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    Old 01-06-2006, 10:55 PM   #1
    showdee
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    anyone understand nerve damage?

    Hello everyone. I'm hoping someone can help me. I had a minimally invasive procedure done a little over a month ago. I am still in so much pain every day. The doctor told me that it is because there is nerve damage and it may take up to a couple months to heal. Since the procedure I feel worse in that the severe pain is even more often than before. I used to stand for about a half hour and then the pain in my back, buttocks, hip and leg would become severe, now as soon as I wake up in the morning it is severe. I can kind of understand if the pain was the same, but I don't understand why this would happen. I'm losing hope that I'll ever get relief. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance.

     
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    Old 01-07-2006, 12:48 AM   #2
    Rustysgurl
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    I'm sorry you're going through so much pain. I suffer from chronic pain due to nerve damage, and my story is similar to yours (I'm not trying to scare you). My first doctor did not treat my disk herniation. My second doctor did, but by then the nerve root was compressed, causing nerve damage. Nerve damage is different than temporary nerve pressure caused by inflammation after surgery. If it is indeed temporary, it will go away over time. Nerve damage, too, can heal, but some can't. If the nerve is compressed for too long, the body will simply not allow that pathway to work anymore. Nerves do not regenerate (why spinal cord patients have so little hope sometimes). There are medications you can take to alleviate nerve pain - each person's experience is different. I myself was on Neurontin (the brain fog was not worth the pain relief it provided). Some doctors are now prescribing Cymbalta (an antidepressant with pain-relief properties). Has your doctor got you on anti-inflammatory medication? Again, I'm sorry you are going through this. I hope yours is temporary. If so, it should resolve over time. But don't let it go on too long. Remember the squeaky wheel theory. Don't put off getting treatment if your condition doesn't genuinely improve. I'm speaking from experience here. I believed my first doctor, and as a result, it was a year before I had my first surgery. Take care, and keep us posted - Mary

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 07:40 AM   #3
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    Thank you for your reply. Don't worry about scaring me. I'm looking for the honest truth. I would like to know what I am dealing with. I appreciate your honesty.
    I've had back pain on and off for the last couple years. But was definately tolerable in the beginning. Now at 27, it is constant and severe and has been that way for the past year. I was on an oral steriod for the inflamation a year ago - the one you take for a week. That did help for awhile, but shortly after that, the severe buttocks, hip and leg pain started. I had the ESI. Three this past year. Unfortunately they didn't help. But luckily, hearing others stories on here they didn't hurt either. A little over a month ago, I had a procedure called percutaneous disc decompression. Don't know if you've heard of it. Basically, they use a needle-type of tool to remove part of the inner disc to hopefully take the pressure of the nerve. I was told before I had it done that in thirty days I will be able to do whatever I want. But thats just not true.
    I guess the nerve was compressed for almost a year. I don't know if that would make a difference. I suppose it would. Right now my doctor has me on vicodin. It helps some. Mainly, I think it plays head games with me so that I don't notice how much pain I'm in. I know what your saying about that head fog. It does that to me. I'm a small person so maybe that's why it has such a huge affect on me. I hate living my life on medication. I'm the type that didn't even like taking tylenol for a headache. So this is pretty major for me.
    I'm sorry for rambling on like this! This whole deal feels like its destroying my life. I used to be the one that everyone would call on to help them move or climb on the roof, or fix stuff. (I thought I was mighty mouse) But now I'm the last person anyone would call for that. It makes me feel worthless.
    Well, I'm going to quit taking up your time here. I know you've got your own problems to deal with also. I really appreciate you taking the time to listen to me. I will do the same if you need it.
    I certainly hope the nerve damage will heal. I guess only time will tell.(But I did put a call in to the doctor, so hopefully I will hear back from him)
    Thank you again for listening!

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 08:16 AM   #4
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    Don't worry about taking up my time - I'm glad to help. I've heard about the procedure you had, but don't know of any long-term results or studies. It basically sounds a lot like a diskectomy, but from the inside. Still, it stands to reason that if you take away something God gave you (i.e., part of your disk), it's not going to work the same. I guess it depends on how much volume you take out, but it's just common sense. Our disks (especially the low back ones) are meant to cushion. If they're having problems anyway, and we take part of it away, then they run the risk of getting thinner and thinner (that ol' gravity thing). It sounds like to me (and I'm just a layperson here), is that your disk is continuing to either thin out or degenerate. As the disk thins or degenerates, the disk space between the vertebra becomes narrower and narrower. Those spaces are small anyway, and when compacted, all of the beautiful nerves, ligaments, etc., get compressed, distorted, etc. Result - pain. After my diskectomy, I was better for about 4 weeks, then the pain gradually came back. It got worse and worse to the point where it was shooting down my leg and my leg was collapsing when I walked. So, off I went to the neurosurgeon, we ran tests, and scheduled the fusion surgery. When he got in there he said my disk was literally 'in fragments'. Now my disk was cut during my first surgery, unlike yours, so the situation is a little different. Mine never healed, but yours seemingly still could. When you did your procedure, did your doctor limit your sitting at all? My doctor told me not to sit for more than 15 minutes at a time, as that position put the most pressure on a healing disk. Sorry to be so long-winded here. Have faith - you may still improve. But I wouldn't give it more than a month. Stay on top of your doctor, and if he's not listening to you, get yourself to a spine specialist. Quietcook (one of the senior members) has a wonderful post on here about finding a true spine specialist. That's what you need. Take care - Mary

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 08:18 AM   #5
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    Lightbulb Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    Do you have any idea about what has caused the nerve damage? It it the result of the condition that is being treated or secondary to the surgerical proceedure? Have you considered getting a second opinion from a neurologist or neurosurgeon?

    Dealing with neuropathic pain is often a crap shoot but there are a varity of treatment options and self help measures that can reduce the severity of the symptoms that you're experiencing. Reducing your stress level, implementing relaxation techniques and preventing overactivity, as you've already figured out will help. A good physical therapist can teach you neuromoboliztion techniques, which aren't all that pleasant, but can be enormously beneficial and over time can likewise reduce the severity of your neuropathic symptoms. There are a variety of oral medications, if you're willing to tollerate some of the unfortunate side effects. A more conservative approach might include a topical analgesic or numbing agent such as lidoderm patches, ketamine cream, etc... Creams containing menthol & camphor are sometimes helpful, but my favorite non-prescription approach are creams containing capsaicin (a pepper). According to my neurosurgeon, who originally introduced me to capsaincin cream it takes about two weeks of continuous use (as directed) to achieve the full benefits and desired results, although it won't eleminate all of your symptoms it is one more thing that can potentially reduce your symptoms.

    For additional useful tips and information you might consider checking out the "neuropathy" forum on this site. Good Luck!

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 08:32 AM   #6
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    [QUOTE=showdee]Hello everyone. I'm hoping someone can help me. I had a minimally invasive procedure done a little over a month ago. I am still in so much pain every day. The doctor told me that it is because there is nerve damage and it may take up to a couple months to heal. Since the procedure I feel worse in that the severe pain is even more often than before. I used to stand for about a half hour and then the pain in my back, buttocks, hip and leg would become severe, now as soon as I wake up in the morning it is severe. I can kind of understand if the pain was the same, but I don't understand why this would happen. I'm losing hope that I'll ever get relief. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance.[/QUOTE] What was the invasive pricedure that you had done ?

