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Horrible Pain! What did I do?



  • Okay,.....so I explained what happened and the Neurologist told me that it could be a "flare up" of the sciatic nerve that was already inflammed from moving around in PT and from the surgery still OR could be something new like a new disk issue. Either of the two could've been caused from getting out of the car while bending and/or twisting a little while the nerve is irritated. He thought it was best to hit it with a "bazooka" pack (that's what I call it) of Prednisone (oral steroid) for 6 days then if it doesn't calm down significantly an MRI will be in order. He said an MRI right now wouldn't do much good this soon after surgery with all the inflammation that is present. I could walk on my toes and heels but had staright leg positive on the affected leg. He commented on how tight my hamstrings are too (well,...it's been a year of hardly sitting and NO exercise so yeah). I see my Neuro on the 13th and after he hears about the episode I had, I don't think it will be hard to get an MRI just to make sure everything is okay before getting more aggressive with PT.

    If I could get to a point of low or now pain I could start to rebuild my core and finally right this ship, that is, my body!

    Any experiences with lightning bolt "flare ups" like mine that turned out to be nothing serious?
  • The heaviness isn't bad. I can walk on my toes and heels, but "heaviness" is how I explain how it feels. Maybe more of an all wrapped up mild squeezing sensation. I dunno, it's all so subjective. I can walk without any footdrop that I notice so I think there's still a chance that it may be a "flare up." The tight squeezing pain around my calf and shin is what concerns me at this point.

    Thanks for replying and I hope you can get your cervical issues resolved soon. Is ADR a possibility or maybe just a micro-d?

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  • I hope the Medrol pack works for you.I think that you are having muscle issues.Getting in and out of a car is the most
    feared thing for me.I was immobilized for about seven months.
    Could not lift my legs even at 20 degrees because of tight
    hamstrings.Right calf smaller than left one by 2 inches.
    Gluteal muscles were mess,and causing hip pain that was taking
    my breath.I started PT last July.Slowly and painfully,but surely I am getting better.You have a lot of work ahead of you.Patience and persistence are the magic words.
    I am doing this with three bad discs,and one that was destroyed by a post op infection.See what the Medrol does and keep working with the therapist.Have the MRI to rule out your fears.You will get there.It just takes time.

  • ive had no lightningstrikes but about aweek after l5-s1 i had intence burning in my foot and back calfturned out to be sweeling. I do still have foot drop due to the damage done upon rupture.But my strength comes and goes the surgeon and pt felt this was nothing to worry about. Hope it was just a flare up. Use ice alot i do and it helps. I also hate low cars now.have a good one
  • for your words of encouragement. Your experience makes me think that the neuro could be right about this being a "flare up" due to many other factors like you have stated.

    Good luck to you with your therapy!
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  • I walked out to the garage and looked at my car thinking,...here we go again, today. I was really worried about getting in and out but I just took my time and REALLY made sure my spine was neutral doing both tasks. You are right about ice too. I'm rotating two gelpacks off and on so I can get the inflammation out of there.

    I ultimately think I got off all meds too soon. I got off the Voltaren (which wasn't actually prescribed but okay'd by the surgeon) and took the percocet only once a day. My theory was that not only would I minimize any addictive side effects, I would heal better since theoretically healing needs inflammation (too much internet surfing). Well I think after a week of that, my nerve was inflammed enough in the foraminal space along with all the other inflammed tissue that when I twisted trying to turn my lower body toward the door (a little carelessly) the nerve got "pinched" by the structures in the spine with everything being "puffed" up so to speak. That's one theory the neuro presented. Makes sense to me. I'm praying that's what it is anyway. :)

    No more trying to heal faster....I'm sticking with the plan. Thanks for sharing your experience, Magnum.

    I hope your foot drop gets better. Hopefully the nerves are still healing and someday you'll get the benefits of it.
  • thanks for the well wishes. MY footdrop now is a 4 instead of a 0 1 so it has gotten alot better. I had a hard time getting in and out of my hoda passport to low i took my 97 chevy for a while after that. WEll continue to get well I am. May all get well
  • My left calf (lateral) is throbbing still and both feet burn at the bottoms of them when I lay down. Is that a sign of healing? That is a new symptom at least on the right foot since my surgery was left side of the spine except for the bone spurs that were removed on both sides of my spinal cord. Standing I don't notice the burning pain,..hmmmm. Overall, I've managed my pain levels down to about a 4 so far. Which is better than the 8-10 I was feeling before getting on the steroids. My left big toe numbing sensation is receeding some also (I had that before surgery and it came back when I got the lightning bolt "flare-up" the other day). I am hopeful that this episode was just a "flare-up" but my gut tells me there could be some more damage. I just hope it is minimal and that if I have to have a repeat surgery, I will ultimately get better for good. :)

    Eager for my follow-up and MRI!

    Thanks for listening.
  • I had the lightning bolt pains before my surgery (and a little bit afterwards) but they are mostly gone now. I couldn't walk ten feet without huge jolts of pain. Now I seem to be stabilized enough to prevent those. I'm having some nerve pain flare-ups, but nothing too bad. I hope the Medrol pack helps. I found them beneficial before surgery.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • The Prednisone isn't working as well as I expected but what is lately..... This problem is testing my resolve. It must be some sort of lesson I have to learn in my life. Why doesn't my body just friggin heal??? I'm counting down the days before my followup appointment so I can get that MRI and see just what the hell is wrong with me now. It seems as though once you start down this damn road there are no detours. Maybe I'm reading this message board too much....LOL. Sorry, I'm just frustratedbeing caught up in the healthcare system now. I should count my blessings instead. At least I can walk when I have to. #:S

    GL all.
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