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Radiculopathy Returning With A Vengeance

KryPonyKryPony Posts: 6
Sudden, intense pain in right lower leg and foot Jan. 2015. No accident, injury, etc.
MRI reveals anterior herniation and large synovial fluid cyst causing nerve root compression at L5-S1, other degenerative herniations noted to a lesser degree of L3, L4.
Pursued a course of PT and 3 epidural steroid injections with little relief.
PLIF May 2015 with effective decompression of L5-S1 nerve roots, decrease of symptoms and was in process of finding "new normal". 
Currently over the past week or two, I am experiencing not only the pain I had previously corresponding with L5-S1 nerve root innervation but also new, worsening Radiculopathy that would now suggest L4 & S2 nerve root innervation.
Initially my neurosurgeon referred me to an ortho for the ankle pain, thinking it was unrelated to the fusion or any spinal issues.
The ortho sent me to PT to strengthen my ankle. After several PT sessions we both came to the same conclusion: it's my back that's the problem, not my ankle. (I'm an RN by the way, and so have a bit more insight into how my body is malfunctioning).
So, after playing phone tag between the surgeon and PT, I will start therapy for my back tomorrow. Again.
My question(s) to you: anyone with similar experience? What was your diagnosis and how were you treated? Has another disc herniated further to be causing these renewed/new symptoms? Will I need another surgery? I've also started on Neurontin? Has that helped anyone? What side effects do/did you have?
Thanks  :)


  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971


    It sounds like you need to have some fresh images done to try and assess the causes of your current pain.  Has your doctor ordered a fresh MRI or CT scan???    Without new images it would be hard for your doctor to truly diagnose your current issues.

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • Thanks, Harry.
    Yes, I know another MRI would be necessary if PT doesn't help.
    I was just reading your little bio signature. So you had your 2nd PLIF and a microdosectomy at the same time? I wasn't aware they did that.
    How are you doing nowadays?
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  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971
    edited 09/24/2016 - 2:57 AM


    My second PLIF was due to a failed fusion at the L5-S1 level.  The doctor also wanted to fuse my L3-L4 level at the same time which was badly herniated but I wouldn't let him... so he did a decompression and discectomy only at that level.   In hind sight I wish I had let him fuse the L3-L4 level like he wanted... as today my L3-L4 level is a bit unstable. 

    Overall I'm doing ok now... and pretty much out of pain... except for some minor daily pains in my right leg that come and go and some numbness across the bottom of my right foot (permanent nerve damage).  The biggest thing however is that for sure my lifestyle has changed.  I no longer lift things more than about 10 pounds... and I shy away from any activity that may put stress on or jolt my back in any way.  Hopefully I can continue to avoid the surgeon's table and knife ever again... knock on wood.   

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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