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 08:37 AM   #7
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    [QUOTE=showdee]Thank you for your reply. Don't worry about scaring me. I'm looking for the honest truth. I would like to know what I am dealing with. I appreciate your honesty.
    I've had back pain on and off for the last couple years. But was definately tolerable in the beginning. Now at 27, it is constant and severe and has been that way for the past year. I was on an oral steriod for the inflamation a year ago - the one you take for a week. That did help for awhile, but shortly after that, the severe buttocks, hip and leg pain started. I had the ESI. Three this past year. Unfortunately they didn't help. But luckily, hearing others stories on here they didn't hurt either. A little over a month ago, I had a procedure called percutaneous disc decompression. Don't know if you've heard of it. Basically, they use a needle-type of tool to remove part of the inner disc to hopefully take the pressure of the nerve. I was told before I had it done that in thirty days I will be able to do whatever I want. But thats just not true.
    I guess the nerve was compressed for almost a year. I don't know if that would make a difference. I suppose it would. Right now my doctor has me on vicodin. It helps some. Mainly, I think it plays head games with me so that I don't notice how much pain I'm in. I know what your saying about that head fog. It does that to me. I'm a small person so maybe that's why it has such a huge affect on me. I hate living my life on medication. I'm the type that didn't even like taking tylenol for a headache. So this is pretty major for me.
    I'm sorry for rambling on like this! This whole deal feels like its destroying my life. I used to be the one that everyone would call on to help them move or climb on the roof, or fix stuff. (I thought I was mighty mouse) But now I'm the last person anyone would call for that. It makes me feel worthless.
    Well, I'm going to quit taking up your time here. I know you've got your own problems to deal with also. I really appreciate you taking the time to listen to me. I will do the same if you need it.
    I certainly hope the nerve damage will heal. I guess only time will tell.(But I did put a call in to the doctor, so hopefully I will hear back from him)
    Thank you again for listening! [/QUOTE] percutaneous disc decompression??? What is this ESI ? that you had done ? I am schedule for surgery myself in two weeks I have also posted many questions on the post
    on the braod starting on the 15th of December so go thru them to see if their is thing you can use in my post hope u feel better I have some great links it miht help u understand more if you want them reply to me .. i really this had sometpye of other respoce thing cause Im new to this health broad and I think its very helpful but when someone would like to find out more about a person they just have take a longtime to look .. maybe i dont know how to use this yet ?
    god bless

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 08:49 AM   #8
    showdee
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    Rustysgurl- The things you have been saying make alot of sense. As for the procedure I had, I believe it is somewhat new. I know of maybe a couple people on here that have had it. Thier results were not good ones. For about the first week I was told not to sit or stand for longer than 15 minues and I listened to that. After that, I was able to go back to work with no lifting and no standing for longer than an hour, now I am back to standing all day with a ten pound restiction. Boy is that hard to do. But I've got to make money to pay the bills.
    I am thinking about finding a spine specialist. I now am seeing a pm doctor. Not to knock him, but I want to make sure I'm in the right hands. I've hopefully got a long life to live! (God willing of coarse)
    Oh I'm not sure if I meantioned the level. It was L5 S1 I believe.(if that makes sense) I'm no doctor. I have another bulging disc a level or two higher but from the discogram I had, he said it is not causing me a problem. Thanks and I definately won't let this go for more than a month. I'll probably seek one out no matter what. I'd rather be prepared.
    You've been an angel!

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 09:01 AM   #9
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    Dhopper1926- The nerve damage is the result of my disc compressing the nerve. As far as I know, it is not the result of what I had done just the compression. I don't believe that it was damaged more from it, but it certainly hasn't helped so far. Like Rustysgurl said, in time maybe it will. I sure hope so! As of right now, it is unsure if it will be permanent or temporarey nerve damage. Lately, I've been cosidering alot of things and I am definately open for suggestions.
    I've never heard of the creams that you had mentioned. That is definately something to consider. I would want to talk to my doctor before I try anymore medications since I am already on pain meds. I would hate to have adverse reactions. I'll definately check out that forum you mentioned. Thanks for your help!

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 09:12 AM   #10
    showdee
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    Rabbitbunnies- with percutaneous disc decompression, they use a needle type of tool to remove part of the inner disc to hopefully relieve pressure on the nerve. the esi is the epidural steriod injection.
    What surgery are you having in two weeks? I hope it goes well for you. I believe I've read some of your posts on here before. I'm pretty knew to this too, but hopefully I can find them. Good luck to you! Let me know what you are having done.

     
    Old 01-08-2006, 02:28 PM   #11
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    Cool Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    hello i just wanted to tell you that if your nerve or nerves were compressed for a long period of time then it might take a while to heal the nerves and the odds that you have permenent nerve damage is very slim. if after a few months the pain is still there, and your doc says well its nerve damge, ask him to write you out a script for a emg, this is an unpleasant nerve test but it will confirm weather you do or dont have nerve damage. i reckomend this if you really trust your doctor now and dont want to see anyone else. if you dont mind seeing someone else than get another opinion and if they see something wrong on the mri or other films you might have then they might be able to help you. im saying this because i went through the same thing, where my wcomp surgeon did a laminectomy and after i kept telling him the pain in my back and butt and legs was severe, he said give it time its probably permenent nerve damage. months later the pain was still there and i asked about an emg, he sent me for it and it came back perfect there was no nerve damage and all my pain was coming from my lower soine discs and there was spinal instability from the laminectomy he did. i think that alot of times the docs use nerve damage or scar tissue as an excuse to not treat you anymore, this also takes the fault off of them, maybe a mistake in diagnosis, wrong procedure done, docs hate to be proven wrong, but good luck with your situation and always get a second, even third opinion. also try all non operative measures first and if you have no luck then go for surgery, i read here before that you only have one back and once thats gone thats it. ask yourself can i live like this for the rest of my life, some people wait to long to get checked out because either they are afraid or say it will get better on its own and then the problem getts so bad that either it cant be fixed or now you have to have qan extreme procedure, good luck....

