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Old 01-10-2012, 12:34 AM
8,161 posts, read 9,361,414 times
Reputation: 10332


I had sciatica so bad that it became debilitating. It got to the point I couldn't walk, couldn't drive, and I had to go on extended leave from work while I sorted things out. It started when I herniated a disc. Went to an er, had an mri, and went to a physiatrist (rehabilitation MD). He did a series of epidural shots, which didn't work. Saw a chiro, didn't work. At this point my doc put me on percocet and prescribed physical therapy. I did several months of PT, and that was a TREMENDOUS mistake. That made what was already a living hell even moreso. I was in extreme pain each session, yet they insisted I push on. I finally put a stop to it, saw the MD again, and got another MRI. My herniation had quadrupled(!) in size and fragmented during pt. The dr said I was risking perm. nerve damage and possibly a life time of pain even if they successfully decompressed the nerve. He referred me to a surgeon.

I wanted to die. The pain was overwhelming, and inescapable. I was in agonizing pain every single minute of every day. I saw the surgeon, and he did emergency surgery the next morning. Well, it's been about 5 months now, and I feel like a million bucks! I do have some nerve damage, the nerve was just so severely compressed and for so long (about 10 months) that the surgeon thinks the damage will be permanent. I have a strip down the entire length of my leg that has no feeling whatsoever, as well as most of my foot. However, all the pain is completely, 100% gone. Biggest mistake I made was waiting so long to get it done. I herniated out so much of my disc material that there isn't much left, just a thin layer. Surgeon says I will need to get a fusion done there within 5-10 yrs depending on how quickly the disc degenerates. Had I gotten the surgery before PT, when my disc material was still mostly contained, he said I wouldn't be looking at future fusion at all.

So for me, surgery was the turning point. I was reluctant to go that route, to my own detriment. But it's individual. I have a brother in law who had this exact surgery several years ago. It didn't go well, he's had nothing but issues, had two more surgeries since, and cannot work and is on disability. It has caused him to drop into poverty. This was my fear, but at the point I finally got the surgery done, I was contemplating suicide. I was living in hell and was to the point I could no longer cope with it. I felt I had nothing to lose and went for it.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:07 PM
Location: Neither here nor there
14,810 posts, read 13,558,144 times
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I would try everything possible before resorting to surgery. Colloidal gold worked for me several years ago--one dropper daily--more than that is a waste and will not speed recovery. In four weeks it was greatly improved and totally gone by eight weeks. I have never had a recurrence and the condition had plagued me for well over a year--sometimes I even had to get up at night and walk around for 10 minutes to alleviate the pain that woke me up.

Some people have had good luck with acupuncture, so it's worth considering that, too.

Do some research on the internet. Here's a place to start. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colloidal_gold

Good luck.
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Old 02-02-2016, 02:36 PM
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my legs and feet go numb, as well as my hands and fingers, it hurts but keep walking and exercise, it just dosent seem to go away, vitamins help what kind?
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:34 AM
Location: Seattle
1,483 posts, read 1,956,966 times
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I had to have surgery. Much like the above poster, I reached the point where I couldn't stand or walk. I hadn't been able to sleep in months, and the pain was so acute I lost 20 pounds because I was too nauseated to eat. Exercise, PT, injections, etc. I did them all and things only got worse.

If yours is only getting worse - go see a reputable surgeon. A good one won't do surgery if you don't need it.

I saw one of the best surgeons on the west coast, and I can say - he wouldn't have done the surgery if he felt there were any alternative options for me (turns out my spine has a defect that complicates things). He also operated very cautiously and left as much intact as possible. According to him, the more invasively you operate, the greater the chance of complications and continued pain, and thus more surgery, down the road. His greatest wish was to never see me again, and likewise. Surgery isn't always a step in the right direction - while it can be a fix for the immediate issue, often that issue just moves to the next set of vertebrae and then that gives out, and so on until you're a regular on the operating table and can't remember a life without pain. I'm grateful it was an option, but it wasn't a 'cure'. I definitely have permanent nerve damage which affects my left leg and foot (from the nerves that leave that area being compressed for so long), and the list of things I need to avoid if I don't want another surgery would make me cry if I dwelled on it. My surgery had a good outcome though. I can walk and I'm not in pain every minute of the day. I'm deeply, profoundly grateful for that.

My back has just as many bio-mechanical forces operating on it as before and less structure to absorb or deflect them. I am very conscious of this and protect what's left fiercely (also like the previous poster, there's not much left). I have re-learned how to do everything, from picking up a bag of groceries to walking to sitting in a chair, so that I do so in such a way to minimize impact and torque to my spine. People tell me I move like a dancer and I just smile and say thanks. However, this also means people think I'm 'whole' and are often disbelieving when I decline an activity because it's on my 'never-do-this-unless-you-want-to-risk-damage' list. Bucking peer pressure and saying 'no' is something I have to do frequently, and yeah - it gets darned old, fast. There are times at work where I have to be a prima donna and insist on being able to work in a way that's ergonomic. I also picked a job where the stress level is lower and the hours are generally capped at 40. I am religious about diet and exercise. I have to advocate for my back because it can't do so for itself. Most of us are our own worst enemies, so this doesn't come naturally.

It's been almost 10 years, and from the outside you would have no idea I'd ever had back surgery or been in that much pain. One the inside, it's something that has changed every aspect of my life.

Sincere best wishes OP. Pain sucks. Reading other perspectives helps up to a point, but this is a unique journey for everyone, and yours will be as well. Take care of your body, it needs you.
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:01 PM
Location: In a vehicle.
4,547 posts, read 2,769,834 times
Reputation: 7306
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I need it to stop, and I need it fixed NOW. MRI is scheduled for next week and if laser surgery is an option I'm jumping on it. I'm miserable right now.
I have it, but I went to a doctor and get gabapentin for it at the moment. Thing is, it's kicked in faster than I thought it would...Just had a s"Slight" dizzy moment with a online interviewer. I was told it would take time, but dropped one last night and took one at 1 pm today....Dang, I haven't felt any pain most of the day (Slight twinges) and so this may help till I meet with the doctor again...

Had x-rays done of hip area so to give better idea of situation.
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:34 PM
18,761 posts, read 6,129,215 times
Reputation: 12658
I ended up with horrid sciatic nerve damage from a hysterectomy in the 80's...came home from hospital and it HIT me really hard. Went to a chiro every day for a week and after days of not getting relief, this old healer knew about moving the nerve internally. So he put on rubber glove and moved the nerve and I got relief immediately.

There are PT workers who do with work as well. You need to find them.

I'm in So. Cal. and we seem to have many alternative healers in this state.

I do stretches for this nerve issue daily and overall I'm OK after 30+ yrs,,but it's there and if I get stressed that is where it hits me.

Now I deal with Femoral Nerve Damage from a hip replacement in 2010. Another Nerve damage from a surgery. From a naturopath I took 2 supps that got rid of the BURN, but the thigh is 80% numb. Don't know if this nerve area will ever come alive.
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:24 AM
3 posts, read 1,537 times
Reputation: 10
that's mean .. Some surgery
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