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2 years of terrible pain, still no diagnosis

Hello Everyone,
I am writing this as a plea for information/help. My girlfriend has had debilitating sciatic and sacral pain for 2 years. She was once a very healthy, active person who loved running and all outdoor activity, now she is unable to find a position of comfort. I fear we will not find an answer and I see her dreams going up in smoke.
She is 27 years old. Active duty in the military and a student at UM. Here is her story;
One morning for no apparent reason, she woke up with excruciating sciatica. She had no injury. All the normal assumptions were made;
slipped disk, herniated disk, stenosis, piriformis issues, sciatic endometriosis. Nothing proved to be the cause.
1 brain MRI, 1 cervical spine MRI, 1 thoracic MRI, 2 lumbar MRIs, 1 lumbar plexus, 1 nerve root sacral plexus MRI, 1 ct scan, 1 moving mri, 4 nerve blocks, 2 EMG/NCV tests, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractor, some muscle guru guy and finally a complete hysterectomy. The hysterectomy (yes, they took everything, ovaries too) was due to extreme endometriosis that we hoped was linked to her back pain. While the hysterectomy was probably inevitable she may have taken her time making such a big decision if she would have known she would find no relief from her sacral/sciatic pain. This surgery has by far been the most soul crushing part of this entire ordeal.
More about her pain: the mornings are the worst because all her pain meds have burned off. There does not seem to be one position that she finds more painful than another, the throbbing it relentless. The pain feel as though it originates at the tip of the tailbone and then down her left leg. everyday moments send electric shock down her leg while the throbbing continues without relief. She has no posterior tenderness. Lifting her left leg is not possible do to pain and she always has a slight limp, even when on pain meds. Most severe pain comes when she sneezes, coughs or when she moves suddenly.
All test were found "normal" including the EMG/NCV. Nerve block worked to reduce her pain anywhere from 2 months to as little as 2 weeks.
The only thing the drs are offering at this point is a Spinal Cord Stimulator. But, with no diagnosis this seems like the doctors are giving up. There must be a reason for this pain.
Any suggestions????
Thank you in advance.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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