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Is this caused by sciatica?

hotcoffee29hhotcoffee29 Posts: 327
Hello everyone,

Reading through all the latest posts, I can see alot of you are suffering and having some rough spots or recovering from surgeries or scared about their upcoming surgeries, so I just want to say that I will say an extra prayer for all of us here at Spine health and I hope that better days lie ahead.

I too, like many of you have suffered many years of back pain and last year had surgery at L5/S1 (lami/diskectomy) but still continue with pain and sciatica.

After many tests my surgeon has said that he wants to do another decompression surgery and clean it all out. He believes there is some bone irritating the nerves and thinks that once he is in there it will look worse than any test has been able to show due to my symptoms.

My question, which probably seems silly............but I have noticed that my leg pain is increasing more than my back pain, is this caused by the sciatica? I still keep up with my exercises and I can do most movements, and I can bend etc but it causes pain.........always in my left leg. I find that after I have been sitting for a while and I get up to walk that the pain is bad going down the back of my leg and my leg wants to give out and it takes a few minutes of walking to get the pain to ease up and my leg moving normal again, is this common with nerve pain that my leg feels very weak and painful, especially in the back of my knee and my ankle?? I also get alot of tinling in my foot and numbness which I have had for a while but this increased leg pain and lack of stability in my leg is new. Just wondering if its all related??

My low back pain is on my left side, my surgery dealt with a right sided herniation so the left side started after surgery. I have recently started having back pain again on the right side, it produces no leg pain or numbness but has started a bit in the right buttock, so overall I was curious if this means my increasing symptoms could mean my problem is getting more severe?

I have an appointment in 2 weeks with my surgeon to discuss the surgery. I was trying to hold off to do it over summer but my mom is ill and I need to be with her so I need to discuss doing in sooner and try to deal with getting the time off work which won't be easy.

Thanks for listening, everyone here is so wonderful and I am blessed to have found you all and have been a wonderful support group over the last year.



  • I haven't had surgery... yet, but I can relate to the leg pain.

    Most of my pain, probably 85%, is in my left leg. I have a herniation at L5-S1 and L4-L5. Burning shooting pain through my thigh, calf and into my foot. My left foot tingles, has numb spots and my calf can sometimes tingle too.

    Sometimes when I stand up, my leg feels like it is going to give out, either from the pain, or sometimes it feels like the muscles are so tense, they can't support weight.

    I think a lot of people with herniations and other back problems feel most of their pain in their legs.
  • Yes, it seems like there has been a big run on bad luck the past week.

    And, yes, this sounds like classic sciatic pain, or to be technical, sciatic-type pain. You might be having problems at L5-S1, either from a bad disc, maybe a floating fragment or something like that. Something is causing the nerve to be compressed, which is causing pain running down that S1 dermatome.

    I don't know if your problems are becoming more severe, but it does sound like there is a bit more going on than previously, and on both sides, not just pressing on the right side.

    You've been suffering from a long time. I hope your doctor can figure out the cause of your pain, and if you opt for surgery, that it will help!

    Take care,
  • Vermithrax and Gwennie,

    have began to notice on the days I skip exercising that the pain is worse!

    My myelogram showed no nerve compression but L5-S1 was bulging but no re-herniation, and L4-L5 has a bulging disk also, and DDD at L5-S1......

    Like you Vermithrax, I feel my leg is unable to support my weight at times and when I stand up after sitting for a while, I could litteraly fall over, my leg has got weaker............yes it definately feels like nerve compression....I cannot imagine what else could possibly cause all these symptoms. My doctor says there could still be a piece of bone fragmaent from the surgery that the tests cannot see??? perhaps!

    I feel I have to go through with another surgery or I will never know whats really going on in there and doing nothing isn't helping either because it's getting more painful. I believe my concern along with so many others is that there is a chance of permanent nerve damage and this feeling will never go away!!

    Thank you for your reply's,
  • hotcoffee29 said:
    .....I feel my leg is unable to support my weight at times and when I stand up after sitting for a while, I could literally fall over, my leg has got weaker............
    These were the major symptoms I experienced before my surgery. My left leg and foot would become so weak after walking for a few minutes that I sometimes sat on the ground to relieve the numbness. Thsi went on for at least two years before I decided to have something done about it.

    I'm not familiar with your prior surgery although it sounds you're now experiencing new issues now and will perhaps need to address them.

    Not sure what to tell you but my ALIF procedure did address my leg and foot weakness/numbness. I had surgery last year and have since been walking daily with no issue. I can stand and walk without pian or numbness.

    My only problem is the lingering soreness/tightness I have in my lower back at the site of the surgery. I take naxopren for relief.

    Best to you,

  • It is reassuring to hear that after fusion that you are doing better and hopefully the other symptoms will ease in time also.

    I had a laminectomy/discectomy at L5-S1 in July last year for right sided leg numbness and pain....after surgery pain started on left side....it's been quite a journey ever since.

    A discogram I had in December was negative so my surgeon said I did not need a fusion, I didn't care for the validity of that test but I am to have another decompression surgery this summer to clean things out and he said he saw something that appears to be pushing on my nerve. Lately it just feels like everything is getting worse....leg weakness and pain in particular.

    I was just curious that the symptoms I was feeling in my leg were all related to nerve compression, its hard to imagine a pinched nerve in your back can cause such pain in my leg!!

    I wish you continued success with your recovery. I am happy to hear that it worked well for you and thank you for sharing, I feel better!!

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