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Lower back, legs, feet pain, numbness, stinging
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Lower back, legs, feet pain, numbness, stinging

What can cause legs, feet & toes pain, numbness & stinging? History: 13 yrs. ago I woke with intense pain inside left thigh & outside left lower leg, and I could no longer put weight on left heel without the foot flopping flat to the floor. Diagnosis was probable herniated disc with siatic (sciatic) nerve damage causing "drop foot". 2 years ago L4, L5 & S1 were fused. From the time of the first event and now (2 years after the operation), I have experienced continued and increasing pain, numbness & stinging in both legs, feet & toes. Resting lower back on heatpad helps. Bending exercise (work) increases symptoms. There is also painful swelling of cartlage in feet(and hands). I was in pain management prior to back surgery (and
still am). It seem as though I will not be able to walk in a few years. Is there any treatement that can reverse or slow this progressive and debilitating problem? Could it be arthritis? Nerve damage from surgery? Both? Is this rare? Common?
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You need to see a neurologist. The symptoms you are decribing could be due to a problem in your back or the individual nerves in your leg (periheral neuropathy). Without examining you I can not differentiate between the two. The neurologist will examine you and determine if the problem is more peripheral or central (in the back). They may perform a EMG (muscle/nerve test) to help clarify the problem, and you may need a imaging study of the spine. Good luck.
6 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel for you.  Aug 10th 2003 I fell in a man hole.  The MRI showed L5/S1 herniation.  My symptoms where the right leg and foot was numb with extreme pain which affected my breathing it hurt so bad.  I had surgery and I feel half the problem is fixed but not all of it.  Its only numb from the knee up now. I have taken the naproxen to get the swelling down and if you where to image about three inches in on the butt check it feels like theres a bone poking me.  If I do any activity then it causes irratation and then extreme pain for about two weeks until I get the swelling back down. The doctor refered me to a pain management, and emg test.  The emg said L5/S1 nerve irratation and the pain management doctor said it looks like L2 thru L5 got damaged but only L4-L5 are causing the pain.  He refered me to a different Nero Surgeon for a second opion but I can't see him until June 24, 2004.  He wants to know if the Doctor wants to do more surgery or if I should have the shots you where talking about.  Please let me know how it goes for you.  Tim Herr  ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,sorry to hear you's are in about the same shape as me.  I have had my symptoms for a about 4 years.  My pain in my back is in the T11-T12. I guess I have a bulging disc. My pain in my back is also always there, but the pain in the legs come and go, move here and there.  Its hard to tell Dr's were it hurts today, cause tomorrow it will be somewhere else.  But my feet have hurt all along, mostly in my toes. But just recently my hands have started to hurt.  I have no idea why?  I am now not able to work, and I have an appointment with the Neurosurgeon again at the end of the month.  I have seen several Neurosurgeons in the past and they tell me it's not bad enough yet(easy for them to say)  I really hope they get you straightened out and could you keep this sight posted to your progress.  I sure am interested to see how thing work out for both of you.
Take care of yourselves
NannyG
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Avatar_n_tn
I, too, wish that I could be more hopeful for you. I had two surgeries last year. My L5-S1 herniated so much I had a LT Fusion Cage Device installed. The pain is just as bad as before I had surgery. I have been in pain management for a little under two months, but I also have days where I wonder if it will ever end. I have about 2 hours a day where I can tell the medication is helping. I take 10mg Hydrcodone every 4 hours, 900mg Neurontin every 4 hours, and use 3 Lidoderm patches for 12 hours.

It is very hard to tell people aorund you how you feel all of the time. They can't always see the hurt going inside of you and sometimes there isn't a physical appearance to the pain. It is frustrating at best. But what I have learned is to be persistent with everyone who is working with you medically. I went 6 months without surgery because my Neuro thought it was just scar tissue from prior surgeries.

Even though you may not have mental health issues, your life has been turned upside down. It is depressing not to be able to do the things you used to. When the pain is at it's worst, you can feel hopeless. I think the best thing I ever did for myself was to start counseling with a competent chronic pain psychologist and my faith in God has seen me through some suicidal moments.

I just keep hoping and praying that all of the suffering is worth it and some day I can be pain free again. I wish anyone going through any kind of chronic pain the very best from the bottom of my heart and remember that God has a plan for us all and we need to keep going on to find it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the comments. I will be getting a referral to see a neurologist from my primary MD tomorrow. Now I know I'm not alone and I'll post my progress.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry about your condition. Maybe you can help me as to one particular issue - recovery from fusion. 5 years ago I had a disectomy at L4-5 to correct drop foot and radiating pain down leg.  Had recurrent herniation therefore a 2nd disectomy was performed 1 yr. later. Now 5 years later the symptoms are getting worse (never had totally recovered) and new surgeon proposes 3 level fusion L4-5-S1, as you have had. (Among other things I have a calcified fragment at L4-5 hitting nerve root).  I understand that your surgery did not go well but I am having, in general, a problem in understanding the recovery process from the surgery. Some have told me I'll be back to work in 4-6 weeks (medical personnel). Others are saying 4-6 MONTHS (patients). What was your experience?  Thanks. Anyone else have relevant experiences?
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A related discussion, nerve pain in my back, undescrible was started.
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