L5S1 herniated disc problems

XplorinXplorin Posts: 1
edited 03/02/2019 - 1:43 PM in New to Pain

My daughter who is 15 years old has a herniated disc at L5S1 with several issues that seem to be going on with it.  We can't pin point exactly how she injured her back in November, she just woke up one morning saying the side of her hip felt like it was burning.  The local doctor initially thought she had a pinched nerve and that was all.  As time went on her problems and pain have intensified , she has pain going down her left leg, pain behind her knee cap, and pain/numbness on the right side of her foot especially in her big toe area.  At times she wakes up in the mornings crying that it feels like her big toe has a knife jabbed into it.  Another big issue she is having is a cold foot and ankle.  Her left foot is much colder to the touch than the right ( her non injured side ).  Blood flow in her foot/ankle are has been check and it came back ok, but to feel how cold it is you would think there isn't any flow.  Along with the coldness feeling also is pain and numbness.  She has been to a few different doctors and has now been going to UVA to see a spine specialist.  So far she has had 2 spinal injections and nothing seems to be helping.  The first injection was a nerve block which actually cause her a lot more pain for several days , with an end result of not helping at all.  The second shot was an epidural at L5, we gave it the up to a week game to see if it would help, and again in the end it ended up doing nothing at all to help her.  After an appointment again yesterday with one of the main surgeons at  the next step he wants to do is 2 more MRI's , 1 of the middle back and of the upper back, to make sure something else isn't going on, he feels like she has so many things going on that possibly the L5S1 disc isn't causing all the problems.  The good thing is her doctor wants to do surgery at a last and final resort if all else fails, but so far nothing else seems to be helping.  My daughter is of a petite frame and is very athletic involved in both volleyball and soccer, and of course since this has been going on she's been unable to participate in any sport.  She limps around and uses crutches if she has to farther than across the room, can't bend over, and can't even carry her own book bag at school. 

If anyone has any advice or personal experiences they could share with a similar situation I'd greatly appreciate it.



Edited by Sandra to remove medical facility name.



  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,406
    edited 07/30/2019 - 3:57 PM

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    i am so sorry to hear about your daughter. we all know what she is going through but it's so tough when it's a young child.
    in my experience with the epidural shots, they will do them in a series of 3, trying to get the inflammation down. and from what you said, it sounds like her doctor wants to do all of the conservative methods before surgery.
    the other option would be to get a second opinion. did the surgeon say when he is going to do the mri's?

    please keep us posted on what happens next.

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,128
    edited 03/02/2019 - 3:34 PM

    I had to have three MRI’s too (cervical, thoracic and lumbar). 

    I would wait until you get the results of those MRI’s as a surgeon told me that a thoracic herniation can cause pain in the leg.

    However, according to the surgeon a herniated thoracic disc is more likely to cause groin pain and/or pain only above the knee in the leg. 

    Based on my own experience where her problems are located I’d be surprised if her lumbar region isn’t the culprit. 

    But like I said if I was in your shoes it makes sense the doctor wants imaging of the entire spine, just to rule in or rule out a cervical or thoracic issue.

    The thoracic spine is generally considered less vulnerable (again in my experience only, talking with my doctors) because of the protection the rib cage provides to the thoracic discs.

    Good luck and please keep us updated.

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