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Whats my next move?

nick412nnick412 Posts: 6
I rediscovered this site after forgetting all about it , life etc... But a fast forward to today. As I seen it coming a long time ago, my issues are getting worse and has now gone from being exclusively back pain to every day sciatica. To the point now that every time I get up its a pain that hits me in my left buttock like an electrically charged knife. It's so bad that when this happens it often leaves me laying face down on the floor. The back pain is still there, not debilitating as it was in my last thread some years ago.. that being said the pain in my leg IS debilitating. As it was then it seems now again I've hit another level in my back issues. I'm not entirely sure what to do at this point because its getting harder to work as well as more dangerous(im often on ladders and staging) But carpentry is all I know. I went awhile again without health insurance (same ol story) because of the ature of masshealth, sometimes i dot qualify or forget to get reapproved. I really only think about it when something is seriously wrong like now. So ive ever really had a consistent treatment plan enacted. However, I've been reapproved recently ad plan to see a pcp (primary care physician) soon. I want surgery because I really dont see this going away. This sciatica thing has bee 24/7 for about 2 months now. The problem is theyve always maintained surgery was a bad idea, but I see no other way. Its either surgery or painkillers imo. Because nothing else has ever really helped except the relaxers when I had spasms but this ist a spasm. Hope everyone has a merry christmas btw.
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Comments

  • nick412nnick412 Posts: 6
    edited 12/24/2013 - 4:50 PM
    Oh sorry for the missing N's it keeps getting stuck
  • azsgolfaazsgolf Posts: 23
    edited 12/26/2013 - 2:51 AM
    If the cause is obvious then surgery can be a life saver. When I had mine the disk was so bad it was impossible to miss why I had the pain. Now 10 months later and I'm feeling better then ever. Although I did move something the other day I shouldnt have and am a little sore. But good mechanics after surgery has kept me pain free.
  • sandi said:
    Thank you that post was very informative. I tried the steroid injections at one point but after 2 injections lost my insurance, so I dont think it ever really had a chance. Based on your write up I think thats probably a logical next step, this time hopefully I can stay with it and hopefully it works. This is getting very frustrating. I also have another question that you may or may not be able to answer. I feel the need to go the the bathroom a lot #1 and #2, now I've researched that in severe cases of sciatica it can cause loss of bladder and bowel control. Is my frequency in going a precursor to this? I mean based on what I've described? It will likely be a week or so before I can see a new pcp and then another who knows how long before I can get a referral and appointment with a specialist but I feel a bit scared about this aspect. I find myself having to defecate 3-4 times a day and urinate probably once an hour on average.
  • What you are concerned about is a condition called Cauda Equina Syndrome- I guess I would be the resident "lay expert" in it, since it has happened to me twice, so I guess I would be the person to ask.......LOL
    Cauda Equina is a latin term meaning horses tail. In the lumbar spine, around the level of T-12-L1 is something called a Conus, which is basically where the spinal cord proper ends, and throughout the lumbar area of the spine the spinal nerves exit in pairs, one to the right and one to the left at each vertebrel level throughout L1-through the sacrum......this is called the Cauda Equina because each nerve strand together resembles a horses tail hairs.
    Cauda Equina Syndrome occurs when there is a compression of those nerve fibers in the spinal canal that is so severe that it can result in permanent damage , possibly paralysis, possibly permanent damage to the nerves that innervate the bladder and bowels, and permanent nerve damage to the areas that are innervated by those nerve pairs in the canal in the lumbar area.
    Depending on how long the compression is there, and the extent of it, will determine if the damage is permanent.
    There are certain symptoms that occur when someone is in danger of CES occuring-
    Increased pain in areas that are either new or worsened in previous areas
    Saddle numbness - including the inner thighs, buttocks, anal sphincter, genitals - may also include sexual /sensory issues for men and women in the genitals.
    Difficulty in either emptying or holding urine or bowel contents. Notice I did not say one way or the other- because depending on the level of the lumbar spine effected, determines whether someone looses the ability to hold their urine or eliminate it, same with the bowels, sometimes, it can be feeling like you have to " go" all of the time but nothing or little comes out , if you understand what I mean.....
    Worsening or new nerve pain in areas that it was not previously. For me, the first time, I went from one patch on my left leg, to my waking up from surgery, and not feeling anything from my hips down.
    New or increased muscle weakness that was not present before.

    The good news is that it is relatively rare, since the compression needs to be severe in the spinal canal, but you do need to be aware of it , and need to make sure that any difficulty listed above that you are experiencing , you need to keep your surgeon aware of. CES is a medical emergency, since the longer it is left untreated ( compression is left in tact) the more likely that the damage can become permanent .
    If you have any other questions or concerns you can always PM me, believe me I've dealt with it all so there is nothing you could say that would surprise me....
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