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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Not sure what to do
Feb 11, 2007
Hi, I'm new here and have been reading threads for the past hour or so and many of them have been very helpful. I think I've looked thru just about everything but I still have a couple of questions. I may have missed something though so forgive me if these questions have been answered before.

Okay, here's what's going on: I work a physical job which I'm sure caused my problem....right now I'm on disability and workmen's comp. I haven't had surgery yet but I've seen a neurosurgeon who recommends a lumbar laminectomy. I started having severe sciatica pain around Thanksgiving which eased on it's own after a couple of weeks and I was able to get around just fine with no pain at all at any time. But, worried about what had happened, I went for an MRI which showed herniated disks at L2 & L3 pressing on nerves. The pain had been awful at night after working all day but in the morning and throughout the day I was fine. After seeing the herniations my Doctor recommended steroid injections and PT. I felt very good at the time...completely normal...but followed his suggestions. I had an injection on Wednesday, Jan 17th and saw the PT for the first time 2 days later. The PT gave me an excercise which had me kneeling, bending forward and walking my hands to each side as far as I was able and then holding the position for 5 seconds.

Within 2 days of doing these excercises the sciatic pain came back with a vengeance. It hurt [I]all [/I]the time and by Thursday, Jan. 25th I couldn't make it into work and have only worked 2 days since (light duty). At that point I stopped seeing the PT. The following Monday I woke up and couldn't move an inch without excrutiating pain and had to be rushed to the hospital where I had a 2nd steroid injection. After that I forced myself to get out and walk - with a cane - which does help quite a bit. After a few days of walking farther and farther each day I started to feel almost normal during the day, walking unaided and without pain, but mornings are still quite an ordeal. I need 2 vicoden plus a muscle relaxant and it takes nearly an hour before I loosen up. Once I'm able to move around I feel very unstable...as if the slightest wrong move will set off the pain again. But I'm able to get around pretty well - as long as I keep moving and don't rest for too long at any one time.

I'm scheduled for a third injection on Tuesday and if that doesn't help I suppose surgery will be the only option left. So here are my questions:

- Is it possible that the first steroid injection inflamed the nerve and will another injection just cause more problems?

- How likely is it that the pain and instablity will ease without surgery?

- Is using a back brace for stability a good idea with pinched nerves or will it cause further nerve compression?

- I realize that it's different for everyone but about how long after surgery are you able to get around fairly well?

- I'm 49, otherwise healthy and normally active...what's the likelihood that I'll ever be able to return to previously normal activities?


Thanks for reading all this. And thanks for whatever info/opinions you can provide. Advice or ideas from people who've been thru similar things will help so I really appreciate it.

Sue





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