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Old 12-19-2012, 09:57 AM   #1
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Intense leg pain when standing 5 minutes

This is my first post and would surely appreciate any suggestions adive or expereince.

I have had DDD for over 20 years, they have discussed fusions, but becasue I was so young they decided on an IDET procedure that appeared to help me for the last 15 years. In addition to the DDD, I have bulging discs, birth defect making the dics more compressed, due to the spacers being too small. ETC ETC

Recently, I began having severe leg pain on my left leg, beggining at the sacrum down the outer thigh wwrapping around the knee and front of shin into the front of my foot. The pain is almost excruciating and even makes my leg useless and numb.

I am a public speaker and have to stand for long periods of time. I walk the stage and try sitting periodically but this pain is so strange and bothersome.

I had an MRI last week, and am waiting to hear from the doctor.

Becasue of the extensive injury to my spine for so many years, I have a very strong core, work out regulalrly and prefer not to take meds.

Any one else have similar symptoms? What have you done to help it?

 
Old 12-19-2012, 10:10 AM   #2
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Re: Intense leg pain when standing 5 minutes

Your pain pattern sounds like a typical case of a L5 nerve compression...and the pain sounds like what doctors call a typical sciatica. Look online for a "dermatome map" and you will see the area of the body that is innervated by a specific spinal nerve.

I would imagine you have nerve compression either in the central canal at the L4-L5 or L5-S1 level, the associated foramen or both. Stenosis is almost always considered when someone complains of severe pain when standing...and usually it eventually hurts to walk as well. Before my surgery I couldn't stand long enough to chop an onion and I was driving to my mailbox at the end of my driveway to get my mail.

Since you mention all the issues you know you have in your lumbar spine, I would guess that this stenosis has just become worse at these levels. L4-L5 in particular carries a good deal of the body's weight and bends and twists the most with normal living...so it tends to wear out first...either it or L5-S1.

I hope you will be seeing a spine surgeon...either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to the neck and back. This doctor will recommend conservative treatments first in an effort to get the pressure off the nerve -- this could consist of a course of physical therapy, oral medications, perhaps a series of epidural steroid injections, etc. Only when all fails would surgery be considered.

Good luck and let us know what is found in the MRI.

 
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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Re: Intense leg pain when standing 5 minutes

[QUOTE=teteri66;5106322]Your pain pattern sounds like a typical case of a L5 nerve compression...and the pain sounds like what doctors call a typical sciatica. Look online for a "dermatome map" and you will see the area of the body that is innervated by a specific spinal nerve.

I would imagine you have nerve compression either in the central canal at the L4-L5 or L5-S1 level, the associated foramen or both. Stenosis is almost always considered when someone complains of severe pain when standing...and usually it eventually hurts to walk as well. Before my surgery I couldn't stand long enough to chop an onion and I was driving to my mailbox at the end of my driveway to get my mail.

Since you mention all the issues you know you have in your lumbar spine, I would guess that this stenosis has just become worse at these levels. L4-L5 in particular carries a good deal of the body's weight and bends and twists the most with normal living...so it tends to wear out first...either it or L5-S1.

I hope you will be seeing a spine surgeon...either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to the neck and back. This doctor will recommend conservative treatments first in an effort to get the pressure off the nerve -- this could consist of a course of physical therapy, oral medications, perhaps a series of epidural steroid injections, etc. Only when all fails would surgery be considered.

Good luck and let us know what is found in the MRI.[/QUOTE]

Thank you for your reply, I suppose I should have added, they ruled out Sciatic already.....
I have done PT and medications are tricky for me as I have a gastric condition which limits my intake of most pain killers and anti inflamitories....

 
Old 12-19-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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Re: Intense leg pain when standing 5 minutes

Have you seen a spine specialist? Sciatica is just a collection of symptoms and the term means different things to different doctors. Any pain a pregnant woman gets that runs down the back of her leg tends to be called sciatica. You might want to have a flexion/extension x-ray to check for spondylolisthesis. This is another condition that can cause nerve compression and is common to the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels. It occurs when one vertebra slips over the top of the adjacent vertebra.

 
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