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Old 07-21-2007, 04:33 AM   #1
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Unhappy Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed HELP

Hello all.

I am currently extremely depressed as my back/leg pain is not getting any better and I’m looking for users’ opinions on how I can progress to get my life back.

I was unfortunate to be involved in a head on car crash some 4 years ago whereby I suffered major pain to my right leg. After consulting my Doctor he informed me I had sciatic nerve damage and that a disc was “bulging” and pressing on my sciatic nerve causing the pain to my right foot, behind my right knee and also my bottom. He recommended a Physiotherapist or a Chiropractor. (I was never referred for an X-ray or MRI scan)

I decided to see a Chiropractor and after around 10 sessions the pain had gone (this was around 3 months after the accident).

I then suffered back pain “on and off” over a 3 year time period until March of this year.

I am still unsure what brought on the current level of pain I am experiencing but at present I have severe pain to the top of my right foot, behind my right knee (to the right hand side) and also on the right hand side of my bottom. I do not have much pain to my back. I only get relief when I bend forward or sit slumped - I also get relief when I sleep on my front. I have had this pain for over 3 months.

The pain is immense when I try and stand straight or walk for more than 50 feet.

What I am concerned about is how my back looks at present. When I am standing tall, my body is being forced to the left hand side.

After consulting my GP, he believes I have a herniated disc at level L5/S1 - this is also what my physiotherapist believes.

I had originally gone back to my Chiropractor (in April of this year) who performed around 8 sessions on me with poor results. I believe he actually made my pain worse as when I went to see him I could walk pretty well and also tackle the pain reasonably.

However, I stopped the treatment with the Chiropractor and decided to give the physiotherapist a go.

He informed me that if he could not get me “back on my own two feet” within 4-5 sessions he would not be able to resolve the problem with my pain.

After now completing 6 sessions with the physiotherapist, he has told me I must demand a hospital referral from my Doctor as he now recommends a specialist takes a closer look. The Physiotherapist can relax the muscles for a very short time but the pain comes straight back when I walk.

Over the last 3-4 months I have done stretching exercising, had cold/hot packs on my back, and tried to ease myself back into work (my job is taxi driving).

The medication I am taking is:

Co-dydramol 500mg.

I’ve also had anti-inflammatory drugs which have not worked.

What I have found in the last week is a website which sells “Air Belts”. These belts (Disk Dr.) sit above the hips and below the rib cage. They are then inflated to increase the spinal cord, therefore giving the disc a chance to go back into place. I understand from my physiotherapist that this is exactly what needs to happen to get my disc back into place. Ie Traction.

If anyone has tried a Disk Dr. air belt I would love to hear from them as mine is not due until next week. It’s really a last resort of conservative medication before I believe an operation is due.

My next appointment with my Doctor is next week and I’m going to demand I see a specialist.

Thank you for reading the post.

Any advice or reassurance would be greatly appreciated.

Chris

Last edited by moderator2; 07-21-2007 at 09:30 AM. Reason: posted commercial website

 
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Old 07-21-2007, 06:20 AM   #2
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Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

Welcome Chrisjoanne,

Go and get a refferal from your doctor either for a neuro or an ortho surgeon. I think personnally you have done your fair share to the alternative, and if I got just one euro for everytime a physio or chiro or faithhealer or bonesetter, and all the other gadgets, scams etc I have tried I would be a millionaire. We all fall for the 6-8 sessions as yep, finally someone with an answer and I will be fine, but it is never 6-8 sessions and hardly ever fine aswell !!

My advice go see the surgeon/specialist, get your CT or MRI and X-rays and it is only then that you will know what is going on with the spine.

You will find this board extremely usefull everyone here is in some pain and understands, and people take the time to reply to you which is great, they might not have any answers but always give you encouragement and some can point you in the right direction. I understand about you saying you get depressed, of course you do, and you wouldnt be depressed if you werent in pain it is such a vicious circle. Somedays are worse than others but start a new day with a positive thought. I am 7 weeks post spinal fusion and there are days that I just want to cry and I do, and then pick myself up and start again. I try to give myself a goal to do each day, works somedays and days want to stick my head in the sand !!! At the end of the day you have to go through this pain, no-one else can take it away from you, so you have to get to the bottom of it, if that means 3 or 4 consultant opinions just do it.

