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Encroachment on sciatic nerve root L5-S1..... Could these be symptoms or could this be a herniated disc?

Started by theunknown1029 on 02/24/2019 9:20pm


I recently saw a doctor for an evaluation regarding my lower chronic back pain that also shoots down into my legs and feet. I will get horrible tingling almost burning sensations on the bottoms of my feet and in my big toes, my feet go numb, and I also get horrible charley horses in my calfs. The charley horses are so bad they make my feet spasm and my toes lock up. I get shooting pain down my legs and in my lower back, but it's not all the time. The pain I have all the time is an ache in my lower back, but the rest come and go. I just got the report back from the doctor and he is requesting that I have images of my L5-S1 nerve root in my lower back looked at to see if there is any encroachment on my sciatic nerve. The reason for this exam is because if they see damage my insurance will cover sacroiliac injections and/or epidural injections (whichever my pain doctor feels will be best). Now sorry for the long intro but I wanted to explain a bit before I jumped into questions, but here are some things I was wondering...

1.Has anyone with sciatic nerve root damage had the symptoms I explained above? If so did they come and go for you or were they constant?
2.Could this be a possible herniated disc?
3.Has anyone with sciatic nerve root damage had injections or any type of treatment, if so what was it and how did it help?

If you have any light to shine on this subject for me and want to share it that would be great. I am just learning about all of this so the more information the better. Thanks for anyone that helps.

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2 Responses


Hello - I’m 33 years old and 4 months ago I was having really bad low back pain shooting into my right leg ..I thought it would just pass but eventually I could barely put any pressure on my leg. I went to my pcp, chiropractor, pain management and then finally a neurosurgeon. MRI results came back and here I had a massive herniated disc on my L-4 L-5 region causing right leg sciatica. I was losing weakness in my leg and starting to have nerve damage. They decided injections was not going to fix the problem and that I needed to have a microdisectomy right away. After surgery I could immediately feel the relief...however now 4 months post op I just had another MRI and found the same disc region reherniated. I feel the same pain I had before surgery but not as bad. My suggestion would be to ask lots of questions, they currently have me on a dose of steroids and it’s helping but will need to re-evaluate the reherniation with the surgeon.

Hope this shines some light on your situation & Good luck!!


I had similar symptoms from a herniated disc at L5/S1. My initial herniation was 7mm X 10mm . It was horrible. I had a microdiscectomy after conservative treatment did nothing. I felt great immediately after surgery- all the nerve pain was gone.

Approximately six months later I started having nerve pain again. The same disc reherniated (2.7 cm!) I had a second microdiscectomy, but still had nerve pain.

Another mri- another herniation (2.5 cm!). Spinal fusion got rid of the nerve pain.

Unfortunately, the pain is back and I might have now herniated L4/L5 (waiting for the mri) that had a tiny tear show up on my first mri. Needless to say, it's not been a fun two years.

The only treatment I didn't try was epidural injections, so I don't know if they'll help you. The pain you have absolutely sounds like a herniated disc could cause it. Good luck!