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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
I had an epidural for back pain on the 8th Sept. I am more upright & seem to be able to walk better, but the pain in what feels like my ham string continues. I have a numbness in my foot, all of which worsens if I walk any distance. I get pins & needles in my leg & then it goes numb. I get relief by just sitting down, although the more I have walked the symptoms click in faster. The relief that the injection has given took about 8 days to take effect in & I improved very slightly for the days that followed. Today it doesn't seem so good. Am I expecting too much - should I be getting any other treatment?
I have had a scan The L2-3 disk is severly narrowed L4-5 & lumbosacral discs are reduced in height.
L1-2 annular disc bulge
L2-3 mild canal narrowing
L3-4 disk bulge & degree of canal narrowing is most marked at this level
L4-5 right lateral disk prolapse. difficult to identify the right L5 nerve root separately.
I would appreciate any suggestions. Many thanks


  • Have you been seen by a fellowship-trained spinal specialist? I wasted a good year letting my internist handle my back problems.

    Since you had some relief from the ESI, they will probably want to try a second one. This is standard procedure for most doctors and insurance companies.

    The pain you are feeling in your hamstrings and the numbness in the foot, and the other symptoms you describe are fairly typical of having some Lumbar 4 and 5 nerve root compression. The "canal narrowing" that is mentioned also contributes to this problem, in addition to the bulging discs.

    You will be offered conservative treatments first, such as the injections and physical therapy. If after a period of time, these have not helped, your doctor may want to perform a surgical procedure that would open up that space so the nerves are no longer compressed.

    It is important that you consult with a fellowship-trained spinal specialist, either an orthopedic spinal surgeon or neurosurgeon to get a specific plan for treatment as you move forward.

    It is also important that you learn everything you can about your particular spinal issues so you can understand what the doctor is talking about and so that you can participate in the decisions regarding your treatment.

    This website has helpful articles written by doctors in the field. You might want to start here:
    http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica/what-you-need-know-about-sciatica and

    Again, welcome. Feel free to post often with your questions and concerns.

    xx Gwennie
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