In a couple days I will be getting a Lumbar Decompression of L4-L5 and L5-S1 to try to fix the sciatica that I have had for the last 8 months.
I am 65 and never had any problems with sciatica until 8 months ago when i started noticing that my left leg was getting a gnawing pain when standing on it for 10 minutes. After reading that the pain, and numbness, were described as sciatica and often goes away on its own I waited for about 6 weeks to see a doctor. He had me get an MRI. No disc problems were seen. The MRI showed stenosis in different places. The doctor then prescribed prednisone. I have psoriasis and was concerned about a rebound effect that makes psoriasis worse when people stop prednisone, so I asked for a steroid injection. I received that and it didn't work very well.
Then on to physical therapy which was simply exercises to strengthen the core. Two months of that didn't really help. The PT said that he could see that the exercises helped me strengthen the muscles he thought needed strengthening but that didn't change the symptoms. Which were getting worse.
Then I tried another steroid injection and that didn't work at all.
I've gone from someone that liked to take hour walks to being someone who needs to sit at every opportunity. When I am seated the pain is gone. My left foot tingles but no pain. As soon as I get up I am aware that if I stand for a few minutes I will start to feel a pain. Even though I have a few minutes before the pain will start I have gotten into a mind-set where my first priority is to know where and when I can sit. Makes it hard to do work. I am still working at an engineering job that requires walking short distances to accomplish physical tasks, thankfully with a lot of seated time on the computer.
It has become much harder to do work since I started getting sciatica. And standing in line at a grocery store is a problem. And the idea of traveling for a vacation is not inviting. So I am getting surgery on Tuesday.
Four years ago I had a hip replacement - my doctors think this is not related. They see the stenosis in my spine and think it is a completely separate issue than the hip arthritis.
I am a little worried about surgery. The surgeon says I will be in the hospital overnight and maybe two. But I figure if I went through the larger hip surgery okay I can make it through this spine surgery. I intend to report back in as things proceed.