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Old 09-16-2008, 08:04 AM   #1
Michael Leach
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me and my stupid back

background info:

28 year old white male, 5'4", 130lbs, computer job (lots of sitting).

in June of 2007 I was rear-ended and pushed into another vehicle, felt fine afterwards, but a week or so later I was barely able to get out of bed. standing up and looking in the mirror, I was crooked. i went to a chiropractor and got straight within a week or two, continued going for about 6 weeks when I quit going ($$). My lower back was still sore, but not that bad, it seemed to get better over the next several months.

about 2 months ago I was unloading/unboxing a couple hundred computers here at work and must have tweaked something. the next day i woke up similar to how I felt last year and again I was crooked. Started going to the chiro and within a week or two I was straight again, but still pretty sore in my lower back on the right-side and a little bit on my right hip. i continued going to the chiropractor and started getting deep tissue massages. for a few days I actually felt pretty good and did a little squatting (back and overhead) and some benching, etc. a couple days later I felt worse so I backed off. meanwhile the pain started going down my leg, at first it was like my quads and knee on my right leg, and then it was my shin of my right leg, and then it was my calf, etc. well i started doing some very light stretching for a few days and again i got worse. by this time the pain was pretty much in my entire right leg, my feet, ankles, etc felt like they were going to break when I put weight on them. i called the chiro up, told him i felt horrible and he scheduled me for an MRI. I had the MRI this past Friday.

The chiro called me a few minutes ago with the results. He said the problem is that I have a Disc Extrusion at L4-L5. He said I also have a compressed disc at L5 (which we seen a couple months ago in the initial x-rays), and that I also have some issue with my L5-S1 not being completely fused, he said its like I have an L6 or something; I wasn't really following him on that part. He said the biggest issue is the Disc Extrusion though.

He said I've got 2 options, the first being manipulation under anesthesia and the 2nd being surgery to snip off the excess disc.

He said the manipulation under anesthesia should be my 1st option and surgery being last. He said I would go to this clinic on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday (3 days in a row) and be given anesthesia and then they would perform pretty-intense chiropractor manipulation that should hopefully encourage the disc to go back to where it belongs. He said there would be a couple weeks of light re-hab to follow and then a couple more weeks or more intense rehab to strength everything afterwards.

The whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach, I'm one of those guys that passes out when I get a shot or have to give blood (shiver). Anyone have any experience with any of this?

Last edited by Michael Leach : 09-16-2008 at 08:06 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:12 AM   #2
Peter Lavigne
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Re: me and my stupid back

While I've never heard of disc manipulation under anethesia, I did have a micro-discectomy in May of 2006. I had a fragmented disc(L5-S1) where a few pieces lodged themselves' onto a nerve, resulting in non-function in my left foot. Simply put, my foot no longer worked. After surgery, my foot regained somewhere between 80-90% of its mobility and roughly the same in both strength and balance. That being said, my back still hurts all the time( I do mean all the time, too) from minor discomfort to significant pain. My last MRI did show a bulge, and scarring on the nerve, but nothing to consider going under the knife again for the time-being.
If I were you, I'd follow all the non-surgical treatments available and I'd learn to accept an amount of discomfortuntil you're able to strengthen the injured area. Based on talking to a number of surgeons, it's my understanding that roughly 90% of back problems can be remedied through non-invasive procedures and that most surgeries are about fixing a particular problem with no guarantees about getting rid of pain ( if it reduces pain, great, but don't absolutely count on it).
I was back to work(as a professional firefighter) a little less than 9 weeks post-op, but looking back, I think I rushed it a bit. While I can do most of what I did pre-injury, there are things that are still very painful.Still, it's better than the alternative.
My personal take on it is that if you need surgery, there will be no doubt in your mind before any surgeon suggests it. I went a couple years with pain before the fragments lodged up against the nerve, but as soon as that happened, it was literally overnight and I KNEW something was really wrong and had to be fixed.
Good luck!
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:49 AM   #3
Steven Bowser
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Re: me and my stupid back

Mike,
I have about 3 friends that had the manipulation done. 2 of them liked it - the other one didnt finish it.
I have become pretty good friends with a few Chiros. The one I go to is very wealthy prior to going into that field so he has that I dont care attitude and will tell you like it is.
He was involved with a group of Dr's that pushed the Manipulation while knocked out. He told me its great for people that have a frozen shoulder or need to be extremely stretched out due to tight muscles. That will most likely not cure your problem. Its more a money making scam and will most definitly be cut out by insurance companies in the future. If you have a disc problem it will hopefully correct itself the best it can. Body works in funny ways. Going under and shaving the disc is the worse thing you can possibly do - That was told to me by one of the best surgeons in Ft Lauderdale area. And thats how he makes a living.
Dude you are too young to do surgery unless its the last choice.
Try to find someone over there with a DRX 9000 machine or some kind of aggressive decompression table. Google DRX 9000. I swear by it. It will possibly stretch your spine and possibly no probable but possibly allow your disc to correct itself.
I was told by that sergeon if you have a peice of soap or form cushioning in between your spine why would you shave it or cut it off - so the rest of the foam or cushioning can slip more and cause the same problem. Pretty soon you have nothing between the spine.
Anyway - eveybody is different and I am not knocking anyones choices or opinions but at your age - do yourself a favor and check into decompression of some sort.
Good luck. From a guy that just pulled my back out doing heavy deadlift 2 days ago. LOL
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:52 PM   #4
Michael Leach
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Re: me and my stupid back

well, from what i've gathered, it sounds like my only real options at this point are to:
1. live with it
2. try the Manipulation Under Anesthesia
3. go the route of surgery.

i got confirmation from the insurance company that the MUA will be covered.

i cant really find any information where the MUA has made the situation worse.

i've found lots of testimonials/word-of-mouth stories/etc from people who had back surgery and regret it because it didn't fix the problem, the problem happened again, they have more pain, less functionality, etc, etc, etc.

i met with my chiropractor yesterday and asked him a billion questions about the MUA and he went over my MRI results and I got a copy of the report. afterwards i went to a Convenient Care Clinic about getting some painkillers or something to ease the pain for the next couple weeks until I can have the MUA procedure. boy, was that a bunch of drama. the nurse collected all my information and then the Dr came in and told me that chiro's were quacks and to never go to another one, and that i could lose functionality of my leg, or start peeing/pooping myself, etc, etc, etc. she insisted that she give me a cortisone injection at the site, but I refused. i left with a scrip for some Vicodin, Flexeril, and IBU 600s to last me 7 days until I could meet with a Neurosurgeon that they were scheduling an appt with. Man, talk about pushy. i would have gone to my primary care physician, had I had one, but I've only been here 6 years and haven't established one yet. oops.

anyways, there's more to all the stories, but right now I feel that I have nothing to lose by trying the MUA and seeing what happens. if it works, great! if it doesn't work, i'm still broken and can still can go the surgery route. but I really dont want to go that route.

the next MUA is offered 2 weeks from today, I'll try to remember to keep updating this thread as the days/weeks go on, and my results with the MUA, etc.

-mike
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:31 PM   #5
Heidi Schlichting
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Re: me and my stupid back

You might want to look into picking up a thing called Spine Worx. You can get it for about $30 online. I don't know that it would help you, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't hurt to try.
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