Sorry for rambling >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Round 1

 
Old 07-21-2007, 08:11 AM   #3
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Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

Hello!!
Welcome to the boards!!! I too used to suffer from the same pain that you do I had gone to several doctors and according to one It was all in my head!! I then found a great spinal surgeon that finally listened to me, It turned out to be that the buging disc in L5/S1 was also pressing on the sciatic nerve roots and would cause me pain off and on for 10 years. I tried everything under the stars and nothing worked until finally one day my leg started giving out on me and I would fall. My last option was fusion surgery I did not have another choice I also had the surgery the same day Round1 did , I am now 7 weeks post fusion,laminectomy,disk replacement. I dont have the presurgery pain that I had but do have pain in at the surgery site. But like everyone says it's a long recovery. I hope that you find a good spinal doctor or surgeon to help you with your problems and we are all here if you ever need to talk. The veterans and member on this board are remarkable and sharing one's pain,success, and everyday problems. May god bless you and I hope you feel better!!!!

denise

 
Old 07-21-2007, 09:03 AM   #4
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Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

Hi and welcome, believe me I understand your pain, i also been to pt and all that stuff, unfortunatly for me my mri and some other test did not show sciatic compression, but something is choking the heck out of it.

Ask you doc to refer you to a doc that deals with spinal disorders, like a neurosurgeon or orhtpedic sugeon specializing with the spine. I wish you the best and I pray its nothing too serious. Take care

 
Old 07-21-2007, 09:06 AM   #5
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Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

HI,
Welcome to the boards! First I woudl like to say that you need to not get anymore treatment of any kind until you get at least xrays. It always puzzles me why we (Idid this too) let people treat us blindly. Go to a spine specialist and get films done, then youw ill know what your dealing with. MY sis in law leaned to one side for almost a year but with very slight manipulation and neurontin and muscle relaxants she did finally straighten out and is fine now for over a year with no surgery. It takes time, it may also not be the answer for you either. There are many things besides surgery and it sounds like you've tried them all so far. But please go to the specialist and get those films. They could have done irreversable damage treating you without knowing whats going on in there. My spine spec. told me if the pain goes below the knee 99% of the time it needs surgery and if it does and I put it off there usually permanent damage done. Well I have perm damage, but thats because it took years to diagnose me properly.

I hope you get help soon as well as relief.

God Bless

Carol
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:09 AM   #6
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Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

As I was reading your post, I was thinking you sound like you have L5 problems and you confirmed it. I too agree with everyone that you need to have an MRI/CT done and to have an evaluation down by a spinal surgeon or neurosurgeon to see exactly what is going on with your back.

Good luck and remember that someone is usually on this board 24/7 so we are here to listen and help you.

 
Old 07-21-2007, 12:36 PM   #7
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chrisjoanne HB User
Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

Many thanks to everyone that has posted.

I have decided to go to the "walk in" department of my local hospital tomorrow instead of waiting until my next GP appointment.

Hopefully this will speed things up a little.

I've decided I'm not moving from the hospital until someone has booked me in for a scan or referred me to see a neuro/orthpedic surgeon.

Thank you again
Chris

 
Old 07-21-2007, 02:14 PM   #8
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Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

Good for you, please let us know how you get on.

Best of luck,
Round 1

 
Old 07-21-2007, 02:46 PM   #9
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ms_west HB User
Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

Praying that things get answered quickly for you. I think the waiting and uncertainity of things can sometimes be just as painful as the back pain.

 
Old 07-21-2007, 03:36 PM   #10
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Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

hey chris totally understand what you are going through, been fighting back and sciatica for months now, and even HAD surgery scheduled at one time. hang in there and do definetly get a MRI done and see a back specialist so you know what is really going on. depression has its moments too I know ask you doctor for anti -deprssants most of them will be glad to help ,seeing this is going on for months. dont know about the area you live in , but most bigger cities have MRI places that can do it for a fairly reasonable price. I had one done last week and it cost 1600 dollars and with insurance I beleive I pai a little over a hundred bucks , they told me that people without insurance or if insurance doesnt except them that they have a plan for around 350 dollrs wich is not to bad considering they charged me , I mean my insurance 1600 dollars for the same MRI . call around to some places and see.
, will be wishing you luck DAVE

 
Old 07-22-2007, 03:57 PM   #11
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marty12 HB User
Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

I too having L4-L5 herniated disc. Been having pain on the right leg for close to a year. I agree with the earlier comment, MRI is sure a first step.

