Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

In a bad place

jayceyjjaycey Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Depression and Coping
In December 2007 I had decompression surgery and was very active on this forum. Since that time my condition has gone from bad to worse. Apparently the opposite side of my spine is now compressed and will most likely need more surgery. I have had two ESIs and am waiting for a nerve root block. But the sciatic pain is now so bad I can hardly walk. My hip seems locked up and the pain shoots down my leg. I left my job in October and can't see going back to work with this pain.

Every morning I wake up and pray that something will have taken the pain away. But of course it never happens. I have to plan every move and now cancel any excursions that might involve long walks or steps. I am totally embarrassed as I limp around like a VERY old person.

My daily trips to the gym seem to work for a few minutes and then it all comes back - like being hit by a truck. Today I didn't bother going.

Patience - I guess I have run out! I need to get a job and get on with life but the meer thought of going to an interview in all this pain seems impossible.

Thanks for listening fellow Spineys.


  • Hang in there and take your time with yourself, you can do that now. learn your limits and then yu can start pushing them all over again. The way i see it, you find out where your at and have a baseline to start from, and then you can begin to "work out" mentally and physically.

    you will find the best way for you, dont push too hard, but dont stop pushing, thats what makes you stronger!
    You stay strong there and keep us n the loop!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Hi Jaycey---constant pain wears away at us both mentally and physically--I personally feel the mental is worse than the physical. I too went through adjusting my life to the short time I could walk without pain----I have had 2 spinal fusions in 2 years,each one directed at the pain in a different leg. I am 3 weeks post op----and now I can look forward to having a "real life"---beyond making sure I have somewhere to sit wherever I go. Please try to focus on what you can do,however small-and all the good things in your life.Are you considering further surgery? Keep us posted-Jeannie
  • Could you tell us a bit more about your spinal issues and the decompression surgery you had? Are you currently under the care of a spinal specialist?

    Sometimes surgeries like a discectomy or laminectomy only end up creating more problems, because they can create some instability in the spine. When the spine is unstable, all kinds of problems can arise. Nerves can become trapped; there is more wear-and-tear on the discs and facet joints. This can result in spinal arthritis, etc.

    The sciatic pain you are feeling is probably coming from a trapped nerve root in the lower lumbar area. I have problems with the S1 nerve. It results in a feeling that runs from the top of the hip all the way to my toes and when I walk I feel like I am trying to swing through with a wooden leg. There are lots of other pain sensations too, but the one I hate most is when the entire right quadrant of my lower body feels like a piece of concrete. I never know from step to step if I can move it. This sounds like what you are experiencing.

    You can run out of patience but it will not help with your pain! So blow up and let off some steam...and then regain your can-do attitude and your patience...and start looking for that doctor that can help you.
  • Thanks to those who replied. I really appreciate your support on this.

    Jeanne - you are so right. It's the constant pain that is really wearing me down. I would like to explore all non surgical avenues now as my recovery from the first surgery was SOOOOO long.

    gweenie - some background - I have spondy grade 1, severe stenosis and DDD. Had decompression on the right side L3/4 two years ago to try and relieve sciatic pain running down my right leg. It took over one year and one ESI to even crack that pain. Just before my first ESI I started to get pain on the left. First it felt like a muscle pull running straight down the front of my leg. That has progressed to groin and hip pain plus the leg pain. Had another ESI last September that did absolutely nothing. My surgeon will try a nerve root block on the left in February. In addition, I just got the results of an xray they did on my hip last week and you are right - I now have significant arthritis in my hip as well. I am sure it is partially due to not being able to walk right and trying to compensate for the pain.

    Question for everyone - I read that the best thing for arthritis is exercise. Should I just keep doing it and hope that things will ease? Ranchhand is right I don't need to push - but I just can't come to terms with not being able to get around. Any thoughts out there?

    Thanks for your support, Jaycey
  • I just wanted to add my support.Waking up every morning and finding the pain is still there is mentally debilitating if you let it be. As others have said try and focus on what you can do. Some days will be better than others. I know it is very hard. Keep at your doctors for an answer. Like Gwennie said perhaps you now have an instability in your spine. That was one of my problems which showed up on dynamic x-rays. It showed excessive movement when bending. That contributed to the compression of the spinal nerves. Check with your doctor about the question of arthritis in your hip. I don't know about your medical coverage but perhaps you can go to Physio to get instruction as to proper exercise. You don't want to make things worse.
    Keep posting. People on this site understand.
  • Yes, to what thenade just wrote -- have you had extension/flexion X-rays to check for instability? If you have an active spondylolisthesis, there are few treatments that are going to help, other than something to stabilize the spine, such as fusion.

    I'm not sure what surgery you had when you state "decompression surgery." Regardless, from what you describe it certainly sounds like you still have a nerve that is being compromised. This can come from the spondylolisthesis, from the stenosis (which may be separate or may be a result of the spondy) or an issue with the disc from DDD...maybe all three together!!

    Exercise is a tricky question. Of course it is important to keep moving. However, if your body mechanics are so impaired by pain,(which means you are probably compensating for the pain which ends up putting more stress or the opposite side, etc.), you may just be grinding that hip and causing way more wear and tear.

    You might want to go to someone who specializes in body mechanics, or some PTs could help too, to find a way to exercise that will help to rebalance all the soft tissue in your spine and pelvic girdle. This misalignment is something that most spine patients are not aware of. It takes a specialist to point it out and show how to correct it. Sometimes it takes learning a whole new system of how to sit and move the body correctly.

    Are you seeing a spinal specialist and have you had a new MRI recently? Again, if you have not had the flexion X-rays, you should ask for those, too. I was initially told I just had the "usual wear-and-tear DDD" for anyone my age...nothing to worry about. As soon as the doc looked at my X-rays, he said, "OOPS -- sorry, you need fusion. Nothing else will help." I had spondylolisthesis at L4-5. There was no rush to have surgery, but he told me there were no other procedures or treatments that would solve or help with my issues. Eventually I would have to have the fusion. You may find that is the case with your spine too if it is unstable and is causing nerve compression. You obviously have the referred pain that is causing sciatic-type pain in your hip and leg. Now it's a matter of finding where it is coming from.

  • I had a feeling last year that I was walking all wrong and even had a gait analysis done that showed I was putting all the weight on my left side. Paying for it now.

    Yes I am seeing a spinal surgeon and he did say years ago that the left side may cause me problems. I have seen the MRI and it looks nasty on the left. Nerves are all piled on top of the spondy area. He did the stability xrays before my surgery but will look into getting this done again. My first surgery filed down a bit of a facet joint and a bit of both discs to let the nerve drop. They call it decompression here in the UK.

    Agree with thenade on looking into PT and that's exactly what I am going to try and do to move forward on this. I think I need an expert to help me learn to walk right again. A little warm weather might help the arthritis too!

    Anyway, thanks so much for listening. I really needed someone to snap me out of this!
Sign In or Register to comment.