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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

I had my follow up with my doctor on Wednesday to go over the MRI results. He explained everything to me fairly thoroughly, and said that he thinks I need to see a neurosurgeon to be evaluated, get a more in-depth interpretation of the MRI results, and find out what treatment options I have.

We had a turn of events tonight. I bent over slightly this morning to get a cup of coffee from the end table and had a horrible pain in my left hip. After taking a pain killer and resting for 30 minutes, I was better and the pain was tolerable. Fast forward to this afternoon. I stood up and WHAM--pain that shot from the rear of my hip through to the front, down the inside of my thigh, and to my knee. I have no way of knowing what it feels like to be stabbed, but I imagine this was pretty close. It was horrific, and I couldn't get comfortable unless I was flat on my back with my legs elevated. Also, my left knee is completely numb, and that really worries me. Even the pain killers weren't helping that much, so my husband took me to the ER. I'm not sure how I feel about my visit. I saw a PA and explained to him what's been going on with my back, and that I was waiting to hear from my doctor about my neurosurgeon visit (my doctor's office is scheduling it for me, hopefully to get me in sooner than I would if I called and scheduled it myself). Anyway, I gave the PA a copy of the MRI results and he basically confirmed what my doctor said about it. He didn't examine me or anything--he said it sounded to him like I have sciatica. He offered to give me pain medicine, but I had just taken some before leaving for the hospital, so I declined. He said I needed to be on steroids to help with the inflammation and swelling. The nurse gave me a pill while in the ER, and then a prescription for 40 mg. of Prednisone once a day.

Does this seem like acceptable treatment/course of action? The pain is one thing, but it really worries me that my knee is numb. I was also going upstairs shortly after we got home, and my left leg is very weak and I stumbled. (I caught myself with the handrail on the stairs and didn't fall!)

What should I do? My family doctor has Saturday hours and I'm going to call tomorrow and see if he can fit me in. I didn't hear from his office today about the neurosurgeon appointment that they're trying to schedule for me, so I plan on asking about that, too. When the pain killers wear off, my leg is horrible and I can't stay like this for very long. Flat on my back is comfortable, and reduces the pain I'm having to a dull ache that seems to be centered near my hip joint. Any and all advice/opinions are welcome!!
I had an appointment with a neurosurgeon a couple hours ago, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

My PCP's office called them this morning and the neurosurgeon squeezed me in. I was actually seen relatively quickly--I was in and out of the office in less than 30 minutes. This is a first for me, and I'm not sure if I got gypped or not, lol

The surgeon came in with a copy of my radiologist report from my MRI and he had the images loaded on the computer in the room. I have no idea if he read the report before entering, but he did pull up the images. I explained to him briefly how this started (heavy lifting back over the summer, the problem got better after several weeks, then came back with a vengeance several weeks ago). I also told him that I had done something else on Friday, and had excruciating pain shooting through my hip, down the inside of my thigh, and to my knee. Also, my left knee is numb. I can't sit for any extended period of time without my knee hurting, and I have to lie down again and wait it out. Norco doesn't do much for the pain. My left leg is also very weak and I can't cross that leg--the muscle won't work.

He tested my reflexes in my knees, bent my legs certain ways and asked if it hurt, and held them out straight ahead of me (I was sitting on the exam table) and asked if they hurt. No to all of those. I also told him that the shooting pain that ran down the inside of my thigh Friday had not returned, but that the pain in my hip and knee were still debilitating if I sat too long.

He pulled up my MRI and pointed out what he thought was the problem--The disc between L2 and L3 (the one with the bone marrow edema, and leaking disc material). He suggested steroid injections into that area, and is going to be faxing my records to a local pain clinic near my house. He explained to me that I'd get three over a period of time. If after the third one I'm still in pain, then he'd do an outpatient procedure where he goes in and cleans out the material that's leaking out of the disc.

Does this sound standard? It's not that I want surgery, and I truly do want to try all my options beforehand, but I just felt--rushed. IDK. I imagine I could have asked him whatever I wanted, but it just bothers me that he didn't seem concerned with any of the other problems in my back, and he seemed very hurried. I understand that they "Squeezed me in" today, and I'm truly appreciative of that. I'm certainly no doctor, but after the horrible pain I experienced Friday morning, I'm willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that if I had another MRI on my lumbar spine, it would look different than the one I had several weeks ago.

I don't even know where I'm going with this. Before I got the call from my PCP's office this morning, I actually took it upon myself to schedule a neuro consult with a different practice for this Thursday. My doctor's office called and so I went ahead and snagged it because that's incredibly lucky that I got in so quickly. I'm half tempted to keep the appointment I have on Thursday so that my husband can go with me, help remember everything I'm told, ask his own questions, etc. What do you guys think?

He also was prepared just to walk out after the appointment without giving me any further instructions. I had no idea if I should continue to be on my "homemade bed rest" (I'm flat on my back about 75% of the day. I can get up for short periods, but the pain returns to my knee the longer I stand). I can't drive because of the sitting issue--my stepfather drove me to my appointment today. Within 1 mile of leaving my house, I had to recline the seat all the way to get comfortable because my knee was hurting. I asked the doctor what I should do in the meantime and he said don't sit, walking is good (even though it hurts if I'm upright for too long), and don't bend. I can't even function normally. The knee pain woke me up from a sound sleep last night but I changed positions to be on my side and was able to fall back asleep. This morning my three kids had to get themselves ready for school because the pain had returned as soon as I walked down the stairs. I spent the first 30 minutes of my day taking prednisone, my painkillers, and shifting positions on the floor trying to make the pain go away. I'm sorry to complain because I know there are people out there who are having FAR worse issues with their backs. I just can't function normally, and I really get the feeling that this doctor didn't really take me seriously.

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