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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

My back pain started with a sharp pain to the left of the coccyx about 6 years ago. It turned out to be pressure on a sciatic nerve root. There are branches of the sciatic nerve which extend out all over the lower back, buttocks, and down the legs, so you can feel referred pain in any one of these areas if the sciatic nerve is being pushed on by disc material, a cyst, or bone.

The pains I thought I had over the years - possible tendonitis, a hip injury, etc. - all turned out to be sciatic nerve pain. It took an MRI, and the sciatic pain getting bad enough that it affected my left leg down to the ankle, for me to finally realize that had been the problem all along.
My coccydyna started two weeks after L3-L4 decompression surgery (to resolve left leg sciatica, successfully, 6 months ago). Now I have left side anal, levator ani, and medial coccyx pain, along with minor leg pain (the leg pain is only a slight symptom). Since I also had L4-L5 stenosis at the time of my surgery, perhaps the remaining untreated stenosis is pinching nerves in my butt? One surgeon wanted to decompress both levels six months ago, but I went for the single level surgery. Was your butt pain significant and how did they suspect that it is from your back (as opposed to coccyx misalignment or levator ani or piriformis syndrome)?

My cause became evident after we did an MRI which found a synovial facet joint cyst putting pressure on my L5 sciatic nerve root. We tried injecting it first to rupture it before surgical removal. The rupture was unsuccessful, so the injected cyst was then twice as large; pain increased and spread from my lower back across the buttock, to the front side of the hip and along the ankle. Pressure on the L5 nerve root was responsible for all these things - as soon as the cyst was removed, pain in all these areas went away.

It sounds like your pains are probably from a part of the sciatic nerve that is under pressure or perhaps just temporarily inflamed from your surgery. Have they done an MRI since?

Another way they can diagnose where pain is coming from is with nerve block injections.

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