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Severe sciatic pain for 3 weeks

Hello, this is my first post. I have been reading this forum for a few days and certainly feel that I am not as unfortunate as many here are with my journey. I just wanted to see if anyone had something to offer on my situation. I have severe sciatic pain radiating from my left hip down to my calf for 3 weeks. I am unable to work. I am a dental hygienist and I can either sit or stand to do my job and I can do neither at this point. The only position I am comfortable is sitting with my legs straight out or lying down. I cannot walk with limping within 10 min. of getting up. The pain first started about 6 weeks ago. I was seeing my regular chiropractor for what I thought was a tight IT band and doing stretches, yoga, walking to work it out. I am relatively healthy, I am 54 Y.O. female, I work out about 3 days a week , about 15 lbs overweight . The journey begins with an episode of severe pain at work where I could not drive home. My hubby drove me to chiropractor and he ordered an MRI. I was in excruciating pain and went to an orthopedic surgeon with the MRI 2 days later and he diagnosed sciatica and gave me a Medrol dose pack and tramadol .. By the 3rd day I felt slightly better and could sit without pain. I went back to work and the minute I sat in my chair the pain started up again and I had to leave immediately. The pain became unbearable and I called the orthopedic surgeon and he ordered a LESI . I did that last Friday and it did nothing. I am taking tramadol about 2 or 3 times a day. I don't hurt if I don't get up! If I get up to walk or sit I am in pain. I have an appointment tomorrow morning with a neurologist. The MRI did not show anything obviously wrong with my back. I have normal degeneration. I cannot just sit and wait for this to go away. I have to work and as of now I am not getting paid! I love my job and hate to think that I can't do it anymore . But there are not many jobs where you can lay down to work!
Any insight to my problem would be helpful!
Donna epley


  • Hi Deeply, I'm so sorry you are going through this. You have come to the right place where people can truly relate to what you are going through. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to have so much pain yet the test results aren't revealing the problem. The only thing I can suggest is possibly going to a neurosurgen or another ortho surgeon for another opinion. It would probably help if you wrote down all the details you could about the pain (sitting times/morning times/night times/positions that make it better/etc). A good surgeon will go through your images frame by frame. I know at one point I had some specific nerve issues and when the doctor was going through frame by frame is found a very specific almost "hidden" bone spur that he showed my husband and I... yet the radiologist missed it. I'm not faulting the radiologist, but complex spines require a trained complex spine expert. I think the worst thing you can do is "give up" and feel like you have to just live in pain because "nothing is wrong". Keep seeking help.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Thanks for the reply, I am seeing a neurologist this a.m. With hope! I will post what he recommends.
    Donna epley
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  • I saw the neurologist today, start phys. therapy tomorrow, started relafen today , do an EMG Friday.....I go forward with hope! I found an interesting article about sarapin with other causes for sciatica that are non disc related. This is on the main website for sarapin.
    Donna epley
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