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New Member Introductions If you just joined, please introduce yourself here. Please add a signature describing your spinal history (use the "User CP) and ask us how we can help you get started.


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  #1  
Old 01-03-2014, 12:18 PM
ian ian is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 155
Default First time caller, long time listener

Hello everyone! I've been reading up on many of the surgical outcomes for a while and have gleaned a lot of very useful information from your experiences.

Quick background on me: I'm 44, male, and have had low back problems dating back to an accident in my mid teens where I sprained my back sustained in a hard fall on asphalt. It became a daily problem in my early 20's causing pressure and tightness in my low back and has slowly deteriorated since. I've managed/maintained through exercise over the years, but I've also contributed to the problem through many injuries from motorcycle crashes (I raced for years) and cycling crashes (also raced for years).

I've tried every possible treatment in the past 20 years, from accupuncture to hypnosis to biofeedback, you name it. I was told 15 years ago that I'm not a surgical candidate because I'm capable of doing certain exercises that most back pain sufferers can't perform. I love being told that just because I can touch my toes that I'm not in bad shape. One thing I've always been able to do is push through pain.

Everything finally came to a grinding halt in July of 2013 when while riding my mountain bike I felt a tearing sensation in my low back from my sacrum down my left but cheek that dropped me to my knees. I was told I tore the ligaments in my SI joint. I've been undergoing PRP injections since august, 4 so far, which haven't seemed to have helped.

I also found out I have three Tarlov cysts on my sacrum measuring in size up to 2 cm, but was told that these cysts are generally asymptomatic. But the main problem, or at least one of the larger issues, is disc disease at L4/L5 and L5/S1. I was told 15 years ago that these discs were compromised, but a neurosurgeon recently told me my only option was fusion. I guess he's not a believer in ADR. My MRI shows no nerve compression, mild arthritis, but nothing that immediately explains my constant pain, other than the desiccated discs.

I have a sacralization on my right side, which hasn't helped matters since it blocks movement at L4/L5, forcing the discs to wear prematurely. I experience tingling and a little numbness in my legs on occasion, but not what I would consider pain. My pain is pretty much focused on my low back, and since the PRP injections started it's been localized around my sacrum.

After reading many of the accounts on here about their experiences with ADR overseas I decided to send my films to Dr. Clavel. I'm awaiting a response and somewhat eager to hear what he has to say.

I've always been a competitive athlete and hope to return to cycling at some point, but right now walking and light stretching is about all I can manage. Thanks for all of your detailed accounts from your procedures. It's helped me tremendously.

Cheers,
- Ian
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2014, 11:59 PM
jss's Avatar
jss jss is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,411
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Ian,

That sounds like quite a complex condition you've got. Has anyone speculated that the torn ligaments on your SI is the source of your pain? Wishing you luck on getting back to doing the things that you want to do. I know that being sidelined with spine problems is no fun.

Good luck, Jeff
__________________
C4/5 - ACDF in 2000
C5/6 - ACDF in 2002
C3/4 & C6/7 - M6 ADR, Nov 2009, Barcelona
Conceded defeat to a manifestly disingenuous BCBS-TX in my quest for reimbursement, Jan 2011
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2014, 12:17 AM
ian ian is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 155
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Hey Jeff,

Yes, a doctor I'm seeing now who has been treating me with PRP injections said the SI joint is one source of pain, but after 4 treatments with minimal improvement she's doubtful it's the primary source. At first she was convinced my SI joint was the real problem, but it's become clear that's not the case. To add another problem into the mix, I found out today that I also have spinal stenosis. So she has stopped treating me for the time being and wants me to get further care from a neurosurgeon. I'm looking into the neuro program at UCLA right now. They perform a procedure for stenosis called X-Stop, which I'm learning more about now.

So far no doctor has been able to determine if any one condition is the primary pain generator. But the discs are definitely high on the list. It's turning into a game of whack-a-mole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jss View Post
Ian,

That sounds like quite a complex condition you've got. Has anyone speculated that the torn ligaments on your SI is the source of your pain? Wishing you luck on getting back to doing the things that you want to do. I know that being sidelined with spine problems is no fun.

Good luck, Jeff
__________________
- 20+ years of constant back pain
- Sacralization (natural fusion) at L5/S1
- DDD at L4/L5 dating back to mid twenties
- Torn ligaments in SI joint
- PRP injections at SI joint
- Tarlov cysts on sacrum
- Lumbar stenosis
- L4/L5 ADR Feb 25, 2014 with Dr. Bierstedt.
http://iansroadback.blogspot.com
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