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Chronic back pain

I'm 20 years old and have been told that I have got degenerative discs with instability of my lower spine and a suspected herniated/slipped disc. I have had this back problem since I was 17 and have been put on a course of physiotherapy to try and strengthen my spine but am finding it difficult and painful at times. I have been told that the only surgical option is a fusion to stabilise my spine. I have been told by loads of people that a fusion at my young age is not advisable. Below are what my results reports say for my MRI and X-ray of my lower back and pelvis.

MRI of lower spine/sacrum: There is disc degeneration at L2/L3 level with a Schmorl's node and annular bulging. The degeneration would appear to be Grade 3. The remaining discs appear normal. There is no evidence of facet osteoarthritis. The sacroiliac joints are normal. There is no evidence of nerve root compression and all foramina are normal. The conus is normal.

MRI of pelvis: There is no evidence of an abnormality in the sacroiliac joints or in the pelvis. Both hips appear normal and the sciatic nerves are both normal. There is no abnormality in either ischial tuberosity.

AP/Lateral X-ray of lower spine: Loss of disc height at the L5/S1 level and probably facet joint degeneration here. Loss of disc height also at L4/L5 but less severe. Mild loss of disc height at the other lumbar levels. Appearances are unusual for a patient of this young age. I note the previous radiograph from June 2007 demonstrating early degenerative change in the first MTPJ. There might be an underlying abnormal collagen variant. No evidence of malignancy. Probably large liver.

I would like to know if anyone has had a Wallace Ligament Implant or prolotherapy as I have also been told that I may have ligament laxity and that this is what is contributing to my instability.

The other thing I'd like to ask is if anyone could tell me or give me an idea why I get sciatica-like symptoms i.e. tingling/cramp/hot/cold feelings down my left leg and sometimes my right leg but the MRI results report says that my nerve is not trapped/compressed. Could there be another reason why I am experiencing these weird sensations down my legs? is there are other tests available to clarify if my nerve is actually trapped or not?

Thank you to anyone who reads my post and can help me with this. :)    


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st. louis, MO
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