Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Recurrent Spinal Problem

satriani25ssatriani25 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

I've just joined this group in hope finding some form of support.

My back problems started around 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with a L4-L5
slip disc. It first started off as a constant ache in a left leg even when I'm
not doing anything strenuous. I went to CGH for treatment and A MRI scan
subsequently confirmed this. Things did not improve after therapy and
conservative treatments. I sought a 2nd opinion and subsequently had a
decompression discectomy done in 2002. The operation went well and the constant
ache on my left leg went away straight away.

Things generally went well for the next few years till 2008 when I experienced
that similar ache again. Went back to CGH and confirmed that the disc had bulged
out even more. While waiting for an operation date in 2009 for a spinal fusion,
my condition deteriorated. Was on my way to work when I felt a very sharp and
crippling pain. I literally could not work and every step was taken in anguish.
Luckily at that time I was under my void deck and a neighbour helped me back
home. That very day, I went to CGH A&E and was given medical leave till my
spinal fusion operation. The pain did not subside and I remembered at that
point, I had to hold on to something just to cough or sneeze. When I woke up
every morning, I would be in such great pain that I had to kneel down on the
floor for up to 1/2 an hour before the pain subsides to a level when I could

Things took a turn for the worse when one day while showering, I realised that I
could not feel my right leg anymore. I went over to CGH A&E and was given an
injection to relieve my symptoms. It helped a little. I went home but by night
time I was back at the A&E because the feeling in my right leg did not return
again. I was hospitalised that very night. A few days later on a Friday, my
principal surgeon saw me in the evening and decided I had to have emergency
operation the next day. He diagnosed me as having cauda equina syndrome. The
spinal fusion went well but the damage was already done. The feeling on the
underside of my right foot never returned to normal. It was very much reduced
sensation coupled with very funny feelings and nerve pain. I also had
difficulties clearing my bowels and have this constantly constipated feeling.
Follow-ups with my surgeon confirmed that to some extent, my nerves were
damaged. My surgeon and I were both optimistic about my recovery towards
normalcy. I spent more than a year before I am able to resume work in late 2010.
By then I had gotten used to the funny sensations and nerve pull that's always
around. I was prescribed Lyrica which helped managed the sensations and pain in
some ways. At least I was able to sleep at night. Gradually by 2011, I stopped
medication the nerves have 'calmed' enough for me to get by each day without
taking the medication.

2010 came and I was very happy at work and with personal life. I was still
dealing with the funny sensations and also constantly constipated, having
difficulties clearing my bowels but I managed it with diet and I even managed to
slim down from close to 80kg down to around 64 kg (I'm 1.71m tall). Towards the
end of 2011, even my superiors recognised that I have worked hard for the year.
I was really very very happy that I have at least seen some form of hope for the

Then on Dec 5th, my world slowly came crushing down. In my foolishness, I packed
a heavy camera into a sling bag and went out for a walk. I should have realised
that it was a tad too heavy for my back but I've been out using the bag before
so I didn't think more about it. After just half an hour's worth of walking, my
back didn't feel right. I could feel there was some kind of strain and ache
forming. I stopped walking and quickly went home to rest. Over the next few
days, the ache gradually reduced but there's still some 'residue' ache. I went
back to CGH and the doctor at A&E said that it should be nothing too serious. I
got an appointment to see my specialist in Feb. Things were generally ok though
there is still this feeling that something is not not quite right with the back.
Towards the last few days of 2011, I realised that whenever I lie down, my left
leg will turn numb. However when I sit up or walk around, the feeling will
return back to normal.

