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I need some advice! So, I'm 7 weeks since I went down in pain from a herniated disc L5-S1 left side syptoms. I could not walk because of the pain for about 3 days. I still had strength in my left leg, but it was not the same. After 4 days in the hospital I was released. I could not stand for long periods of time because my back, thigh, and calf would hurt and burn. I also have numbness/tingling on exterior side of my foot leading into the 2 smallest toes. I started physical therapy week 2. Week two the pain gradually faded away in the calf. Still pain in back and thigh. However, when i walked for more than 30 seconds the pain would shoot all the way to my calf.
Week 3 I got injections. It helped relieve some of the discomfort in the thighs and hip area. Before the the injection my pain would only occur if I set down for long or walk /stood for a while. However, if laying down I was pain free for the most part. So, basically I didn't have extreme pain since week 1. After injections in week 3 I still had pain only when I would walk for about 5 minutes. It would start in my back, go to the side of my thigh, and then down to the back of the calf. Week 4 went the same. Week 5 I got my second set of injections. Same symptoms during week 5. I have regained some strength in my left leg and foot. Week 6 I notice the pain from walking is a little less intense then the normal. At the end of week 6 I can walk and I have no traveling pain from walking. However, my foot/toes on exterior side is still tingling/numb. I can still feel a little discomfort in the back from time to time but not even a factor.
My numbness/tingling in toes still hasn't really improved. I do all my exercise from physical therapy so the decrease of pain might be a combination. Do I still need to have surgery to shave down the disc? I'm not in pain but it's still something wrong with my foot. Will the nerve heal overtime? I'm just nervous that the nerve is still compressed. I mean before the injections I was starting to have less pain so I don't think I'm pain free just because of the injections.
Should I give it more time before I even start considering surgery since I'm not in any pain beside the minor discomfort from time to time? It's only been 7 weeks. I'm 30 years old by the way and very active. I'm trying to avoid the surgery because I hear down the line a fusion will be needed. Please share your thoughts. Thanks!