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Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/14/2007 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello all,
 
I'm coming here the hear from actual people rather than looking up Osteoarthritis.
 
I'll try to make this as brief as possible.
 
2 years ago, I hurt my lower back, the pain went away but immediately was followed by pain in both legs to this day. I have had lumbar mris done, showing all levels of bulging disks, some stenosis, arthritis, but according to the doctors I saw, nothing terrible. However, I am hurting like crazy. I had a hip arthragram done that wasn't properly explained. I was told it "might" be a tear, and this ortho spoke of hip replacement. Now last yr I was seeing a chiropractor who told me why I hurt so much, because of the multi bulging disks and stenosis. His treatment isn't permanent nor can I afford it. Epidurals didn't help much, unless they are getting the wrong spot.
The ortho said I had OA. I honestly don't know what to do. I am hurting like crazy. I was a exercise nut for many years and it feels like it has all caught up to me. It hurts from my lower back down. My left side hurts more, my knees hurt, my left hip really hurts, my ankles hurt, my muscles in my legs hurt.  I was always an outdoors person. Walking and biking were my life. Now I just hurt so bad and have no real answers.
It started when I hurt my back, which makes me think that's where the problem is but the pain levels are always changing based on nothing. The pain is there every day but somedays more bearable. I take ultram for the pain and ativan to relax myself and my muscles.
 
Any suggestions would be appreciated. My husband is suffering daily from panic attacks on top of this. We are both being hit at the same time and life has been very difficult.
 

SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 7/14/2007 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Having spinal stenosis only gets worth with time.My hubby had surgery,but by the time he had it he was having a bad time walking.Don't let it get that bad for you before having it taken care of.The Dr was really surprised he did as well as he did & can outwalk me any day now.This was 12 yrs ago.
SnowyLynne


Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/14/2007 10:29 AM (GMT -7)   
SnowyLynne said...
Having spinal stenosis only gets worth with time.My hubby had surgery,but by the time he had it he was having a bad time walking.Don't let it get that bad for you before having it taken care of.The Dr was really surprised he did as well as he did & can outwalk me any day now.This was 12 yrs ago.

That's part of the problem. I've told these doctors I have it and they don't listen to me. Let's see, the first ortho said, there was nothing she could do, the second said "it will reveal itself", even though the mri states stenosis, and this guy jumped to me needing a hip replacement, without a good reason, and the neurosurgeon said there's nothing we can do!
I've been trying for 2 years to get help. I am having a hard time walking, esp. standing still.
I can't help it if evey doctor I've seen says they can't help.
But thanks for replying. I won't give up.

Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.- Bob Dylan 


lovemysons
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 7/18/2007 10:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Doctors are really something aren't they? I have been suffering for 2+ years from OA myself. (hips and lower back) I have been seeing an Orthopedic Doc for it. He has put me through so much. Back brace, tens unit,physical therapy, medrol dose paks,pain meds (which do not work) 3 spinal blocks that did NOT work. All the time telling me there is nothing more he can do. Finally last Friday I went and saw him,he said there was nothing else he could do except surgery. The recovery time is a year with a dic removal and spinal fusion. Who has a year to not work?I want to feel better, but is that the answer? So I am going to a Neurosurgeon on the 28th for a second opinion. I do not know if I have helped you at all, but that is my experience so far. Good Luck!

Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/18/2007 11:04 AM (GMT -7)   
lovemysons said...
Doctors are really something aren't they? I have been suffering for 2+ years from OA myself. (hips and lower back) I have been seeing an Orthopedic Doc for it. He has put me through so much. Back brace, tens unit,physical therapy, medrol dose paks,pain meds (which do not work) 3 spinal blocks that did NOT work. All the time telling me there is nothing more he can do. Finally last Friday I went and saw him,he said there was nothing else he could do except surgery. The recovery time is a year with a dic removal and spinal fusion. Who has a year to not work?I want to feel better, but is that the answer? So I am going to a Neurosurgeon on the 28th for a second opinion. I do not know if I have helped you at all, but that is my experience so far. Good Luck!
Gee, that's a tough position to be in but I have a friend that had a fusion that cried from gratefulness that she was out of pain. She had a very sucessful surgery. I wish I could have some type of surgery that would get me out of pain. No one wants to live like this every darn day.
I hope your neurosurgeon is intelligent and helpful. And I wish you the best.
My problem is that all the doctors I see seem to ignore my mri report. It states stenosis and foraminal stenosis, ok it says mild-moderate, is that what they go by? Not by the fact that my legs are killing me?? I have bulging disks at every level, doesn't that mean something? I was just told that my symptoms don't match with stenosis. I am so beyond frustrated. I pray to God for help because so far humans have let me down. Why can't one recognize a report and say, yeah, maybe that's it. If you read the symptoms of stenosis it's exactly what I feel.
Anyway, I wish you the best, keep us updated.
 

