Dear Dr. Roach: I am an 82-year-old female. I started to have mild low-back pain a year ago, and it escalated to sciatica in my left leg and finally culminated in a pain crisis requiring hospitalization. My treatment goal in the hospital was pain control. Following an epidural injection, I am pretty well controlled with Tylenol and gabapentin 100 mg twice daily. I am no longer using the hydromorphone prescribed in the hospital.
My CT scan shows significant degenerative changes, including severe arthritis, 8 millimeters of forward slipping of the disc at L4 on L5, and severe central canal stenosis.
I am concerned about the disc slipping. Am I in danger of some sort of sheering action of the spinal cord that would lead to major neurological problems? I appreciate the level of pain control I have now, but must I consider further treatment? — F.G.