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Herniated disc's in L4-5 with mild Left Radiculopathy

  In September of 1997, I thought I had thrown my back out of place and went to the chiropractor.  I saw him twice before we left to go to convention on Las Vegas.  At our layover in St. Louis, my back went into muscle spasms and we ended up calling the paramedics with ice being the final treatment there.  Continuing our flight, we arrived in Vegas and I was in some kind of PAIN.  We went to board a bus and my left leg gave out from underneath me.  It was numb and very weak and to the point of dragging it to be able to walk.  I went to a 24 hour care facility and was examined by a physician there with the diagnosis of a herniated disc.  I was given pain relievers and muscle relaxers in order to make the flight home.  Once I got home I saw my family doctor and described what had happeened and he sent me to a Neurosurgeon.  I have had 2 MRI's done and they both showed the location of the problem.  My Neurosurgeon is very conservative and felt like I could be among the percentage of non-surgical's, thus able to heal on my own.  However, I have continued in pain since the first day.  In January 1998, I fell twice on the ice and both times were directly on my back with the left leg underneath.  I had some vaginal bleeding after both times and made the doctor aware of this.  He suggested I have that checked out and I did.  I had a physical and Pap-Smear and the results came back ok.  About a month ago I started the bleeding again(not from my period)  and pain was severe.  I went for a 2nd opinion and was given am EMG and Nerve Conduction Study.  It showed a mild left Radiculopathy in the L5 area.    I have been on pain relievers and muscle relaxers since it first happened and it doesn't seem to be helping.
  I walk with a limp because of the continuing pain but realize I can't continue like this.    I have tried wearing a lumbar support but get to dependent on it for work.  I am also relearning how to bend over, pick things up and changing the posture that I've had for so many years.
  I, to this very day, am still in pain and am wondering what options may be available other than surgery. This problem is a very physical one and I want to do what it takes to correct the problem.  Any suggestions?
  Thanks for listening.
Dear Lynn:
Your neurosurgeon is correct in having managed you conservatively in the
beginning. However, given that your symptoms have not resolved over
several months despite conservative treatment, I think that you hould probably
undergo surgery to fix this problem. You should know that the recovery
period might be long but I suspect that the prognosis for a good recovery
is good!
I hope this helps.
Good Luck!

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