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Recurrent pain and weakness. MRI results?

Hello! Looking for some possible answers...

In March 2012 I had an emergent L5-S1 right hemilaminectomy. I had progressive pain and weakness over the course of the prior year in my right leg. I had the surgery because the day prior I had sudden significant weakness to my right leg and a new onset foot drop. I tried to get out of bed in the morning and my leg would barely move... I went to the ER and had a neurosurgeon see me, ordered an MRI (showed a significant 1.5 cm herniation and obliteration of the lateral recess) and had surgery the next day. I had immediate pain relief and weakness was gone (YAY!) Then six months later I had progressive pain again. I went to see my neurosurgeon who recommended seeing a pain management doctor. I saw him a few weeks later and he recommended an injection. I had to have a pregnancy test (I was 25 at the time) and it came back positive to my surprise, so no injection. (I have PCOS and was told it would be difficult to get pregnant on my own again!)

Aside from that, I had my child three months ago. Surprisingly, I had very very little back or leg pain throughout the pregnancy until the last two months. Since then I have had progressive pain and weakness to my right leg very similar to before the surgery. My leg is ALWAYS numb along the right lateral and across the top of my foot, more significantly to the pinky toe. I called my neurosurgeon and his PA called me and ordered an MRI. In the meantime I saw the same pain management doctor a few weeks ago. He did some ROM and said that I have significant weakness to my right leg.... My coworkers have also noticed the same and say I "walk funny." I am a nurse and I walk/stand for the majority of my twelve hour shift. (Neurosurgery/neuroscience is not my area of expertise!) I have noticed a slight foot drop to my right foot also.

My MRI results read:
L5/S1 right hemilaminectomy change, mild right paracentral, moderate far lateral disc protrusion, impinges to a lesser degree on traversing right s1 nerve root. moderate right foraminal, mild central canal, mild left foraminal stenosis secondary to facet arthropathy ligamentous changes.

I have an appointment but not for quite a while with him. I am very nervous of what he will say and what my options are due to my young age/pain/weakness. Some nights I come home in near tears because the pain is so bad. I have to stand slowly because my leg is so numb sometimes I can't take a step... I had injections prior to surgery which did nothing for the pain. I am also nervous to take oral pain medications as I am a nurse... anyone have these kind of changes post-op?

Thanks for any input!


  • 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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