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Sciatica on L5/S1 with excruciating pain!

Started by Shea Kho on 02/21/2010 8:06pm

I am 32 years old female, I was diagnosed with DDD and experienced sciatica briefly 8 years ago. I had an MRI and it showed a 11-12 mm protruding disk on L5/S1. I went to physical therapy, lost weight and had much improvement. Since two weeks ago I started getting the tiggling and numbness down my leg and it has got progessively worse to the point where I can not walk and am bedridden. I am in excruciating pain. I just applied for insurance and am doing the waiting game. I know it's my sciatica that is acting up. I am taking NSAID's, vicoden, and zanaflex. I am literally waiting fir the nerve to calm down. My sciatic nerve on my left side is causing me to limp and drag my feet. Sleeping is very hard since I can't find a position to find comfort and relieve the nerve from pinching. I really dont know what to do. I have started by cutting out sugar, drinking more water, and taking it easy. I think I will go see a neurosurgeon for a consult and pay out of pocket until I get the insurance. Any advice on what steps I should take in specific order. I might have to get surgery and I am so scared. Anyone, please help me with advice. Thank you so much!

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hi, i can totally sympathise with you, i am 37 and in the same postision! please do not feel alone, i too am replying from my laptop in bed, i also get severe sciatica pain resulting from L3 & L4 disc problem. in 2005 i had a procedure where the surgen placed a needle into my nerve and burning it out. this helped for about 2years but after going back to my job as a community carer i aggrevated the problem and now is worse than ever. i am on a range of tablets and get temporary relief from getting into a hotub. at the moment this is not possible as i can only just make it to the bathroom! but when it settles i will get back in the tub. at the moment im on methocarbanol, tramadol and amitriptyline, have u tried any of these? i know how frustrating it is, the slightest sneeze or cough can result in falling on the floor! i sugest keep pestering your doctor, i am everyday as the appointment i was given was in may! good luck . mandy.xxx

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I have had lower back pain for 4 years now. They found a tumor at L2-L3 and I had a neurosurgeon remove it when it began to grow at a rapid rate. After a year of continous pain I had 2 see another surgeon, this time an orthopedic. I am now fused from L2-L3, L3-L4. The bad part is this was no fault of my own. I have tried every thing know to man such as ultrasound, heat, tens units, etc. As of now I see a pain center and have found the most wonderful drug called Opana ER that helps more than anything I have every tried. This drug is an oxymorphone based drug and I do have to still take muscle relaxers with it as well as Vistaril because it can make you itch terribely. I am still in pain and take Percpcet 10 for break through pain but it works!!!
I am now having surgery on my neck at C5-C6 so I will see how that one goes. I too am unable to work due to all the time I have had to miss from work, PT, etc.
Opana comes in 5, 10 20, 30 40 mg tabs. I comes in instant release, extended release, and regular Opana. You might want to discuss this with your doctor. Hope this helps!

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Hang in there Babe! There is hope and help! I am in my 10th year of something very similar! Remember that this is now a way of life for you. I'm not trying to scare you, you just need to look at the situation in the right light. If you act as if you understand that this is something you will live with forever, you will approach it differently. It is important to eat well and get as much rest as you can. If you are not able to sleep, the doc can prescribe sleeping pills. Don't worry about using them! Getting a good night sleep is worth it! Then, pretty much insist that you need something different than what you have now. Always stress how much pain your in, where you feel it, and how it is effecting your life. Always, always, always, stress the pain and how hard it is to take! I am not trying to push you into pills, I just know that if you don't, he can't read your mind, and I also know that sometimes we don't like to admit that we can't take the pain. We think we should be tough and not complain or (bitch) (oh no not that word!). I know it happened to me. I finally had to admit I could not take anymore, and by that time it is so hard to get under control. Nobody cares if you are a whous(sp?). Now EVERYBODY knows. Too bad! I'm the one in pain 24/7/365. Better watch it, I get really bitchy too! Better believe it! I am sure now, that most anyone would.
Anytime pain comes on strong and hard, you should get the doc involved. Call today! even if the office is closed. If you really do have DDD, it can become life threatening. It is rare but it does happen. Read the info they have here to get the exact information.
If you are having an episode (as I call them) anytime, you certainly should call your doctor. Do you see a pain specialist? If no, get one! See that person for all issue's related to your pain. Doctors have never had much of a reputation for sympathy. But pain specialists are trained to deal with pain, so they can diagnose and treat better. There are many drugs that can be used for pain, but I would recommend to take it slow. See if you can get the doctor to give you a small amount of a stronger drug for episodes and then back it off when you feel better. I have a spinal cord stimulator, as well as 11 other drugs related to pain management. I think some of the drugs come from a doctor I had that wasn't really very good. The problem is that once you start on some of these and stay on them for awhile, it is very hard to get off of them. So here I am with all this drug mess. It costs alot of money too! I pay over $400.00 a month just in co-pays! So take the meds you need to keep your pain under control. But then go back to a lower amount each da,y, to keep it under control. You'll be much happier that way.
Expect good care and speak up if you are not happy with the results of anything that you do or get from the doctor treating your pain. Educate yourself! I can not tell you how much it has helped me to educate myself. Most of what I know I learned the hard way. But I can say that I feel better now than I did a couple of years ago. (the stimulator is new so the jury is still out on that) But now I am in control. I'm not letting someone I don't know, who may not know enough, call all the shots! not anymore.
Do you still work? If so make sure your doctor is aware of that situation. I had a hard time with my employer. Although they told me, " take all the time you need" as soon as they would hang up they would complain to other employee's. I did not tell my doctor about the hard time I was having until it was to late. So like I said before, don't hold back anything. Doctors do not get embarrassed. Be honest if you want honest help!
Good luck to you! I know I said alot, but I hope you can get something out of it. Maybe hold onto this for a little while.
If you have any questions you can email me anytime. Just post a comment, I will get it. Good luck and God's sped! Oh yeah, find something to laugh at everyday. It really helps! Honestly!

