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How can you tell if you have a new problem or flare up?

meydey321mmeydey321 Posts: 2,435
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Today I felt a like a snap or a pop sensation in my lower back and instant pain shooting to my right foot. I nearly fell and I felt an adrenaline rush from the intensity of the pain. I have burning pain in my back and muscle spasms in both thighs. I have had sciatica develop in both legs now, and I don't know if this is new. My NS told me last time it was part of my old problem. I don't quite understand. I was asked if I needed to go to the ER, and I decided to wait and see. If It gets worse, I'll consider. I'm trying to distract myself, but I already cried all day.
I had a TLIF/Laminectomy over 5 months ago and I still struggle with constant back and nerve pain. I don't know what to do


  • I'm sorry.That sounds terrible..but if you heard a pop sound today right at the point of new pain,it sounds to me as if it could be something new.Of course I'm not qualified to say/know,but the pop and then this new pain...

    I hope that my post in the other thread about ER's didn't influence you..you shouldn't let it,as your situation is totally different.Besides-the crying face is a 10 on the pain scale(trying to make you laugh here) and I hate to think of you sitting there suffering.Also,you have had surgery and an x-ray could be in order.

    Don't suffer if you don't have to..please.And that's a good question-I was having really bad pain for weeks,it has subsided,but my pain is worse than it used to be.I have never used the term flare up for my pain before,but maybe I had never truly had one?
  • Did you call your surgeon and let him know of your new symptoms? keep us posted on how're your doing. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • I remember this question being asked before on the board and many of us at the time said we had heard and felt all kinds of different popping sounds, sometimes with pain and other times without.
    Dont be overly alarmed, rest use ice and heat alternitavely and see how it goes.

    If it continues of course seek medical help.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I reherniated 4 months after a MicroD. I didn't HEAR anything, but I felt a pop/slip and pain shoot down to my foot, the worst pain I had ever felt, and nearly fell off the side of the tub. I had an MRI asap and it was a reherniation. They knew it most likely was, though, because my foot was going numb and I had close to foot drop... I'd trip over my foot, and I couldn't bend it back or up it was useless.
  • Thank you so much for your replies.

    It's okay Robin; it was thru what I've read and seen throughout the years that have formed my guidelines for going to the ER. Once when I was there years back, I heard a doc chastise someone who apparently was a frequent flyer, saying she wasn't giving out anymore Vicodin; go see your doctor for your neck, and don't come here again. I was shocked. I hear staff call them turkeys or frequent flyers, and I don't want to be categorized like that. When I'm sent by a doctor, I feel I have protection from that. And I know the signs of cauda equina , and I would be at the ER in a New York minute. I'm sorry your pain feels worse, I totally relate and understand.

    Angelback, thanks for your encouragement. It feels so frustrating going thru this all the time and it gets tiring and discouraging. It's like one wrong move, and you're thrown off the saddle again.

    Charry, I always feel like a pest calling; but I will if things get worse. I am always afraid of doctors getting frustrated, esp. when you're not doing well as they'd like you to. But in this business, that's always a possibility.

    Lo, I'm sorry that happened to you. I can't imagine how you deal with your back problems as a single mother with your your little boy. I have a family member with autism, and I know first hand what you have to deal with. I wish you and your son nothing but the best in life, and hope you are able to recover from this fusion.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    Hi meydey321, the question you presented is something that so many people have gone through. Over the 30+ years in dealing with spinal problems, so many times I was in that same position. Many times it was just a flare up and many other times it was a new problem or a problem that reoccurred in the same area.
    For me, those popping sounds happen frequently. When I get a flare up or feel something new happened, I start using the things I know that help keep me in line. Then I wait a bit, mostly because at this point, I have a good understanding of my body and spinal situations.
    In fact, I am sorta of in this mode right now. I cant move my arms more than 90 degrees up and have almost no movement towards my back. I've discussed with my doctor and we are going to see how it progresses in the next couple of weeks. If there is no change, then off for a MRI.
    But everyone's case is different. Never accept a new situation as being just a flare up or a new problem, work with your doctor to find out what is actually happened.
    If it is a flare up then a different action plan would be put in place then if the problem was new.
    Good luck
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I appreciate your experience, and I'll keep that in mind. I'm sorry you're in the same boat too. I've been doing the same, waiting to see if things subside. I certainly hope that you haven't developed something new, because of all your years of back problems. It's so hard to sort out what's the same and what is new. I still have a benign mass on L3, and I wonder if it is playing a role.
  • Thank you. I appreciate that very much. I wish you all the best as well :)
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