On the 3rd of Jan 2012, the feeling did not come back when I woke up. The left
leg was very numb and I could literally feel the numbness ride up to the back of
my thigh. I went back to A&E and was hospitalised for observation. By then, I
could feel that the musicles for the whole back was very very tensed up. For the
first two days, I would not even lie down to sleep at all as the leg will just
go numb. With the help of the physiotherapists there, I managed to find a
comfortable position and was able to get some rest and sleep. My specialist's
team saw me and but they concluded that it should not be anything serious.
Subsequently my specialist saw me and also concluded the same thing.
Nevertheless he ordered a MRI to be done. I was discharged on Friday and as the
hospital could not do the MRI anytime soon. I was given 2 weeks hospitalisation
leave. I went home and rested as much as possible, avoiding strenuous activities
but while at the same time I tried to be active by taking walks. Nothing too
heavy or straining. By then, I noticed that there was this constant slight
numbness in my left foot. The numbness stayed the same no matter whether I am
lying down or sitting up. It's not getting worse but at the same time it's not
getting better. By this point I have decided to go back to work once my leave is
up as staying at home resting would not help as well. By then, I am already very
emotional and depressed. I just could not believe that once again I have injured
my back. Before I got discharged from the hospital, the doctors said that they
will post me the appointment for the MRI. I waited and waited and waited till
even after my hospitalisation leave which was two weeks, the letter never came.
Frustrated, I called up the hospital and it's only until a few more days later,
I was finally given an appointment on the 5th of March to do the MRI. As of now,
I am still waiting patiently for the day to come. My specialist is scheduled to
see me two weeks after the MRI.

Right now, there's a lot of questions and uncertainty going on in my mind. What
caused the left feet to be numb? What exactly happened to my back? As of this
writing, I can also feel increased pulling of the nerves in my right leg. I am
taking medication to manage it and so far so good. It sort of relaxes the
nerves. Right now I am just praying that whatever happened, it is only minor and
I will be able to get well in time to come.

Has anyone been in this kind of situation before? Sorry for the super long post.
Feel free to comment or give your views as I am looking for support and also
hopefully to share experiences on how to manage this. Thank you in advance.



  • I just wanted to say I am sorry you are having to go through this. Disc problems are the worst. I've been dealing with problems for 7 years about off and on. I have had nerve tingling in my legs and feet for the last 4 years. And I know how you feel when you say you can't believe this is happening again. After my second microdiscectomy my disc herniated within about a week or two can't remember exactly I was on percocet so things were foggy. I was in such total shock that it happened again right after the surgery and I was in such horrible pain my anxiety levels went through the roof and I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. They gave me some drug to combine with the percocet that was supposed to increase the effectiveness and it really helped since it knocked me out and also helped with the pain along with neurontin.

    I did not have another surgery I had a spinal injection and over a few months improved a lot. Now about last fall it seems my disc herniated yet again but it's not severe pain. It really gets old dealing with this. Although I have to say I have gotten used to it emotionally now. There are things I cannot do anymore and that's just the way it is. I'll be praying for you that it all turns out to be nothing major. Try to stay strong. I know it feels like you will never get better but with these back issues in my experience anyway it gets worse and you deal with the accute pain and then it improves and you will have times where you feel quite a bit better. For me not 100% but improved.
  • I also wanted to mention I went on a 20 mile bike ride last summer. So like I had said there are down times where it's horrible acute pain and then things do improve. I have kept up on physical therapy exercises which has allowed me to function at a higher level then if I had not. Just to keep my muscles strong so if I do go do something my back will tolerate more.
  • Thank you so much for your reply mchell. Right now I feel so lost and alone. As of today, the nerves in my right leg are pulling damn hard and it's getting more and more difficult to walk. Going to see my specialist later and see what he makes of it. I used to be mentally strong but right now I can only say it is wearing me down just pray that I will get by this. I know there are ppl worse off than me but having said, I am almost at my limit. Kept telling myself to stay strong and not give up but it just seems so hard to see the light.
  • So when are you seeing the specialist? I know it can be so hard waiting and worrying for test results. Can they give you a Medrol pack in the meantime? I know that has helped me greatly in the past.
    When I was at my worst and could not get out of bed the medrol also known as methylprednisolone pack got rid of the inflammation to the point I could get out of bed again and walk without excruciating pain.
  • Saw my specialist yesterday. He did a check. Now it seems that there are some degeneration in my neck. He's worried that I might have herniated a disc there. Going for MRI for neck on the 15th then MRI for back on the 5th of march. He has also ordered physio for neck. Had a blood test done to check my abnormalities in my blood. Results not out yet. He prescribed arcoxia along with lyrica and neuroforte. The arcoxia is damn strong and seems to help. He said to remain as active as possible and hence I will be going back to work on Monday. Now trying to stay positive and also taking it day by day.
  • That's great that the specialist gave you something that is helping. I hear lyrica is good stuff too. I have never taken that one myself.
Sign In or Register to comment.