I'm a 41 year old female. When I was 14 I noticed the outer side of my foot and calf up to my knee were numb. I was diagnosed with a grade II/III spondylolisthesis L5-S1 and had a Wiltse type fusion with bone grafts. It was pretty successful and I returned to being very physically active, though my back would hurt when I over-did it. As of a year ago, I was working full time in a research la, so on my feet all day. I worked out regularly, running 4-5 miles on the treadmill several times a week, snow skiing, backcountry hiking etc. We did several intense hikes in Yosemite last summer, one 10 miles and one 3.5 miles up 2000ft then back down. I also painted several room in my house so was up and down a ladder and standing in strange positions while painting corners and the ceiling/walls different colors. Basically, I was doing a lot of things to strain my back. Then I missed the bottom step on the ladder and landed very with a jolt. After that, I noticed the 2 small toes on my right foot went numb and I started experiencing an intense stabbing burning pain on the lower right side of my back, about an inch below the fusion. It would happen most often when I was leaning back in bed propped on pillows watching tv, or leaning back in a recliner and the pain would shoot more towards my hip than butt. I just figured I had inflammed it from all the activity. I would rest it for a week or so, heat and ice and ibuprofin, then I would try to resume activity. Every time I did something active, whether more painting, landscaping or hikes, it would flare back up. Working out made it really bad and I tried walking, elliptical, and bike as an alternative to running, but I couldn't find anything that didn't make it flare more. So after 27 years, I went back to the dr. On my physical exam my big toe dorsiflexion on the right toe was weak and he said some of the reflexes were a little slow so there was some radiculopathy. Xrays show the grade II spondylosisthesis. Although the MRI shows a large synovial cyst at L4-L5, the surgeon said he doesn't see anything really compressed. However, the pain management/rehab dr said the cyst is "really huge! Very impressive! It's really crunched in there." CT shows the fusion worked, but its very uneven. I also have degeneration of L4-L5 disc, and degeneration in the sacro-iliac joint as well as in the L4-L5 and L5-S1 facet joints. And the foramen is very small. I'm scheduled for cortisone epidural shots the day after tomorrow followed by PT.
I'm a little confused. Is the pain from the cyst or is the cyst from the degeneration and inflammation? Will the epidural shots make the cyst go away? Will it help with how small the cord space is or is that permanent?
On top of that the joints in my neck are degenerating and they said I have carpal tunnel and mild thoracic outlet syndrome. I'll have PT for that too.
Thanks, I look forward to getting to know everyone