Thursday, March 8, 2012

We have an answer: Herniated disc

I had another MRI on Tuesday - this time of my lumbar spine - and got the results surprisingly quickly. It showed that I have a "broad based herniation at L4/L5" and an "annular tear" to the disc. Bottom line: the disc is bulging out and pressing on the sac that surrounds my spinal cord. This pressure is in turn firing off a nerve, which is where the pain in my hip & leg are coming from. Good times!

Actually, I have to admit, this week has been a bit better. My rheumatologist gave me some pain medication last week, which helped me get some rest and overall seemed to calm things down. So now it's manageable, albeit rather uncomfortable. I'll be starting physical therapy on Monday to see if we can further reduce the pain & swelling. If not, then I'll be headed to a pain management doctor to see about having a cortisone epidural. I'm kind of wigged out at the thought of a shot in my spine, so I'm really hoping to avoid that one!

If any of you have dealt with a herniated disc before, I'd love to hear from you. Is the pain something that comes and goes? Did you try PT & did it work? Any other thoughts/tips?