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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hello all,

I am in need of some advice! I have a large herniation at L5-S1 and have been getting care from a neurosurgeon and pain management doctor since November 2012. I got my first intralaminar epidural steroid injection in May of this year. The shot increased my back pain and leg symptoms severely for one week after shot. On the 8th day, I felt much better and experienced about a 60% relief in symptoms for around 5 weeks. I just got the second injection Thursday, August 1st. The symptoms were different this time in that the following 2-3 days after the shot I felt okay and only had a minimal increase in tingling in the legs. But the problem starts here - day 4 after shot I started noticed this feeling in center of low back right around small of back and site of injection, a feeling of pressure and pulling, as if someone was pushing their fist into my back. I also noticed a burning sensation. It became more and more noticeable. Around the same time I also started having burning in the bottom of both heels and a feeling of pebbles being stuck in between my pinky and 4th toe on right leg (right leg always been worse). I called the MD who did the injection on day 5 to report these symptoms and he said he was not concerned but if I wanted to I could go to ER and have them rule out spinal hematoma, which he said was very rare, especially since I am 26 and on no anticoagulants. I decided to wait it out. The pressure feeling and leg symptoms continued and on day 7 following shot, the pressure feeling in low back became more persistent and noticeable and also my right leg became numb from buttocks down thigh, and down into calf. Buttocks also has a cold and burning sensation. I called MD again and he again said he was not concerned as the medicine from injection can take some time to work, but he advised I go to ER to be on safe side and rule out hematoma.

I went to ER, waiting several hours, to see MD who told me he believes I am just experiencing "disc pain and sciatica irritation." He said MRI not available at the time but hesitantly offered a CT scan 'if I wished.' I declined scan due to radiation concern (I've had 3 in the past).

I am able to walk on tip toes, lift both big toes up etc if this matters. I have had no issues with bowel/bladder except some constipation but I've been taking tramadol for the pain. However, I have also noticed this - the pressure/pulling feeling in back is only felt standing, walking and lying down on my sides (it is not felt lying on back). As soon as I sit down the feeling is immediately gone. This has been very odd and different to me because lying down on my side with pillow between knee and knees brought up like fetal position has always relieved all pain, and also sitting has always aggravated the low back pain. Slight numbness is also still noticed in right leg. Also, when my blanket or pants rub against legs it feels 'weird,' like an irritation. I can't really describe it otherwise but these things are all new to me, and I have had this disc problem since I was 15, period of no symptoms from 18-26, re-injured it at 26 back in Nov 2012. Last MRI done Dec 2012 which showed large central/right sided disc herniation at L5-S1 with slight nerve root compression, more so on the right side.

I apologize for being so long winded, but MD's do not seem concerned, are not taking me seriously, and don't know where else to turn to. I really appreciate your help!

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