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Lower back pain that radiates down leg and into foot



  • You described my symptoms. I would go see the neuro, just make sure he's a good one. I did the same thing with the sneeze and then pop. My herniation is at L4-L5 7mm. I was a canidate for surgery but was scared and opted for the epidurals first, they helped, I also did traction and currently PT. I still am considering surgery because I still have shooting pains with certain movements, and common task are painful, like putting on my sock. I went in the hospital and I could have had surgery at that point and I'm kinda sorry I didn't because now it's impossible to get appointment to see the surgeon, theres like 2 mo. wait where I live. So I have been forced to try the other alternatives. I wouldn't do PT until some pain is aleviated. My pain doctor wouldn't prescribe PT till I was in alot less pain. If your in a hurry for fast results then maybe surgery will be the fast way, other wise you could try the epidurals, they seem to help alot of people.Also not knowing your insurance but mine wanted to see that I tried conventional treatments first before they would pay for surgery. Good luck.
  • From what i have read, my symptoms indicate that i am a prime candidate for the microdiscectomy. I hope to see the Neuro tomorow, but have it scheduled for Thurs. PT didnt do anything for me but waste my time and money. The excersises just cause more pain then good. We'll see what happens though. Hoping to go under the knife within the next 2 weeks to get this over with
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  • Went and seen the Neurosurgeon today and found out that i have a bad herniation at the L5/S1 disc and that the L4/L5 disc is worn out. I was basically told i can get the Microdiscectomy which is what i am scheduled for now, or i can get the spinal fusion done. He said the micro would give me instant relief of the sciatica and over time i would gain my nerve control back. He said i would have a 50% chance of re-herniating that disk over my lifetime and i would go back to having chronic back pain from the 2 bad discs and i would probably be back later for the fusion. I am scheduled for the Micro on the 4th next week. He said i would be down for a couple weeks and could then go back to my office job and be back to normal in 6 weeks and back to heavy lifting in 12. If i choose the fusion option, he said i'd be down for 4 weeks and could be back to heavy lifting in 13-14 weeks. He said if i do the micro now, and decide to do the fustion later, that he would come through the belly and that it would be an easier procedure. What option do you think i should do?
  • black95gt,

    i too have a bad herniation at the l5/s1 disc and doctor also recommended microdiscectomy because of the amount of pain i am in. funny thing is i went from about a 8 in pain rating to a 5 in the last 3 days after seeing him. i don't know if it was the fact of seeing my mri and being completely shocked at how large the herniation is and wanting to avoid surgery, or if its starting to heal. i am taking vicodin for pain, but from 2 weeks ago to know, something is different.

    i myself am not jumping right into surgery. i guess it really depends on your situation. my doc also informed that down the road, there will most likely be more issues. the micro should be 1-2 hours and go home the same day. he also gave the same time frames for healing.

    i would read this first -

    i was told that fusion is not needed for my situation. i really don't have a recommendation for you as this is the first time i have gone through this myself. hopefully someone on here might be able to provide you with some more input on your options.

