I'm about to lose my mind. I just need to complain a little bit and get some advice if anyone has any for me.
I had a microdiscectomy (left, L5/S1) at the end of January. I felt great for 3 weeks, but then all my leg (sciatic) pain came back overnight. I was positive I reherniated. At first my neuro thought it was just a flare up and gave me a prednisone pack, but he ordered an MRI with and without contrast to be sure.
I did not reherniate. According to the MRI, there is nothing interfering with the nerve at L5/S1. My neurosurgeon is discouraged. I don't think I have to tell you how that makes me feel. He called the radiologist that read my MRI and they tried to determine if there was enough of a bulge at L4/5 to be causing the pain. Neither of them really thinks so, but they are going to repeat the MRI using a different type of "image slicing" to get another view.
How could L4/5 be causing the same exact symptoms as L5/S1? I thought each level traveled to different areas? The bulge has been at L4/5 since before surgery, and didn't seem to affect me at all. The surgery at L5/S1 completely took the pain away. If the repeat MRI still shows that L4/5 is not causing my pain, what are the other possibilities?
I'm stuck at home, mostly in bed. I've been out of work since the surgery, almost 6 weeks ago. If I try to walk I start limping within just a few minutes. Yesterday I actually fell to the floor because my left leg suddenly gave out on me with no warning. I'm frustrated beyond belief, and very angry at my body for turning on me like this.
Has anyone been through this "mystery" pain? I actually asked the dr if it could just be in my head, the whole "perception of pain" thing. He said absolutely not, its not in my head. That made me feel a bit better, but if its not in my head, and not in my back, where is it???
Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks.