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21 w/ herniated disk sciatica, genital numbness

phenom34pphenom34 Posts: 27
I am 21, herniated l5 s1 weightlifting. I have been resting it for about 5 months now and haven't recovered yet. Ive tried rest, NSAIDS, oral steroids, injected steroids, etc.
Ive seen GP, orthopedic sugeon, neurosurgeon, osteopath, and neurologist. So far a big herniated disk on l5 s1 and slight degeneration on the disk above. My leg emg is normal.

Basically, I am having sciatica and numbness/loss of sensation in my penis/scrotum. I am currently in physical therapy and may do spinal decompression soon, there is a center for that near my house.

What can I do to maximize recovery, and such. none of the doctors recommend surgery because of my age.

The pain isn't too bad lately, but the genital numbness is not fun and interferes with sex life. What suggestions do you have?


  • When did you last see a surgeon? The numbness is your genital area is concerning. Have you talked your doc about this symptom?
  • I would mention the numbness to your Surgeon. I have the same problem in women's parts but they still said I wsn't a candidate, but since you're young you should mention that to your Dr. I've had epidurals that have helped the leg and back pain. Do you have a Pain Management Dr. yet? 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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  • Ive mentioned it to both surgeons and they both insisted on no surgery and seemed to kinda ignore the symptom. The neurologist was the only one who took it serious, basically s1 radiculopathy. I saw a urologist too and he said im normal urologically.

    At one point i had 100% loss of sensation on one side at this point i have most of it back but i still dont have even sensation and it bothers me a lot. I wish there was something else to do about it and I am worried it might not ever go back to normal.
  • this is a symptom no one wants but more importantly you are far too young to be ignored go back and see your docs and insist on further investigations you do not want to be lrft with any long term problems if this is affecting your ability to orgasm then it makes it more necessary to get some answers. my neurologist was also the only one who to my similar issues so i suggest trying them first

    take care

    dawnie x
  • oh wow... Im very sorry you are going through this!! I say see a different surgeon or go back and see them again.

    Hope you get some relief soon!!

    take it easy
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,571
    Have either of the doctors provided you with their reasons why surgery is not suggested?
    Age can't be a limiting factor, since spinal problems never discriminate regarding age.
    Many times if one doctor has one opinion and another something different, you would want to seek a third opinion.
    So, since these doctors agree, what is their rationale?
    And what is their action plan for you?

    I would meet these doctors again to discuss, never insist on further investigation. Instead ask them again what could be causing the problem you are having
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • ok i lumbered in like a bull in a china shop there but someone ought to be able to help or offer you some suggestions as to what needs or can be done to help you ron is totally right insisting is not appropriate it can be counter productive in the long run and does not take into account the bigger picture needed to achieve the correct differential diagnosis. i wish you the best of luck and hope you find the answers you need.
    best wishes
  • the doctors feel my hernia is not that bad and might resolve with time. they want to eliminate all conservative treatment options before surgery. i am just really worried waiting too long can be bad this lack of penile sensation bothers me greatly. they feel that surgery may cause me more problems.

    nsaids and steroids haven't worked, i am trying a month of physical therapy and going from there. the orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, and neurologist said a lot of times these things resolve without surgery.

    here is a picture of my mri: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/photo/data/500/a0084_copy2.jpg

    if i keep having problems they said eventually i might be a candidate but not until conservative treatments are exhausted.
  • Did you do a specific type of exercise to cause the herniation (squats, dead lift, press)? Just curious.

    When you say you haven't recovered, does that mean you haven't gotten any better or are you seeing progress, because you said "The pain isn't too bad lately"?

    Seems like you've gone through lots of medical procedures. Now that it's been 5 months, can they give you another MRI to see if the extrusion is disolving, even a little? I'd think that would be greatly encouraging or determine if you'll need surgery.

    What is your life situation? Seems like you have good medical insurance. If you're parents are well off, I'm sure they would pay for a second MRI if insurance doesn't cover it.
  • I hurt myself doing squats. I powerlifted for almost 3 years and worked with up to 400 lbs on the squat and 500 on deadlifts. I was doing fast squats with 200 lbs more like a warmup and something slipped the wrong way out of the bottom.

    I had a few months of excruciating back pain (6/10), sciatica (up to 8/10), and complete numbness on the right side of genitals.

    At this point, laying down i have little to no pain. Doing regular stuff and sitting for more than 20 mins gets me up to about a 3/10 but it still is annoying. A lot of the sensation came back but it still is missing fine touch and generating erotic signals on a lot of it. Ive been like this for a couple months now.

    It gets aggravated really easily.

    Its killing me i am a very athletic person and I cant work with weights anymore which was a major life passion. I play tennis couple times a week but that aggravates my back too.

    Life situation: comfortable with decent insurance, my insurance is starting to question paying stuff lately and tries to challenge everything, but my mom always wins. Parents are more than willing to help me with this. Insurance won't cover spinal decompression that will run like 4000$

    I like the idea about a 2nd mri.

    Thanks for the advice guys.
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