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Doctors do not know the cause

eddie123eeddie123 Posts: 1
Hello. I have been with my symptoms for 15 months, and have seen various doctors (GP, Orthopedics, Neurologists) and physical therapists. However, none have been able to provide answers, or resolve the issues. Would greatly appreciate any thoughts/comments on next steps I can take to resolve the issue. Some details are below:

Background: I fell approx 1metre and landed on my feet. However, my right leg was perfectly straight, and rather than my knees bending to absorb the impulse, the force went up my back. I felt my muscles along my spine spasm/tighten, and an electric shock go up my spine. I woke the next day to no numbness or tinging. I just experience muscle soreness in my back.

I saw a physiotherapist, who worked on the back muscles, and things improved.

I run for exercise, and progressively over the following 3 months, I felt my right foot lose sensation.

I saw a GP, who referred me to an Orthopedic Surgeon, who referred me to a Neurologist. All say that the nerve is bruised, and time will heal. It has been approx 18 months since the event, and 15 months since I first felt the parathesia in the right foot.

Other information:
Numbness is on the lateral side of the foot, indication S1-L5 nerve damage
MRI of the lumbar spine shows no disc herniation or neural impingement
Nerve conductance testing and EMG show that there is no damage to the nerve

Current symptoms:
Despite all the above diagnostic tests showing no damage, I have:
numbness in the right foot
Atrophy to the gluteal muscles
General muscle weakness in the right leg

I am struggling to understand why the results of various tests show no damage, yet the physical symptoms do show damage.

Next steps that I am thinking:
Take an MRI in a "weight bearing" scanner - this may show disc impingement that the horizontal MRI could not reveal
Have an orthopedic surgeon complete a micro-disectomy to go in there and "clean up" any scar tissue that my be touching the nerve that may not have shown on the horizontal/original MRI.

As mentioned above, seeking any comments/guidance on the next steps.

Thank you in advance.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
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  • I am in a very similar boat. I have some very irritable sciatica of unknown etiology and I've about had it. I've had multiple steroid injections (L4 epidural, L5/S1 epidurals and transforaminals), 2 nerve blocks, piriformis injection, botox in my piriformis, plenty of physical therapy, on Topamax, was on gabapentin as well, and I'm just now switching to Gralis (tonight is my second night and today was rough). Gabapentin kept me from having to take so much Advil and Tylenol, but it lost it's luster quite quickly, and cognitively I don't think I could've gone up any higher while on Topamax and functioned. I also use an anti-inflammatory pain patch, like Advil in a patch but called Flector. My physical therapist encouraged me to actually use the muscle relaxers and pain medication my pain doctor prescribed, so I have taking those 2-3 nights a week since the and symptoms are really flaring up again. It's really strange how it's been shifting around, moving from muscle but for the most part has pretty much also been my right side. I've had some car accidents and sporting accidents over the years, but a pretty decent car accident in 07/2012 w/whiplash and a concussion. Then a similar fall to yours at the end of Jan last year. I slipped and fell down some stairs which while carrying a few bags that had a bit of weight to them going. I guess I rotated my pelvis a tiny bit. Fixed that with PT, but might have irritated my SI joint in the process? Tiny bulge (only 2mm); myelogram showed some possible rubbing on nerve root sleeve. Possible mild stenosis but it's a stretch and can't remember if elsewhere. Something with my thecal sac,but more common amongst women, mild degeneration changes, but I'm now 37, mild levo-scoliosis (which looks slightly worse than last last study, less than 1 yr ago? Positioning I'm guessing? Didn't even note that before...
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