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Not sure what to do now

For 15 months now I have suffered the effects of a herniated disc, L4/5. I have had 2 caudal epidurals, one in January and one in February. My symptoms have improved dramatically over the last few months. I have never had any back ache, my pain has all been in my right hip and leg along with tingling. I now get severe aching in one or both legs along with tingling in both legs and feet. The tingling is pretty much constant when I am sitting down and the aching occurs most days, usually in the evening. I have been doing core muscle exercises daily for the last couple of months. I have seen my consultant this evening and he has suggested now doing another epidural along with an injection into the facet joints, then an intensive core muscle exercise programme to follow 2 to 3 times daily. I'm not sure what to do. I feel as though my consultant is clutching at straws now, he admits my case is a difficult one due to my symptoms fluctuating so wildly and not being severe enough for surgery. Sometimes I feel as if this is it now, I will not get any better than I am and will just have to put up with it. I'm not convinced the injections will help me but at the same time do not know what else to try. I know it's not possible but would just like someone to be able to tell me what I need to do to get back to how I was before all this started.


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 10/07/2013 - 6:19 PM
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    Surgery is usually only done in two circumstances, one is when there is a structural issue, such as a herniation or misalignment in the spine, and the second is when there is compression of the spinal nerves, either where they exit between the vertebre or in the spinal canal itself.....surgery is not done for pain relief, since that seldom turns out well...
    The injections are done to ease the inflammation and soothe the area where the injections are done and that in turn provides some relief of the pain and inflammation. Sometimes, they work and sometimes not so much.
    Many herniations , depending on how big they are, and whether they are in contact with a nerve , resolve on their own over some times, and the pain levels ease considerably. The problem with the tingling sensations might indicate that there may be some nerve contact. Have you discussed this new problem with the surgeon?
    It might be worthwhile to ask about another MRI to see where things stand now, since you have been undergoing treatment for 15 months, to see how things look. That would give you both an answer as to whether or not there is nerve involvement and might change the course of treatment.
    The problem is that once the spine is injured, there really isn't any way to get it back to the way it was before the injury, but we can do excercises and change the way we did things, to help minimize any further damage.
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