I noticed some sciatica and genital numbness on one side of the penis/ and butt about two years ago. I saw a couple doctors promptly and they basically blew me off. I did some physical therapy and took oral cortisone which didn't do anything for me. I am in my 20s
Urologists cleared me as everything normal down there.
Chiropractic didn't do anything.
About a year ago I decided to have a microdiscectomy on l5-s1, it went well and I noticed instant pain relief, however was left with some numbness in the genitals(lost sensation and pinching sensations to be specific) still ( i think it did improve but I don't remember exactly). I also notice a bunch of foot numbness (to be specific pins and needles in foot, no loss of sensation). As any doctor would say, nerves take a long time to heal and he was reassuring and optimistic.
I was cleared to do everything again and although i didnt have much pain, it got aggravated with heavy labor, etc. I never fully recovered from the genital numbness.
We did another MRI and found another minor herniation.
Went to a few urologists who said to get back surgery again and that urologically i am ok.
Also tried a series of 3 epidural shots and i think it did help.
Then out of nowhere I had a bad flare up (i honestly haven't done anything that wouldve hurt it for over a month). My sciatica attacked, numbness in foot got worse, and genital numbness went to complete loss of sensation.
I got ahold of my doctors.
This did go down a bit, but i feel like i haven't reached baseline again, the numbness is starting to cause erectile problems.
Pain specialist said to take it easy for a few days, stretch, yoga, traction, etc.
-Neurosurgeon #1 was perplexed at this and said he had never heard of numbness in the genitals from this, so he ordered a pelvic MRI which was normal. He said he would do some research and talk to colleagues for me, did seem very interested in helping. He said he really doesn't know what to do for me, he's reluctant to offer me a fusion because he thinks it wont help my numbness and its risky. The s1 nerve root doesn't really innervate the penis although it is possible. He did mention that often piriformis muscles are tight or hypertrophied, or others in the area (i was a bodybuilder/powerlifter) and they could possibly cause issues. He also mentioned that although i have a mild herniated disk, he thinks my nerve root probably has enough room to not be compressed or affected
-Neurosurgeon #2 said a microdiscectomy probably wouldn't help whatsoever so try physical therapy.
-My family practice doctor wants to backtrack and rule out all other possible affections as we are getting nowhere with the back stuff. He wants me to really do physical therapy and a lot on my own.
-Orthopedic back surgeon that did my first job told me that he really doesn't think its my back that is causing this as I am his only patient with this as my main complaint. He is very reluctant to do the surgery again although he said he would do it if i absolutely want it, under the assumption that it likely won't do anything for me and might even make matters worse. At the same time, he does do many revisions with great results, its just that 2nd time around has slightly bigger risks.
-I have excellent strength, reflexes, my pain went back down, btw.
PS I asked them all about cauda equina syndrome, and they said my disk is definitely not pushing on that area and I don't have that.
This numbness in the genitals is driving me nuts and its starting to hurt my sex life. I really don't mind the tingling in the foot, although any improvement on that would be nice. If this gets worse, id likely have serious male problems.
Anyone have any input as to whether I should do this or not?
My plan is to try some more physical therapy (new place as the last one was a whackjob), go to an osteopathic/physiatrist, try some oral cortisone, and if nothing works, i feel like i want to try another microdiscectomy.