I had a lower back laminectomy in 1995. I was forced to get out of the military at that time and have had major problems since then. The following I have had since 1996:
Whenever I *throw* my back out, it flares up 3-4 times the normal size and my right side will push the top part of my body to the left causing the top half of my body to lean and I cannot straighten up for a few weeks, sometimes a month or more. There have been times when I would pass out from the pain being so severe.
I also over the past year now have been experiencing severe numbness in both feet and whenever I lay down, my left pinky toe will go completely numb. [i]*note, I will be as professional about this as possible:[/i] If I lay down on my right or left side, I will get unprovoked erections and have to sit up or stand up in order for it to stop.
I also get tingling down both legs and if I sit for to long I start to tingle and have to get up and move around.
The doctors did an MRI last year, but stated it came back negative and only seen maybe one bulging disc.
I also had epidural shot injections into my back recently and it has caused more problems than it has solved.
I have advised the doctors to check for sciatia, but the surgeon INSISTED that he did not need to do it.
Since this is a veterans hospital, I am not sure what else to do.. If they keep telling me that there is nothing wrong but I am still having major pain and problems, I will never get anywhere.
Can someone shed some light on this? This numbness is really starting to concern me and since it has caused me to not work, unless the doctors actually diagnosis me correctly, I will lose everything I have.
Well, my back didn't show anything major with the MRI. Just a "possible bulging" at L4-L5. It wasn't until I had the discogram that the real story was told. I had a huge tear on the L4-L5 disc, and the dye being pumped in was coming out almost as fast as it was injected. I went through the roof with pain.
Discograms are the most painful test devised by mankind to do to another person, but in my case all I can say is that without it, I never would have known that that was the disk that was causing all my pain. My disc had bulged, but had healed enough to be called "iffy." It had bulged enough to damage my left leg nerve without it being visable on a current MRI.
Maybe your disc bulged, but then healed enough to not be seen on an MRI.
All I know is that my sciatic nerve will blow up so bad that I have to go to the hospital for morphine injections.
Maybe one of them would help determine if the disc is the cause of the nerve issues? They are very painful, but with your nerve issues, I don't see how it wouldn't be helpful. At least your disc could be ruled out.
Also, a CT-Myleogram might help as it allows dye to be pumped into the spinal canal, then you are moved around and bend and twist under the X-ray, so they can tell if your disc is "slipping" when you move. These aren't painful at all. It sound's as if your disc is slipping as you lay down and causes all these issues. And if it slipped and bashed into your nerve root, it would explain why you sound like you've done damage to the nerve and it takes weeks to improve.
Just ideas, but I hope they help.
Last edited by Stormygale; 08-22-2004 at 02:40 PM.
c--Depending on how big the bulge is, and where it is, it could certainly be part of many of the symptoms you're having. There is _no_ question they warrant a thorough evaluation and further assessment. You almost certainly do have sciatica, which just means irritation of the sciatic nerve, but there also may be more going on, and more important things going on. Are you genuinely trapped within the VA system? Whatever it takes, I believe you need to get this thoroughly looked at, just as you do.
Happen to be on at the same time you are, C. Yes, I know it is probably not simple (and probably costly), but I do think you need to try another doc in another system. Needless to say, if you're going to do this (as I hope you will), get the most highly recommended, respected, etc. person you can find. I wish you luck; let us know how things go,