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Back and leg pain and numbness in leg and foot

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
Hi all! This is my first time to do this. I am 39 yrs old, with herniated discs at L2/L3, L3/L4, L4/L5, L5/S1. I have been informed in August by a Neurosurgeon that my back is inoperable. Since all of this started in July, I have had epidural steroid injections, gone to physical therapy and am currently seeing a therapist to do hypnosis. I am taking 300 mgs of Lyrica, 60 mgs of Cymbalta and as many over the counter pain meds as I can. You might ask why I am not taking narcotic pain relievers. I have not taken any narcotics in 96 days. I am an addict. I was in Afghanistan as a contractor and had kidney stones. They gave me IV morphine, oral Percocet and IM stadol and Toradol. I was on a constant IV drip of morphine for 23 days. This landed me in detox and rehab. Now, they wont give me any narcotics. My PCP has referred me to NS again, but I don't really have any hope that they will do any thing for me. I am going to ask the pain doc to set me up for an SCS. Any ideas to help with the horrendous pain that I am in would be greatly appreciated. P.S. I am also losing control of my bladder at night, and having troubles during the day.


  • I'm sorry you are having so many problems and cannot take opioids for pain.

    If I were you I would first get an opinion from another fellowship-trained spinal specialist. The final sentence in your post sent up the red flags. Any time you have lumbar problems and have lost control of bladder or bowel, it is a potential sign of cauda equina syndrome. You need to seek medical attention ASAP. It may be nothing serious, but if a nerve is being compressed and causing these symptoms, it is one of the few actual emergency situations with the spine. If your PCP cannot see you immediately, you should think about going to the emergency room and be sure and tell them about your lumbar problems.

    I am enclosing a link to CES. Any of us with lower lumbar problems need to be aware of the symptoms for CES. It can come up quickly and if not treated, can result in permanent nerve damage.


    What one surgeon considers inoperable is another surgeon's challenge. Do not give up until you have exhausted the possibilities.

  • I agree with Gwennie, get another opinion or even more. Loss of bladder control is usually an emergency and often requires surgical intervention. Are you eligible for care at the VA? I don't know about other areas, but where I live the VA Hospital is associated with Stanford University and there are some world class surgeons there. Don't give up, you are entitled to have all the help that is out there.

    Good luck,

  • Did the NS give you any specific reason why your back is inoperable? Have you gone for a second opinion?

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • Well, actually got to see a neurosurgeon. Ordered a new MRI, having it Friday. My symptoms have become worse. Now when I bend my legs go to sleep. The pain is getting much worse. My pcp won't do anything cause he thinks I am seeking. My wife asked him why he doesn't diagnose me with chronic pain syndrome, as I have all of the symptoms, and he said he would never diagnose someone with that. He also doesn't believe carpal tunnel syndrome is real. I am in the process of switching doctors and maybe even hospitals. I see the ns again on wednesday, and maybe then they can fix something.

  • I was wondering how you are getting on. Have you got the results of your MRI scan yet, and what did the ns say on Wednesday?

    Hope that things look more hopeful for you now.

    Take care.
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