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Constant sciatica; insufferable

GeorgeHallGGeorgeHall Posts: 7
edited 08/09/2015 - 11:34 PM in Chronic Pain
For 2 and half years now, I have had constant, chronic sciatica radiating down both legs. Long story short, I slipped my L5S1 disc training when I was 19, and tried to hold off surgery for as long as possible. In November last year (22 years old) I finally had a microdiscectomy.

Initially the pain decreased, but it soon came back with the addition of lower back pain. Recent MRIs show the L5S1 disc is slipped as it was before surgery. The surgeon said when he left the area and closed me up, he had removed the initial slippage and left the nerve free of intrusion. From this I infer that it has re-slipped since surgery.

I am due for a nerve root block in a week's time, and if that doesn't work I'm pretty sure I'll be down for another microdiscectomy. The thought of a fusion at 22 years of age frightens me, but equally the continuous sciatic pain and the misery/lack of any meaningful existence this has caused has essentially tied me to a depression.

I'm really just venting rather than asking for specific answers to specific questions; I feel for you guys who have similar symptoms. It's difficult at times to see any light, when everything (all sports, dating, social life, even drinking casually stood at a bar, holidays, days out etc) has been placed off bounds due to unbearable, constant discomfort and pain.

In my post prolonged painful spells, I dream of a simple fusion; out with the old disc, fuse the vertabrae and be back to normal! But my research informs me that 1) it's not as simple/easy as that and 2) a fusion itself comes with a load of possible negative side effects which at 22 years old, don't bear thinking about.


Thank you just for reading.

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George H


  • I'm really sorry to hear about what's happening to you. It's not uncommon for someone who has had a microdiscectomy to re-herniate.

    I've also had sciatic problems before one of my surgeries and it's a bear! Does it get better when sitting? Bending forward or backward?

    You're right about fusion, it is the last thing to try. I've had success with each of my surgeries, but my spine seems to degrade over a period of about two years (meaning I've had three spine surgeries, all two years apart).

    Have you tried PT?

    Take care.
  • caroline2caroline2 Posts: 92
    edited 08/10/2015 - 10:27 AM
    from these surgeries...I have had two in my life, hysterectomy in my early 40's, left me with horrid sciatic damage which I worked on long and hard, it's manageable 30some yrs later.. Then a hip replacement in 2010, left me with major complications, too many to go into....so at 77, i plan to stay away from surgeries...often we end up worse....

    There is a lot of alternative work out there and I've always believed surgery needs to be last Resort. Unless an emergency.

    Just the other day, a person on a hip group was asking about thoughts on knee replacement now...hip replacements OFTEN mess up our knees and it did mine big time....I did all in my power to talk her out of it and look at PRP injections FIRST, before another elective surgery .... there are threads here on PRP comments. PRP can save people from surgery if they get to a PRP worker and "try it"....it regenerates tissue in our joints and rebuilds our joints.

    So few know about PRP work.
    Bodywide OA, Fibro and complications from Hip Replacement.
  • Thanks for sharing your story. I'm getting to the end of my workday, and I've got my TENS unit and lying down on my mind. If you don't have a TENS, I would recommend trying one. I found a good one on Amazon I've been using. It's powerful. (Maybe too powerful?) Feel free to PM me if you're interested. I've tried massage units, too (which are similar to TENS). Sometimes, a hot bath is good, but other times it is just plain old boring and not helpful. My wife got me an inversion table. It's kind of uncomfortable.

    Anyway, we are a depressed bunch. We'll never be the life of the party. We're lucky if we even get to the party.
  • It breaks my heart to read your story. You are so young and missing out in life. I've been there but not as bad as your condition. Have you tried seeing a pain specialist? The reason I'm asking is because I wonder if a Rhizotomy would help you. I had a Rhizotomy almost four years ago for facet joint pain and it worked wonderfully. I haven't had any pain since but I am now suffering with really bad non stop pain from my right sacroiliac joint and i am going to try a Rhizotomy before I risk having a fusion.

    I hope you'll at least look into it before having another surgery. Hugs!
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