 
Old 07-22-2007, 06:13 PM   #12
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Smile Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

Hello,
I definitely can relate to the frustration you are feeling. After I did not recover from my 4th back surgery in 3-06 as I should have I went thru numerous treatments. MRI which shows scar tissue still pressing on a nerve, went to pain clinic and they did 4 epidural injections, 12 visits with a chiroprator which was so painful and of course didn't help at all, physical therapy which on the evaluation said I could not do b/c of increased pain with anything they wanted me to do. Finally I had spinal cord stimulator implanted in Dec 06 which helps with some of the pain but I have permanent nerve damage which affects my left calf and ankle so it skips those areas. I am still unable to walk any long distances. I had lost weight after the implant and where the dr buried the extra wire under some fat tissue the wire began to come thru my skin. Medtronics first question was did I lose any weight recently so I guess that happens. So I had surgery #6 on the 17th to fix that problem. Dr said 7 -14 days recovery b/c the incision was not as deep as when he implanted the leads. I still take daily pain meds. I started seeing a psychiatrist a few months ago and he put me on 90mg of Cymbalta in the am which I think helps and also added Adderall 20mg in the am , 10mg at noon, and 10mg at 3 pm. My mood has improved. I think you should definitely get a MRI done so you know what you are dealing with, see a neurosurgeon for different options you may have and either ask your PCP for anti-depressants or see a psychiatrist. Good luck to you. The medical field can be very frustrating! Let me know how things go.

 
Old 08-01-2007, 10:02 AM   #13
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Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

[SIZE="2"]Many, many thanks to everyone that has posted and wished me well.

Things have gone a little down hill over the last week or so.....

I did manage to arrange for an appointment through my Doctor to see a Specialist (which is on the 3rd of August - not long), and I will be praying to him that I need a MRI scan ASAP.

However, I initially went to the hospital as the pain was getting out of control. They couldn't really do anything except give me stronger pain killers.
They decided upon Tramadol along with Diclofenac - I had been on co-dydramol.
I started taking the Tramadol last Monday (23rd July). On Thursday I felt unwell and eventually on Saturday evening I was extremely bad with sickness and diarrhea. I didn't have any energy left on Sunday (thought I was going to faint) and ended up in hospital again.
This time they gave me a "shot" and told me to "get on my way" and to see my Doctor the following day.
The Doctor said I had a really bad reaction to the Tramadol and also stated that Tramadol is one of the most well known tablets for giving people bad reactions!
I've now got my energy levels back to a reasonable level and have now started to look at getting my back problem resolved privately.

I'm a self employed taxi driver and finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet - wife and 2 kids, mortgage etc.
I can't afford to have time off work and honestly believe if I go through the Uk NHS, I'll be waiting around 3-6 months for an operation. I just can't wait that long. However, I won't know this until next week.

If I go privately, I'm sure I'll have the scan, operation and be back to work within 2 months. I understand you need to rest for 3 weeks after op's.
What I would like to know is, can someone give me a little information regarding "Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery".
A couple of websites I've found are:
[url]http://www.spinal-foundation.org/[/url] and
[url]http://www.alphaklinik.de/en[/url]
The second one is very good as it gives you graphics of exactly what happens during surgery.

What costs are involved for Herniated Disc removal?
I'm estimating around £5,000.
If the costs are around this price, I may start the ball rolling.....

Cheers
Chris [/SIZE]

 
Old 08-01-2007, 12:39 PM   #14
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ibake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB User
Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

[COLOR="Navy"]Chris,
You'll need to find someone who is familiar with the pricing in the UK. The majority of the folks on the board reside in the US. What you do need to have is a more realistic time frame of the amount of time you will need to have off after ANY type of back surgery. Also, you may need to wait to see how may discs are involved and what type of surgery your doc will suggest.

3 weeks is, in mho, a rather unrealistic view of recovery time. Expecially if you have a sendentary job, such as sitting, which is difficult on the back. BLT-bending, lifiting, and turning, are big no-nos for back surgery patients. And you are also limited to the amount of weight that you are allowed to lift-no more than a gallon of milk-8 lbs. These are all things that you should start to be thinking about now.

There are stickies at the top of the board that contain a wealth of information about post surgical tips for you.

Good luck and keep us posted.[/COLOR]

 
Old 08-02-2007, 07:13 AM   #15
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Re: Sciatic nerve damage. Severe pain to right leg. Bulging heriated disc. Depressed

Good Morning All...

I'm new to these boards. Having some problems of my own. However, when scanning the board I did see this thread about Sciatica. My Wife suffered unbelievably from this. It affected everything, gardening, cycling, all the things we do together, and she couldn't get any relief.

I finally found a thing called the sacro wedgy. She started using it, and eventually was cured. For us it was like a miracle. I don't know if the site is still up or not, and certainly this is no commercial endorsement. I will tell you she went to a Chiropractor 2 times, and it didn't do any good.

This wedgy is just a piece of plastic, and it had a piece of sponge on it. She would lay on top of it for about 20 minutes at a time, with it in the small of her back, something like that. Eventually, the sciatica was cured.

You may want to have a look at that if you are chronic as she was. She drives a school bus, and even pushing the clutch in got to be a major chore. I know it can affect your life severely, and hope you all find the relief you are looking for.

Anyway, first post, long post, sorry. Stay well.

 
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