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S1 Sciatica? Need reassurance!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
Hi, I had an L4 discectomy around 6 months ago - progress since has been slow but steady and last month or two has been good - i can nearly touch my toes now!

Following having to spend far too long at my desk for a week, this week I've been having bad pain on the outside/bottom of my foot. I thought maybe I'd strained a muscle but the pain hasn't gone away and also now affects my calf; I'm worried it may be S1 sciatica, as it seems to be in the appropriate area :-| I'm particularly worried, as I've never had sciatica in this area before may indicate a separate problem to my original one, which would be quite devastating considering that I've only just began to feel recovered from it.

The thing that's keeping me hopeful is that it doesn't radiate all the way up my leg and through my thigh. Also, it started in my foot - previous sciatica (and I had it for years) started high up and only gradually worked its way to my foot. I don't have any particular back pain...

Any S1 sciatica sufferers: can you tell me if this is unusual? Would you expect it to start so strongly in the foot? Am I worried about nothing and maybe it's a strain?




  • Ollie:
    I'm a retired pain specialist (MD) who has dealt with situations like yours. Continued pain after spine surgery is very common.

    The fact you posted a query looking for suggestions tells me you are less than happy with the result to this point.

    Further surgery will probably not make you better, and might make you worse. There are better ways to treat your situation. I strongly suspect you wold like to avoid long-term medications. I think that's a good attitude.

    I suggest you get evaluated by an Interventional Pain Specialist. That's one who does procedures for pain.

    An interventional pain specialist will probably suggest epidural steroid injections. If the first one doesn't work, don't get more. They usually take a week or more to begin to work, when they work.

    If the epidural steroids don't work, and give several months of relief, you probably would benefit from a spinal cord stimulator. These devices are almost magical! They don't always work, but when they do the relief is immediate and marvelous.

    The pain specialist can explain the stimulator and walk you through the process. I heartily recommend it.

    Ken Noel
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