lovemysons
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 7/18/2007 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barbara! Have they suggested an EMG for your legs? I don't know if it will help, but they did confirm nerve damage in my legs. It is painful (the test) but when they confirmed the damage, I felt a little less crazy. I was put on Lyrica, which I do not like the side effects.so I quit taking it. I am glad your friend feels better after her surgery. Boy that would be great!Thank you for your thoughts~~~

Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/18/2007 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
lovemysons said...
Hi Barbara! Have they suggested an EMG for your legs? I don't know if it will help, but they did confirm nerve damage in my legs. It is painful (the test) but when they confirmed the damage, I felt a little less crazy. I was put on Lyrica, which I do not like the side effects.so I quit taking it. I am glad your friend feels better after her surgery. Boy that would be great!Thank you for your thoughts~~~
Yes, I heard about that test, in fact the last ortho was supposed to get it for me and in his lack of focus(whatever) never did. I probably should have it done. I tried lyrica. It had to be the strongest drug I ever took. I took a low dose and it made me feel drunk, like I was walking on a slant. No thanks. But my friend is so grateful for her surgery. She felt like she lost her life(like we do) but it was given back to her. I'm telling you. If I knew there was a guarantee that I could have that, I'd go for it. For me, I can't even get anyone to say I need surgery. I was thinking the less invasive ones but those cost mega bucks. I'm still not without hope though. Blessings to you~Barbara
Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.- Bob Dylan 


lovemysons
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 7/18/2007 12:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I have hopes of a good surgery but there is no guarantee. He says I could come out better, maybe worse,maybe the same. That is scary. Thank you~~~~

Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/18/2007 1:02 PM (GMT -7)   
lovemysons said...
I have hopes of a good surgery but there is no guarantee. He says I could come out better, maybe worse,maybe the same. That is scary. Thank you~~~~
I know, I totally understand. My friend's doctor according to her was very confident and she trusted him. She was very fortunate. I wish you good fortune too.
~Barbara~

Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.- Bob Dylan 


lovemysons
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 7/20/2007 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you.
fibromyalgia,GERD, CFS,RLS,insomnia,depression,anxiety,(had) endometriosis,severe arthritis in my lower back and hips(possibly knees),spondylyothisis,spondylythesis,pinched nerve in l-5 left leg, nerve damage in legs, herinated disc in l-5. complete hysterectomy in 2002 due to endo. and stuff, Meds,what meds aren't I on or have not taken in the past?????? (jk)    I try to stay as positive as I can, and laugh,and love!!!                                                                      


The Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 7/20/2007 11:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there denim - a pretty blue just for you. This is the bear here known only to say something sensible some of the time but maybe today.  You can have my history and a little of mommy bears and you can make your mind up.
1974 seriuos ligament damage playing soccer - finished me with competitive sport. 1982 I had one of the first ligament reconstructions with carbon fibre whhich in my case was successful but the damage had been done elsewhere over the intervening years - cartilege degradation. Between then and 2002 had 5 arthroscopies to clean out the knee but in 2002 had unicompartmental replacement of one side of the knee - titanium. For the first time in many years I walked limp free but the toll was then borne by the hips. 2005 I had CAD-CAM hip replacement right leg and then my left hip degraded very quickly and I am going under the drill and saw end of August. What me and the orthopod have worked out is that often when one part of the leg gives up te ghost other joints have to take extra strain and this is often the precursor to OA.
 
