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  • Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

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    Old 05-10-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
    Teacupforme
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    Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

    I had a discectomy on L3/L4 & L4/L5 this February. L5 was a massive herniation. I was ok until almost week 8. Then after prolonged sitting one day I started having muscle spasms and sciatic pains that went into my good leg.

    This has been going on since March 29th/2011. I have alternating sciatic like pains in my legs. I have had bad sciatica in the past. This isn't like that. It just travels from leg to leg like a gnawing irritation. It can be in buttocks and calf and in foot one side one day and then the other side the other day and some days not present at all. I have been refused imaging from my surgeon.
    Also there has been deep sacral pain and a bony itchy feeling in sacrum at times. I have just started physio last week. My physio said my back was in a very weakened state. Muscles were rubbish. I couldn't even do the very basic exercises. MY old PT was ripping me off. I had 12 sessions with him after surgery which only consisted of TENS machine for only 10 minutes and that was the PT session.

    Can help me and tell me what could potentially be going on???

    What can I do?

    Thank you!!

    Last edited by Teacupforme; 05-10-2011 at 11:27 PM.

     
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    Old 05-11-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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    Re: Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

    [COLOR="Navy"]Tea-I'm no doctor, but it sounds like you are having nerve pain in your legs. You have a nerve that is being comprimised and it is acting up an sending the pain down your legs. I'm a veteran of nerve pain in my legs.

    There are meds that are presscribed for nerve pain. They are originally for seizures but have found another life as nerve pain meds. Neurontin, Topomax and Lyrica are the three big ones now. All of them have their own issues, so you will need to read the web site of each and see what the side effects can be. Then you decide if it is worth it. I have been on all three and have settled with Neurontin. Normal opiates don't touch the nerve pain,hence the need for this other strain of meds.

    good luck and keep us posted. [/COLOR]

     
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    Old 05-11-2011, 11:46 AM   #3
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    Re: Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

    hi, your story sounds just like mine. i have all the same pain in all parts of my legs and feet, burning, icy, itchy and shaking. i went for physical therapy too and she wouldnt touch me said she could do more damage. all doctors have said i have nerve damage but they cant see it my mris so i have an appointment with a neuro surgeon in august. for the last few weeks the pains in my legs have been worse went to doctor yest and said it would be unusual to have sciatica in 2 legs, he thinks the nerve damage is getting worse but i also have a severe case of sciatica in my right leg and i agree that pain is different to the normal pain in my legs. iv tried all the nerve tablets and none worked but 3 months ago i started on ampytriptiline and it ha helped think its time to up the dosage now.my last few posts explain what iv been through if you would like to read them. i know how hard it is as this pain is non stop and spreads everywhere, i hope you get some help with yours and feel free to chat anytime. take care shelsers75

     
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    Old 05-11-2011, 08:07 PM   #4
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    Re: Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

    When I had pain that switched from one leg to the other, it was due to an instability in my lower lumbar spine. A first had a one level fusion at L4-5, which is what showed up on X-ray and MRI as a spondylolisthesis...but while the surgery itself was "successful," it did not resolve my sciatic-type pain. Eventually I ended up having a 3 level fusion, from L3 to S1. Once the surgeon opened me up, it was easy to see that most of my pain was due to the fact that the facet joints at L-3 had degenerated from the instability, and were just little nubs. This allowed my spine to move in ways nature had not intended and the nerves would get squished, depending on how my spine had moved that day, or week, or whatever....this did not show up on any imaging I'd had, and my surgeon was really shocked and surprised when he saw what was going on.

    It is unusual for sciatic-type nerve pain to move from leg to leg...but when it does, it can be a sign that there is some instability in the lower lumbar area.

     
    Old 05-11-2011, 09:26 PM   #5
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    Re: Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

    [QUOTE=tetonteri66;4752401]When I had pain that switched from one leg to the other, it was due to an instability in my lower lumbar spine. A first had a one level fusion at L4-5, which is what showed up on X-ray and MRI as a spondylolisthesis...but while the surgery itself was "successful," it did not resolve my sciatic-type pain. Eventually I ended up having a 3 level fusion, from L3 to S1. Once the surgeon opened me up, it was easy to see that most of my pain was due to the fact that the facet joints at L-3 had degenerated from the instability, and were just little nubs. This allowed my spine to move in ways nature had not intended and the nerves would get squished, depending on how my spine had moved that day, or week, or whatever....this did not show up on any imaging I'd had, and my surgeon was really shocked and surprised when he saw what was going on.

