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New guy

Greg1978GGreg1978 Posts: 28
edited 09/13/2014 - 12:52 PM in New Member Introductions
First off I'm so glad I found this site. I have been suffering from sciatic pain going on week 5 now. The first few weeks it started in my right buttock which led me to believe I aggravated my piriformis muscle at the time I was getting into running and had a crappy pair of shoes I was using. Well about 2 weeks ago the pain started shooting down my right thigh into my foot that's when I knew it was something being pinched in my back. Since then I have been researching the hell out of it so I can reverse this some how.

So I'm 36 years old and I have been active my entire life I also work in the construction industry as a commercial electrician it's not back breaking work but it's physical labor on my feet all day up and down ladders twisting my body in positions to complete my projects. I have been bodybuilding going on about 15 years and have suffered threw all those nagging injuries sore shoulders, elbows,wrist ect but this sciatic nerve has me on the side lines that's for sure.

Back in 2008 I started going threw what I guess you would call throwing out your back after that happened a few times in a short period of time I requested a MRI here's is what they found.
At the L5-S1 level, there is a broad base left paracentral/foraminal disk protrusion which extends into the inferior aspect of the left neural foramen. Accelerated degenerative disk disease is seen within the lower lumbar spine primarily affecting the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels. There is a moderate diffuse disk bulge at the L5-S1 level which has resulted in mild subarticular recess stenosis. At the L3-L4 level there is minimal diffuse disk bulge which partially abuts the ventral CSF space. I have more MRI's set up to get next week . With all they found I would have good days and bad days with just back pain from 2008 till about 5 weeks ago I never suffered this dreaded sciatic pain.

Once I got these results and talked to my doctor I took off some time from work and stopped going to the gym for a year . I got involved with a very aggressive PT regimen and did chiropractic and massage therapy three times a week for 6 weeks. When it was ready to start working out again I totally redesigned my workout program I actually lost 25 pounds and made a total transformation and I was doing great up to 5 weeks ago.

So 2 weeks ago when I started to feel the pain shoot down my leg I started researching different stretches to help this out and every night I stretch for 45-60 min then I hang on my inversion table for 15 min then end that with 20min of heat. Since I'm a foremen at work I can take a easy so I'm not really doing anything crazy at work and when I get off I will do 45 minutes on my elliptical machine. I heard the worse you can do is lay in bed for days on end so I'm trying to be proactive to get this under control. What's concerning me is things arnt getting better it's not getting worse but I'm getting more little symptoms. Like today sat the bottom of my right foot is really tender and my right buttock is really sore when I move around my right foot has the pins and needles.

My question is to all of you that have been threw this will this work itself out I'm way to young and active to get dealt this card right now in life. I'm trying to get hold of a friend that just suffered threw this a year ago I remember he thought his life was over and I believe he got those shots and from what I have heard he is living his life like he was before the injury he is also a construction worker and works out.


