Thursday, August 29, 2019

Diagnosis: Disk Herniation S1 - L5


So about a month ago, I awoke on a Saturday morning and when I got out of bed, I could not stand up straight because of excruciating pain!  What the heck?  I went to a doctor on that Monday, got a shot and some meds, but there wasn't much change.  I did manage to go to Stellafane, with Stan driving and me bringing a "cane stool" because after standing for a minute or two, I needed to sit down so the pain would go away.  I had an MRI and was prescribed physical therapy twice a week.  Very very gradually the pain was reduced, little by little.  It still hurts if I stand for two minutes, and I can't mow the lawn.  I am hoping that I will be able to fly out to Yellowstone National Park, with Stan, where we meet our friend Rush.  My fingers are crossed.  On Wednesday I finally had a meeting with the Orthopedic doctor, and he showed me the MRI.  Turns out I have a herniated disk.  You can see it here - the disk is black in the image, and it is impinging on the nerves of the spine, which are white in the photo.  It is kind of intersecting to see what "a slipped disk" looks like.  The hope is that the herniated disk will be absorbed back away from the nerve.  We'll see.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope it works its way back so that you can travel and feel like yourself again.
Joan

Ken Spencer said...

Thanks!

Babs said...

So...Will had a SEVERELY herniated disc quite a few years ago. He did cortisone shots, acupuncture, physical therapy and nothing worked...until Dr. Leone, the head of surgery in Glen Cove, went in and did a laparoscopic surgery. Voila!!! It worked. The day I picked him up at the hospital, he was tap dancing in his room! It was just an over-nighter...easy breezy. So...that was our experience and I am passing it along, for whatever it is worth. Hang in there!!!! Babs

Ken Spencer said...

Hi Babs: Thanks so much for this information. I have seen a lot of improvement in the month since I got hit with this, so my fingers are crossed. But it is great to know of other possibilities. The spine surgeon I saw for the MRI said he liked the idea of seeing how it goes because there has been so much improvement.

Anonymous said...

this is not meant to alarm you, its just information at the lumbar sacral location of your disc herniation there is a risk of something called Cauda Equina Syndrome. you and your wife should Google it. familiarize yourself with the many symptoms/deficits and be cognizant of any new problematic symptoms. and.... while orthopedic spine surgeons are mostly all about spine surgery, i would hope that you also have a very good neurologist following you, especially related to your reported weakness and pain. again not meant to be alarming just would be better if you are fully aware of deficits related to lesions in that location. ld

Anonymous said...

Yikes! It's all so scary and unpredictable. Glad you have seen some improvement. Hopefully, you will be able to travel soon...betsey

Ken Spencer said...

Anonymous: Many thanks for your comments! We will definitely check all of this out. I appreciate you taking the time to post this comment. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken, about 3 years ago I also herniated a disk and was sent to PT where my therapist strongly recommended that I also try pilates. He felt strongly that the key for me (in addition to losing a few lbs) was that I need to strengthen my core. I first went to a private pilates instructor and then eventually joined a place called Club Pilates where most of the work/stretching is done on a machine called a reformer. For me this has been life changing and I never had to get a cortisone shot.

Ok Orthospine said...

Very informative blog. Plz check Spinal Care associates for any kind of spine-related issue in OKC. Thank you

Devid said...

While the need for pain killers and bed rest is probably the best remedy, the problem arises when people spend weeks in bed or on the sofa. This only makes the problem much, much worse.
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