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Back Problems Message Board

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Hi everyone,

Since my surgery in '06 I did pretty well for 6 months after, except I felt a pressure type pain deep in my outer hip areas after walking for a couple hours. I did tell my surgeon about it and I also had my hips MRI'd by a hip specialist in the same group. I do have mild OA in there, particulary my right, but it wasnt of any great significance. The hip doc thought maybe it stemmed from my spine. So I just didnt walk around for TOOO long. 6 months later, though, I was hit with severe left sided sciatica, which was mostly due to scar tissue and stuck tissue in the lateral recess at L5. I got a nerve block, which helped my pain. However, the MRI did show 2 large herniations, 2 bulges and bilateral facet thickening/spurring with encroachment from L2 through S1. So in essence, since my surgery, all these levels are now getting worse, which I knew would probably happen, but none of this seemed to be causing me any problems (yet).

But since my surgery, it seems every few weeks I get an episode of something that is causing nerve compression. I am positive that at least 2 times it must have been a herniation b/c I felt a certain spot in my spine that felt a pop and felt like I was stuck there with a hot poker. Then I got nerve pains shooting in both outer hip areas, had to shuffle, and then the spasms started in. Other times I had nerve pain & other symptoms come on slowly until they got real bad; other times I've felt fine one day, then woke up the next morning in agony. So either i Keep getting herniations or scar tissue is causing me problems. I did not get an MRI every time I get an episode b/c I really hate getting MRI's anymore and i've had so many. I almost feel bad for my insurance company LOL. Some times my nerve pain & symptoms would go away for the most part over 2 to 3 weeks. Other times not. But over time, this nerve pain in my hip areas has stayed, sometimes mild though. Other times excruciating where I couldnt move or walk. I had more ESi's in December and through the end of January, which did help alot. I was able to walk around longer without much pain.

My last ESI was Jan 28th and it's worn off by now. Slowly I have nerve pain coming back. I also have alot of spasms & cramping all over. But the nerve pains & parasthesias seem to only happen while I'm either walking or sitting. I do have some light pins & needles in my toes while laying down, but not really any nerve pain now while lying.

Im starting to think this is getting ridicuous with the nerve pains im getting. It's getting more prominent in my outer hip areas, worse in the left. The other day I got what I thought felt like nerve pain above my left knee on the front. I am getting more frequent spurts of nerve pains again in the tops of both feet. One I got the other day was so intense, I could almost feel it in my brain LOL, it's hard to describe. Like I could hear the zapping of it. I am also getting sharp, quick pains in my right heel, the outside of my right ankle, adn the insides of both ankles!! Also, just recently, while walking, I got what I think might be nerve pain down the front of my left thigh. I also have worsening cramp-like pain in both sides of my rear which goes down the backs of my legs a bit, which is worsening. And now I also have it in the front of my thighs, more notably on the left. I'm also finding myself, once again, leaning a bit forward and to the right. It's just seeming ridiculous that Im getting nerve pains in all these areas! All of the nerve pains seem to happen only while walking or sitting. I dont seem to have any right now while laying down, though. And Im still pretty much able to my PT exercises without nerve pain getting in the way.

Then the other day I sneezed, but none of my nerve pain worsened. I know sometimes when I had sciatica & I was soo afraid to sneeze as it worsened the pain even more. However, yesterday while sneezing, my left hand got pins & needles in some fingers. I just hope this isnt a sign of problems to come in my cervical spine now.

But anyway, sorry this was so long....does or has anyone else had nerve pain only while walking around or sitting too long? Or sitting in certain positions? (I notice that sitting in my car is worse and the more I try to walk, the worse all my symmptoms get)

Oops, also, my leg cramping gets worse the longer I stand, but the nerve pains do not
Hi Bay, I am so sorry you are going through all this. Here is my 2 cents.I have cervical and lumbar fusions and as you know I have had a lot of trouble with my feet, but I have nerve pain in my legs everyday and have had since 1998. My PM had me have another mri of the cervical spine and the stenosis in my neck is bad again and I haven't had lumbar spine mri'd in awhile but I suspect it is worsening too. Today for the first time I actually had the stupid nerve pain in my thigh ( from hip to knee) while I was lying down. Do you have spinal stenosis too? If so that may be why your having so much nerve pain, but I don't understand the cramping. I hate to say it but maybe you should get the cervical spine mri and maybe an emg to see what is going on with the nerves. I wish that maybe you'd wake up one morning and poof no more pain. Wouldn't that be great? I dream of that for myself all the time. I hope at the very least you get some answers. I know for me having an answer helps me deal with the pain better. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Take Care, Dee
Deb - yes, I know many of the pains i'm feeling are also nerve pain b/c it's usually electric and shocking. I had a bout of horrific nerve pain all down my left leg with numb foot, no reflex either, and pain shooting from my rear down to my foot!!! I'm trying to think if I ever got an itchiness over the areas of my nerve pains, not really that I can recall. The only itchiness i've had that may be related to all this is when I get feelings that something is crawling on me, but nothing is there LOL. This may be similiar to what (I think) Sage was talking about feeling like water running down her leg. I do get itchiness and hives and such, but not usually related to my nerve pains.

Dee - yeah from hip to knee is a new area for me. I know one day I felt a nerve like pain in a small area above my knee, then a few days later I felt it along my front thigh, and now Im feeling it all along that area. Before my surgery in '06 I did have severe central canal stenosis in my lumbar spine. And this cramp-like pain I'm getting in my rear and upper legs feels very similar to some of the pain I had before surgery. It almost seems like the claudication pain again. I really hope it isnt. Dee, When I had this cramping before, it was alot more severe and it also happened when walking/standing & my surgeon had told me it was called neurogenic claudication. He said it happens when the cauda equina area starts getting "choked off", if you will from all the compression of nerves and blood vessels in there due to the stenosis. I hope it is not that developing again, I dont' see how it can be. I mean, I was pretty good for about 6 months after surgery. As for the cervical area, i've never had that examined b/c my low back was worse. I do wonder sometimes if I have the same thing going on up there. I have had bouts of pain in neck that radiated to my left shoulder, with pins & needles in my hand. It happened a couple times, but never asted longer than maybe 2 or 3 weeks. And yes, that would be a miracle if we could all just wake up one morning totally pain free!

Jonathan - thank you, actually I have been doing PT exercises since April of 2006 and have never stopped. There were long stretches of difficult times with it, but I did what I could anyway.Except where there were some days I had such severe sciatica I just couldnt do them.I started before my surgery with some awesome PT's who have helped me immensely! They even helped me out in ways they didnt have to. Once my 30 days was up with insurance, they offered me to keep going for a small fee & use their facilities. I certainly didnt turn that down and they even still give me new exercises here & there. LOL they even gave me a T-Shirt for being the person who has gone to the PT the longest. So I really have done what I can regarding this and I figure if I hadnt, I might be even worse.

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