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Spine and Back Health

Still in pain

08/04/2008

Question:

I had surgery 6 months ago for decompressin on my L4, L5, S1 and cleaned the bone spurs I had including stenosis. My L5 was pushing against my nerve causing me leg pain. After surgery I had no more pain down my leg. I also have degenerative disc disease. Recently going to physical therapy (PT) I started to get pain in my right buttock and the pain in my lower back has never left. I can bend forward somewhat, but bending backwards is awfully painful. Should I ask the doctor to schedule me for another MRI?

I have been on percocet 3x a day for a year now and that only helps temporarily. My primary doctor says I will always have the pain due to the degenerative disc. My surgeon told me at my follow up that I might need a fusion in about a year. Will a fusion help with pain and why did he not do it during the surgery? I do not want to be opened up again.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, we try to answer general questions about health but cannot diagnose or recommend treatment. You appear to have some very, very specific questions about your condition, which can only be answered properly by a physician who is familiar with your history, physical exam, and test results. Your questions about the testing results you've been given or the risks, benefits, and alternatives for proposed treatments of this condition need to be directed to your treating physician(s). You should insist that they answer these questions in a way that you are able to understand before consenting to any treatment. If your physician is unable to help you understand these issues, you should get a second opinion. Take care.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University