Patient Comments: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Experience

Please describe your experience with lumbar spinal stenosis.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

As I read the comments, I am crying. I have been diagnosed with lumbar stenosis and degenerative disc disease and deal with pain daily. Due to these conditions I have a lot of muscle imbalance issues, which within themselves cause a certain amount of pain. I too have been to everyone for help, one says surgery, one says no, one says I have fibro. I am managing life with 4 kids, business not to mention running a household with meds, but I know the current climate regarding pain management, it will come to an end. I don't sleep and I am borderline depressed. Inactivity is not the answer, as much motion as I can get in my back the better. To get this motion a certain amount of pain medication is necessary.

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Comment from: rese91, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I'm 39 years old and have had two surgeries thus far for my lumbar spinal stenosis. To this day, they have no idea what "caused" the issues in my back. I take pain medicine, (the lowest dose) because the doctors believe I "like" it too much. I'm taking Lyrica. I STILL have the pain. My second surgery was two years ago and I had a lumber fusion. Some of the pain is gone. I was told this was "how it was" and to basically get over it. I'm a mom of three, run a business, coach my kids, golf. I cannot stop living. I also cannot continue with the level of pain I'm experiencing. I have lost bladder function on occasion and twice bowel. I see a neurologist next Friday.

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Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 06

I am a male, age 56. I have had low back pain for 10 years. I was diagnosed with stenosis about seven years ago and was advised to have surgery then. Up until six months ago, my doctor and I have been treating it with increasingly (over the years) stronger medicine, physical therapy, epidural cortisone injections, all the standard non-surgical treatments. The last two years I had been having numbness and tingling in my left leg and foot, burning in my toes (both feet), and other symptoms of nerve compression. The worst thing was the sciatica. It got so bad that I could only walk short distances, slowly. I gave up and had spine surgery six months ago. They did a lumbar spinal fusion of L4-L5 and L5-S1. Now, I am sciatica-free. However, six months out, the nerve issues described above continue, albeit to a somewhat lesser degree. I probably went too long and damaged the nerves. The worst thing is that the back pain continues. Now the doctor tells me it's all in my head because he fixed the problem. I still need strong medicine to take away that pain that's “all in my head,” but now the doctor hints that I got to where I "like" the drugs and don't really need them. I recommend that anyone considering spinal surgery force your doctor to definitively locate the cause of the pain before attempting to fix it, then do that again with a second-opinion doctor. The MRI only shows the structural abnormalities, not where your specific pain comes from. You may well have stenosis that is not causing a problem but another malfunction nearby that is causing pain, which repairing the stenosis will not fix.

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Comment from: Connie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 13

I had surgery in June 2012, spinal fusion of the L-3, 4 and 5. I would tell anyone concerned whether to have this surgery, try everything else first. I am in extreme pain every day.

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Comment from: Erics, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 10

I was diagnosed with lumbar stenosis about 3 months ago. Tried the epidural that only lasted 2 days. I haven't been given any thing for pain. I told the Doctor that just walking around the yard picking up dog dirt and my legs start to ache and I have to sit down for awhile, then finish up. It is hard going up stairs, shopping with my wife or playing with my grand kids. I have constant pain in my back like spasm's. My doctor is conservative doesn't offer a lot of help. I already was diagnosed with arthritis in my feet and I have gout in my knee's. Starting to get pain in my arms and joints. Getting old sucks sometimes.

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Comment from: pan_dora58, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I was diagnosed with moderate/severe spinal stenosis and degenerative disc of L3-L5 approximately six years ago when I was unable to walk. As I would walk, my legs would not work, even though I could feel them there. Surgery was done to relieve the pressure on the nerves, but outside of relieving the excruciating pain; there has really been no relief. I do have the epidural shots, which help for several months at a time; sometimes only two months. Currently, this one has worked for five months. I also take an NSAID every day, but was recently given a back brace and 10-mg of Vicodin, which I rarely take. My pain management doctor told me about a new procedure still being researched in which DNA is injected into the disc and it regenerates. It should be available in approximately five years. So, in the meantime I would suggest to everyone to seek out a pain management professional who suits your needs and just doesn't shove pills at you.

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Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your lumbar spinal stenosis?
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, therapy, or medication did you receive for lumbar spinal stenosis?

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