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S1 Sciatica numbness - how long does it last?



  • Hope you manage to avoid surgery; I'm definitely of the opinion that if you can effect a cure without, then so much the better. Of course in the UK, the problem is getting the operation within a decent timeframe if you need it (though as I wrote above, I think the built-in delay that the NHS has is not always a disadvantage as it puts the brakes on knife-happy surgeons!)

    I was very worried about the numbness in my foot (though I also had a tingling pins and needles type sensation plus some ankle pain in the right foot) . My PT suggested that when I was doing my swimming exercises I should always made a point of walking across the swimming bath on my heels, and then walking back on tiptoe. As you have to pull yourself along using your arms you end up doing a kind of underwater funky chicken. You'll get some funny looks from your fellow swimmers - but I always found them very sympathetic once I had explained what it was all about!

    No idea whether that contributed to my general improvement - but I always did it regularly, so perhaps it did. I found it reassured me because I could monitor the onset of any muscle weakness (and maybe it combatted that too).

    Good luck with your own situation.

  • treblejunkiettreblejunkie Posts: 2
    edited 09/15/2014 - 5:40 AM
    I couldn't figure out EDITED was wrong with me. My right side butt cheek hurt, and my right leg hurt quite a bit. Rolling in bed was so painful, but if I lay in the same spot, it'd really hurt. Walking was getting to be difficult. I thought a ride on my bicycle might make it feel better, as it works for the osteoarthritis I have from the hips down. After riding a bike for a few miles, the pain went away as I rode the bike, but walking after was near impossible. After recalling moving somethings that are fairly heavy, and almost wiping out, I did this sciatica damage I'm positive now. It doesn't take much of a wrong twist to bugger your back up. Just tripping like I did caused this pain...I just hope it goes away soon. My 2¢.


    Post edited by Sandi- the use of foul, obscene or vulgar language is NOT permitted on Spine Health.

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  • devyne01ddevyne01 Posts: 1
    edited 07/20/2015 - 8:18 AM
    Ok so I'm new to this experience a it's soo bad I can't take it no more as of today right now my entire left side of my buttocks and down to my foot is numb literally I'm reading everyone taking about numbness goes away after surgery I'm thinking does it go away after a few hours or no? I can't live like this the only thing I'm able to do bend my knee and barley move my toes... Ima going to see my physician today and I'm hoping I can walk to get up and go .... My back was hurting very bad for days then it started to move to my legs on like the forth night my back was no longer my major concern as my legs were hurting so severe I have been taking ibuprofen over the counter but not much help anyways so right before my legs became a major issue I had Ben laying in bed for days and I decided I have to get up and shower since every task was so difficult and exhausting anyways once I was done with my shower I tried so hard to lotion and but pants and socks on that it got over whelming so I laid down again and that's when my legs went a turn for the worst they were hurting so bad I regretted taking a shower as I tried to find a comfortable position to lay it seemed after an hour one side of my legs was fine but the other kept hurting with any movement then finally just went numb completely I'm freaking out thinking omg the doctor is going t to amputate my foot or leg so I started looking up leg numbness online and and found all this sciatic information that matched everything I was feeling I'm typically one of those peeps that think when something's wrong there not going to find what's wrong and just send me off with medication but I'm happy that I found this forum Cuz I'm a bit relieved that I'm not losing my leg and that numbness is Normal even though I'm still worried about how long my leg is gonna stay like this I figured maybe I'll fall asleep and it will be fine and no it's been hours and still nothing please anyone with numbness symptoms please elaborate more on your experiences thanks De'Vyne

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  • W0LFIEWW0LFIE Posts: 2
    edited 07/20/2015 - 8:20 AM
    Firstly thanks to Seaniboy for the original post & the clear & positive info he supplied. This thread has been very reassuring & joining this forum may help me to vent some frustrations, discuss my problem with others & share some positive advice.. I'm very conscious that I've bored my family, work colleagues & friends by now when discussing my Sciatic pain. (I bore myself too be honest).

    I came to this site having injured my lower back 3 weeks ago. I was gardening and ended up on the floor unable to move & my wife had to call the paramedics. Only with gas & air was I able to stand up and get into the house. Once up it was painful but an immediate relief to how painful it had been whilst lying down.

    Over the following days my back pain subsided & I was able to return to work. My injury felt muscular, lower back to right of spine. It's an old sporting injury that has always haunted me when I do too much.
    Well I returned to work thinking I'd be ok but gradually my right buttock started to hurt. Over the next week the pain became excruciating and spread down my leg.
    I still get sharp back pain if I forget & do something I shouldn't such as try to kick something or take a long step. My buttock and ankle now hurt more than my back & my right foot and toes are numb.