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 09/14/2014 - 6:42 AM

    While we can't comment on any medical imaging or test results, your surgeon will discuss treatment options or surgical options with you when he sees you for follow up.
    Surgery is done for two reasons, one an anatomical issue that needs to be resolved that causes instability or alignement issues, the other is when there is risk to either the nerve roots that exit between each vertebral level or the spinal canal nerves themselves.
    When there is compression of either the nerve roots or the canal, it can lead to permanent nerve damage if left too long. How long is too long? It depends on the location of the compression, the severity of it, your symptoms and what the surgeon may feel is the best option for treatment.
    Hopefully, when you see the surgeon and discuss your imaging reports, he can answer any questions you may have.
  • Greg1978GGreg1978 Posts: 28
    edited 09/14/2014 - 8:41 AM
    I hope it doesn't come to surgery I have been managing pretty good for the last 6 years. I'm hoping it's just a minor flare up and let's say worse case scenario I need one of those pain shots. I'm a very active 36 yo I would like to wait till I was at least in my 40's before having any kind of surgery and maybe by then they will have more technical advances. From what I have gathered from all my research is not a single doc or spine specialist has a clue what there doing and have no Business doing any work on the body's main foundation unless they can guarantee a 100% recovery. I really do t understand when you look at the statistics on backs it's something sickly as like 80% of ppl will have some sort of back issues in there life the number one injury for loss of work is back related with all this they can't figure out how to rebuild a spine to its natural pre-injury condition. We have drones that don't need pilots we can pretty Much do a transplant of any organ . Out of all my MMA/bodybuilding friends I have seen every surgery from rotocuff all the way down to hip surgery and these guys come back stronger because there surgerys fixed what was broke and make it mechanically stronger. Sorry I'm venting I'm still in the early stage of all this and with it being my back everything I read comes across as so hopeless.
  • It is because the spine is the core of our entire bodies, and every nerve runs through it, the biological processes of our bodies run through it....the nervous system is a long way away from being understood in it's totality and our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are at the core of our spinal cord.
    The mechanics of our spines are one thing, but the nervous system is an entirely different organ and damage can cause some many inter-related issues in other areas of our bodies, none of it is well understood.
    Organ transplant is easy compared to the issues that can come from our spines and spinal cords.
    While none of us ever really WANT surgery, there are times when it is in our best interests to do so, and the longer a nerve is compressed, the more likely that the result will be permanent....
    I again, am not saying that you need surgery, but if the surgeon recommends it, you do need to give it due consideration and ask hard questions about the possibilities of not going ahead or waiting too long.
  • I have been dealing with back and leg pain for 13 months. I fell from a horse doing a 2.5 foot jump. I am having a nerve conduction study done tomorrow.
    L5-S1 Emergency PLIF Revision May 26th 2015
    L5-S1 PLIF May 22nd 2015.
    L5-S1 Discectomy Feb 27th 2015.
    L5-S1 Discectomy Oct 30th 2014.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Greg1978GGreg1978 Posts: 28
    edited 09/24/2014 - 5:57 PM
    So I had my MRI done today please guys keep your fingers crossed . I recently posted last week on how things were better well things have changed. So last Sunday I was at the seahawk game I took the train there it was a good game we ended up winning in OT it was a lot of fun but I had a few drinks and over did it. After the game I was walking back to the train and my right foot just stopped working it compelety went numb and lost all function it was at the point were I was dragging it like a limp peice of meat and I was in a crowed of thousands. I limped over out of the crowed and sat down at that point I was in major panic mode this is a symptom I have never experience it seemed like once I took a few breaths and calmed down I started getting mobility back I limped my way back home. All this week my foot has been completely numb before if I twisted wrong I would get the shooting pains down my leg and my foot would get numb now it's just numb 24/7. I'm trying to get finals on one job and I'm starting another job the timming couldn't be any worse but if the MRI images come back crazy I guess I will put work on the back burner and do what I have to do which sucks I work construction and I have a work van so with that being said if I have to take off a bit off time I will get demoted and they will take my van away. I swear guys if I could only take some time off and get some pressure off this nerve I do think I can make a full recovery I have bounced back from major injurys the combo of working 8-10 hours of hard Construction and then driving 4 hours back and forth from work is just to much and sat & sun just isn't enough time to recover geez this suck.
  • Hi Greg- Welcome to Spine Health. You will find a lot of valuable information on this site & great support from members & moderators. Reading thru your story, reminded me of how my sciatica progressed initially. Please take Sandi's words of caution to heart where she says the longer a nerve is compressed, the more likely the damage will be permanent. At the end of this post, I put links to my story & the follow up after I could no longer avoid surgery. I tried conservative measures for over a year and a half, but a few months ago the condition of my spine deteriorated very, very quickly. My herniation tripled in size and was crushing my left sciatic nerve. That was what my MRI on 8/1/14 showed. By the time my NS got me to the OR, he said the herniation and nerve compression had gotten much, much worse. There is now not much disc material left in my disc space and only time will tell if my nerve damage is permanent or not. I avoided surgery for over a year and a half partly because I was scared and partly bc one NS that I consulted with told me that I needed a fusion & that I should exhaust all other measures bc I was considered "young" to have hardware on my spine. I am 43 yrs old.

