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Can Spinal Stenosis pain come and go?

Hi everyone. I am 46, diagnoses with severe spinal stenosis on the left and mild on the right. I was diagnosed via MRI due to agonizing pain in my left leg, but not much in the back. I kind of got the run around for 6 weeks. Was taking percocet and Diclofenac. Stopped percocet as soon as I could. And then the anti-inflammatory started to hurt my stomach. I saw a pain management specialist who wants to do an injection next week. But right now, the pain isn't bad.

It's weird. I've had mild back pain and stiffness so long that I don't even think about it. In fact when I saw my doctor about the leg pain and he asked if my back hurt, I said no. Because it didn't hurt more than usual.

So right now I have a sore, stiff back. But nothing I would go to the doctor for.

So do I get the injection anyway? So that it doesn't come back.

Do I put it off?

The pain before was so agonizing, I just can't imagin how it could be gone.

Overall I totally understand that I need to ask my doctor. And I will. I am seeing the orthopedic Dr. tomorrow and will ask him some questions. I just wanted some personal stories about this. I don't want to have an injection if I don't need one, is it bad to do so? I would like to hear from other peoples experiences what they did.



  • stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal which can or can not cause pain. mine was narrowed 75% and they do what is called a decompression of the spinal canal where they open it up. i think you are confusing sciatica with stenosis. with stenosis pain does not go down one leg. some of the symptoms are pain while walking and it occurs in the back stenosis causes pain in one leg. sciatica pain can come and go. mine did. one day i could not walk due to pain in the right leg and then a couple of days later no to little pain. when it got so bad that i could not walk then i had surgery. ask your doctor again what you have. a lot of people have stenosis without any pain. most who have sciatica have pain and usully in one leg.
    talk to your doctor
    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.
  • I am glad to see that someone replied, as I have written a few times with no replies. So thank you for taking the time. It is not sciatic pain, it doesn't go down the back of the leg. It is nerve pain caused by pressure on the nerve. I have seen many diagrams that shows how the compression on l4 and l5 can cause pain in the legs, so I am confused that you say it can't. The pain was mostly in the groin, hip. But then as time progressed it would involve different areas of the leg. Down the front of the thigh, around knee and occasionally involving the foot. I agree with you that I am confused that the pain in gone. It felt as though the muscle was too short for my leg, that it was tearing off at the groin. I had to keep the leg bent. That's why I am asking.

    My MRI said my disc was protruding, that there was severe stenosis as well as bone marrow changes and a bone spur. Hmmm, more confusion sets in. :)
  • I just watched a video that says you can have stenosis in THREE places in your spine. My stenosis is on the side, where the nerves come out on either side of the spine, The Neuroformamin. Cant do spell check because medical terms aren't on it. But I can understand now why you said what you did.

    Going from Dr. to Dr. Being referred all over the place and then finally getting a correct diagnosis was quite frustrating. I was on the anti inflammatory for 6 weeks plus two torradol injections. I was just wondering if that is what stopped the pain and if I am good to go for a little while, should I just stay off the steroid for now. But as I sit here, my back hurts and is stiff. I am just so use to my back hurting that I think it is normal. It doesn't seem like something that I need injections for, yet it sure would be nice to go for a couple of mile walk.

    I sure wish dr's had the time to just sit and talk with you for a while and help you figure things out.
  • i am just going what my neurologist said about stenosis. one of the main symptoms is pain while walking. i had it once and corrected surgically and i was interested if i had it again. i had an mir and it showed negative, no stenosis but i still have pain while walking. but sciatic pain for me wnet from my rear end down the hip to the knee and stopped. it was not a pins and needles sensation. it was a cramping burning pain that came and went. it went from the back of the leg to the middle of it an no pain below the knee. i had mine diagnosed with mri, cat scan, disography where they inject a dye in your disc to see if it came out which shows herniated disc and nerve tests along with injections. so all of these test showed sciatica and the stenosis. my spine column was like i said before closed about 80%. i hope things work out and keep us updated. do what the dr says and recommends. remember nerve damage gets worse and it wont heal if nothing is done. i have not been the same for 13 years in the right let. just a word of caution
    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.
  • Thanks a bunch. I am talking with a doctor tomorrow, hoping to get more information.
  • I have spinal stenosis and it DEFINITELY hurts to walk....I'm so tired of it I will gladly have surgery to fix it!! I can't walk far without having to sit down to make the pain go away. I go shopping and within a few minutes I'm leaning over the shopping cart for relief. I think I'm gonna have to see a surgeon soon, or at least that's the way I'm feeling, or maybe this has to get worse first I don't know.

    Judij, I haven't been able to walk a couple of miles in months. I have a central disc protrusion @ L5-S1 which is causing moderate central canal stenosis w/some deformity of the anteior aspect of the thecal sac. I also have bone spurs at L1-L2 causing mild central canal stenosis. I have an old compression fracture @ L2 w/30% loss of vertebral body height. And a large schmorl's node within the endplate of the L@ vertebra. (I have been told that schmorl's node do not cause pain & I have been told that they do, so I dont know for sure) I just know I have pain.

    I hurt in my legs, more so my right one, my butt hurts & I ache all the way to the bottom of my tailbone. Right side of my back kills me, my right hip hurts badly (which is what I originally complained of, leading up to my MRI) I have alot of numbness and tingling below my knee and into my foot and toes. I have a burning sensation at the top of my thigh. Sometimes I feel like water is running down my leg.

    Jon, maybe when you retire in June, you can take up spinal surgery--You are educated enough to do it...I remember on the Beverly Hillbillies that Jethro, was a brain surgeon with a 6th grade, edg-e-ca'shun lol ;-) you think??

  • i bein smurt enuff eye geust
    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.
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