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Need advice

Mark33MMark33 Posts: 44
I am sure this is an old story for most of you but I need advice.. (I will try to keep it short!)

About 2 years ago I went into the doctor complaining of stabbing pain in my right buttocks and a little numbness down my right leg. I tried PT for quite some time only to see no relief. I learned to live with it..

A year went by and the numbness got worse and the pain did as well. However at this point I had full strength in my legs. Got worse the longer I stood up. I went to another doctor that took an MRI and he sent me to a neurosurgeon here that specializes in backs. Apparently I have a fracture on my L5 which has resulted in that putting pressure on my sciatic nerve.. I tried 2 different types of meds, stretching, went in for 2 injections over this time and nothing has seemed to work. Dr. said that surgery is last option and should not be explored until I lose strength in the leg. Ok?? So I have learned to love daily with the pain..

This past week the pain got too much to handle. Today I actaully went to the emergency room. I feel ok tonight because I am filled with drugs and I go into see my DR next Thursday. The pain is such a stong stabbing feeling that I could not really move at all and it was hard to breath. The shooting pain actaully has moved around into my groin area as well.. Here are my questions:

Do I consider surgery? My DR told me they would go in and shave some bone tissue off of my hip and fuse that area together with a few pins.

If I do not do suregery what types of medications or alternatives are available??

Last, if anyone has had this type of surgery I sure would like details about pain, healing process, etc...

Thanks in advance for any help to this newbie!


  • If it has been 2 years since your initial evaluation, there could be something completely different going on at the moment. Before considering any surgery it is always recommended to get a second opinion if possible and of course to try as many conservative treatments as feasibly possible. Depending on the type of injury, the exact spot of injury and many other factors unique to you, treatment and rehabilitation will be tailored to you.

    Most people go through a series of anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers and simple analgesics for pain when they are first treated. Of course once again it depends upon each individual case and severity of the symptoms.

    See what your doc has to say on Thursday. It helps tremendously to write down any questions you have and take those with you so you don't forget.

  • i see this is your first post and i want to welcome you to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. C has lots of good ideas and questions for your next appointment... :? get a gripe on what is happening now and go from there!! :D good luck as you seek pain relief! =D> Jenny :)
  • We are here to try and give you support and information from our experiences. I had L4/5 fusion last summer. My recovery took a while, but I have other problems and now require chronic pain management.

    It sounds like you have been through a long course already of conservative therapy and that your pain has reached a new level. Personally, I would ask for a new MRI and consider the option of surgery. Many on here have done very well, but we all recovery differently. I also have read that its not good to have a nerve compressed for too long.

    I suggest you go to the Back surgery forum, at the top of page, there is a link to questions to ask the surgeon.

    Best wishes to you,

  • Thanks for the input.. I do feel better today.. I hate this so much because as pain tolerant as I am, I refuse to believe that you have to go no through life like this.. My doctor told me it is about pain management before surgery.. Great, so who wants to live life having to sit down every hour for 5 minutes because your leg goes numb and you have a stabbing feeling...

    Can anyone chime in with some sort of drugs or exercises, etc, that might have helped you??
  • Glad to hear that you are feeling better this morning. As far as what drugs have helped, you will get such a varied response on that, it may be more confusing than helpful. Most everyone here has felt like a chemistry experiment at one point in their journey through their injury/recovery. The key is to try what the doc thinks might work best for you and just figure out what you respond best to. Each doc has drugs that they have seen more patients respond well to and they generally start with those.

    The best way to figure out what exercises work best for you, is to first off find out what all is currently wrong with your spine. Obviously things have changed or progressed over 2 years, so I would think that your first best step, would be to find out exactly where you stand at the moment and then tailor a program of treatment and PT from that.

    Pain management is a good thing, but once again you need to make certain that by delaying things, that you aren't at risk of permanent nerve damage. No amount of pain management can prevent nerve damage and permanent nerve damage is painful and difficult to treat.

    Try to hang in there until next Thursday when you can get some good answers and a better idea of what is going on.

  • from what you have told us .yes i thing that you will require surgery on your back ,just remember that its no picnic the operation should go OK but the recovery is the one you may have problems with ..even if you have a good outcome with your operation please remember that your back will still ache and you may require more surgery as you get older ,for the time being try ice or/and a TENS
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