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Can leg pain be caused by something other then herniated disc?

mbardimmbardi Posts: 2
So quick backstory: I have a herniated disc at L5/S1. Happened about 3 years ago out of nowhere where I suddenly felt a shooting pain down my left leg. Got the MRI's, took the meds, then finally got 3 epidural injections and that seemed to calm it down and take away the leg pain. I still couldn't bend much but at least the leg pain was gone.

Now fast forward to May 2014, I was lifting weights and boom, I aggravate it BAD. Could barely, walk, stand, do anything. Was in bed for weeks (I know, bad). But got a couple more injections, put on Gabepentin for the nerve pain and it seemed to ease up. BUT this time leg pain is still there. Not shooting down my leg but just super tight and achey. It hurts the most when I try to sit or stand for longer then a few minutes.

Now my question is: Is this the disc causing the problem? or do you think it's tight muscles, like piriformis or hamstrings? Since the very first time it started about 3 years ago, I haven't been able to bend my leg straight. If I bend down, my right leg can stay straight but I have to bend at the knee with my left. If I lay down on the bed to do a leg raise, it inevitably bends by itself when I try to go past like 20 degrees.
When I was put on a higher dose of Gabepentin, It seemed I was able to raise my leg a bit higher, still not very high, but still higher then when i started.

All in all, trying to figure out the problem before I jump into surgery. Any help would be great! Thanks.


  • Hi mbardi.
    You should ask Dr to perform emg/ncv test to determine where the nerve may be pinched . it could be piriformis as well. My legs suffer from sciatica due to spinal cord tumor that was removed at c5c6. Read my story so you understand why mine is from c5c6.
    Well here's my story. I am 49 years old and am male. In 1985/1986 I had 2 laminectomis to remove herniated disc, c5 c6. I was fine until 2005. Hands started burning. Went to Dr, got MRI and he said it looks like u need c5c6 c7 fused. So I had that done. It was done from front of neck.
    2007, my hands were burning again so went to Dr and got MRI, he said looks like scar tissue has formed in previous surgeries. He said he can remove it but would have to go through the back of the neck like 1985/86. I said OK. He said I would be home in 2 weeks. Boy was i and he in for a surprise!! ¡!!!!!
    He opens me up and sees tumor, nuerofibroma schwannoma that is about 3/4s of an inch and has penetrated the spinal cord dura and the spinothalamic tract of the cord , which by the way there are only 15 cases where that has happened !!! Oh boy !!! Now its a 9 hour emergency tumor removal. I wake up, excruciating pain. Can't feel or move legs. After 1 1/2 weeks in ICU, they transfer me to level 1 spinal rehab where I lived for 1 year. Legs finally started to move an inch after 2 months. Long story short, took 6 years to learn how to walk again and I'm proud to say that I went from wheelchair to walker to 2 canes to 1 cane and am now cane free. I still have diminished propripception but no where near what it was when I started to learn to walk again. Now I have permenant damage to cord. I suffer from sciatica in both legs and feet. Hands still burn too. Now I have seen posts on here where people say you can't have sciatica from neck, OH YES you can if cord is damaged. Dr said tumor removal damaged the sciatic pathways in the spinothalamic tract in cord at c5 c6. I been to 6 other drs and they all agree, yes you can and I am proof of that. I've had MRI to check rest of spine and the rest is fine. Thank god!!!!. Now yes the pain is bad but I am on nuerontin, 3600 mg a day which is a very high and dangerousy dose but at least I'm walking !!! Drs didn't think I would walk again. I proved them wrong! Now listen to how rare this tumor is, all drs said that for nuerofibroma schwannoma that penetrated the spinal dura there are only 100 recorded cases in the history of this and I am 1 out of the 100. Now listen to this. !!! I recently met a women in hospital that had same exact tumor also penetrated the dura hers at t12. Now we are 2 out of the 100 recorded cases in the history of that. That is amazing!!! We will now be friends forever!!! I have been through allot but my grandma always said, " there's always someone in the world worse off than you". And she's right. Even though I am in pain everyday 24 hours 7 days a week with no break. I am walking and I met a wonderful woman who knows exactly what we go through every day. When there are people who will never walk again !!! Grandma you are right!!! I thank god for what he's done for me and pray for those less fortunate than me. To all spinal cord sufferer's, even though things may not be good for you like me and the woman I met, keep your chin up , there's always someone worse off than you. I witnessed it I live it everyday. If I can help anyone here feel free to ask.
  • Has anyone had where they couldn't really bend their leg??
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    Welcome to Spine-Health

    It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. Isolating spinal problems can almost be like the game of Clue. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,
    Here are some questions that you should answer:

    • - When did this first start?
      - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
      - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
      - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
      - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
      - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
      - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
      - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
      - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

    Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
    of your situation and make it easier to respond.

    Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

    Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
    Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
    As such, no member is permitted to provide

    • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
      - Medical advice of any kind
      - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

    What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
    You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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