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Old 10-06-2008, 08:20 AM   #1
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Severe muscle spasms in leg following herniated disc - could I have re-herniated?

A year ago May I woke up one morning and could barely walk for the pain in my hip. It was a very large herniation of L5/S1 (the largest my neurologist had ever seen!) and I had pain for 2 months that made me want to die some days.

Anyway, after 3 months the pain was gone, and within another couple months I could walk fairly long distances again no problem. The numbness in my right leg has never gone away though. It's as numb as the day this all started. And now, in the last few months I've started to have severe muscle spasms in that leg almost every night. I'll wake up 2 or 3 times a night with a cramp in my foot so severe that I have to stand up and put all my weight on it in order to gradually bring it back to normal. I've also had a couple spasms in my leg which felt that my shin bone was being forced in 2 different directions at the same time... not pleasant! I've also been very stiff in my lower back again and my leg is tiring out more so than before if I walk too much.

Could this mean that I've re-herniated my disc? Or is it sometimes part of the healing process? I'll be going back to see my doctor about this this week, but I would like to know if any of you have experienced something similar.

thanks!

 
Old 10-06-2008, 11:16 AM   #2
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Re: Severe muscle spasms in leg following herniated disc - could I have re-herniated?

I really don't have any advice for you because I am suffering some of the same problems. I will be watching this thread closely for advice for myself too!

I have had 2 herniations at L5-S1. THe last was the largest my neurosurgeon had ever seen too! It has been one year since my discetomy and my leg/buttocks is still as numb as the day of the initial herniation. I am also in a lot of pain daily.

I just had a CT Myelgram done to see if they can find the root of all my continuing pain. I meet with my dr tomorrow and will share any information that I get. You never know if it might be helpful to you as well.

10sox

 
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:19 PM   #3
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Re: Severe muscle spasms in leg following herniated disc - could I have re-herniated?

Hi! I can really relate to what you are feeling. That feeling is what sent me to my GP who then referred me to an Orthopedic Spine Specialist. I had herniations, DDD, sciatica(which caused the incredibly intense pain in my right leg). I ended up with a two level fusion after 6 months of aleve, ESI shots and PT. I am better today for it, tho never pain free. At least the knife like leg pains are gone.

I hope you find some answers!

Blessings,
Momz

 
Old 10-06-2008, 07:41 PM   #4
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Re: Severe muscle spasms in leg following herniated disc - could I have re-herniated?

i am just wondering if this herniation actually affected your spinal cord at all as far as compression? since this was the largest your surgeon had ever seen,it would make sense that is could have been compressing or at least compromising the cord in some way ya know what i mean? what does your MRI report state about that herniated area in that summary at the very end? knowing exactly what was being affected and by how much would have alot to do in some cases as to what real symptoms(could be caused by some level of real cord damage just from compression alone)can be there. the one big thing i found out when my cord was damaged is that an SCI is NOT a static type of injury,it is actually in a constant state of flux,at least thru that first year? things can change and evolve and morph into some really crazy things simply from the chemical changes that take place during the healing process once cord/neural tissue gets damaged. i really seriously doubt given what was found by MRI and what wa sstated by your neurothatyour herniation ever actually "went away' at all. some larger herniations just require surgical intervention to fully heal and relieve any real compression or compromise of the spinal nerves or the cord itslef. that fact that you have numbeness could explain why the pain is actually gone too,ya know?

i am wondering just why your neurologist did not at least send you to a good neurosurgeon when he saw the 'large' herniation just for an eval and consult from someone who just knows much more about the possible cord affectation and what can be fixed surgically and what cannot than any ologist realistically would?

do you suffer now from any level of whats called hyper reflexia,over the top reflexes? espescially in the legs or even one leg? it just sounds from what you have stated as symptoms that you could have actually have some involvement of your cord considering the size of your herniation,but alot would depend upon just where this is actually located within the vertebrae/disc area too. anterior or posterior or lateral. it can show itself kind of differently than what you would see in just spinal issues that do not involve the cord. re[eationg that MRI,with contrast amy not be a bad idea right now considering the changes in your ongoing symptoms. then seeig that neurosurgeon from there would give you at least some indication of just how really severe this is and what your options are. i just cannot imagine that any large heriation would 'heal" itself,ya know? that would take alot. you just really DO need that neurosurgeons opinion right now. even using your first MRI would be better than nothing,but when symptoms change,its always best to obtain that comparrison MRI just to see what has changed. alot can change in just a matter of months too. right now,you just really DO need to know exactly what is going on in your spine so you can get the appropriate treatments. i would imagine like most of us,that your herniation is not the only real hard finding that was seen upon doing the MRI? if you could really just type outthat summary on the MRI you had a few months ago,it would really help me to help you in the very best way. the way rediologists simply word things in their reports can show alot about how really significant or severe certain problems actually are. was there any mention at all in that report about 'myelomalacia" going on in there anywhere in your cord? Marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 10-09-2008, 12:11 PM   #5
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Re: Severe muscle spasms in leg following herniated disc - could I have re-herniated?

Thanks so much for your replies! 10Sox, I hope you got some answers from your last test. Please let me know how it went.

Marcia, this is what my summary at the bottom of my MRI report from June, 2007 said:

"Five lumbar-type vertebral bodies are seen. The alignment of the lumbar spine is intact. The conus medullaris terminates normally at T12-L1.

L3-L4 and L4-L5 are normal.

L5-S1 demonstrates a large paracentral disc extrusion. The extruded disc extends inferior to the L5-S1 disc space within the right lateral recess. This is causing mass effect and significant displacement of the right traversing S1 nerve root. The exiting nerve roots at this level are intact.

Impression: Large L5-S1 right paracentral disc extrusion, probably affecting the traversing right S1 nerve root."

I don't know why I was never recommended for surgery. I spent some time with a neurosurgery resident when I spent a day in emergency on morphine last summer. She talked to the head neurosurgeon about my case but he said that they don't like to operate until the typical 3 month healing period has past. By the time I hit the 3 month mark, the pain was starting to ease up, so I guess it was assumed I was healing on my own. I was also told by this resident, as well as by an orthopedic surgeon I saw for a second opinion, that numbness is very often not resolved by surgery anyway, and that as long as the pain goes away, surgery is best avoided where possible. My physiotherapist, who has many years experience with disc issues, was absolutely LIVID that surgery wasn't done. She feels permanent damage might have been avoided.

Back surgery, quite frankly, scare the heck out of me, so I wasn't sorry that it wasn't recommended. Although, some days I wonder if I would have been much better off in the long run had I had it.

Thanks so much for your concern!

 
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