L5-S1 Pain and problems??? Help??

Hi everyone.

For the past 5-6 years I have been dealing with back pain and in the past 3-4 months it has become to worst pain and experience I've ever dealt with.

I am being seen by a spinal surgeon who told me my L5 bone is pushing into my spinal column impinging my L5 never root. On top of that my S1 is fused from there down which is uncommon. Also have spinal stenosis. All this is causing so so so so so much pain. My legs feel as of i did hundreds of squats and am now sore. My toes on my right leg are going numb from time to time. My knees are weak along with my ankles.

I have taken many trips to the urgent care, ER and my spinal Dr only to have pain killers and muscle relaxers prescribed. I do try to walk daily and do daily stretches along with ice and NASIDs.

At this point I am in so much pain its debilitating and uncomfortable all the time.

The surgery that was recommend was a L5-S1 fusion in hopes that it will decompress the L5 nerve root and give me back my life.

At this point I don't know what else to do but to have the surgery to get my life back.

To those out there who have dealt with this what are your recommendations??

Oh did I mention I'm only 30 and have lived a very very active life


11 Replies

  • I had the surgery that is being recommended to you in Sept 2012. I was 57 at the time and was told it would take a full year to recover. It was closer to 2 years, but my condition had deteriated before surgery from being in bed a good portion of the time because I couldn't sit without severe pain. I would definitely do it over again. They also found a broken bone, a cyst and a large bone spur all of which were removed at the time of the fusion surgery. I would highly recommend a good PT as soon as possible after surgery as well. That is probably the other reason my recovery was slower. The first one I went to didn't help me so I was released and didn't seek another one out right away, which was a big mistake. I have other medical issues now, but the fusion surgery was necessary to give me back some quality of life at that time. You being young should play in your favor. Best wishes to you.

  • I am truly sympathise with you. For years I have been suffering with back problems, I had so many injections! To many to count, I was told that it was vibrate problems, wear and tear, given all kind of pain killers, nothing works. Back problems is one area in the medical profession that there's no solution. Try heat pads, you can buy them in chemist, but it ca be expensive, it does help. Or ask your health professionals for some kind of back brace. My sympathy.

  • Sorry to hear someone else that is going through want I'm dealing with daily. I have had four surgeries, to this day my back has only gettin worse. To tell you the truth, each surgeries did give me some relief. But i have been told from three different docs that i will always been on pain meds. Im only 32 and have been dealing with back,leg,shoukder,arms, and hips. My advice from my past surgeries is to try the surgery. If it doesnt help, you will be like me. On pain killers for life, strong pain meds. You are always going to have pain, but you will have your spine healthy, and be able to walk. Its not all bad after, now i do have bad days time to time. Im not telling you this to freak you out, just my oast and future currently.

  • I don't know about the surgery but I'm helped a lot by a Tens machine. I couldn't do without it in combination with medication.. Do get the large pads though for back problems.


  • Not sounding fun. I've had lower back issues since I was 24 (now 38) and agree that it's very distressing to have your quality of life snatched away from you so suddenly and effectively. I have been through every non-invasive treatment and injections that the doctors can think of as I'm repeatedly told that I'm too young for surgery. The option of spinal fusion is one I've discussed with the doctors a few times, the warning that they have is that the fusion begins to put pressure on the spinal column either side of the fusion. This then has a gradual domino effect if the degeneration of the discs surrounding. Eventually they too will need to be fused and the whole merry-go-round starts again.

    I'm certainly not trying to scare you or put you off. The year after year of pain takes it's toll on you physically, mentally and emotionally. Surgery is a viable option for reduction of this nightmare, but please make sure you have spoken to your doctors about all the possible outcomes and future impacts.

    I really hope that you find an option soon that will help with the pain levels x

  • had back problems since my 20s now 44 and its getting worse the nhs treatment is rubbish L5 SI joint pain now with numbeness and tingling in fingers wrists toes feet i feel my life is over and i'm left to rot away in pain sick of taking drugs that cause more trouble with other organs if i could i would go to Dignitas in switzerland

  • Just a word of caution................ I am 44 and been disabled by back pain for 7 years now, after having a very active life. After all the usual tests/treatments etc, I know now that my pain will always be with me. There is nothing that can be done now, but at least it has a name - Chronic Pain syndrome. Hopefully this will not be the case for you, but I would advise you to research it online - it can will give you an idea of what the issue may be. The word of caution is about the surgey - there is also a recognised medical term call 'failed back surgery syndrome' which is what it says it is. Basically , surgery may well work for you, but you have to know the possible outcomes before you go for surgery. So look that one up too, and good luck x

  • Thank you all for your input. I am going in on Thursday for an epidural steroid shot hoping that will help for the next year or two.

    I am very scared of having surgery due to the outcome percentages so for now I am just trying my best to deal with the pain and strengthen my back to the best of my abilities. I will and am continuing to discuss my options with my spinal Dr and getting many opinions from different Drs.

    My hope is that I can get the pain and secondary problems under control so I can regain my physical life and not live in pain anymore.

    Hoping for a treatment for all of us that suffer with dibilitating back pain that is 100% successful all the time and really helps this community.

  • Get a neurosurgeon to give you an opinion if you opt for surgical intervention. Spinal surgery is improving but shop around and research neurosurgeons at the teaching hospitals. The neurosurgeon I saw, honestly told me that surgical intervention to my lower back would not help my particular set of problems, or at least, it would not relieve the pain.

  • Thank you for your input. Today I am seeing a neurologist who is doing my epidural shot and I am hoping he will tell me his opinion. I honestly do not want to do back surgery. I am looking into every option out there because I can no longer live with the pain I have or taking pain killers almost daily to function. My hope is that the epidural shot will help a lot.

  • Fingers crossed for you. My cousin has recently had a course of three epidurals and these have made a marked difference. I'm waiting on three facet joint injections, determined they will work !

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