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Old 05-27-2007, 04:01 PM   #1
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Numbness below waist but no pain

Hi

The results from my MRI scan indicate a small protrusion of L4/5 with slightly enlarged and irritated nerve root and mild lateral / intra-foraminal compression of the nerve root.

I haven't any pain whatsoever I just have pretty bad numbness & tingling in my thighs, knees and feet. The scary thing is I can't really feel anything when having sex ...

The numbness eases when sat down but is worse when I'm lying down. The doctors here have pretty much shrugged me off as I have no pain and no one is telling me what I should/shouldn't be doing.

One doctor told me I could lift anything I want too and another told me to take paracetamol/ibuprofen.

Will the numbness last?

Will I need surgery?

How do I un-compress the nerve root, does it happen naturally?

Will I ever be able to enjoy sex again (I'm only 32 ...)?!?

Will pain come eventually?

Any help / advice greatly appreciated.

 
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Old 05-27-2007, 04:20 PM   #2
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Re: Numbness below waist but no pain

I know you are on NHS, but is there anyway for you to get another opinion from a neurosurgeon and/or spine surgeon?

The fact you dont have pain is a typical reason for them to not think of surgery for you at this time. BUT, the caviat is that you have a great deal of numbness and your saddle area is numb to the point you can't feel when having sex.

Do you have any problems with being incontinent or moving of the bowels? This is going to a particular thing you need to watch for.

Also the numbness you have.. the longer your nerve is compressed the greater risk you have of having permanent nerve damage (which is not repairable).

An EMG test can be done, which is a nerve test, to possibly give them an idea of where and how badly that nerve is compressed. I think it can give you that indepth info. Others have better first hand knowledge of this than me.

The foramin..is bony area where the nerves leave the spine. This area is constricted and pressuring your nerves. There IS a surgery to help this, by going in and opening this area up to give the nerves more room. Think of your nerves being a shoe lace and your spine canal is the eyelit. The eyelit is squeezing the shoe string. The "eyelit" needs to be honed out...meaning widened to make the shoelace go through easily. Hope this helps you to understand it better if you didnt already.
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"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
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A Success, but still improving!

 
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Old 05-27-2007, 04:29 PM   #3
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Re: Numbness below waist but no pain

Hi

Thanks for that.

I don't have any problems with going to the toilet although it does feel like I have a golf ball up my bum, which may be swelling near the opening or may just feel different due to numbness in the area.

I don't have much loss of strength, if any and I'm kind of hoping it will heal itself over time.

As for the NHS well I had to pay £450 for an MRI otherwise I'd have had to wait months for it. My other problem is that I'm moving to live in France in 10 days so I'll have to get into their health system before I carry on with any other treatment.

*sigh* these things happen at the most inconvenient of times don't they ... ?!!

 
Old 05-27-2007, 06:27 PM   #4
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Re: Numbness below waist but no pain

Do you know what insurance or health plans they have in France? They couldn't be any worse than Workman Comp here in the U.S. I have already had a fusion surgery 19 months ago. I have urinary retention, bowel retention, no erection, retrograde ejaculation and saddle anesthesia. The doctors says I do not have CES. He said that this can come from nerve entrapment from L2-S1. I have entrapment from L3-S1. My doctor is requesting a Laminotomy and foraminotomies. This will open up the spinal canal and the nerve canals and allow the nerves to more or less straight out. I have clumping of nerves also that need to be addressed. Numbness isn't pain, but it still needs to be addressed. Numbness and pain show that the nerve is in some type of stressful situation and needs attention.

 
Old 05-27-2007, 06:41 PM   #5
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Re: Numbness below waist but no pain

Your foramina issue will not resolve on it's own. This is a buildup of tissue and or bone in this area, thus causing a smaller opening there than would normally be there.

