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Issue with burning foot and glute

Hi all,

I decided to start a thread in the hope of finding other people who are presently or have had a similar issue to the one I'm experiencing right now.

I am now 38 and have a denegative back condition that seems to have 'flared up' in the last 6 months. The crux of my issue is at L5/S1. It is in this space where I had a micro-discectomy in 2009. To be honest, I've had very few issues since then.

MRI on 12/3/13 releaved such things as:

* disc dessication and loss of height
* right lateral modic type 1 signal abnormality
* mild right facet arthropathy
* small disc protrusion in the far right lateral positon, which causes some displacement of the L5 nerve root

A more recent MRI (23/6/13) showed similar:
* intervertebral disc height reduced
* end plate degenerative changes
* no significant compression
* right sided focal bulge of the disc into the neural foramen without significant compression

A recent CT scan reported moderatly severe bilateral facet joint hypertrophy which "raises the possibility of bilateral L5 nerve root impingement.

To match these results with my present symptoms has been difficult to say the least.

For me, right now, I am experiencing mostly an intermittent burning in the right foot and glute. This mostly occurs in the afternoon.

I'm aware of the fact that my posture and the fact that I have a desk job is greatly contributing to this. My rationale is that I'm sitting all day (I still get up every 20-30 mins to go for a brief walk), then I get up and the nerve root starts to get some action (i.e. rubbing).

What I dont seem to understand is this: why does it happen only late in the day? I have no pain or discomfort when sitting down. The burning is just an issue when walking, however when I'm at the gym doing the stepper or treadmill (just walking), I rarely notice it.

I've had a doctor recommend a lumbar ESI (epidural steroid injection) but I've been reluctant to go down this path just yet because it is not debilitating.. just annoying and perhaps producing some mild discomfort.

What I'd like to know is: has anyone else experienced something similar to this? What did they do? How long was it an issue and how did they resolve it?

Most of the doctors seem unconcerned and a surgeon has told me that from what he observed on my MRI films and report, it does not warrant an operation.

My pain seems to improve and then get worse with activity. That simply means that I have no pain/issues when working out (i've eliminated squats and deadlifts and anything else that causes compression gtom my routine... simply because I see that as preventing further 'damage') but 12-24 hours later... depending on what I do.. I can experience that 'burn'.. not always, just sometimes.

I've tried a course of antibiotics recently, as there had been some reports of studies conducted recently where people with Modic Type 1 changes had experienced relief and an easing of their symptoms as a result of taking a 3 month course of antibiotics. This did seem to work but I believe the reason for this was not due to a bacterial infection. Anti-biotics seems to suppress something the body produces when there is inflammation. It is called TNF and it can contribute the way pain in perceived by the body. Unfrotunately, it only works while you're taking the meds and I dont see taking antibiotics as a long term solution. Modic Type 1 changes seem to be associated with an inflammatory process and I have been thinking that this could be the source of my issues.. however I am still confused as to why inflammation would just target the glute and foot??? Wouldnt the pain travel along the ENTIRE nerve?

I rarely take NSAID's.. but I do have no issues taking Panadol (and perhaps Neurofen) for when I get a 'flare up'.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,694
    edited 07/25/2013 - 8:40 PM
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    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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