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Thyroid UK
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MRI results

I posted on here over a week ago that i was having an MRI of my lumber spine...the results are that i have a massive bulge in L5 and S1 disc which is causing stenosis. I only had the scan last monday and was suprised to hear so quickly...they are refeering to a surgical specialist and they suggest that surgery will be the best way forward. I am going to look at alternatives before i decide what i am going to do.

If anyone has tried alternative approaches to lumber stenosis i would be interested to find out what results you got from them.


9 Replies

I wouldn't have the surgery just yet, yorkshiregirl. I have been living with something similar for years. I do some trigger point therapy which I think the contractions have pulled my spine out of kilter. This all started when I began Synthroid and I feel it is due to not well treated hypothyroidism. Lately I have taken T3 instead and feel that I am making some progress. Unless you can get therapy or afford therapy, I would try self help. You can use tennis balls, golf balls, whatever to work some of these out.

Surgery is risky and often the chances of cure are 50/50.


I agree a friend of mine has just had her third op because she got badly infected during the first one. I will talk to specialist first before i decide surgery is truly my last resort. Thanks


I think it is safe to say, if you talk about this to a surgeon, he will recommend surgery:)


Heloise, Please could you tell me where you get your T3. Many thanks.


If you are in the UK and using NHS (i.e. not private) and they recommend surgery, believe them - with all the cuts, they only recommend such expensive treatment when they really think it necessary!

But consider all your options first - I had a major back op in May 2012, but only after more conservative options (phys ed, injections, pain-killers) had been tried and failed.


Thanks for that....they did mention the injections but that was before my scan.


I had something similar years ago. I went to see someone privately because the NHS appointment was months away and I could hardly move, I ended up having a cortisone epidural which worked for quite a long time.

Eventually I had a second epidural but at one point I remember my man saying that he could operate if I wanted but as I did not actually have backache - I had horrendous sciatica and there were times when I used to slide off the bed and crawl to the loo on my hands and knees but I did not have constant backache. He said that for that reason he would prefer not to operate as I could end up having actual backache and at that moment he had 100% success rate for his work and wanted to keep it that way.

I also had physio regularly, mainly because driving long distances killed me off - I used to stop the car to get out and hang from tree branches to get the traction to loosen things up, I would go to physio about twice a year and have a few weeks therapy then continue with the exercises I was given, go off on a long journey and have to go back to physio again then I got a physio who suggested Pilates to strengthen up my core and massage - I did both although I no longer have the massage (cost) and I haven't looked back.

My Pilates teacher is also a physio - there are quite a lot who also teach Pilates so if you try that, look out for a physio who teaches Pilates too, its worth it because they know how to adapt things and she is always saying. 'You should never feel any pain or twinges if you do stop straight away' and not all do. You should also be in a group of six to eight people to ensure you are doing the movements correctly.

On the other hand I also know of people who have been operated on and the results were very successful so it is a very hard decision to make. Think I would try the alternative approaches first and if that doesn't work go for the op but I'm sure you could discuss it with your surgeon, like someone says the NHS aren't going to offer unless they think you really need it.

Meant to say the speed with which you got your MRI results back would probably indicate that you are pretty bad. My thyroid blood test results came back next day - basically because I was so hyper something had to be done fast.


Thanks for that...there is alot to consider and as im such a baby when it comes to ops and stuff i think i will look at some of the other options you have mentioned. The pain i expereince with the sciatica is when standing and walking so i do have periods withou the pain.


Me too, I'm a total wimp, when they said to bring someone to drive you home because your leg might be a bit numb I envisaged myself paralysed from the waist down, we hadn't asked the cost (I know!) and thinking that would get me out of it I said " we can't afford it" husband said we could and no matter what imaginary price I came up with husband still said we could. In the end to shut me up he rang the consultant's secretary and found out exactly what it was going to cost (not a huge amount in fact) and explained why he wanted to know and when I went for my treatment the surgeon had a good laugh about it.

I used to stand in the shower washing my leg and even though I could see I was washing it my leg was sort of numb right down to my big toe.

I discovered that doing things like hanging from a sturdy branch that was just above head height (if you can find one) helped, I also had access to wall bars at work and we had a loft ladder at home and I was able to dangle from the under side of that, my body weight acted like a kind of traction to release everything for a little while but sadly the effect was only temporary so yes it sounds odd but you can have all that but not actually have backache. My problem was I had to either stand up or lie down, sitting was awful so apart from the pain it was all quite tiring. I used to lie on the floor a lot and the boys and their friends got used to stepping over me as they went about their business.


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