Herniated Disc L & S1 (sciatic nerve pain)
kristy78 posted:
I am 35 years old. Two years ago my back went out due to me picking something up that was too heavy. After a trip to the ER I was fine. They gave me a shot & sent me on my way. About a year ago I started getting pain in my lower back (mostly on my right side) never really bothered me. It was occasional pain but this things took a turn for the worse. I stared getting pain in my buttock on my right side, then the pain radiates down my leg, & I get numbness in my leg & toes. The pain is so horribly intense & painful. Worse then labor. I can no longer stand for more then 5 minutes, It's extremely painful to walk. I have to get in a fetal position to stop the pain. I can no longer walk in the grocery store, I can't enjoy the simple fun things with my daughter because of this constant pain. I am currently going through pain management & the want to get me started on the epidural steroid injection shot. I am nervous because I have been getting the cortisone shot every 2 weeks & they don't work...nothing is working. I am debating between the epidural shot & surgery. I don't want to keep injecting stuff into my body for temporary relief and then a year from now still need surgery. I understand that the epidural is for pain...it's not going to help shift my disc back into place & off my nerves. I had recently seen by a neurosurgeon who went over the MRI images & showed my disc on my nerves which is causing sciatica. I am a single mom & need something that will work, not temporary relief. Any suggestions? Any feedback on the epidural shot vs. surgery? I am having a hard time deciding what route to go. I believe it will be a microdiscectomy. The doctor said it would be a simple surgery to remove the disc off my nerves. The success rate is 95%, but my whole thing is the recovery. I was told it would take two weeks & to take it easy & being that I work in an office environment that I could go back to work within a couple days as long as I don't do any heavy lifting (which I can avoid).
I am deathly afraid of being put under & them cutting me open but I don't know if it would be worth doing the epidural injection shots for 9 months because its not going to shift my disc back in place & off the nerves. After researching the epidural injection is recommended for lower back pain. My pain is in my buttocks & my leg...pain in these areas I have read they do not recommend the epidural shots. I do not want to be injected in my spine for temporarily relief if I'm going to have to have surgery in the long run. I am trying to weigh my options & make the best decision for my health, my spine & for my daughter & I.

Please help me.

bj1208 responded:
Hi Kristy78 - welcome to the support group

I'm sorry no one responded.

I and others understand fears of being put under and operated on - as a matter of fact I will be having a 2nd fusion surgery (lumbar) done after the first of the year - I'm not looking forward to it but am looking forward to having a more stable spine.

You should speak with your surgeon about your fears - etc and they may have you see a psychologist to help.

There is always the toss-up of having surgery - the what if's etc. especially when small children are at home. During your first month maybe two you should have some extra help as you will NOT be able to pick up your child(ren), not allowed to pick up anything over 10 lbs - no bending/stretching etc. so you may want to make sure you have all your P's and Q's in order. Also items you use every day you will want to put them on the counter to keep from bending.

Please let us know how u are doing and when your surgery will be
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Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
tlh509 responded:
Hi Kristy: like you, I have been getting the epidural shot, one so far. I too have ridiculopathy, pain and tingling/numbness that goes down my left leg and into my left foot. I am so sorry to hear yours do not seem to be helping. I think mine are. They don't get all the pain but alot of it. I agree with Joy here and would recommend you speak to your surgeon. Lay it all out on the line I guess you could say. Does he recommend the surgery then or something else? Make the best choice you can with the info you receive. There is alot of material about back surgery and back pain and alot of other resources on webmd. Good luck and keep us posted! Tom