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Nerve damage from ruptured disc/back sugery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have just joined and I'm searching for answers regarding nerve damage from scar tissue. I had a ruptured L-5 disc 3 years ago that severed the SI nerve. After surgery I developed a blood clot in the same leg and while hospitalized, the same disc ruptured again. I chose not to have the second surgery because I was taking blood thinners and I teach (I needed to keep my job), I thought that I would wait until the summer to have the second surgery, but then after a repeat MRI, they discovered it's scar tissue.
I've tried all the anti seizure med's, physical therapy, counseling, pain meds, Nerve Stimulator (revised 2 times), anti-depressants (still on) injections, restless leg medicine, altzimers medicine, and trial internal pain pump. All these methods have failed... no relief at all. The pain starts at mid back and travels down my left side, behind my knee, numb calf and pain starts again at the ankle to the 3-4-5 toes. I have not found any relief from any activity (standing, stretching, laying, sitting...).
My doctor's are at a loss and I'm willing to try anything. Does anyone know of anything else that I can try? I live in Springfield, MO and I'm wondering if I should seek out other specialists in other states. Any thoughts??? Anyone???


  • Welcome to Spine Health. Going over your list of tried and failed treatments, the only one that I can think of that you haven't tried, is DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation). It is more popular for the treatment of movement disorders and dystonia, but is also used for chronic pain issues. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/554868 gives you an idea of what I am talking about.

    Please keep in mind, that I am not a doctor, just another member who has come across various ways to treat chronic pain.

  • Sounds like we have similar situations. Unfortunately, I had the second, third and fourth surgeries and still have the numbness and pain. Scar tissue forms as part of the healing process and it is how and where it forms that is what effects the pain once it forms. Going back in may not have done anything to help so don't second guess that for a minute and just maybe that blood clot stopped other things from happening. One never knows. I am having a lot of acupuncture at the moment and because nerves heal so slowly I hope it will help in the overall outcome. They say a body knows how to heal, and my wish for the New Year is for all past, present and future members of this site to have their bodies heal and all would live the rest of their life without Pain.
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  • Thanks "C" for the information. Has anyone ever tried this for chronic pain? Most of the research appears to be for pt's with Parkinson's Disease. I would want someone with a lot of experience for this specific condition to perform surgery... any thoughts?
  • Julie,
    That makes me feel better knowing that I may not have "done this to myself", however, I'm still frustrated. How often are you going to get acupuncture? Are you finding relief after each session or is this a "in time you will tell" situation. My insurance will not cover any "alternative" therapies and I'm just wondering how to determine if this would be a success or not for me. I've often thought about just "cutting" the nerve all together, has anyone tried this?

    Thanks for your input!
  • Kathy do you realize all that these nerves do and how they form a system to make things work all over the body? You did not do this to yourself as I did not either. I feel frustration every day, but I try to turn that into other things like patience, patience and more patience. There are no for sure things and just like anything else acupuncture is a "in time I will know". My insurance does not cover it either but I look at it like I have no other choice and I sacrifice to get it twice a week. I feel better overall and there have been some improvements just not my foot yet. (I had more numbing over more of my body than just my foot that is gradually coming back. It is great when I feel a needle in a place I never felt anything since my fusion or first surgery) I think what is the most difficult thing to accept in all of this is there are no for sure treatments and success will be accomplished only by trial and error and tons of effort on our own behalf. I know my brain never stops thinking. How can it when my foot is not letting me?
    PM me if you want to talk. We are here to support each other.
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  • I had a laminectomy and disectomy to remove a huge extruded fragment at the L5 S1 level. I have numbness from my butt to my foot on the right side aslo weakness in my foot. I have constant pain just a dull version of the original due to the nerve is encapsulated with scar tissue. The Dr. has suggested a fusion to help the pain but said there is no hope for my weakness and numbness. Julie did the second surgey help you at all? I don't want another operation and can live with the pain I have. I just want the feeling and strength back in my foot. It drives me crazy at times. It has been 4 years and I can't get used to it. How much has the acupunture help you julie?
  • If you want to try accupuncture a lot of Physiotherapists can do accupuncture and it's covered by your insurance.. Have you tried pool therapy? Or if you have a pool around you can walk through the water. Maybe you need to review some meds with your Dr. I would continue to look for more Orthos or Neuro consults. I hope you can find some relief from the numbness and pain. Ron one of the Mods here is seeing a specialist and can't remember the name. Take care Kathy. 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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