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Sciatic nerve damage?



  • Thanks, Gwennie. He already had surgery, so there shouldn't be anything compressing the nerve. But, that is why they are doing more tests next Wednesday. I am so relieved that they are doing tests. We should have the results next Friday and I we will have an opportunity to speak with the doctor.

    We also have an Ab Lounge and I read that it is a gentle way to build up the ab muscles and is good for people with back problems. He can only do 5 sit ups on it because of the pain. That's another thing I'm going to ask his doctor... if he should go ahead and do what he can tolerate.

    I guess I don't want him to exert himself and make his situation worse, but then I'm afraid that if he doesn't do anything... that would make him worse too!
  • Hi Kim,

    I'm sorry to hear about everything your son is going through. What type of surgery has he had? If he has not had a fusion yet, I'd suggest you look into Vax-D (spinal decompression therapy) for him. It's painless and non-surgical, and the success rates are amazing.

    I hope everything works out for him, and perhaps this will be a good option!
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  • I know just how he feels. My pain also did not start in my back and I was shocked when I had a herniated disc. In my case, I delayed medical treatment only 4 months, and even after 3 surgeries (in 12 months!), I was left with permanent S1 nerve damage.

    From your description of what hurts him, my guess is his problem nerve is S1. I had to stay reclined 23 hours a day to get any relief. If I got up and walked, stood, bent over, twisted (dishwasher), lifted anything - FLARE!! A flare I couldn't calm down.

    My saving grace was the EMG and nerve conduction studies, because it proved to my docs that I had acute and chronic S1 nerve damage. At that point, they offered me the spinal cord stimulator or an implanted pain pump as my only 2 options. Keep in mind, my problems started in Aug. 2005, first surgery by Dec. 2005, all surgeries done by Dec. 2006, and continued horrid pain since then.

    The further your son's pain travels down his leg to his foot, the WORSE it is getting. So anything he can do to rest and stay off of it until you find out more, would be ideal.

    This pain from 24/7 nerve burning is excruciating. I am so sorry he is experiencing this. I am upset he was blown off as having a hamstring injury. Had he been properly evaluated, and told he had a herniated disc, he would have recovered entirely differently I would imagine.

    No one knows how long it takes to have permanent nerve damage. For me, 4 months. For others, they can ignore their problems for years, have surgery, and their nerves heal. It just really depends on the person and the injury.

    Your EMG should truly help the docs with this. I will pray that it does!

  • Hi VLK,

    My son had a diskectomy and laminectomy. I do not know if anything was "micro" or not. He incision looks to be about 2-3 inches long.

    We are leaving in just 25 minutes for his test. He is having an EMG, CT Scan and X Ray. We are hoping to meet with his doctor on Friday if all the test results are in.

    I guess I am to the point where I just want to know what is going on so I can help him plan his future.

    I will look into the Vax-D, but is it for when surgery is already done? Does it work for nerve damage, or scar tissue?

    I have a feeling I have a lot to learn! Lots of reading in my future, I'm sure!!


  • Hi Cherish,

    Thank you for your reply. We have just returned from him having the tests done. The EMG doc said that the EMG indicates a pinched nerve. Well, I assume we know that isn't the case because he had an MRI with dye a few weeks ago (month after surgery) and that did not show a reherniation. So, I am assuming that he has nerve damage. He said that he could not feel the "shocks" at all down his left let. He could feel them on his right leg.

    I'm wondering if he can't feel the shocks even down by his ankle, does that indicate that the nerve damage would be more extensive?

    Hopefully we will get to meet with the doctor on Friday to find out for sure and how bad it is. Maybe it is just mild nerve damage that might still heal over time.



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  • I had the same problem. L5 S1 Micro. surgery done and still had pain. Doc insisted that it was scare tissue from second MRI and needed time to heal as scare tissue reseads over time. I started PT but also stopped taking my pain meds in fear of addiction but continued to complain about the pain.
    Then after three months the pain got so bad I started all my pain meds back up, I stop going to work, and insisted to the doc something still was not right! He finally ordered a EMG and when I went for that test they told me the nerve was still pinched. The doc who tested me told me my Spine doc would probable need to correct by surgery.
    Well! This is where it gets interesting.
    When I went back to the doc and told him what the EMG doc said the doc then said he would review the results. After another week I get a call from my spine doc and he told me he needs to open me back up and see what he can find wrong.
    Well, they did! He went back in and said he found a few small bone pcs. but nothing that would cause the pain I had. Then just as he was about done he said he found 1 huge pcs. That finally made its way to the nerve point. And that is what finally put me out of commission.
    Well, now I'm recovering for the second time.
    Don't let the doc tell you its scare tissue or that the nerve needs time to heal. If the emg showed still pinched and the pain continues to get worse I would insist the doc open your son back up and do Clean-up where the EMG showed the nerve to still be pinched. If a foreign object is rubbing against that nerve for a long time then he will have nerve damage.
    If I wouldn't of had the emg doc tell me my spine doc would probably need to repair me to correct I would still be out of commission on major pills. Because my doc would still want to see if the nerve needs time to heal.
    If you don't feel relief after Mirco surgery there is something still wrong. Exspecially if the pain is getting worse.

  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,318
    Your situation was your situation, that does not make it the same for others. Scar tissue can cause many different problems, some which can be life long. Nerve problems can take a very long time to heal and some never do.
    I would never tell the doctors what to do. Telling him to open your back up again is something that the doctors need to determine. There are enough tests that can determine what is going on.
  • If the EMG shows pinched nerve, but that was already corrected (surgery), then would I be right to assume that the EMG is showing nerve damage? My son did not feel any shocks at all down his left leg. How significant is that?


  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,318
    for sure, but the complete analysis of the EMG is what really should tell the story.
    IF the surgery did in fact correct the Pinched nerve, how was that determined?
    Just that there are several variables at play here, I would not want to steer you into one direction or the other.
    Discuss this with the surgeon to understand what they are seeing after the surgery and the EMG results.
    That is your safest route to take right now.
  • Thank you, I will do that. And, I can also inquire as to the possibility of bone fragments that could still be in there.

    Right now, his muscle weakness is worsening, I'm thinking possibly due to any nerve damage there is. His left calf looks thinner than the right, and of course his gait is affected.

    Hopefully the doctor did successfully take care of the impingement so that no further nerve damage takes place (if that's it).

    I do like that his neuro-surgeon also did a CT Scan and X ray, in addition to the MRI with dye a few weeks ago. It appears that she's taking his condition seriously and is being thorough.
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