L5-S1 Pain coming back 2 years after microdiskectomy
Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:03 am
Hi everyone. My first post. I am 33 years old, an airline pilot, so I am locked in a place where I can not stand up, stretch, hardly take breaks, and sit in the worst chair in the world behind a yolk. I am 6'3" and 200lbs, so I have to adjust the seat as far back as it will go and as low as it will go so that my legs will clear under the yolk. Horrible seated position, but no way to fix it or take breaks, stretch, etc... I played football, track, basketball, snow skied, waterskied in HS and up until recently the same stuff plus hiking, camping, surfing, etc... I go to the gym 3-4 times a week plus cardio 3 times. When I was 29 I first really hurt by back tearing carpet up from our new house. Family Doc referred me to a Chiro. The first session always seems like it is working and then you get worse and then eventually my body would just heal on its own. No mention of a disc issue ever. After that every 6 months recurring progressively worse pain in low back area only. Couple Chiro visits, massage therapy, and eventually I was better until 2.5 years ago. Low back pain started reached down my right buttock. This time Chiro started working on me and I could not get up from his table. He then looked panicked and order an X-ray. X-ray showed nothing. My family Doc then sent me to massage therapy. Talk about pain!!! I always turned around and slapped her, but it hurt to much just laying there. Finally my family Doc orders an MRI, but tells me it won't show anything. Three days later, I am hunched over holding on to walls to make it into the Docs office for the review of MRI. It showed a massive herniation of the L5-S1 disc with 6 visible fragments and stuck out so far that it appeared to cut through my entire nerve bundle. The first thing my Doc says is "you're screwed, there is nothing you can do." He sent me for three shots with the pain doc. All do nothing except waste time. Next I do some research and find a nearby PT place that specializes in back pain. They put into a routine of stretches(MacKenzie type), exercises, alternating leg motion, work on my posture which they said was perfect, showed me how to get up from beds and chairs(once again said I did it perfectly), hooked me up to electrodes, and finished me off with ice. Unfortunately, the 10 minute car ride there and back caused so much pain it hardly seemed worth going and after 4 months wasting my time with that I went to see three different neurosurgeons. The first two were great, but the third was supposed to be great and had work on some NFL players. Reading on the internet made it seem like this guy wouldn't touch you until you went through about 50 therapist and programs first. What I noticed from Chiro, PT, massage, was thay 90% of the other people coming in were 40 plus years old,most very overweight, and not one looked like they every went to the gym a day in their lives. When I got to his place and he walked in and saw me he had already seen my MRI. He looked at me once laying on the table almost crying and my wife sitting their wondering what to do his first words were, so when do yo want to schedule this? He then said looking at the MRI from 3 months earlier was enough for him to know that no amount of stretching was going to work. The surgery seemed to go great. He removed the part that was in my nerves and 8 fragments. A couple of months later I was back at the gym doing mostly elliptical machines and bicycles. 6 months after back to snow skiing, weights, and surfing. Felt great. Then in February 2012 I was on the rowing machine and all of a sudden I had severe mid back pain. Went to doc and found that it was a pinched nerve, but no disc issue. He sent me to a different Chiro. After the first adjustment of my mid back my low back started to hurt again. Then worse and I fought to get another MRI and guess what? L5-S1 looks almost as bad as before the surgery. Now the Chiro wants me to do some DRX9000 machine and a laser for 11 weeks for the cost of $7000. I have not talked to the surgeon yet and I just ordered the book from this sight. Is it worth my time? When I had this surgery last time he told me that there should be enough that in the event of a re-herniation we could possibly do a second surgery, but then in would be down to a fusion. All my other discs are perfect from my neck all the way down to L5-S1. I don't get it. I have never been overweight, always stayed fit and haven't had any significant injuries since HS. Any advice I would be happy to receive.