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so confused

JuvaPJJuvaP Posts: 52
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Osteoporosis and Fractures
Hi Everybody,
I'm fairly new to the boards. I've been experiencing severe sciatica for a year & a half. Been on steriods, anti-inflamatories, a series of spinal injections. I do have a bulging disc @ L5-S1, with ddd. I had an MRI in May.
Finally had a consult with a neurosurgeon today & was told that nothing is touching the sciatic nerve, threfore there's nothing that he can do.
He suggested that I be tested for osteoporosis. It amkes no sense to me, as I've had no fractures, only the sciatica.
The pain is incredible & I'm sooo afraid that the docs will stop providing what little pain relief they have been without a proper diagnosis.
Has anybody else here experienced this kind of pain without a fracture?
Thank You so much for taking the time to read this.
By the way, I'm 49 & had a hysterectomy 4 years ago with no hormone therapy if that helps.
Again, thanks, Juva


  • Sorry your appointment was disappointing. I was just replying to your other thread in hoping it went well! I am 48, and had a partial hysterectomy back in 02 thanks to a tumor, and I went on the 'hormone ride from hell' and then some! (G) I'm not sure if they can have affects such as your experiencing or not. A little out of my area there, but if your hormones are out of whack, you can be a bit down, and that will increase pain sensitivity.

    As to your MRI. Was it a recumbent one, or a positional one? The reason I am asking is with me, I have no curve in my neck. A recumbent MRI shows no major problems, yet then I push because I "knew" something was wrong, a week later get a stand up MRI, and bingo, there is the hernia on the cord! It could be that when laying down, your disk issues aren't that bad. But standing, that can be a whole different animal!

    Our bodies Juva, they know better than our logical brain when something just isn't right! I would continue to look for answers. Yes it is frustrating, but the doctors don't live in our bodies, we do. Please don't give up. Gentle support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • You know, there have been so many cases of people who have symptoms with no obvious cause. I would not give up yet.

    Did he have any ideas for pain relief? Or have you asked for a referral to pain management?
  • Hi Brenda,
    Thank You for the hugs, I sure do need them. My MRI was lying down & the pain has gotten worse since then, but nobody seems interested in ordering another.
    My PCP has referred me to a PM, I'm just waiting for him to call with an appointment (that was last Monday).
    Everything moves so slowly when you're in pain.
    Thank so much, Juva
  • Sorry to hear your pain is increasing. I saw on your other thread that you are thinking of going to a Neurologist. I think that sounds like a very good move. If you go to one, bring up the MRI again, but check first if there is a facility you can get to for a positional MRI. They cost the same, and the images are on par with the "traditional" MRI's out there.

    If you haven't already, you might want to create a log in which you list what hurts and when. If there are specific movements or activities that cause or increase / decrease your pain. An additional thing I did (as pictures show the story) I took a Dermatome map and made marks on it as to what constantly hurt, intermittently hurt etc., numb areas. This way if he doesn't read your log, he can "see it." Please let us know how it goes.

    Remember... Sometimes it all comes down to connecting with the right doctor! Neurologists are great troubleshooters of the nerves/spine etc. They aren't cutters. Here's some more *HUGZ* as I know your day didn't go as you would have wished.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Brenda,
    Isn't it a shame when we are actually hoping that the surgeon will tell us that we need surgery to correct a problem?
    I guess I figured that then there would at least be a light at the end of the tunnel. This way I'm back at square one & not sure of what move to make.
    I've pretty much decided that I need to take control of my health care. Someone mentioned a test specifically for nerves, it sounded painful, but may be just what I need. Do you know what that was called?
    Hope you're having a pleasant evening, Juva
  • Hi there. Yes, spineys always have to be their own advocate when it comes to our care and finding the right doctor. I know members who have had more than five different opinions about their spine pain before they found the one that they felt comfortable with and would actually take the time to find the root of the problem.

    Hang in there, you're right - everything takes a long time when you're in pain.

    You might want to go to the Find A Doctor section at the very top of the page and put in your zip code for both a clinic and a spine specialist and see what you come up with. Many times you can then go to their web site to get an initial "feel" for them and see if you want to make an appointment for an evaluation.

    Take care and keep on going. There's help for you out there, sometimes you just have to be the one to find it.

  • Juva,

    That's one of the odd things about spine issues. Many of us get to the point we welcome or 'want' surgery. How odd is that? Not I guess if I think more about it. :)

    The nerve tests I think your asking about are concerning conduction and function, those? NVC and EMG.

    NVC: Nerve Conduction Velocity test - electrical test that is used to determine the adequacy of the conduction of the nerve impulse as it courses down a nerve. This test is used to detect signs of nerve injury. (per MedicineNet)

    This test is done with electrodes and a probe - non invasive.

    EMG: Electromyography - this one measures the electrical activity in muscles. To measure this activity, they use needles inserted into the targeted area - can be painful for some.

    As Cath111 said, you have to be your own medical advocate when it comes to your care. I strongly feel that most doctors want to do the best for us, but we are all different, as are they - training, knowledge, experience - we might be outside their scope, and as such get frustrated. I would continue to try and find a specialist who can zero in on what exactly is going on.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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