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L3 L3/L4 L4 L4/L5 L5 L5/S1

I have had severe pain in my left leg from foot to buttock and into back up to level T for 3 years now, it started when i knelt down at work and my left knee popped followed by shooting pain, i managed to dull the pain by pressing on the tendon, but this soon became ineffective, i had physiotherapy for 6 months then medicines( buscopan, morphiene, co-codamol, paracetamol, and many more none of which were effective) then i had tens for 6 weeks which didnt have any effect other than making the nerves spasm and hurt more,  then i hd a nerve root injection which had no effect and finally facet blocks this year. I had my first MRI in September 04 which showed herniated L4 disc with nerve compression. My spinal surgeon booked me in for a nerve decompression but by the time i saw him again the pain had got even worse so he ordered another MRI. It showed herniated L3 L4 and L5 and severe nerve root compression, which had caused my left leg to go numb in places and had reduced me to very little movement or feeling other than the intense pain. He decided not to operate and to try another route, nerve blocks, which didn't have any effect. Then i had facet block injections September this year which worked for 18 days to reduce the back pain but the leg pain remained throughout. Since then both have returned even worse and have reduced my mobility again. I saw my surgeon again in August when he told me he couldn't see any nerve compression on the last MRI and couldn't explain the numbness or pain, which confused me as he has told me the complete opposite my previous visit, and he decided he would send me to pain management. I went and was told to have a positive mental attitude and to try walking more, which felt like a kick in the teeth, after all I'd been through so far he was just fobbing me off. I am due to go back on the 7th January next year but feel it will be a wasted journey. Yesterday i knelt down and my right leg popped and since then i have had numbness and severe pain every time i try to kneel, move or bend my leg so i phoned him today to ask for advice and was told i couldn't speak to him as he was away and that he wouldn't phone me when he was back because he doesn't phone his patients, so i am left on my own in severe pain with no doctor willing to do anything that will actually help me. I hope you have some suggestions that may benefit me as i cannot continue like this, i have a daughter who is nearly one and i cannot enjoy her as she grows up because of my debilitating spinal problems. I am considering going private just so i can get my life back! Please help me...
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8 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I am sorry to hear about your condition and i can understand what you are going through.I would suggest you to change your neurosurgeon as your symptoms are quite suggestive of nerve compression. Please take all your previous MRI reports when you go to see him. I wish you luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
How are you feeling now?
So you have celebrated your daughter’s birthday recently. I feel sorry that you can’t enjoy her growing up.
Severe pain from buttock to foot suggests some severe lower back strain and injury to Sciatic nerve which supplies to knee and hips and also down to foot. It was nice and appropriate to start on analgesic with TENS, which help in recovery. But your symptoms and MRI findings suggested that you could have opted for surgery.
There are many different terms used to describe spinal disc pathology and associated pain, such as “herniated disc”, “pinched nerve”, and “bulging disc”. The bones which form your spine are called as vertebrae. The space between two vertebras is cushioned with disc. When disc bulge or break open due to any reasons like ageing (aging), or trauma to spine, it is called as herniated disc. It can happen in any region, but is more common at lower back in lumber region.
It would have been advisable for you to do physiotherapy for relief of pain and spasm of muscle, pain killers and pain management specialist for conservative management. But as this has failed, the option left is surgery. You may want to consider surgery if you have had severe shooting pain in hips radiating down to foot for more than a month. Only about 1 person in 10 still has enough pain after 6 weeks to think about surgery.
As there are complications associated with spinal surgery, the doctor will exhaust all his conservative management and then opine for surgery.
Discectomy, Laminotomy, Laminectomy or percutaneous laminectomy are usually considered surgeries.
I think you can take a review opinion and go in for surgery.
Hope this helps you.
Bye.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your advice, its good to know that someone thinks i need to see someone else. I dont know how to get referred to a neurosurgeon as he doctors in the uk are slow and generally useless, and it can take a long time to get seen. I will keep you posted on how i get on and whether i can get help for this problem.
Thanks
Sammie
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I think you should consult as soon as possible and push the doctor's for surgery if it is clinically significant to do.
Bye.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I can totally relate to what you are going through.  I have almost exactly the same symtoms (symptoms) as you.  Mine also started with a huge knee pop.  I went to rest my leg on my couch and when I brought my leg up it popped so loud my daughter heard it across the room.  I have arthritis in my legs and I went to my Rheumatologist and he sent me for a MRI and found I had some damage to my knee and I was referred to an Orthopedic doctor who in turn did surgery.  Not even two weeks after the surgery the pain was back but even more intense.  The pain would come and go at the time and for the last 4 1/2 months I have been fighting to get them to figure out what is going on.  As time has gone by the pain would come and go and then slowly got more frequent.  The pain would just shoot down my leg from my knee area.  I figured he damaged a nerve in surgery but he seemed to think it was a pinched nerve or blood clot because my leg is also swelling.  He sent me for dopplers that both came out negative for clots.  He sent me for therapy which did nothnig for me but make me have killing pain within a few hours.  MRI came back I had a cyst develop on my knee and so he put it off to be that pinching a nerve.  Then the pain just kept getting worse over time.  He sent me for a sympathetic nerve block and that seemed to just make it worse.  Now the pain is constant and never goes away shoots from my hip to the bottom of my feet.  He did a MRI last week that showed I have something going on with my L3,L4, and L5, so his next step is sending me for more therapy and to a pain control specialist.  I have made an appointment with another orthopedic doctor for a second opinion.  I too have been getting nothing but a run around with the current doctor.  I feel the same way you do.  I am so tired of being in pain all the time.  Hope this comes to an end for both of us real soon.
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Avatar_m_tn
hi.

Im truly sorry to hear about the pain you speak of i too know exactly what you mean . The pain shoots out of the left anckle region for me down my bottuck and outside front leg . I tell people Doctors the level of pain they dont seem to care or help im in such agony at times i cant even talk sit stand lay it doesnt matter. I think tomyself why ? why me ? and being told that i have to walk more is a real kick in the teeth. Im waiting for a ct scan I live in Canada we have a better then avarage medical here I am trying achiropractor one last time im hoping that by doing the right adjustments and if i stay layingdown or standing the muscles will have time to heal in the proper position thats the idea behind it . I once had pain in my knees as well had mris orthascopic surgery nothing took the pain away my doctor told me i was hooked on t3 pain killers and took me off the pills within 2 weeks i was pain free ! I wish you the best in recovery i hope to make it thru this ordeal without surgery will post anything i can if i happen to fugure this pain out ,
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144586_tn?1284669764
Whoa Nelly.

I cannot believe in this day and age this physician did not refer you to a physical therapy specialist. If he has not done so, hobble (as best you can) away from him.

This should have been square ONE. Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred dollars.

These injuries do not heal well and the condition tends to become worse with time unless immediate action is taken.  It's like getting hit by the proverbial meteor.

Generally you will require a half-dozen sessions with a physical therapist (not a chiropractor). They will teach you specific exercises that will reduce the pain.

You should ask your nes physician about prescribing use of a TENS device to deal with the pain.

You may require a laminectomy, but it is inappropriate to think about this until a program of physical rehabilitation has been ordered.

The knee is another issue.

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Avatar_f_tn
I have L3 L4 L5 issues from an injury 3 years ago.  I have seen a chiropractor and physical therapist, and received exercises/stretches (for the most part they concur so the movements have been similar and have helped to a degree).  I have not been able to consistently engage in exercises to tone muscles or keep myself in shape due to pain afterwards.  Any suggestions for exercises I might be able to due routinely to keep in shape without aggravating my back?!  

kb9680
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