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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Hello all...I've been around the board for a few months. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has dealt with a herniated disc that has a fragment (or sequestered) portion broken away and pressing/impinging a nerve.

I have been trying for the last year to avoid surgery. In early 2012, I got about 95% better after 3 injections and PT. However, as much as I have strengthened my core, and continually kept up with exercises to help with muscle imbalances, etc., even though I got better, one move could take me weeks back to where I started. In Sept 2012 I was startled and twisted, and within a couple of weeks pain returned and numbness set in. I learned from MRI and consult with spine surgeon that I have:

*severe compression of S1 nerve root from L5/S1 herniation that has fragmented. I have other things such as osteoarthritis, but this framented herniation appears to be the greatest issue causing my symptoms.

Last week I ended up in emergency with indescribable pain, inability to walk, etc. I have decided that microdiscectomy is my only choice at this point, but given the holidays it will be late Jan. before that will take place.

In the meantime, while severe pain has diminished likely from the intraveneous predinizone and other medications, I am fearful of exercise, but I am also fearful of not doing anything for the next few weeks until I can have surgery. I currently have numbness everywhere along the S1 nerve root (as noted on a dermatome map) and weakness has increased. I can no longer lift myself on toes on my left (afflicted side) and I have a bit of a limp.

I've had numbness since late September, but after most recent onset from a simple squat to pick up something from floor, numbness and weakness is worse.

Does anyone have a very similar experience? Should I continue to exercise and do traction?(I had recently been prescribed a home traction unit) Or should I only try to walk? (With the winter weather even that is a challenge outside). I use an infared heating pad which helps and am taking ibuprofen until I see the surgeon in Jan. I'm so afraid of making things worse. My OD said I could do home exercise, but what does that mean? I fear he isn't sure either.

Any help or experiences appreciated.
(Thanks already to teteri66 for helping with understanding of my most recent MRI. :-))
You have been through a lot. But at least you are better than before surgeries. That is what I am hopeful for as well. I had 4 ESI injections this year, but I think it was in Sept. when the disc actually became fragmented. In late Sept. was the first time I developed numbness along the S1 nerve route. It got a little better after my October ESI. The pain was much better. But...a simple squat thinking I was protecting my back has now ...2 times...thrown me back into incredible pain. So, at this time, all the medications helped and I'm just trying to carefully pass the time until I can see the surgeon again. In Nov. he said if I proceeded with surgery it would be microdiscectomy. The most recent MRI shows the same issues although I think I also have a problem with facet joints being inflamed and I'm having more back/hip pain I think from that. Yesterday I went ahead and did a few exercises knowing I will just stop if it hurts. I think I am getting stiff from having exercised so much and then none at all.

I have often read that 6 months is the timeline...so it will be 4 months of numbness that got better and then worse by the time I see the doctor. It will also be 1 month at that time that I started to experience weakness and could no longer lift off my left foot. So given the holiday, I am praying it hasn't been too long by the time I can get this done.

Thanks for your information and Merry "Pain Free" Christmas to you!
So sorry about that. It's awful when you start feeling better and all you do is cough, sneeze, or move a little and you're suddenly in excruciating pain again. I definitely feel for you. I really hope that the numbness and pain do get better while you are waiting to see your surgeon. I had a lot of numbness too, one time for about 3 months, but it did get better. A microdiscectomy is definitely a minimally invasive surgery, so hopefully that will do the trick for you....and you won't have to be out of commission for months while you heal. You do still have to be very careful afterwards....even more careful....especially not to bend, twist, etc..





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