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Q's about sciatic inflammation

MeeshaMMeesha Posts: 55
Can someone answer these Q's?
As sciatica continues, do the nerves get inflamed? And if it goes on a year or longer, do the nerves stay permanently inflamed and damaged? Is that why surgery is less successful by then?
What happens the longer sciatica persists? Thanks.
discectomy in June 2010 - success! No sciatic pain, just some remaining numbness in foot. And I get charlie horses a lot.


  • There are actually two conditions that are commonly referred to as "sciatic" pain. If you have a large disc herniation at L5-S1, I am guessing that your pain symptoms are coming from that herniation. Disc material is pressing on the S1 nerve root which radiates pain down the back of the leg and sometimes, into the foot.

    True sciatic pain comes from the sciatic nerve which can get pinched off by the piriformis muscle in the buttock and by other conditions as well...piriformis is considered the most common.

    The nerve can become inflamed. Or it can be damaged from loss of adequate blood flow. Problems can also arise in the signals that are sent and received from the brain. It all depends on how much the nerve is being compressed.

    I think people are generally advised to seek treatment if things have not resolved after 3-6 months. Most think the longer the nerve is compressed, the more likely is the risk for permanent nerve damage. If the situation is such that the nerve becomes more and more compressed, I would imagine the nerve could get choked off and die...the most extreme case. But it usually starts out with pain and then progresses to numbness and/or loss of feeling. Sometimes symptoms come and go if there is instability.

    Scar tissue will not cause a disc to herniate. It can attach itself to the nerve and compress it, causing the "sciatic type" nerve pains, or it can attach to other areas and take up space that would normally be occupied by the nerve...such as in foraminal stenosis.
  • After my second surgery I was DX with Failed Back surgery. All my past issues were still the same. So they all thought maybe nerve damaged and I was told to play the waiting game.
    After many months I started to develope really bad coccyx pain.
    I kept telling the doctor that if I took loads of Excedrin the pain would be less. I told them my Lyrica, Oxy didn't help the coccyx pain at all.
    Finally my family doctor not my PM or Ortho or IDD said if the Excedrin helps then you have a inflamation issue. He RX'd High levels of Celebrex to see if it helped. Sure enough! It did. However, when the Celebrex whore off the tail pain would come back.
    After I told him he said you need to try a RA med as they modify your immune system and reduce inflamation.
    So I did and sure enough the pain went away. And now many of my other pains are starting to go away.
    Turns out! I had a immune disorder many years before my surgerys without knowing. Well after the surgeries my system developed Chronic Immune Mediated Neuropathy. Basicly Inflamation attacked my sciatic nerve causing some perm. damage.
    Inflamation in it self can cause damage to sciatic over time. All my pains at least started with inflamation. So yes inflamation can play a huge part!
    I would try a DOS pack first. If it works I would ask for Celebrex. Or try to find a doc to give you a RA modifing med.
    RA meds are very rough! However, if it keeps you off narcs I think it's worth it.
    I'm not a dr. so please work with your dr. and feel free to share my story!
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