Oh wow.. I know what you mean. We just moved also and moving 4 years ago is what started my problems in the first place. I blew out a disc moving too heavy of furniture on my own. So don't be moving anything heavy yourself.

keep us informed once you are settled in.
__________________
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

 
Old 05-28-2007, 07:18 AM   #6
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Re: Numbness below waist but no pain

I have a similar problem, but with variable numbness only in one foot and some in that leg. After MRI's,EMG's etc, I was told that the "risk/reward" ratio of operating was not all that attractive, and that unless things got worse I should probably "learn to live with it" if I could. That opinion is the consensus of the four surgeons I saw, although one of them did want to go ahead with a foraminal opening operation. None of them was willing to say whether the paresthesia would be permanent even after a potential future operation. They said that they just didn't know.
Alan

 
Old 05-28-2007, 09:30 AM   #7
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Re: Numbness below waist but no pain

I would certainly go to see neurologist. EMG test is pretty accurate to show if you got any nerve damage. And why not to go and see neurosurgeon? Not to have a surgery at this point, but for consultation. Each time you go - you learn more and more and this helps a lot for you to understand what exactly happens to your body.
Based on your MRI report you do have some nerve root involved. They say that physical therapy, mild yoga can help with it. But i would certainly confirmed this all with neuro Doctors.
Will you have a sexual feelings again? I will tell you this: my bladder problems started since my back problems and damaged of my nerves in a back/ legs. some people have also colon problems. So the sooner you will have help from Doctors - better it is. Will you have pain? Nobody can tell you this because each case is very unique and unpredictable.
Good luck to you, think positive and just go and see help. Don't ignore it- ignoring may prolong your problems.
Take care!

 
Old 05-28-2007, 11:18 AM   #8
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Re: Numbness below waist but no pain

[QUOTE=Liquidsun;3008587]Hi

The results from my MRI scan indicate a small protrusion of L4/5 with slightly enlarged and irritated nerve root and mild lateral / intra-foraminal compression of the nerve root.

I haven't any pain whatsoever I just have pretty bad numbness & tingling in my thighs, knees and feet. The scary thing is I can't really feel anything when having sex ...

The numbness eases when sat down but is worse when I'm lying down. The doctors here have pretty much shrugged me off as I have no pain and no one is telling me what I should/shouldn't be doing.

One doctor told me I could lift anything I want too and another told me to take paracetamol/ibuprofen.

Will the numbness last?

Will I need surgery?

How do I un-compress the nerve root, does it happen naturally?

Will I ever be able to enjoy sex again (I'm only 32 ...)?!?

Will pain come eventually?

Any help / advice greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]

What you need to look at is the Piriformis muscle. Did you have any trauma to the pelvis lately, just before you developed this numbness? Even a small bumpto the hip or jarring the leg up into the pelvic region can cause things to get out of whack. Happened to me, bumped the hip, got sciatica real bad within an hour, overnight the internal organs, all of them, went numb. Lasted for about 3 weeks, most of it came back except the numbness in the genital region. Like you, couldn't feel a thing down there. It took months to figure it out and finally found a doctor who dx'd Piriformis Syndrome. This can make muscles, nerves and your SI joints to get injured. My hip on the affected side was rotating outward and this was the crux to the injuries as the muscles that hold the hip in place also carry the pelvix wall muscles which carry the nerves branches to the genital region. The slight lumbar problem is probably not contributing to the problem, but simply a result of the lower problem you have.

When my numbness wore off I also had low back pain, which was the SI joints slipping because the muscles had been unused for 3 weeks. The tingling you're getting in the legs and feet is probably the sciatic nerve which is being irritated by the piriformis muscle in spasm. You're not getting it that bad right now because the pelvic nerves and muscles are in a bit of shock still. Be aware that you might also develope foot drop, but it shouldn't last too terribly long, mine lasted for 3 weeks. It came when I got the joint between the very bottom of my butt and the top of the leg bumped and hip the nerve that controlled the foot. It resolved suddenly one morning while driving to work.

Look at Piriformis Syndrome, because whatever you did to cause this is causing the S1-S2 nerve branch to stretch where it comes out of the sacrum at the tailbone and this is most likely causing the numbness.

 
Old 05-28-2007, 11:51 AM   #9
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Re: Numbness below waist but no pain

Hi

It all happened by lifting things that were very heavy, the day after I awoke to find numbness.

The feeling has changed since I did it 4 weeks ago and the tingling sensation when I touch my legs seems to have lessened but the numbness is just as bad if not worse.

I think I can feel inflammation in my lower back and this corresponds to what the MRI results show.

Thanks to everyone who replied, it really helps knowing more details about the problem and other possibilities and muscle involvement. I feel I can see a neurologist armed with a lot more information than I would have had previously.

 
Old 05-28-2007, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: Numbness below waist but no pain

I would go to an orthopaedic doctor or physiatrist instead because they would be more apt to dx this.

 
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