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I think it gets to the point that you need intervention at this point.... once it gets to the point of losing sleep, dragging your leg... you are in serious problem. The point about doctors are not sympathetic about their patients' symptoms are garbage... and don't come to your doctor feeling that way. Ask them for a discount, or make payment in order for you to get help. The most expensive part of the whole ordeal is the hospital cost... that could be expensive. However, once your doctor have seen you, and determine that surgery is needed, the office can contact the hospital to negotiate the cost on your behalf... would be much cheaper than customary charges... Again, make sure you have them in writing. please do not let it get to the point where you will lose critical functions... you are 32 with a real issue... it would get much better with intervention... Many patients don't have good results because of their unclear diagnosis... sounds like you do have a good one.

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I am a 35 year female also suffering from a herniated disc L5/S1. Had a microscopic disectomy and then a month later the disc reherniated. I am sick of the pain and am ready for another surgery. I am trying to decide between what I had before and laser surgery. Anyone know the difference? or Success?

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I really feel your pain! I am a 34 yr female I had a microdisectomy L5/S1 3 months ago and I am still in severe pain. I recently had another MRI done and my neurosurgeon is telling me that I now need a fusion in the same area. I am currently scheduled next Friday for surgery but am now having second thoughts. I am very worried that I will be in the same position after the second surgery. Has anyone had these procedures seperate so close together?

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Hello to all, I am 36 and have delt with back issues for 18+ years. I now am suffering from Severe Sciatica. I have the nasty L5-S1 herniation of the disk. I have been fighting this for 3 months now. Here is what I have done to somewhat ease the pain.
PT (who soley specializes in lower lumbar and Sciatica issues) Good success
Chiropractic (specifically the DRX9000 decompression machine) Fair success
Acupuncture from an actual M.D.!!! (1st of 4 sessions was on 02/23/2010) too early to tell
Several medications to ease the pain and help me sleep, fair success
2 Epidral Injections, Good success

As you can see I am trying everything under the sun before I even think of having surgery. I believe that unless you are losing bodily functions (i.e. controlling bowel movements) you should try anything short of surgery. I will do a follow up next week to let you know how the 2nd acupuncture went. I also found a website that has some good info and potential guides to relief. Here is the link.

http://www.losethebackpain.com/sciaticareliefguide.html

I cannot endorse it because all I have done is read it. I have not tried the product. I will pray for all of you that have commented on this issue.

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This is for wilsonatpiotlotmt...I would REALLY like to chat with you! I am having a hard as heck time getting my surgeon to listen to me...PLEASE give me some pointers for dealing with this! You can email me at polak_7@yahoo.com...
Thanks,
Lisa P

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Hi to let you know I am 47 man I got injured at work with the L5 S1 and it was WC of course so they waited 16 months to operate on me NOW I am on SSD and had to retire I still have low back pain and pain that runs down my right leg into my foot very painfull. I walk with A very bad limp have to use A cane. I can not walk very far,sit very long and very hard to sleep. the doctor said I needed A power chair but WC will not pay for it. I cant pick up my grandson I cant run and play with him I cant even go to the zoo I just cant walk very far.I still to this day are on all kinds of pain killers. So make sure you find A great doctor.if you would happen to need any more info please let me know

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gncrzy2000,
I am so sorry for all your pain. Are you able to see the doc of your choice or do you have to see their doctors? Do you have a good relationship with this doctor? Are you able to have some in-put into your own care? Because there are many other options to manage pain than just pills, and you may qualify for one. You can just respond to my questions on this site, I will get an alert.

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Hi yes I see my own doctor and he says that I have A problem. but WC also has me seen by there doc and of course they say that there is nothing wrong with me.I was to be seen for A spinal stimulator but WC will not pay for it. I have no insurance and I am on SSD and I can not get medicare till December.I have also been diagnosed with depression.Yea when you get hurt at work they do not care about you.I worked for a 2man shop and get this the day before my surgery my boss came and told me that they had to fly out of town lololol he didnt even call me now keep in mind I worked for him for 15 years.

