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sudden onset sciatica

I am a 56 year old female. I am 5'5" tall and weigh 112 lbs. I have been a fitness enthusiast my entire life (have a degree in health and physical education) and I incorporate a lot of core work and flexibility work into my daily routine. On a Saturday morning (the day that my husband and I were boarding a cruise!), I felt a strain-like pain in my lower left back/hip area. The pain became worse, to the point of extreme discomfort. I could see my left quadriceps spasming. I am experiencing same side knee pain/numbness and weakness in my left leg. The pain prevents me from sleeping and there seems to be no position that releases the pain. It increases when I go from sitting to standing. I feel pulling in my left upper leg, when walking. I have never had any pain when working out or going about my very active daily life. On the ship, I received methacarbamol and 800mg Advil. I received two injections (one was a steroid and one was not). I tried a $200 acupuncture treatment....nothing helped. I do not recall doing anything unusual or feeling anything when lifting my luggage. I did crack my same side knee, extremely hard, into the corner of a coffee table, just days prior to the sciatica symptoms. It was extremely painful when I did so. Could that have possibly set something off? I am reading about herniated discs, tumors and ongoing debilitating issues and this is definitely freaking me out. It has been 11 days (and a sad cruise experience : (. I do have an appt with an ortho tomorrow. Just wondering if anyone might be able to reassure me that this isn't going to be a major life-changer. Thank you!


  • LC84LLC84 Posts: 599
    edited 03/25/2014 - 2:10 AM
    Every case it different, but I had severe hip and leg pain that was a result of pinched nerves from my spine. I wound up having surgery but that was after 7 months of trying Conservative treatments, and I've had a previous back surgery. Hopefully this will resolve on its own, or with a conservative treatments plan. Imaging may be recommended at some point if symptoms persist. I do know how bad low back, hip and leg pain can be, I've had many sleepless nights because it of it. Hopefully your Dr. can help you find relief one way or another. I wish you the best.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • buffgirl23bbuffgirl23 Posts: 77
    edited 03/25/2014 - 3:04 AM
    that's exactly what happened to me. I've always been an exerciser. (step aerobics, core strengthening, etc). I'm 55 years old. I got up one morning and felt an extreme pain from my left hip to my knee which only got worse until I saw an orthopedist who said it was my back. I had no back symptoms whatsoever. Just extreme pain in my hip and leg. Am now going to a spine specialist and trying to treat it conservatively.
  • sandi
    i posted about a week ago about an e-mail i got from this site and under chronic pain, it had a slide show for sciatica which was very comprehensive. it had pictures and also described in detain what happens and what to do. one thing about spine-health that is positive are the movies, slide shows, and articles about specific diseases. i just recommend that people that are dealing with sciatic issues look at the slide show and also if one looks at this site specifically there are plenty of movies and slide shows that deal not only with sciatica but also other back issues. this way people don't have to research the web for articles and pictures-movies about specific diseases. i believe it helps to check these out. this site is not just for posting about pain etc. it is also very informative if one takes the time to check out the resources that are on this site to help.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • If you look at my post above, I included the links to the videos and other material, articles all about sciatica....Spine Health is a dynamic site, with tons of information that can be found by reading any of the tabs at the top of the forum page......they all have drop down menus , which discuss everything from treatment, to conditions, to excercise and rehab.....which is why, we mods include them in our posts.
  • whops me bad. i guess i am too close to retirement and my brain is going out on me.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 03/25/2014 - 6:16 AM
    I won't hold it against you..........LOL We all have those kind of days.....
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 03/25/2014 - 7:49 AM
    lately i have had one of those days all of the time. it is always one of those days.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Thank you so much for your thoughtful replies. I guess time will tell, as to how my course will go. I was prescribed prednisone today. I will update later!
  • the prednisone should help ease the inflammation and swelling commonly found with sciatica........good luck
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