What I have noticed since I ahd hip trouble is the referred pain can crop up anywhere from the lower back to the ankles and as you are probably aware it isn't gentle pain - not like RA either just different. Fora brief period after my first hip op I had brief respite from back pain which often used to go into spasm and I too would use a chiropractor adn yes, they are a short term and expensive luxury [even here where most medical care is free - not osreopaths and chiros though]
It's not for me to suggest you have a loook at your hips for your back pain but if there is seriuos OA in there then it is a strong possibility.
 
What I suggest you do if you go down the hip replacement route - only if necessary - that you go armed with all the right information to your consutations. IF your orthopods are anything like ours they may be bloody good mechanics but they weren't at the front of the queue when the language skills were being handed out. CSD-CSM is used only for those with money to afford it [over here it is free if your GP will fund it] but even normal hips coome in different styles and there is even 'skinning' like a replastering job on the ball and socket. I am hopefully looking forward to a relatively pain free early retirement next year particularly back pain free [ althouth there is some OA in there].
 
Mommy bear had a disc removed seven years ago after spending 7 weeks lying on the lounge floor after rupturing the disc. It has left her with limited flexibility in her back but thankfully relatively pain free. HOWEVER. With a discectomy???? therre is always the risk of peripheral damage and in her case it was loss of sensation in parts of her right foot and leg caused by nerve damage during the op and this has since caused night cramps which it seems nothing can alleviate.
 
In between the grunts and snorts the orthopod did warn her of possible nerve damage before the op but the pros outweigh the cons "If it were me I'd have it done" were his chosen words of advice!!!!
 
So Denim look at all the possibilities, weigh up the options, look up on the web like I did cos forearmed is forewarned.
Stay well.
 
The Bear from downtown Apsley, Hertfordshire, England. [but Washington DC next week].
 

Boo
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2004
Total Posts : 724
   Posted 7/21/2007 2:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Denim, please ask about theraputic epideural injections. Not all docs like to do them but they toughened up the membrane around my spinal cord (herniated discs)enough to leave me pain-free for the last several years. Boo

Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/21/2007 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Boo said...
Denim, please ask about theraputic epideural injections. Not all docs like to do them but they toughened up the membrane around my spinal cord (herniated discs)enough to leave me pain-free for the last several years. Boo
Pain free for years????
What is the difference between that and a regular lumbar epidural.
I would LOVE to be pain free for a day!!!
If you get a chance I'd love to hear more.
In the meantime, I'll research it.
 
Thank you,

Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/21/2007 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   
The Bear said...
Hi there denim - a pretty blue just for you. This is the bear here known only to say something sensible some of the time but maybe today.  You can have my history and a little of mommy bears and you can make your mind up.
1974 seriuos ligament damage playing soccer - finished me with competitive sport. 1982 I had one of the first ligament reconstructions with carbon fibre whhich in my case was successful but the damage had been done elsewhere over the intervening years - cartilege degradation. Between then and 2002 had 5 arthroscopies to clean out the knee but in 2002 had unicompartmental replacement of one side of the knee - titanium. For the first time in many years I walked limp free but the toll was then borne by the hips. 2005 I had CAD-CAM hip replacement right leg and then my left hip degraded very quickly and I am going under the drill and saw end of August. What me and the orthopod have worked out is that often when one part of the leg gives up te ghost other joints have to take extra strain and this is often the precursor to OA.
 
What I have noticed since I ahd hip trouble is the referred pain can crop up anywhere from the lower back to the ankles and as you are probably aware it isn't gentle pain - not like RA either just different. Fora brief period after my first hip op I had brief respite from back pain which often used to go into spasm and I too would use a chiropractor adn yes, they are a short term and expensive luxury [even here where most medical care is free - not osreopaths and chiros though]
It's not for me to suggest you have a loook at your hips for your back pain but if there is seriuos OA in there then it is a strong possibility.
 
