I had a MRI in 2009. I was told by my doctor that I have a sixth vertebrae in my lumbar instead of the typical five. I did not pay this any mind since the only pain that I have had for years was my arthritis pain. However, about the beginning of October 2014 I experienced a very sharp pain in my lower back to my right hip area, and down my right leg all the way to my foot. The has pain occurred every day. The pain is also associated with numbness to my foot and calve area. The pain goes away if I sit or squat down for a few minutes, but within five minutes after standing up, or walking the pain immediately returns. The pain is so severe that I have to limp, and then I have to sit again to relieve the pain. My doctor scheduled me for another MRI, but believes that my pinched nerve has gotten worse. A week ago the pain was so bad that I had to go to the hospital emergency room. The ER doctor told me that I may possibly have a bulging or herniated disc pressing against my nerve. When I told my regular doctor this he still is sticking to his belief that my pinched nerve is just getting worse. I guess my future MRI will show which doctor is correct. My doctor told me that my only options are pain pills, a MRI, cortisone injections, but I can only get two injections. He said that there is only a 50/50 chance that the cortisone will relieve my pain. If it does not then back surgery is an option, but the effectiveness of the surgery is only 60 percent. I am not one for taking lots of pain pills all the time and the cortisone and surgery success rate is not looking too good. I would like some additional advice, and opinions from others at Spine-Health. Thanks in advance. You should see a board certified spine surgeon. Pain medications don't treat nerve related pain, there are other medications that may help, but your best option is to consult with a board certified spine surgeon, let him review the MRI you are having done, and discuss treatment options with you. Primary doctors are not the best equipped to handle spine issues, lasting more than a few weeks.
Felton J. Fowler Jr.