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  • persiankitty
    Member
    Post count: 4

    Dear Dr Corenman,

    I am a 29 year old female, of average build, no previous back problems – and since July 2011 I have had a continuous lower back ache which built up becoming worse and worse – in September I developed pain from basically my right buttock down through my leg into my foot (particular my ankle which is weak due to a couple of sprains in the last few years) which I understand is sciatica. My doctor prescribed Naproxen for the pain but it didn’t touch it. I went for Xrays on my lumbar spine and nothing showed up of note. During all this time, things were gradually getting more painful and difficult and by the middle of November, I could not sit down or get up, or walk without excruciating pain. I had to get signed off work at this point.

    During October, I tried acupuncture and basic physio (referred by my doctor) but neither did anything which helped. I felt like the exercises were slightly adding to the pain.

    I was referred to the local spinal unit and they tried me on amitryptine, which I know is an AD but they said it can be used for chronic back pain, and it did nothing but give me bad side effects so I stopped that and went onto Lyrica pregabalin, and this has finally done something for the pain, especially when taken with a couple of normal paracetamol/aspirin tablets every day, however the root cause remains undiagnosed. The lady at the spinal unit who is a specialist physio thinks it’s a muscle spasm problem and the normal physio is adamant that’s it’s a bulging disc. I am just at my wit’s end with it all and am finally getting an MRI scan in 2 weeks after begging my doctor to send me there. It is starting to affect my mental health and I am worried that something serious lies behind it all. I recently feel like the pain is spreading to the left side of my lower back but I’m not sure whether it could be my overuse of that side to compensate for my right side.

    More recently, my right hip feels like it’s burning sometimes (although this doesn’t happen every day), and i get twinges in the same specific part of my right lower back on and off – it’s not so much a pain, just a sensation like someone’s poking it – the sciatica has remained with pins and needles in my right foot.

    Anyway, sorry to go on. I wondered if you had any advice on what sounded most likely from what I describe above please?

    Many thanks in advance for your help.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8376

    By the history of your pain, you most likely have a herniated disc in the lumbar spine at L4-5 or L5-S1. The MRI will help diagnose that. There are some other disorders that can cause these symptoms but the disc herniation is by far the most common one.

    Treatment depends upon the amount of pain experienced and the presence of any weakness in the muscles that are serviced by that nerve. If there is weakness present, it is my opinion that surgery needs to be performed. If there is no weakness, then an epidural injection (see website) should be performed. If good long term relief is noted, then that is the only treatment needed. The injection may need to be repeated. If only temporary relief is noted, surgery can be considered. See the video on the lumbar microdiscectomy on the website.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    persiankitty
    Member
    Post count: 4

    Dear Dr. Corenman,

    Thanks ever so much for the quick response – I really appreciate it. May I ask a couple more questions related to this is you don’t mind please?

    1) Does it sound ok that I’m getting a lot of pain at the front of my knee of the affected (right) side (as well as the pain I mentioned in my initial post)? It’s only started hurting a lot more recently, but I didn’t know if that was the sciatic nerve again.

    2) I have been on Lyrica Pregabalin 300mg daily for the last month now – is it safe to continue taking this for the forseeable future? I have not been told when I can stop taking it but someone at my work said it ‘rewires’ your brain and I shouldn’t take it (they are not a doctor!)

    3) Lastly, I don’t have any weakness in my muscles (touch wood) so far – if I was ultimately offered the epidural injection, for someone of my age (29), can it be harmful at all to my body into the long term?

    Best wishes (and a happy new year to you)

    persiankitty
    Member
    Post count: 4

    Dear Dr. Corenman,

    I’ve now had my scan – they are keeping me waiting for the results. Is there any way at all that you would comment on a couple of my scans please at: deleted

    The time it’s taken to get to this point and the waiting for results is now upsetting me daily and I am becoming a wreck. I have been really worried about what might show up. I understand if this is something you can’t/don’t do through your site, but I would be so grateful if you are able to take a quick look.

    Best wishes

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8376

    I cannot look at scans privately when the address is displayed on this forum. This forum is anonymous. If you would like me to look at these scans, please call my office to send the scans in by mail or Fed ex. The phone number is (970) 476-1100 and talk to one of my nurses- Diana or Sarah.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    persiankitty
    Member
    Post count: 4

    Dear Dr Corenman,

    Since my last posting, i’ve now had microdiscectomy surgery on my L5-S1, L4-L5 discs. This is after having the problem for about a year. I am now in week 11 of my recovery period and I am still getting sciatic pain, although this is a little less than before and I am walking better. I have been off to a slow start with the recovery due to sciatic pain post-surgery first settling, then flaring up again, then settling. I had to see a pain nurse twice. I am also getting a hot sensation on the underside of the foot of the side where I had the back problem and sciatica – this heat goes into my ankle – it comes and goes. It’s new, and I’m not sure why it’s happening. I’ve tried contacting my hospital but noone gets back to me! I guess I am seeking reassurance that this is normal and nothing to worry about – I have no idea what’s going on in my body – I guess I was hoping the pain and discomfort would disappear quite quickly, but it’s not been like that at all. Do some people experience a recovery like this post-surgery, and does it mean that the surgery has not been effective?

    any advice appreciated,

    Thanks.

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