I am new to this site and probably facing back surgery. I have always had back problems that have come and gone. I am 33 years old and had my first baby ten weeks ago. When I had about 6 weeks left of my pregnancy and my back started killing me, so I went to a chiropractor. He did minimal adjustments on me and I started to feel better (although I'm not totally convinced it was because of the chiropractor.) However, I started feeling mild sciatic pain in the outside of my right calf. I assumed the baby was just situated funny, and that the mild pain would go away when I had the baby.
Well, I ended up having a c section on July 5 with severe complications that required a second surgery three days later because of internal bleeding. I ended up staying in the hospital for eight days. I continued to have mild sciatic pain in my calf. About three weeks after having the baby, the pain turned from mild to horrible! I couldn't sit because I'd get pins and needles down my calf and horrible back pain. So I went back to the chiropractor and he started adjusting me and doing tens unit and laser therapy. I saw him three times a week for four weeks. I wasn't getting better so he ordered an MRI.
The results were horrible. I have severely herniated discs at L4/L5 (measuring 1 cm) and L5/S1 and bulging discs at the two levels above. I also have severe spinal stenosis (down to 5 mm), both congenital from L3/L4 down to L5/S1 and from the herniated discs. I also have congenitally short pedicles. I have tears in my bottom three discs.
Since getting the MRI, I have started physical therapy and I'm on neurontin 800 mg/day. I have also had one epidural injection. Nothing is working and my lower leg pain seems to be getting worse. I also still have severe low back pain on both sides. My big toe and outside of my calf are always numb and I always have tingling there. I also get severe pins and needles often down my leg. I am miserable. I am an assistant principal at an elementary school and have gone back to work, but I'm in so much pain that I've missed a lot of work. I also am unable to take care of my baby. I can't sit long enough to feed him and I can't hold him long while standing because of the pain. My husband quit his job to take care of both of us.
There is a surgeon in my area that normally takes six months to get into because he's supposedly the best neurosurgeon in the area. A PA that works in his office is my sister's neighbor and he showed him my MRI and he wanted to meet with me ASAP. So I have an appointment this Tuesday. I am so scared! I have had an appointment with a place that does endoscopic procedures scheduled for tomorrow, but I don't think the doctors there are neither orthopedic or neurosurgeons, so I'm nervous about that.
I do not want to have a fusion!! I don't want surgery at all, but I can't keep living like this! I want to return to my active lifestyle and be able to take care of my baby boy.
Can surgery help back AND leg pain? I have read that it often makes back pain worse. I can't handle that!
Any suggestions or words of advice? Thank you!