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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi - My situation is much like yours. I have spinal stenosis and have the same problem as you do - i.e. I can walk about 1/4 mile before my legs feel tired, especially my right leg. I have had three steroid shots for sciatica in my left leg and am now free of pain but do have a burning feeling in both legs at night, which is annoying but bearable without medication. When I had the sciatica, I was taking neurontin to help with the pain but it didn't help enough.
I have seen both an orthopedist (who gave the shots) and a neurosurgeon.
The orthopedist said that my sciatica could return at any time or I could be pain-free for a year or more. He was very vague about whether or not having surgery would help. His answer to that was, "I just give injections - you'll have to see the surgeon to learn that". Therefore, I decided instead to see a neurosurgeon. He told me that spinal stenosis is very common and that some people are bothered by it and some never even know they have it.
He said that as long as I could stand any discomfort I am having now I should NOT even consider surgery, since there is only a 50% chance that it would be successful and that it could even make my condition worse.
He is a very well known back specialist and has done many fusions, etc. He also said that waiting for surgery would not make my stenosis worse, which was a main concern of mine. Question for you: Did you have an accident which caused your stenosis or did it just happen? did you have sciatic pain which went down your leg(s)? And, is your condition degenerative (mine is, although the MRI showed that I have "mild" stenosis.) Whatever you decide, I wish you good luck! Sorry this is so long!

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