    whatever you decide, i wish you the best and fast healing.
  • Hi guys, I had microdiscectomy on L5-S1 done on 1-26-09. I am surprised to hear that some are told they can return to work so quick. My neurosurgeon has me on bedrest only getting up to walk around the house for 10 minutes each hour. I can't ride in a car until I go back for my 4 week follow up. I still have the pain in my calf and lateral side of my right foot. The most annoying thing to me is the feeling like a band around my fourth toe. Do any of you have this sensation? I hope you guys get back on here after your surgery to tell us how you are progressing. Please excuse my typos since I am typing while my laptop is propped on stomach.
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  • Hi Sandy I had a L5-S1 microDiscectomy 2 days after you 1/28/09. I had my full time spin ortho did it for me. After surgery I didn't have any sort pain besides regular pain after surgery. I didn't even take any vicodine that my ortho prescribed to me. I do have some what of numbness still in my rt leg, and outer toes and weak calf muscle, can't tip-toe. Besides that I have no pain as of today, I am walking for 2 hours avg a day and sitting about 2-3 hours a day, and I did that after my 3rd day of surgery. I have a follow up with my ortho in a week from now. I will keep you posted but so far the only thing that is annoying me is my weak calf muscle. Best of luck to you :)
  • I just had the same procedure as you yesterday, and i litteraly walked around Walmart immediatley after leaving the hospital for about 30 minutes while i was waiting for my prescriptions. I wasnt breaking speed records, but i was just tickled to walk standing straight up and with no leg or butt pain. I feel great and actually havent felt this great for a long time. The pain in the right leg and buttocks is gone. There is kinda a dullache but maybe a 1 if that on the scale. Other than that i do still have the numbing and tingling in the outter foot and the weakness in the calf muscle. I took the Oxycodine they prescribed me last night, and will probably take it before i goto bed, but other than that, im going to try to lay off of that if i can. The only pain i really have is some minor discomfort at the incision (maybe a 2 or 3 pain level). The hardest thing for me is going to be to convince myself that although i feel that i could go do a triathalon right now, i cant. Im laying here feeling like goin to work, but knowing i need to rest. I know that i dont want what i have gone through the last few months to happen again, so i will take measures so that it doesnt happen. I am going to start going to the gym this evening so i can walk on the treadmill. kinda have to since its like 10 degrees out. All in all i am happy i went through with this (at this point anyways). I will keep everyone updated as my recovery progresses
  • Nuggen, You have described my symptoms exactly. The numbness in my right foot {little toe feels like a rubber band is around it} and the calf muscle is so weak that I have lots of trouble walking. My pain in the right buttock is what scares me. It started back after sneezing yesterday. Believe me I wasn't over doing it either. I was flat on my back in bed when it happened. My neurosurgeon's post op instructions are to stay in bed for the first 2 weeks and only up 10 minutes each hour with no sitting or no riding in the car for 4 weeks. I am really disappointed that this happened since I have been so careful. I am a nurse and we make the worst patients, lol. Unfortunatly this is not my field of nursing and I don't know what to expent. Keep me updated on your recovery.
  • Hi, I had a microdiscectomy on 10/15/2008. I had a very large L5-S1 herniation that would not heal with non-surgical methods (ESI's and SNRB's). My pain level was around a 9 in my whole hip/buttock, hamstring, calf, 3rd and 4th toe, and sleeping/numb foot. I was alternating every 4 hours between Vicodin and Motrin 800's, which only knocked the pain down to about a 5. My surgery went fine and I started walking as directed the day after surgery. The pain was immediately down to about a 2 after the surgery and I didn't need any pain meds after about the 2nd day home. I have been walking about 50 minutes per day without exception since the surgery. The residual pain, which was mostly calf tightness, stayed at about a 2 for about 6 weeks. It then went back up to about a 5, in the same locations as before, almost overnight and stayed there for a couple of weeks. I was freaking out thinking that the disc re-ruptured or broke. My surgeon told me that my surgery had been "as clean as it gets" and that he refused to beleive that it was re-ruptured or broken. Nevertheless, at my urging, he referred me for an MRI last Friday. They found that the disc was not re-ruptured or broken, but there was a lot of scar tissue. They said that is pretty common and took me back immediately for a Selective Nerve Root Block right up against the S1 nerve where the scar tissue was. The selective nerve root block hurt like hell, but now almost a week later my pain level is down to about a 1. My surgeon says that scar tissue schrinks pretty easily with steriod/cortizone and hopefully, will "stay schrunk" for a long time, or forever. I don't want to get my hopes up too high but it feels pretty good right now. Good luck to everyone else who needs or has had a microdiscectomy recently.
  • Have you had trouble with past surgeries and scar tissue? My husband has always had lots of scar tissue problems after his surgery. He has had surgery twice to remove scar tissue from having gallbladder removed several years ago. I hope he never has back surgery.
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