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Newbie - dealing with sciatica - persistent numbness

desert_ratddesert_rat Posts: 2
edited 12/09/2015 - 3:29 AM in New Member Introductions
I am new to posting but have been reading through the forums/site for the last 4 weeks and it has been great help!

I have had on and off again lower back pain for about 5 months, but attributed it to the stress of moving and home repairs/packing etc. After arriving at my new house things settled down for over a month with no pain. One morning woke up to severe pain between my buttocks, next day it was across buttocks and down into left thigh. By the end of the following day I was in excruciating pain and my entire left leg was numb. A visit to the doc the next day with an x-ray showed loss of disc height at L5 - S1. Doc said rest and ibuprofen for 2 weeks and then a followup.

Well the pain went away almost as fast as it came, but the numbness didn't. Persistent numbness down left leg and into foot that varies during the day from mild to tingling to pins and needles to by the end of the day having a wood block for a foot and cramping in thigh and calf (the parts that are not numb!)

MRI results showed disc extrusion with cranial migration and high grade left sided neuroforminal compromise. Doc referred me to neurosurgeon and I see him in 4 weeks. Unfortunately, my PCP thought it was ok to send me an email rather than an appointment or at the very least a phone call and just said that I had spinal stenosis and an extrusion and to please see a neurosurgeon... oh and I had 2 masses in my pelvis so I should consider an US with an OB/GYN....end of email. I had to go pick up the MRI results myself to even get the findings! Needless to say, not sure he will continue to be my PCP!

In the meantime I have sought the care of a chiropractor but seems his recommendation is contradictory to the PCP. PCP says walk, swim and build my core and use heat. Chiropractor says use ice and do as little as possible. I think I will hit it in the middle and listen to my body's responses.

Hoping to avoid surgery if possible. would love to hear from others about what your experiences have been! I am an active person and this has been a really hard adjustment feeling as if my body is betraying me!

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- 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

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
    - Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
    - General pieces of valuable information

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.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 12/09/15 09:29 est



  • I understand how you feel..I was falling for no reason,I mean my legs were giving out on me..people were just saying I was clumsy..my back was killing me but I figured it was because I was on my feet for eight straight hours and I do a lot of twisting and turning..but it got to the point to where I could not deal with it any longer.the pain had me in tears.
    The falling was becoming more and more often..Fast forward numerous tests, shots ablation, injections physical therapy and still no one is addressing the falling or the numbness. In fact I'm in more pain than ever..
    My advice to you is: don't give up! Get loud! I sit there now and demand an answer..I've had it with them trekking me nothing and just walking out the door..I'm paying a lot of money out of my own pockets do I deserve respect.
    I'm already tired and now I'm becoming mean and you're not going to like me when I'm mean..lol
    Good luck
    Wendy Reed
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