    It is unusual for sciatic-type nerve pain to move from leg to leg...but when it does, it can be a sign that there is some instability in the lower lumbar area.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah it is a bit odd I agree. I recently had an operation and if I had other issues I beleive it would have been picked up. Also the MRI in Feb clearly showed the herniation. I do feel a little unstable, and as I said my physio said my back was very very weakened (lack of muscle strenghth). And I have just started proper physio on 5/5/2011 after an operation on 9/2/2011.

    My surgeon said the reason I had sciatica is due to a bulging disc. I said why would I still have that?? He said that it's impossible to get it all out unless I fuse??? Or maybe the exercise and all the muscle fibres stirring around is putting pressure on my spine now since it had been so weakened?? I have no idea I am only guessing here. I have daily pain, and alternating pains in legs. I was good until week 8 almost then went downhill very quickly.

     
    Old 05-11-2011, 09:29 PM   #6
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    Re: Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

    [QUOTE=shelsers75;4752018]hi, your story sounds just like mine. i have all the same pain in all parts of my legs and feet, burning, icy, itchy and shaking. i went for physical therapy too and she wouldnt touch me said she could do more damage. all doctors have said i have nerve damage but they cant see it my mris so i have an appointment with a neuro surgeon in august. for the last few weeks the pains in my legs have been worse went to doctor yest and said it would be unusual to have sciatica in 2 legs, he thinks the nerve damage is getting worse but i also have a severe case of sciatica in my right leg and i agree that pain is different to the normal pain in my legs. iv tried all the nerve tablets and none worked but 3 months ago i started on ampytriptiline and it ha helped think its time to up the dosage now.my last few posts explain what iv been through if you would like to read them. i know how hard it is as this pain is non stop and spreads everywhere, i hope you get some help with yours and feel free to chat anytime. take care shelsers75[/QUOTE]


    I really hope you get some releief too. I am sorry you have so much pain as well. It really sucks. Mine is not without respite, but it;s very uncomfortable as well.

     
    Old 05-11-2011, 09:30 PM   #7
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    Re: Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

    [QUOTE=ibake&pray;4751901][COLOR="Navy"]Tea-I'm no doctor, but it sounds like you are having nerve pain in your legs. You have a nerve that is being comprimised and it is acting up an sending the pain down your legs. I'm a veteran of nerve pain in my legs.

    There are meds that are presscribed for nerve pain. They are originally for seizures but have found another life as nerve pain meds. Neurontin, Topomax and Lyrica are the three big ones now. All of them have their own issues, so you will need to read the web site of each and see what the side effects can be. Then you decide if it is worth it. I have been on all three and have settled with Neurontin. Normal opiates don't touch the nerve pain,hence the need for this other strain of meds.

    good luck and keep us posted. [/COLOR][/QUOTE]


    I know that nerve pain is very hard to control with regular meds. I take other tablets and hesitate to add more. But will keep an open mind should the need arise finally. Thank you very much for reply.

     
    Old 05-12-2011, 07:26 AM   #8
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    Re: Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

    I've been reading up about pain meds & it seems the latest research shows they do actually work on nerve pain, but not as well as on other types of pain. You could possibly benefit from both a nerve med & an opioid.

    My PM just dx'd me with sacroiliitis in both hips, so I have sciactica type pains in both legs & pain shooting down my legs into my feet.

     
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    Old 05-12-2011, 04:46 PM   #9
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    Re: Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

    Since the pain didn't start until eight weeks after the surgery, it could also be coming from epidural fibrosis...scar tissue that is perhaps attaching itself to a spinal nerve. This would probably show up on a new MRI, if you were to have one.

     
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    Old 05-12-2011, 07:35 PM   #10
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    Re: Unusual (rare) alternating leg sciatica

    I'd like to thank you both for taking the time to reply and offer me advice. It could be that as well. I went to a local GP and he ordered a new MRI for Tuesday. On Tuesday I will have the films too.

    I pray that everything will be ok, I am really worried. I just have to keep a watchful eye over the weekend to make sure all goes ok,but he also felt it was time to know what is going on with my back since the operation.

    Last edited by Teacupforme; 05-12-2011 at 07:35 PM.

     
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