     
    Old 01-08-2006, 03:40 PM   #12
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    A question for those of you that still have nerve related pain after surgery; before surgery how much and what type of nerve related pain were you having? I know the consensus is that if you go too long with nerve compression, there can be permanent damage. But do you tell how much compression you have pre-surgery? My thought (and I think this is what some of my docs have said) is that if there isn't any neural deficit (i.e. numbness in the legs, loss of function, loss of reflexes, etc) then there isn't too much risk of any permanent damage. I took this to mean that there isn't too much compression on the nerve if there is only pain and no numbness. Obviously this will differ from person to person, but does that analysis sound reasonable? This is one of the reasons I have decided to avoid surgery as long as possible, since I do not have any 'neural deficit'...only some pain.

     
    Old 01-08-2006, 05:05 PM   #13
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    Here's my experience. I had hip pain (sciatic and piriformis in nature), pain in my thigh and calf (muscle tension), and numbness and tingling shooting down my leg. My leg was growing progressively weaker, and would sometimes collapse when I walked (especially going down stairs). My disk herniation was compressing the nerve root. Diskectomy relieved the pressure, and the zinging going down my leg was relieved. However, 4-6 weeks after surgery, the pain came back. My disk deteriorated further, and I had L4-5 fusion about a year later. I now have constant pain around the fusion site, radiating down across my buttock (piriformis) and into my hip joint. I have modified my activities, because if I don't, the pain much worse. At times I still have pain and muscle tension in my thigh and leg, and I have a constant amount of tingling down the outside of my leg. That's my story. My doctor said that my sciatic nerve was possibly damaged at the time of my initial injury, but that I have permanent nerve damage due to the first doctor misdiagnosing me. The first doctor told me my disk was bulging, and that if it got worse, to let him know (he never even touched me during that first visit). Well, it got worse - I notified him - and he basically said I shouldn't be in that much pain. A year later I went to another doctor, who diagnosed the disk as herniated, sent me for a discogram (that was fun -- not), and did the microdiskectomy. My second doctor attributed the nerve damage to the nerve root being compressed for a year and half. Cheers - Mary

     
    Old 01-09-2006, 03:19 AM   #14
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    Your simptoms seem pretty similar to mine. My main problem is the pain in my buttocks, hip, and leg around my calf down to my ankle. I'm pretty much still getting used to this and the different sensations. Most of the time I feel pain, but when I am sitting it is usually a tingling feeling. I don't know if I would call it numb. More like the feeling you get when you sit on your foot. I'm not sure if that is what people are refering to when they say numb. I think I usually favor that leg so it doesn't completely go out out me, but it definately has made me unstable at times.

     
    Old 01-09-2006, 05:15 AM   #15
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    Re: anyone understand nerve damage?

    Showdee,

    Have you seen a neurosurgeon with a spinefellowship?
    Some suspected nerve damage can be reversed.I had 2 major back surgerys 7 years ago with instrumentations,it took 2 good years before I could even feel my right leg.7 years later I have difficulty,but the back has held out.
    Find a good neuro and ask for a EMG/NCV,this will give you a good step in finding out if its nerve damage.I had a EMG done a year ago it came back as RADICULOPATHY,pain in the nerves leading to the muscles from an unexplained origin.As in no nerve impingement.NCV dismyletating nerves.I have been diagnosed probable multiple sclerosis.After a year of being sent to several Doctors and the best clinics around find yourself a good Doctor and ask questions,if I have learned one thing in the past year ask lots of questions.

    Toni

     
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