    When the pain got so bad this past summer & I was referred for another surgical consult, I saw a different NS, who did not feel that I needed a fusion at this time, but did need surgical intervention. I became cane dependent, sometimes needed a walker, and sometimes could not move at all. Even while waiting for my surgery date (about a week after consult), I continued to get worse. I was fairly certain that, if my surgery was delayed to the next week, I would have ended up in a wheelchair. There were times where I would get stuck between standing and sitting, screaming in pain & afraid to move in either direction. All this is to say, Sandi gave some very good advice that, if surgery is recommended, give it serious consideration & consider the possibilities of not going ahead or waiting too long.

    In the immediate time, while you wait for results and a consult, have you considered Traditional Chinese Medicine modalities, including acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, & homeopathic injections. A good holistic Dr can work in coordination with your treating physician. I did go thru these treatments, with the support of my Interventional Spine Specialist/PM Dr. They were helpful to some extent (& relaxing), but the relief I got was fleeting, in that my pain would return the next morning. I regret not trying these treatments sooner, as I really think if could have benefited more from them, but I think I was too far gone by the time I tried them. Any way, if you check the links below to my posts, you will see that I had some of the same symptoms and progression of symptoms that you have experienced. Additionally, I have had some of the treatments that you are considering. If you have any questions about my experiences, I'd be happy to answer them. Unfortunately, there is no surgery on any part of the human body that has a 100% guarantee (although that would be nice), which is why patients are asked to sign consents that they understand the risks associated with each surgery. This is even true for a root canal on a tooth; no guarantee that tooth will not have a "failed root canal," the infection return, or the what's left of the tooth break beneath the crown. Some surgeries are more common or straight forward than others, but none carry any guarantees. I wish you the best of luck! Keep us updated with your new MRI, etc, so we know how you are doing & can try to offer support that may be helpful to you.




    8/28/14 Discectomy, Laminectomy, Foraminotomy L5-S1
    9/15/15 Surgical Debridement of infected surgical incision & drain seroma; wound vac applied
    10/21/14 L5-S1 Osteomyelitis & Discitis; 10/23/14 Bone & Tissue Biopsy = MRSE
  • I took it.
    I had a massive root impingement from the largest disc the neurosurgeon had seen... My foot was basically dead and response was micromovement from side to side. Numb across the toes and foot and calf. . Limping and dragging my leg.
    The surgery isn't so bad and it's given the nerves space and hopefully enough to heal. Today 8 weeks later I can say I have 50 percent foot function back. I know your fears. Time is of the essence. Please ensure you see that surgeon as soon as possible.
  • You're right it does suck. And while I am glad to meet you I'm also sorry you are here. No one likes being hurt or in pain and I sincerely hope the doctor has some answers for you and solutions you can live with. Better to take some time away from work now and loose the van than be permanently impaired or in pain. Try looking at the long term of this when making your decision and it may be easier to make.

    Good luck and good healing.
  • So I got my MRI results yesterday on my L4-L5 there is a mild to moderate bilateral neural foraminal stenosis. The right subarticular recess is partially effaced, with contact of the traversing right L5 nerve root. That is my new injury which is causing all the sciatica pain. He put a referral in to get a shot he said this will just give me time I don't want time I want a fix. He told me I had to quit construction last wed and thur I worked 14 hour days and Friday and today I can barley walk I have the worse pain I have yet to experience in my right glute and foot it has kept me up
    All night last night I wanted to cry from the intense pain. This sucks we are supposed to go to the pumpkin patch tomorrow but it looks like I won't be able to make it I took a 4 day weekend and once again just another weekend I'm side lined from the pain. I so want my life back I'm going on 2 months were everyday my foot buzzes and the bottom of my feet burn also I have a shooting pain down my right leg.
  • Hey guys ,wow I think it's been about 6 months since I have posted last. Just a quick update I came on here to get info for my sciatica pain. I was about a week away from getting my first round of pain shots I made the appointment which was a long lead time. I would say a couple weeks before my appointment all my shooting pains started to disappear and when the day came I ended up just canceling my visit since I was no longer experiencing the nagging pain. I have been doing great I still feel the dull pain in my buttocks here and there but the horrible shooting pain down my leg and numb foot is gone thank god. Just letting some of you know time heals and also stay positive that helped me tremendously. I see some familiar faces so some of the great ppl I meet here I hope you guys are going good.
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