Hello - I will try to be as brief as possible.
I am 35 years old (female). Have had back problems for YEARS (since I was 18). Was diagnosed with an L6 (extra vertebrae), and had a disk herniation (L5(6)-S1) sometime in my 20's (not sure what from - possibly just the lack of space). Went through hell on and off for years until I experienced foot drop, loss of achilles tendon reflex and one morning when i bent in the shower to shave my legs - it finally happened - the pain that was required for a surgeon to take me seriously. I was taken to the hospital by ambulance and had a diskectomy a couple of days later (by a great neurosurgeon). This was 4 years ago - the surgery was a great success - probably the best thing I even experienced. Although I never regained the sensation in my outer toes. However, in the last few months, I have started more pain and problems, started as a muscle spasm, back pain, sciatica, hip pain. I have been going for therapy, and am having an MRI done next week and seeing my surgeon in November (made the appt. in August when this started knowing how long the wait was). My question is this - the dr. who saw me to refer me for the MRI thinks that I have herniated another disk (possibly L4-L5) because of my weak large toe symptoms ... can anyone relate to the hip pain though. I don't recall feeling this much extreme pain in my hip before - I was wondering if perhaps this is something else (arthritis ??) Sitting is hell, driving (standard shift) is hell, rolling in bed is hell ... I guess I have forgotten a lot of what I went through before ... does it sound like a herniation to you all ? When I first went to see my physio - he wasn't convinced that it was a disk because I don't have pain when I cough or sneeze ... still don't really just pulling in my leg when I cough. Sitting is really the worst .. Please send me your advice.
I have Spondy and sciatica and I do suffer from some pain in my right hip from time to time but it sounds like you have hip pain all the time? I'm not sure why I get hip pain but I can relate. I'm really sorry I can't be more help. However, I'm hoping you can help me. I see that you developped foot drop. Can you explain the pain that came from that? I have had an awfull time for about the past while with my feet. I can barely walk in the morning, I am extremly unstable on my feet. It seems to get a little bit better but then as the day does on it gets really bad again. Does this sound like foot drop to you? Thank you for any advice you can provide and I'm sorry I couldn't be more help. Kristy.
My "foot drop" actually didn't have any pain. One day (after many weeks of extreme back pain and sciatic) - I was sitting at my desk at work and my leg felt really funny, it felt "dead" - like it had been wrapped in bandages and just un-done, it felt tired. When I walked it felt asleep but not tingly. I walked up stairs and that's when I noticed, .. I took the stairs on my toes but my left foot would fall down when I went up the stairs. When I finally ended up in the hospital - they had me walk on my tippy toes and I couldn't - my left foot would just fall .. I can now though - even though I lost a lot of sensation in my little toes ... Hope this helps.
Yes - you are definately right - I do sleep on my side (in the fetal position) and in addition to this causing pressure - it seems to have shortened my psoas muscle - which was spasmed about a month ago. So I try to sleep on my back with pillows under my knees but invariably I move to my side .. I wake up and my leg and hip feel terrible. Thanks.
Lizf, there are different branches to the sciatic nerve. The control different parts of your leg. The symptoms you describe sound consistent with an L4,L5 herniation. I had a herniation that impinged my L4,L5 nerve root and I had awful hip pain, outer calf pain and the big toe and the one next to it burned. I also had diminished strength in my big toe. These are simple ways a doctor can narrow down what they are looking for. I would not be suprised for your MRI to show an L4,L5 herniation.
One other possibility is you may have a far lateral herniation one level below. For you this would be L5,L6. In a far lateral herniation, the disc ruptures out the side of the vertibrae and presses on the nerve after it has exited the vertibrae. This is actually what I had and it took almost a year and 2 MRIs for the docs to pinpoint it. I can relate to the pain you are feeling. Unfortunately about all you can do is get the MRI and see what it says. Have they recommended an EMG for you? This is also another test to see if a nerve is pinched. Good luck!
Alan, Yes I certainly have the outrageous hip pain and I guess the reason that I don't have outer calf pain is because I lost most of the sensation on my outer leg (butt to baby toes) from my first herniation (L6-S1). I have such lack of sensation in my baby toes that I had a blister the size of my entire foot on my toe and I didn't even feel it ! So I could very well have something going on in my calf now and not feel it. Thanks for the response. Keep them coming - it gives me something to do (other than feel sorry for myself that I have to go through this again).
I just received my MRI results and I do have a left centro-lateral disc herniation which is moderate to large in size. There is compression on the L5 nerve root at its origin. Moderate central spinal stenosis. The left and right foramen are slightly decreased in size. I had had a diskectomy at L5/S1 5 years ago - and that area seems OK " signs of surgery on the left side with enhacing peri-radicular fibrosis around the left S1 nerve root. No evidenence of recurrent disc herniation. No central stenosis. Small left foraminal, right foraminal and poster-central disco-osteophytic complexes decreasing the left and right foraminal size. no evidence of post-operative intra-dural arachnoiditis (anyone want to translate ??!!!). They also found a 2.5 cm. right ovarian cyst ...Just in case anyone can relate to all this ...
I too have been suffering from hip, leg pain (to just below the knee) and extreme soreness/tenderness in my lower right pelvic area. I am awaiting the results of my MRI. I use to sleep on my left side to relieve some of the pain at night but now this is often not helpful. Sometimes I wake up at night and its almost impossible to turn over in bed due to pain in left hip/leg area. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced the soreness/tenderness in hip and pelvic area due to a disc problem. So far Doc's explanation to soreness is inflammation. (Area is not sore to the touch...just when I move.)