About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Biceps Might Not Be Bulging, But My Back Is!

Made quick contact with the Orthopaedic Surgeon's office today to see if they had the results of the MRI I took almost two weeks ago and to make a follow up appointment. It was going to be a huge pain in the ass to have the report emailed to me (something about signing release forms, etc), and I wouldn't understand what it says anyways. The only definitive thing she could tell me was that the MRI Report indicated a Disc Protrusion in my lower back. She didn't indicate the exact location or any other details or abnormalities because she wanted the Doc to discuss all specifics and treatment options.

After glancing on-line today, there are a lot of words and phrases thrown around and they seem to be used somewhat interchangeably...disc bulge, herniated disc, protruding disc, etc. My symptoms do seem to coincide quite nicely with a bulging disc resulting in possible sciatica (Power loss when running, numbness in leg, lower back pain extending through hips, leg and into feet). Aside from the occassional lower back pain and leg numbness, some of these symptoms are relatively new.
Stages of Disc Herniation
1. Disc Degeneration: chemical changes associated with aging causes discs to weaken, but without a herniation.

2. Prolapse: the form or position of the disc changes with some slight impingement into the spinal canal. Also called a bulge or protrusion.

3. Extrusion: the gel-like nucleus pulposus breaks through the tire-like wall (annulus fibrosus) but remains within the disc.

4. Sequestration or Sequestered Disc: the nucleus pulposus breaks through the annulus fibrosus and lies outside the disc in the spinal canal (HNP).

Again, I don't want to diagnosis myself, but let's hope some physical therapy and good drugs can alleviate some of the pain and discomfort! I have a nerve conduction study next week and my follow up with the Doc is December 9th!

And the fun just keeps coming!! God damn I sound like an old lady...I can't believe I've been discussing hip arthritis and protruding discs.

This Ironman is turning into aluminum foil!!!!!!!


Big Clyde said...

This sucks and is painful. So sorry for you, but I hope that the doc and the drugs alleviate your pain. I had a bulging disc a year ago. Therapy, some drugs and bicycling have helped me. You seem to be quite an athlete with a kick-ass attitude. Hang in there.

Big Clyde

Cass said...

Best of luck with this. My only advice is to make sure that you are with the right doctor. There are many orthos out there that are quick to want to do surgery and seem to gloss over the conservative treatment options. Good luck!

21stCenturyMom said...

My daughter was diagnosed with a bulging disk at the age of 14. The neuro guy said that probably 90% of the population has some sort of bulging disk.

Wait until you get a full diagnoses and stick with the things that don't hurt. Hopefully your bulging disk will be somewhat 'run of the mill' and your bulging disk will go back where it belongs.

Coach Liz said...

I remember the pain of my bulging disk. Fear not, there are ways to get it better in time for your IM race in the spring.

greyhound said...

I had the same problem--very seriously--in my neck three years ago. Worst pain I have ever had. Doc was amazed it resolved without surgery. It did and I hope yours can too, or failing that, one of the less invasive alternatives that have come along.