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Old 01-02-2012, 12:40 AM   #1
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Question: anyone have chronic foot and leg pain due to L5-S1 rupture?

First day on the boards so excuse my ignorance or if I am posting in the wrong spot.

I awoke with horrible pain at 3 am two years ago in my right foot and leg. The pain was the worst i had ever had in my lofe. It came on sudden and without warning. Why? It was a disc rupture at L5-S1. I finally had a microdicsectomy to clean it up and get rid of all the matter from inside the disc that was sitting on my nerve. But now 6 months later and three spinal injections as well, no relief or any lessening of the pain. I was 40 at the time. An active, fit, gym going, tennis playing, health conscious male.

It is in the bottom of my outside of the right foot and travels up the outside of the foot and leg. When laying down or seated I also get involuntary spasms and twitching of my calf and foot.

The meds only help me get by. I can't walk much, no running ever, no standing and the doctors, surgeons and pain management doc are all puzzled.

Anyone out there have anything similar? And if so, what did you do to resolve or lessen the pain? My pain is in the 7-9 range daily. I can sit or lay without too much pain, but moving is the killer.

I am desperate to find a solution or anything that will let me walk, run and play tennis again! I am in Los Angeles but at this point will go anywhere. Living with this pain for two years has been very difficult. Thank god for anti-depressants!

Thanks so much for your time. So glad I found this board.

Happy new year!

 
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #2
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Re: Question: anyone have chronic foot and leg pain due to L5-S1 rupture?

Welcome to the board. I'm sorry to hear the discectomy didn't resolve your pain. I can think of a few things that could be causing continued pain, but I'm sure all those specialists would have already checked them out.

I do have a suggestion for you, and you just need to drive to Santa Monica. Check out a relatively new type of imaging online called MRNeurography that was invented to take images of the nerve. The man who invented it is Dr. Aaron Filler, who, incidentally wrote a wonderful book, [I]Do You Really Need Back Surgery?: A Surgeon's Guide to Back and Neck Pain and How to Choose Your Treatment [/I]. I know he is revising the book and it should be published soon, if it hasn't been released already, but the original is pretty timeless, other than not including some of the newest technologies.

I should be his agent as I honestly feel that everyone who has spinal "issues" should own a copy of his book for reference. Anyway, take a look at the neurography and see if it might be worth your while. You can email them and someone will get back to you. I don't know if the MR neurography is covered by insurance. When I was looking into it about 5 years ago, I don't think my carrier would cover it, but that may have changed by now.

Sometimes when a disc ruptures, small fragments can be left behind...These pieces do not normally cause a problem, but if one happens to get a fragment up against a nerve, the pain remains the same or can be just as intense.

Also you might have developed a bit of spondylolisthesis, which is a situation where one vertebra slides over the top of the adjacent one. This can catch a spinal nerve and will result in the radiculopathy that you are experiencing.

 
Old 01-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #3
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Thumbs up Re: Question: anyone have chronic foot and leg pain due to L5-S1 rupture?

Thank you for your response. I'll check it out. At this point I'll try anything. I've done accupuncture and everything else they have suggested. What I am trying to avoid is the electronic stimulator implant in my back which just seems horrible. I can't imagine always feeling a bump when I lay or sit against my back! Thanks so much! Happy new year!

 
Old 01-02-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
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Re: Question: anyone have chronic foot and leg pain due to L5-S1 rupture?

I agree totally about the SCS...(neurostimulator). My first fusion left me with just about the same amount of sciatic-type pain I'd had prior to surgery....and two surgeons told me I probably had permanent nerve damage because everything on my MRIs looked "perfect." I was told that it just might be as good as I was going to get, I should adjust my attitude and I should try a neurostimulator.

I was not willing to give up finding answers, even though they were. To me, the SCS is great as a last option...but I still believed there was something wrong that could possibly be "fixed."

It took a lot of work on my part trying to track down the right person to help me...but I eventually got my answers, had further fusion and am mostly pain-free today, 18 months later.

But, back to you...sometimes patients develop foot drop after surgery, particularly when it involves that L5-S1 segment. You don't have that problem, but for whatever reason, it sounds like you are having some sort of issue with one or more of those lower lumbar spinal nerves.

What happens when you try to walk or stand? Do you get back pain, or, is it all in your foot and leg?

 
Old 01-02-2012, 01:58 PM   #5
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Re: Question: anyone have chronic foot and leg pain due to L5-S1 rupture?

You need to go see the surgeon who did your micro or a different one. You pick. But go see a surgeon.

Microdiscectomy has a reasonable success rate. But at 6 months if you're in a 7-9 pain then it didn't take or you re-injured. A 2nd revision one can be done but the odds get worse. After that if the disc is shot then it really comes down to fusion or disc replacement.

I wouldn't touch implants like SCS or pain pumps. They are usually used for people with failed fusions who have little options left. You still have plenty of chance to recover.

If it's down below your knee then it is bad. You need to get help sooner than later.

Pain in the butt, leg, and/or foot is common with L5/S1.

 
Old 01-02-2012, 02:58 PM   #6
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Re: Question: anyone have chronic foot and leg pain due to L5-S1 rupture?

BTW, my L5/S1 issues def caused radiating pain. For me, it started feeling like a really sore glute, then became hip pain, then the spine kicked in. I def have heard it is more challenging if it goes past the knee...mine did radiate on my left leg but only to the knee.

I do find an old issue with plantar fasciitis has kicked up as I've dealt with the back problem but, for me, it is secondary and b/c I throw off my gait to compensate. PF is pretty painful and something to look into as a related issue.

 
Old 01-02-2012, 09:56 PM   #7
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Re: Question: anyone have chronic foot and leg pain due to L5-S1 rupture?

The pain is at its worst when I walk or stand omit. The leg and foot basically are always twitching or moving when I am at rest, just ever so slightly, but it's the ball of my foot that is at the peak of pain. After the surgery I had another MRI which should everything was free and clear. But now that I have been reading so much, the fact that I had to wait 16 months to have the surgery from when the pain started. Insurance reasons. I may have a slow recovering nerve or permanent nerve damage. Back to the doctors this week.mthank you!

 
Old 01-03-2012, 07:59 AM   #8
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Re: Question: anyone have chronic foot and leg pain due to L5-S1 rupture?

I have gone to a new surgeon. One of the best in the city. My surgeon said I should go see somewhere else to get a new set of eyes on my situation because he does not pretend to know everything and at this point is stumped. The new doc was no better, stumped. There is no evident reason for the pain given the treatments and surgery. Had a new shot two weeks ago, not an epidural, but it too didn't take. Going back at it for a new round of meetings this week. Thanks! And yes, implants are a no for now. Maybe when I am 70 or older. I am only 42 and way to young for an implant.


[QUOTE=meurte;4903145]You need to go see the surgeon who did your micro or a different one. You pick. But go see a surgeon.

Microdiscectomy has a reasonable success rate. But at 6 months if you're in a 7-9 pain then it didn't take or you re-injured. A 2nd revision one can be done but the odds get worse. After that if the disc is shot then it really comes down to fusion or disc replacement.

I wouldn't touch implants like SCS or pain pumps. They are usually used for people with failed fusions who have little options left. You still have plenty of chance to recover.

If it's down below your knee then it is bad. You need to get help sooner than later.

Pain in the butt, leg, and/or foot is common with L5/S1.[/QUOTE]

 
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foot muscle spasms, foot numbness, foot pain, l5-s1



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