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EMG ok, still have tingling and pain

emray8eemray8 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi All,

I'm hoping someone else has had this happen because I'm confused.

Hx: L5S1 bulge/herniation last June while doing CPR. Lower back pain and R leg tingling and pins and needles. Underwent PT for 6 weeks and it only made it worse. Since I have to lift 100 lbs to go back to work, my doctors agreed that the only hope I had was to go ahead with lamenectomy/fusion. I had no disc left and was bone to bone. Sept had surgery and pt started soon after. Pt and then work hardening and conditioning until April of this year. At that time they decided to give me a break and see if we could get my pain under control. Pain is 3 -7 in my lower back and above symptoms in my r leg. I was told recently that I will probably not go back to work as a medic since lifting 100 lbs. doesn't seem likely. I take tramadol, valium at night and have just started on neurontin. I also have a tens unit that gives me some relief in my lower back.

Anyway, getting to my question. I hand an EMG done last week and it showed no damage to the nerves in my right leg. I asked my doctor why I was having symptoms of tingling, pins and needles and pain if there was no damage. He said the nerve was irritated. Is this common? I'm worried that they (workers comp) will try to say I'm faking my symptoms (which are very real) Has anyone else had this happen? I am so tired of the pain and want my life back. I'm accepting I won't go back into the field, I just want to be as normal as possible.

If anyone has had similar experience, I'd love to hear about it.





  • Just wondering if your doctor further explained "irritated"? Did he mean that it was continuing to be irritated by something that was not corrected by surgery or that it had been irritated for some time and was just in the process of recovery? Have you had a mri or ct scan? What did they show? Do any positions lessen the pain? I had surgery in Oct and continue to have leg pain. I will be going for an emg in a couple of weeks to see what's going on. This situation in not that uncommon. Nerves can take some time to fully recover. Hopefully this will happen for us.
  • Thenade,

    Hopefully I will get some of those answers tomorrow. I see my surgeon then. I believe they mean that it is still irritated from the injury and surgery. I've been told it can take a couple years to heal.

    I hope your EMG is good. Try not to worry. I was very nervous because I don't like needles, but it wasn't bad at all. Good luck and thanks for the imput
  • Well, I think nerve damage and nerve pain/irritation are just different things. I think the nerves that are buzzing and tingling are very much alive and just annoyed at being rubbed on or squished by something. At least that's what I always thought about my own buzzing tingly nerves.

    I do have some that go alternately numb and buzzy, though, and some that are just numb. I think those are the ones that are damaged. But sometimes perfectly alive nerves can even go numb for a while and then come back to life- I've had that happen too.

    But they say that nerve damage is irreversable, but irritation is just inflammation- it goes away when the source is gone. I think. Ask your doctor.
  • Hi again. Please let us know what the surgeon had to say about the "nerve situation" after your visit. Thanks. Is the neurontin helping yet? I found that it did not help me much and I was really spaced out but I have seen other posts where it has seemed to help people. Everyone is different.
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