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Grade 5 Tear
gotahog2003 posted:
Hello All, First I am new to the site and just trying to get some help with a operation dec. "Thanks in advance"
My question is , in my MRI it was noted that I have a Grade 5 tear seen at 7:00 within the right foramen at the L-3 / L-4 level. My Doc suggests that I get it repaired by a surgeon. I have EXTREME pain in my upper low and lower middle back. Pain meds do help but I do not want to stay on them forever. Needless to say I am sure that the Doc doesn't want me to either. So I am wondering if anyone would think that I can get this much pain from a tear and has anyone had one repaired? I was told I will be wearing a brace for a short time after the oper. and should be 6 to 8 weeks recov. time. Any Help would be Great. Thank you .
davedsel57 responded:
Hello and welcome.

Please read through the Tip at the top of this community that lists the recommended steps for getting back pain diagnosed and treated. Also read through the Tip that lists links to websites that have good information about spinal problems. Go to those sites and research your conditions.

Past members here have had successful surgeries to repair torn discs. You will need to see several spine surgeons such as an orthopedic surgeon and a neurosurgeon. Get their opinions and recommended treatment plans.

Many people do rely on prescription pain medication long-term. Some of us have no other choice. Discover and be open to all your pain management and treatment options.

Please keep us updated. I will be praying you can find solutions and relief soon.
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bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group -

I did have a small tear (annular) in my L5-S1 - but I also had other problems with the disc too: Degenerative Disc Disease and the disc had ruptured and splintered pressing on both the S1 nerve roots on the left and right side (permanent nerve damage in both legs) -

In regards to the pain issues you are having - there are many people walking around with the same or worse disc(s) problems and not have any pains while others (like us) that the slightest disc bulge or tear will cause extreme pains - physicians don't know why but we are all different and react to treatments/pains differently -

so to your answer - yes some of us will have extreme pains -

Please keep us posted as to how your procedure goes and your recovery (remember too: any type of surgery is no guarantee to fix the problem or reduce pains) so be sure to write down tons of questions and ask, ask ask -

take care - Joy
Ari Ben-Yishay, MD responded:
Tears are quite common. Some can hurt a great deal. I can only assume you had a discogram to prove that the tear is the cause of your pain. As an Ortho Spine surgeon, I am not aware of ANY "repair" technique. I can only assume (again) that you are scheduled for a fusion. You should have these issues clarified and explained by your treating surgeon before diving in. Best of luck
Dr Ben Yishay

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