This is my first post and I'm hoping to gain a little more insight into my situation. Here's the rundown:
3 weeks ago I lifted a heavy TV the wrong way and hurt my back. It wasn't too bad at first with just some sharp pain in my lumbar area whenvever I tried to bend down at the waist. It felt like I might have just pulled a muscle back there. A few days later that was replaced, seemingly overnight, with severe numbness and intermittent nerve pain in my left leg. Specifically, numbness of the left buttock, hamstring, and along left side of my genitals, and nerve pain down my left leg, primarily above the knee. The pain would come and go and usually flare up if I walked around a lot. It also popped up in the middle of the night/early morning when sleeping. The pain symptoms were virtually gone within a week.
By the time I saw my primary physician 1 week after the onset of symptoms the pain had subsided, but the numbness was the same as when it began. I was prescribed oral steroids (methylpredisolone) which had no effect. My follow up after the steroid regimen also confirmed that I had zero nerve reflex in my left ankle. I was then directed to get an MRI and follow up with my neurosurgeon.
At 3wks since onset (yesterday) I met with the neurosurgeon. My current symptoms are very minimal pain, which means a very slight nerve "ache" on occasion, again usually when sleeping or moving around a lot. It kind of feels like when your leg has fallen asleep and is starting to wake up. The numbness in my left buttock, hamstring and left side of genitals is still there, but maybe 10% or at most 20% improved. Sometimes I can't tell if it's better or if I'm just accustomed to it now. My calf and left foot has a slight tingle sometimes and overall feel sort of weak.
My meeting with the surgeon went like this...
My MRI showed disc degeneration at L4-L5 and herniation at L5-S1 with extruded disc material. The surgeon says that he is surprised that I'm not in any pain given the MRI results. He is recommending surgery to remove the extruded material and release pressure on the nerve. His reasoning for pushing for surgery so soon is the fact that I'm only feeling numbness and no pain, which he feels indicates that the nerve is being severely compressed, is no longer transmitting pain signals, and is at risk of permanent damage unless the stray disc material is removed.
Sorry for the long post, but I'm hoping someone here has had a similar situation. Most of the posts I read involve severe pain symptoms that persist with numbness, as opposed to some pain which was primarily replaced by numbness. I'm seeking second opinions regarding surgery but in the meantime would love to get some feedback here as well.