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Lower back pain radiating

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Old 02-13-2012, 01:07 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: alaska
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ainsleyak HB User
Lower back pain radiating

Hello- This is my first post, I have been in a lot of pain all weekend with my lower back. The pain has begun radiating down my legs (it alternates depending on position) and into my lower stomach and pelvic area. I had an MRI done in Dec which showed a large arachnoid cyst on the tailbone and a smaller one higher up. My neurosurgeon said they were asymtomatic though I was back to see him after a cervical spinal fusion in June due to the pain in my lower back and legs.

I cannot straighten up properly and walking is quite painful and difficult, I don't have much feeling in the lower back and am having some issues with alternating constipation and barely making it to the bathroom. I am considering going to the ER because I do not know how much longer I can stand the pain, there just isn't a break with it. I try not to use prescription meds because I was on them for so long with the cervical fusion, but I do have a TENS unit and Tylenol with codeine which are just not helping.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Should I go to the ER or is that just a waste of energy? Thanks in advance

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Old 02-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: alaska
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ainsleyak HB User
Re: Lower back pain radiating

EDIT- I don't have much feeling on the skin in my lower back, like numbness, but I can feel the pain in the back- sorry I was not more clear

Old 02-13-2012, 02:31 PM   #3
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Re: Lower back pain radiating

Have you called your doc? Since he has a fairly recent film on file and knows you, I think that'd likely be more helpful than an ER trip unless the pain is truly unbearable. Make it clear it is an urgent need appt and hopefully s/he should see you sooner than an appt might be otherwise.

I do find heat can help with temp relief while you are waiting for real answers. I also like the Tiger Balm patches...though they help a limited area.

Last edited by cheryl1213; 02-13-2012 at 02:33 PM.

Old 02-13-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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Re: Lower back pain radiating

I concur with Cheryl that your best bet is calling your spine surgeon. Unless you are in horrendous pain and need an immediate injection, it is doubtful that anyone in the ER would know anything about an arachnoid cyst in your lumbar spine.

I don't see how the surgeon could tell you it is asymptomatic.. "most" arachnoid cysts are asymptomatic, but it sounds like yours are causing you problems. Do you know if they are extradural or intradural?

It sounds like the cyst is not pressing into the spinal canal and causing the symptoms you describe in your legs, etc. Perhaps it was not causing problems previously, but it sounds like it is now...I think another evaluation with your surgeon is in order.

If you should suddenly develop loss of bladder or bowel control, call your doctor or got to the ER right away. The fact that you are having some symptoms at this point is another sign that something is pressing on the central canal...and you need to have this checked out.

Please let us know what you decide to do....and, welcome to the board.

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