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Hi again if any won is thinking of having a spinal fusion as I did and would like to see the hardware that they put in you back leave your email and I can send you A pic. I had my hardware removed in December and I ask the doc what he was going to do with it and they said that they though it out so they cleaned all the peaces up and gave them to me.Just thought I would share it with someone that was interested.

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I've had back pain for 10 years now and am in bad trouble now and cannot find anyone to help. It's problems from L1 to S1 and one doctor recently said it was non-mechanical chronic bilateral sciatica. He begged me not to have surgery and prescibed antiinflamitories. This did nothing for the severe pains from lower back through both legs and that are now affecting my upper body. I cannot sit, stand or lay down for too long at any time (10 minutes maximum). Always on the move. I can stabilize and control the pain with opiates but have to take at least 2 at a time or the pain does not subside. This has led people and doctors to assume I'm after drugs to get high or something. If I have the opiates, it's like a dark cloud lifts and I can function halfway normally. The pain drains away in my hips and legs. If I don't have anything, the pain spreads into my stomach area and upper back. Waves or different types of pain run through my hips and legs. The inner groin area starts to swell and then my tail bone become sore to the touch and I can't sit at all. Soon all I can think about is pain. My musacles hurt. My bones hurt. My skin becomes super sensitive and I can tell when the temperature changes. Cold temperatures becomes hard to bear. This all happens within one day of not having any pain medications. I recently saw a doctor at USC in January and he said he would get me into pain management and surgery which still has not happened. I went there yesterday to try to get any help and they said something about being scheduled for August. I made a mistake and let my father accompany me in which his first comment to the doctor was "His problem is dependancy on vicodin." I've only been taking opiates for the last year since the pain became unbearable. I endoured the pain for 8 years before it became severe and even had a presciption for morphin patches along with vicodin in 2003 but did not use the patches or pills because they made me sick back then. Of course my wife threw them out a few years back and now things in the medical industry and people's attitude toward pain killers have changed
so much that I cannot get the drugs to save my life. Is there any advise or referrals for a persons at ropes end. I would appreciate any and all help.

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To Silent Screamer,
I am a little confused. How do I say something without mentioning something about your realationship's even with doctors? Are you seeing a doctor regularly? You need to see a pain specialist, and keep going until the pain is gone or almost gone.
I feel for your pain. I don't think anyone would be surprised if I were hooked on anything I am on. I take 11 different meds everyday and probably 3 or 4 are opiates. It took several years working with 2 doctors but I now work with 1 doc that I love and I get what I need when I need it. This journey is constently changing. You need to edit out the people that don't support you and just judge you. If you have truly done nothing with the drugs to deserve what your dad said, then don't let him go with or be involved until he gets educated about your condition. This website is a wonderful place for anyone who wants to get info.
Personally I have to end this right now, because I reached my limit of sitting here with my laptop.
I can jump back on or start over later.

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Well today I finally got to go see A Pain specialist and he told me that I was A great candidate for A spinal column stimulator but first they told me that I have to go see a head doctor I told him that I had A EMG and it showed that I have nerve damage he then said that this is routeen.So I continue to take pain killers for anther 6 week

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Gnorzy::

I'd say try the trial for the spinal cord stimulator, but make sure you do some research on this site and on the internet before you actually have one implanted. I'm not trying to scare you, but there are things that can go awry, like leads that move, an electrical shock feeling, and also infection. I almost got one implanted, but found out that it probably wouldn't work for me.

Anyway, research, research, and more research!

Good luck!

Pam

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Gnorzy::

I'd say try the trial for the spinal cord stimulator, but make sure you do some research on this site and on the internet before you actually have one implanted. I'm not trying to scare you, but there are things that can go awry, like leads that move, an electrical shock feeling, and also infection. I almost got one implanted, but found out that it probably wouldn't work for me.

Anyway, research, research, and more research!

Good luck!

Pam

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Hi Pam6622 I have really bad right leg pain and low back pain but the leg and foot pain in my right leg is so bad that I don't want to do any thing I cant even sleep so the doc said that the stim would take away the leg pain but wouldn't do any thing for my back pain.

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gncrazy:

Yeah, I was told the same thing about the SCS, that it would take away my leg but maybe not my back. Let us know if you get the trial and, of so, how it's working for you.

In the meantime, try to take it easy!!

Pam

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well I tryed the temp stimulator and it worked for 3 days then stop working. It seemed to tame down the pain were I did not need to use so many pain killers. The doc told me I had A defective unit so I didnt get to use it for the full trial of 7 days.I go in next week to see about the permanent stimulator the only thing I did not like was when I moved my head it would change the effect of the stimulation BUT the doc told me that after the implant was in for 6-9 weeks it will not do that.

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Hello SheaKho, Sorry to hear about it, I however have the same thing, been going on for over a month, had problems with neck, mid-back, and Lumbar for a long time, but it went Balistic about a month and a half ago, The Emergency room cannot turn you down, while there you may be able to apply for assistance thru one or more of their free programs that work on donations such as Backus Hospital where I live, if that doesn"t work go thru the State assistance or town assistance office where you live, hope this helps good luck girl! Frankjg

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