Are you in agony?  Could you try a licensed Physical Therapist for another opinion?  That just seems SO extreme a treatment, and SO expensive.  Have you tried a Medrol dose pack of steroids? Or and Prednisone treatments.  Steroid shots into the spine?  8-12 weeks of physical therapy?  There are so many treatment choices that I hope you'll explore.  You MUST be in pain, I think, to want  to do something so drastic.  Disc dessication (desiccation) just means it's "dried out", but that can come with age.  A disc herniation at L5/S1 can be very painful, but treated for much less money.  Disc herniations can completely heal in time on thier own. Is this "decompression" gauranteed to give you relief? Can you get your money back if it does'nt? What are the risks to the rest of your spine?  Best of luck to you, do a LOT of research before you decide on a plan of action.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi LadyMeg,  thanks so much for your feedback.  Yea, the MRI report is very intimidating with all the jargon.  The chiropractor did say the spinal decompression will definitely fix this and an MRI report after the fact will show this.  I'm 38 yrs old and likel hurt my back over time playing sports and falling a few times hard or jumping etc..  But i'm not in serious pain.  In fact i lead a very active lifestyle still.  Stretching definitely helps, but i do have a tendancy for back spasms and sitting in an office chair hurts after a while.  Or long drives etc.

5k+ is a lot but if it really works it's worth it, if it really works.  I'm wondering what the standard is?  I am interested in second opinon.   I'd been to PT many many times, and they don't really help.  It feels good, but the old pain usually comes back after a day at the office.  Not terrible, but I'd like to not live with it if I can help it.

Blank
1194360_tn?1265072204
I'm glad to hear that you don't have daily pain, and that you still lead an active lifestyle!  I was given a "lumbar roll" by my Physical Therapist to use when I sit for a long time and it helps a bit.  You could just roll up a towel, and place it behind your back in the lumbar region.  I'm sorry that you did'nt have much luck with the P.T.  mine was very good, and helped me out with the daily pain, but I guess it all depends on their training.  It's been 2 years for me, and the pain is still with me, but not anywhere near what it was back then, I still have a lot of nerve damage causeing muscle spasms in the calf and foot, it used to be "hundreds" a day, but less now.  I never exercised before this happened.  In the beginning, 6 months after the spinal "episode" when I could walk again, I could'nt go more than once around the local walking track, and that included crying from the pain! Today I went around 12 times!  I'm so grateful now to have the ability to use my leg again, that everyday seems like a blessing.  Sorry to ramble on...  hope it all works out for you!
Blank
1194360_tn?1265072204
Hi,again! Found some great information for you on Wikipedia.  Enter "Non-surgical spinal decompression" in the search box.  It will get you there.  At the bottom are the References, and you can go to #3, which is "Treatment of 94 Outpatients with Chronic Discogenic Low Back Pain with the DRX9000: A Retrospective chart review".  It should be of interest to you...
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Back & Neck Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank
Top Pain Answerers
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Kalvin
Milwaukee, WI
620923_tn?1393294254
Blank
selmaS
Allentown, PA
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Nate1023
Philippines
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
JadedSweetheart
CA
1699033_tn?1345482688
Blank
JGF25
Somewhere in, MD
Avatar_n_tn
Blank
Slipsoup