I have had back pain for years. Recent MRI 1. Severe spinal stenosis at L3-4 secondary to a broad based posterior disk bulge and advanced degenerative facet arthropathy and hypertrophic changes at the right L3-4 facet joint. 2. Advanced degenerative facet arthropathy at L4-5 on the left results in moderate left neural foramina narrowing and left lateral recess narrowing, displacing the spinal canal to the right.
L3-4: Broad-based posterior disk bulge Moderate to advanced right degenerative facet arthropathy. Mild left degenerative arthropathy. Ligamentum flavum Hypertrophy. Severe spinal canal narrowing. The spinal canal measures 4.7 mm in AP diameter. The left neural foramen is patent. The right is moderately narrowed.
I know the meanings of the words. With the spinal canal narrowing, does that mean I MUST have surgery, or things will get worse? Does the arthritis limit the overall effectiveness of surgery? I can tolerate the chronic back pain, but it is not pleasant. I would rather not be on opiates, (I have been posting on the Substance Addiction section) so I have been exercising, swimming, jaccuzi, Tens unit, McKenzie exercise, and praying for the right answers when I speak with a spine surgeon in a week.
Just a quick question--can I hurt myself with McKenzie exercise? They seem to help; I do them last after my series of back strengthening exercises, hopefully to leave the spine in a position where the nerves are not pinched as much.
What if I do not go for surgery? Can I wind up far worse or crippled? Surgery seems to have it's own set of nasty possible consequences and I am frightened somewhat. Note, I am 58 years old, somewhat overweight, cardio fit, superior lipid panel. The pain does not go down my legs, which is why most people have surgery from what I have read- it is just constant in the back and left hip, varying from pain 2-4 chronic, with 5-6 spikes on occassion.
I feel scammed by this forum. I authorized $5.00 on my Visa card for what was supposed to be a Doctor reply. I know my question has some basic answers to parts of it, and the other parts of it are impossible to answer without actually seeing a patient, but I am still disappointed by the lack of any reply. I am going to continue to post here until I get some kind of response.
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