    Taking 1 30mg codeine capsule every 4hrs & 2 capsules before bed has allowed me to resume normal movement & sleep. However this dulls the senses somewhat so I can't drive and obviously it isn't a cure. ( I'm also aware of how easily one can become addicted to strong painkillers so I want to minimise my dependence on Codeine).

    I'm signed off work for another week and was hoping this would be enough time to heal with a bit of gentle exercise.
    Reading this forum I'm not so sure it's going to be as easy or as quick as that! :-(

    I'm reassured that my numbness isn't something to worry too much about as its only been 3 weeks and some have had it for months. People pull a face when I tell them my toes have been numb for a week & visions of black frost bitten toes falling off spring to mind!

    I saw a PT yesterday & they are convinced the nerve issue is muscular and not spinal which is a relief. However the treatment is expensive & I m quite old fashioned when it comes this sort of thing. How much does a PT actually do that I can't do myself through exercise.
    I want to cure myself so seriously thinking about maybe 1 or 2 more trips to PT but if not fixed by then ill switch to exercises and maybe a tens machine. Like the idea of swimming but if my back goes won't I drown? :-)

    I'm daunted by how long this may all take (having seen this thread) but understand that patience is going to have to become one of my vertues.

    I fully sympathise with everyone that has posted because we all know that positivity & sense of humour seem to leave the party the minute back pain arrives.
    It's important to remain positive, keep your chin up (not literally as that may hurt) and be patient.

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  • Thank you all for great advice
    8/31/15 microdiscetomy laminotomy
    8/15 reruptured l5
    12/24/13 laminotomy/discetomy of L5
    9/98 laminectomy l4/l5
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  • PipskimaripskiPPipskimaripski Posts: 7
    edited 09/23/2015 - 2:44 AM
    I've had leg pain, like something is knowing behind my knee and a pulling sharp pain from my left buttock, I went for acupuncture, Chirpractor and physio, the chiropractor made it worse, lifted both my legs and then asked me to support them in the air, the pain was so severe I couldn't bear it, he said "It's definitely Periformis" be careful about trying to cure yourself as it wasn't! The physio made me go to the doctors who then referred me to a Physio Consultant who said small bulge of the disc, she sent me for an MRI, she was a bit hesitant because I had had it 13 weeks which is the time that it starts to get better, anyway I went for the MRI and it was a LARGE central disc protusion. I went back and saw another consultant and he said it's very large. I am currently trying to get an image on CD to show an Osteopath, basically I have been referred to a surgeon but just for a chat, it's now been 4 months since it all started and no better, last night the grinding pain in my leg kept waking me up, I am on Co-Dydramol, 8 tablets in 24 hours and Naproxen a strong anti inflammatory and Amytripyline a strong pain killer for nighttime that gives me bad dreams, you start off on 1/2 a tablet and then build up to 2 tablets over the course of a few weeks, it takes a long time for them to kick in and alleviate the pain but I stuck with them and the nightmares, this does enable me to sleep. I can only get comfortable if I sit with my bottom slightly higher than the level of my knees and I sit upright, as soon as I slouch I get pins and needles in my leg. My middle three toes are numb, my ankle and up to my knee on the back of my calf. I have nightmares about it going higher and I think at night time when I am dosed up it does go higher, this wakes me up and I get out of bed and walk around for ten minutes. You have to watch out for Cauda Equina which is basically not realising you have wet yourself, loss of sensation, this is in extreme circumstances and the consultant said you will definitely know when this happens, there is no doubt and dial 999 and get to a hospital. So after 4 months I am coping but it is draining and dragging me down. I am full-time working with my own graphic design business so have to get up from my chair every 20 minutes and walk around. I have found pottering around is the best, housework apart from hoovering is good but I avoid any lifting of repetitive loading and bending, this makes it worse and you just undo the healing process. The disc has bulged, it's a bit like a blood blister on the side of your thumb, painful to start, then the thumb cuts off the blood supply to the blister, the blister shrivels and then eventually disperses and drops off, thats a bit how it works with a disc and it fixing apparently. Anyway I had a week off work for holiday, with lots of gentle walking and pottering around for the whole week and it didn't make it any better so I went back to see the doctor as my surgeon appointment is not until November another 8 weeks. The doctor said to avoid surgery and wait it out, she said she has had it herself and has had patients where the whole leg is numb but the numbness has gone in time, it can take a long, long time for it to go though, nerves do heal but can vary from person to person on time length. She said to avoid surgery on your back if possible, it fixes it to start with but then spurs can grow out from where it has been operated on and cause problems down the line, sometimes good painkillers and anti inflammatory tablets, not over the counter ones, get decent ones on prescription kept the pain under control and the body is wonderful at healing itself with time. You just have to treat your bones with care and go gently. Good pottering, regular walking, not route marches but lots of walking around all helps and patience. Hope this helps someone.
    Know pain, no gain
  • mickey5627mmickey5627 Posts: 4
    edited 09/25/2015 - 9:28 AM
    I am new to this site and I wish I had seen it 4 years ago.
    History: 9/2011 fusion in neck with plate.....Left me with numbness and partial paralysis left arm from elbow to fingers...
    7/2012 Disectomy L-5/S1 ... Some numbness and tingling on left side but ok...
    10/2012 Disectomy again L-5/S1...pieces floating around resting on sciatica. .Result still numbness and tingling PT for 9 months
    7-2013 Ulnar Nerve surgery on Left arm.. still numbness and paralysis just rerouted nerve but damage already done.
    Constant pain and cramping on left calf. Tingling and numbness and weakness and burning on left side from center of buttock to the end of my toes. Sciatica flare ups often but would cease. Took gabapentin, hydrocodone when needed , ibuprofen and icing center of lower beck even though I had no pain. Feb 2015 sciatica flared up went to neurosurgeon said bulging disc and he would not do surgery.Said my option would be a spinal stimulator. Well after going to Primary Doctor, neurologist sent me to have orthoses made for both feet because I had drop feet and left foot was also numb and I fell constantly. June of 2015 I woke up and could not move. Went to ER gave me shots and sent me home. Went to Primary referred me to Pain Mgmt. no apt until 8-31. Sciatica let up until 7-4 and could not move again..went back to Er gave me morphine dulaudin and steroid..did not make a dent. Sent me home with hydrocodone and I am now going on 11 weeks bedridden. After Pain Mgmt apt was cancelled due to dr illness I raised a fit and got in next day with another dr. set me up for epidural injections on 9-22.. Today is 9-24 and I feel worse then before shots. How long can a person live with this debilitating chronic pain?? I cannot sit, stand, walk and can only lay on my stomach. To go to the restroom is the most painful tearing screaming experience of my life. How does anyone do it? The minute I put my foot on the floor my nerves are like fireworks going off in every direction from my butt to my toes. Sharp shooting pains , aching you name it it happens. I have seen every star there is and then some. and talk about depression..i want to walk again..I want to be able to stand for more than 5 seconds before the pain overtakes me. Taking a shower is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Any input you an give will be greatly appreciated..I am at my wits end. Obviously the epidural shots will not work on me..I praise ya'll that are dealing with us. I just want to smile again ..no more tears... Thank you for letting me vent.. 4 years for me is a long time to deal with something I don't even know what I did to bring it on.

    spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease,narrowing spinal canal, bulging disc s1 l-4-l-5, myelomalacia, myelopathy, drop feet, neuropathy

    God Bless You all

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  • I have a chronic swollen knee from a knee replacement, might that cause sciatica symptoms?  I have not hurt my back. Just came on suddenly after sitting
  • KDS444KKDS444 Los Angeles, CAPosts: 8
    I guess we'd need to know what those "symptoms" are— based on what I have been able to learn about sciatica over the past three weeks of my own experience, the knee is not a root cause of sciatic pain: the sciatic nerve runs down the back of the leg, not the front.  Not that you couldn't have somehow herniated a disc when you got up from sitting recently!  Only that the knee would be an unrelated co-occurring condition.  The knee is innervated by the femoral nerve, not the sciatic one.  They all connect to the lumbar vertebrae, though.
  • tjlazerttjlazer TacomaPosts: 44
    I am 5 months post of L5/S1 discectomy and foraminotomoy at L5 nerve roots.  I am a little bit better but still have a lot of numbness in my feet.  My right foot has gotten worse since surgery (left foot was way worse than right) and it seems to be in the L5 dermatomes (big toe and bottom of foot)  Up until I had surgery I could not sit for more than 5 minutes due to the severe Sciatia pains on the back of my legs and burning feet.  This seems to be much better post op.  I think the foraminotomy irritated the nerve roots or scar tissue is pressing on it causing the current problem.  Had an MRI and it looks fine, no rehurniation of L5 disc.  I walk 2 miles a day and take many breaks lieing on by back and stretching my legs.  I also do nerve flossing on each leg.  I am worried about this continued numbness and wish it would go away.  Only time will tell.  

    I know this post is old but PLEASE do not LOCK it.  It is very helpful to us that SEARCH and do not start new similar topics of discussion!

    Thank you.   Keep the comments coming.
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