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Help needed..... Dear Friends

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Old 03-25-2005, 09:23 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 7
houstonsb3 HB User
Help needed..... Dear Friends

Dear Folks

Yesterday night I got very scared. Kindly help me with your suggestions. Thanks all.

1. Low back pain (when bending) for the last 4-5 yrs. Never had radiating pain. Also pain in right feet for the last 3 yrs.

2. Xrays, MRI and CAT scan of right feet showed no significant findings.

3. Last few months numbness and tingling (occasional) of right feet and back pain got worse.

4. Xrays of back showed nothing. MRI showed 6mm central focal herniation of L5S1 disc touching both S1 nerve root sleves. Also partially degenerated. and borderline stenosis.

5. Ortho and neurosurgeon wanted discectomy but left upto my decision.

6. Started PT last week with back bending (cobra in yoga). Also naprosyn (500mg) and robaxin prescribed. Vicodin when pain is worse.

7. Back pain got better in a week but both feet very TIRED and ACHY (worst). Yesterday night both feet got numb and very TIRED. Tablets made me nauseating and felt very depressed.

I am 27 M (otherwise very healthy) live alone. Parents and relatives and best friends live on other side of the world.

Kindly tell me when to go to emergency. Very afraid that legs will lose function. Thanks for the help. Right now I can walk (no numbness but very weak, tired and tingly).

Thanks once again and sorry for the long post.

Houston SB

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Old 03-25-2005, 12:34 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 284
ladybird988 HB Userladybird988 HB User
Re: Help needed..... Dear Friends

I read your post as your situation is like mine.

I had all your symptoms then awoke unable to lift toes and got drop foot overnight. Had to have microdiskectomy ten days later to remove fragment from nerve so Ic ould walk again. Was dragging foot behind me like stroke victim.

I knew I had a disk fragment on my nerve per MRI but wanted to do everything but surgery (walk, acupuncture etc) and wait to heal.

I am now 9 mons post op from microdiskectomy and still have some drop foot and lots of leg pain. But after op I could lift toes again.

I have a much longer recovery, 3 years for nerve to grow back (grows about one inch a month), if I even recover, all because I put off surgery. My nerve sheath was punctured. The disk fragment was resting right on the nerve for who knows how many months. I had back pain for 2 years prior, then another six months before surgery.

I assume your doctor asks if you can lift those toes or not. If you can't, it's serious. that seems to be their little test.

I will tell you that just before I got drop foot, I noticed a weakness in my leg. I also had a lumbar block cortisone injection via xray and got drop foot 5 days later, so it could be due to the shot.

You need to watch that leg/foot pain and weakness. If I'd known how serious it could get, I'd have had surgery long before. I would not have waited til I couldnj't lift my toes. When I got leg weakness, or even increased leg pain, i wish I'd done surgery.

My back pain was real bad. I could only lay on my side. Everything caused pain.

That's my two cents. I may now be permanently disabled in t he leg/foot. I still cannot sit due to stabbing pain in the tail bone area and its 9 mons since surgery. I limp and have horrible leg/foot/toe pain that is unbearable. I am stuck at home basically disabled.

I would be asking my doctor a lot of questions...this forum is good. I don't mena to scare you, but I sure wish I'd known then what I know now.

I hope others on here chime in. YOU NEED TO RESEARCH!!!!!

Old 03-25-2005, 06:20 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,291
Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Help needed..... Dear Friends


It sounds like you have gotten two opinions, which I consider to be wise. However, let me offer up something that my spine specialist told me when I changed from another ortho doctor to the one I've been seeing for several years. My first surgeon did not tell me this and I kept putting off the surgery, so I have numbness that is permanent.

This is something you may wish to question your doctors about as you have already had pain for several years and now numbness in the foot. He explained to me that when the nerve was bing compressed to present the pain and or numbness, that if it is repaired within the first 6 months there is all likelihood the nerve can recover, but at 9 months of being injured that drops to about 75 percent chance for full recovery and then at a year it drops to a 50 percent chance for full recovery of feeling and for the nerve to stop hurting. Now, once a nerve has recovered, if it has been hurting for such a long time, it can actually think it is normal to hurt and not stop hurting even though it has recovered. I had that to happen with a shoulder injury and had to then to do a pain clinic to get reular injections into the nerve ending to essentially retrain the nerve to accept "not hurting" as the norm again. Our bodies are complicated, aren't they?

Any way, thought you might want to ask your doc's if delaying a discectomy would lessen the chances for your compressed nerve to recover from the pain and numbness. Best wishes and hope you will let us know how things are going.

Old 03-25-2005, 06:36 PM   #4
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 2,128
carol632 HB User
Re: Help needed..... Dear Friends

I think both posters have given you good advise. Do some research and learn what you can, and watch those symptoms. You are experiencing some serious symptoms of nerve damage and the longer you wait, the more chance those damages will be permanent.

No one can tell you when to have surgery or even if you should...that is your decision, but you need to be very watchful and not wait too long.

2 lami's, 3 fusions
bone spur removal
cerv. fusion, 1 level
morphine pump

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