Extreme lower back and sciatic pain in leg

///Extreme lower back and sciatic pain in leg
Extreme lower back and sciatic pain in leg
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  • AvatarRoan
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    Good day

    For many years ive had some lower back pain and the occasional sciatic flare up for time to time.

    About 4 months ago it started but this time it was a bit worse. I went to see my general practitioner and he put me on a course of cortisone and anti inflationary meds. This did not take the pain away. The pain only started getting worse. He then send me for an MRI and referred me to a orthopedic spinal surgeon. My MRI showed a small disc herniation at the L5 and inflammation of the nerve. Surgery was not an option for the and they decided to give me facet blocks. The facet injection did not take the pain away at all. Dr advised me to just be patient because the steroids takes a few weeks to absorb and he gave me pain meds and anti inflamitory.

    It’s been 3 weeks after the injections and the pain is still unbearable. I can hardly walk. My leg is sore and burns badly all the time. Only time I have some relief is when I’m lying on my back with heat on my leg and back.

    I’ve been back to my surgeon and he still feels that surgery is definitely not necessary. He feels the herniation is to small and not worth the risks of surgery. They say I must just be patient and that the pain will get better.

    I’m not convinced of this. It’s been 4 months of extreme pain. The pain is totally controlling my life and it’s extremely hard to walk or do anything.

    I see a physical therapist 2 a week to try and manage the pain but that is also getting to expensive.

    Should I go and get more opinions or is it normal for a herniated disc to take this long to heal and cause so much pain down my leg?

    Im scared of long term nerve damage and I’m desperate to be rid of this pain that’s been ruining my life for the past 4 months.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 7070

    I am surprised that you had a disc herniation compressing the nerve root and underwent facet blocks as a treatment. The facet is on the opposite side of the spine from the nerve root and steroid here probably won’t help calm the nerve root. You have had 4 months of pain and there are good studies that indicate that this nerve inflammation should be addressed before 6 months. Why you have continued pain and your surgeon will not consider surgery (as long as the herniation is still compressing the nerve root) is unusual. Maybe he or she feels the herniation is too small to cause pain. At least you should be given the opportunity to have an epidural steroid injection which could help.

    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.
    AvatarRoan
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    Thank you for your reply Dr.

    It was my understanding from the spinal Dr who did the facet injections that the injections are corticosteroids and local anesthetic. Not sure if it’s for health insurance that they only call it facet blocks. The pain was away for about 24 hours and then it all returned.

    I do believe that he feels the herniation is to small for operating and that the risks of an operation is not worth it. But at the same time I am still in a lot of pain. Want me to go and do another MRI to see if the herniation might of increased.
    But his personal opinion is that I must just hold out and that the pain will go away.

    He did put me on very strong pain meds but I realized that I was developing an habit for them because they are opioid based. We decided that I should leave all the meds and only take over the counter pain meds. So the pain has been very high the last few days.

    I decided to give it another 4 weeks of rest and working with the physical therapist. And if there still is no improvement to go and see another Dr (neurosurgeon) for another opinion.

    I’m just frustrated and lost at the moment. I hoped that after the facet blocks did not work the next step will be a microdiscectomy and this will finally be over. But now that he said I must just hold out its a bit disappointing and scared there might be something els wrong they not picking up on MRI or scans.

    I’m a very active person, paragliding, motorcycle racing, and not being able to even dress myself is very depressing.

    Once again thank you for listening to my problem and taking the time to reply. It’s really appreciated.

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 7070

    I’m uninformed regarding the herniation location, size and morphology. Your surgeon could be spot on regarding the insignificance of this HNP. Maybe read the radiological report as all MRIs have to be read by a radiologist simply to double-check the information you are obtaining.

    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.
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