What I suggest you do if you go down the hip replacement route - only if necessary - that you go armed with all the right information to your consutations. IF your orthopods are anything like ours they may be bloody good mechanics but they weren't at the front of the queue when the language skills were being handed out. CSD-CSM is used only for those with money to afford it [over here it is free if your GP will fund it] but even normal hips coome in different styles and there is even 'skinning' like a replastering job on the ball and socket. I am hopefully looking forward to a relatively pain free early retirement next year particularly back pain free [ althouth there is some OA in there].
 
Mommy bear had a disc removed seven years ago after spending 7 weeks lying on the lounge floor after rupturing the disc. It has left her with limited flexibility in her back but thankfully relatively pain free. HOWEVER. With a discectomy???? therre is always the risk of peripheral damage and in her case it was loss of sensation in parts of her right foot and leg caused by nerve damage during the op and this has since caused night cramps which it seems nothing can alleviate.
 
In between the grunts and snorts the orthopod did warn her of possible nerve damage before the op but the pros outweigh the cons "If it were me I'd have it done" were his chosen words of advice!!!!
 
So Denim look at all the possibilities, weigh up the options, look up on the web like I did cos forearmed is forewarned.
Stay well.
 
The Bear from downtown Apsley, Hertfordshire, England. [but Washington DC next week].
 
Thank you so much for taking the time to post all of that for me. I never take that for granted. Your compassion is appreciated.
My problem has been that the doctors I see aren't listening to me, are not knowledgable or don't care. It has been odd to say the least that in 2 years of pain and mris stating stenosis, no one feels they can do a thing. I have zero options given to me at the moment. I live in Arizona, and I have come thus far to say, I have yet met up with a helpful doctor. I have had one doctor refuse to see me, another speak on hip replacement based on nothing. If one would speak to me about the stenosis I'd be thrilled. My last visit the doctor said, what I'm  describing in my legs doesn't sound like stenosis or a back problem??? I feel like I'm in looney land and can't get out. Something has to give, it feels like it's getting worse. I had blood tests taken for ra and sediment rate to appease the doctor. If it doesn't show high, I will take it further and have grounds to see another ortho, but so far the 2 I've seen didn't help and the neuro was the worst, he couldn't be bothered.
Anyway....thanks again for your post.
Blessings to you and your wife,
Barbara

Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.- Bob Dylan 


The Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 7/23/2007 6:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Deniim, Bear posting from Washington DC for a while. Doctors refusing to see you? Doctoors not lisitening? Have you always gone alone to see doctors or have you witnesses to their indeifference?? There must be dlelgated regulation bodies to whom you can eiter righteously complain or assign you another doctor. IIs the one you are currently seeing an orthopod or a general surgeon? I'm clutching at straws here to try and help ad I keep having to remind myself that we have all of these because we have a publicly funded health system [which people are ALWAYS complaining about FCS!!!!].
I do really feel for you having been through the barriers you are going through [or running in to]. I appears to me that you have different assist programmes depending on the state would I be right? Anyway Denim, don't give up and keep on pushing, keep on asking and never be fobbed off. Pain is not acceptable when it is avoidable.
Stay well.
The Bear  

Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/23/2007 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
The Bear said...
Hi Deniim, Bear posting from Washington DC for a while. Doctors refusing to see you? Doctoors not lisitening? Have you always gone alone to see doctors or have you witnesses to their indeifference?? There must be dlelgated regulation bodies to whom you can eiter righteously complain or assign you another doctor. IIs the one you are currently seeing an orthopod or a general surgeon? I'm clutching at straws here to try and help ad I keep having to remind myself that we have all of these because we have a publicly funded health system [which people are ALWAYS complaining about FCS!!!!].
I do really feel for you having been through the barriers you are going through [or running in to]. I appears to me that you have different assist programmes depending on the state would I be right? Anyway Denim, don't give up and keep on pushing, keep on asking and never be fobbed off. Pain is not acceptable when it is avoidable.
Stay well.
The Bear  
It's been a wild ride Bear and I won't give up. I have complained to the insurance company about these doctors but I suppose I can take it up a notch and complain further. I have not just encountered indifference and refusal but a lack of knowledge. It gets tiresome to find as they say intelligent life. Thanks for your encouragement and support.

Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.- Bob Dylan 

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