Difficulty getting Referral for Prolapse/ Sciatica Please help

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Good evening people.

I'm Chris Im 33, I'm a a bit of limbo at the moment and I have found some helpful posts on here and was wondering if anybody could give me some advice.

About 4 weeks ago I noticed a slight twinge in my left buttock and thought it must just be a tight muscle, I even went to the gym and felt no pain whilst training.

The week that followed It got very painfull in my buttock and slightly in my thigh and I was fininding it painful to sit and stand. 

I went and saw a gp who did a few tests and said it was my si joint and prescribed me indomdicine and told me to take paracetomol with it.

This hardly touched the pain and I had bad side effects from it so I stopped and returned to the doctors again 6 days later, the pain was a lot worse by then. I explained this to a different gp and she basically didn't seem at all concerned and sent me off with an over the counter strengh co codomal prescription, which I got cheaper without the prescription.

The pain carried on getting worse, I was in agony sitting down and standing up, pain all through my buttock, spasams and locking up down to my ankle, having to stand still once on my feet and limp around very slowly before walking, I also got a bad spasam up my higher left back after rolling over in bed one morning.

Feeling like I was getting nowhere I went to an osteopath, she said she agreed I had an si problem but also a tight piriformus and very tight hamstrings. She massaged me and clicked my back etc, that day I felt really good and only took some medication around 8pm.

A few days after the pain was even worse so I decided to stop the medication and go to a good walk in centre I knew, so I would be in maximum pain, which I sure was, this was 6 days ago and he could see my pain, checked me out and told me he was pretty certain I have prolapsed a disk and I have siatica.

He prescribed me Naproxen 500 twice a day and 2 mg diazepam 4 times a day and told me to go back to my gp and tell them what it was and that I need a referral for an mri scan.

I went the follwing day ( Last Friday ) and saw yet another different doctor, explained to him all the gp's I had seen, medication etc and that I need to be rereffed for a scan, I told him the pain relief I was taking was not really doing a lot and he could see that so he prescribed codine and refered me, when I asked if it was to the back clinic a few miles away he said he didn't know but it would be local to me.

I am currently taking naproxen 500 twice a day diazipam 2mg 4 times a day 60 mg codine 4 times a day along with 1000mg paracetomal 4 times a day and laxatives, well I just took my last diazipam.

I am off work with no pay as I'm self employed, when I'm not in pain Im hazey from all the medication or sleeping a lot and just feel like I'm being dosed up and not getting proper help diagnosis and treatment.

I rang the doctors yesterday (Tuesday) to follow up and ask where he had referred me to and I was told he had only reffered me to a physio, I explained to the receptionist all that had happened and that I was told I need this scan and I had pressumed he had reffered me for it, she told me she would make the notes and either herself or the doctor I saw last would call me back and advise me.

I then called 111 to see if I could go to a and e and they told me I need to see my gp again within 24 hours.

I called back the doctors in the afternoon and spoke to a different receptionist who told me no notes regarding the conversation I had with the receptionist in the morning phone conversation where on my file.

I explained I had spoke to 111 and I need an appoinment within the next 24 hours, she said they had nothing and I need to call back on Friday morning, she then put me on to the receptionist I spoke to in the morning, I have to admit I was a little frustrated by now, I wasnt rude and didn't swear but I expressed I was not happy about being messed around for weeks and not getting the proper referral, she basically told me the same, that I would have to call Friday morning to try and get an appointment and I could see either of the last two doctors I had seen last. I said to her that to be honest I would rather not see either as they had not listened or helped me and could I see the first doctor I had seen but she said he had left.

So thats it I've been left another week in limbo, sorry for the long post I hope it makes sense.

I will try and go back to the doctors on Friday and get referred but I'm not holding out to much hope due to the treatment I have already explained.

Today I have not felt as much pain but I'm pretty sure that could be the medication masking it.

If you have any advise for me I would greatly appreciate it as this is effecting all aspects of my life including my mental heath as I have been on mediaction for depression for a number of years.

Kind Regards 




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29 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

    I have every sympathy for you, I went to the doctor every week sometimes twice a week for 3 months trying to get help for my back pain and left leg pain, eventually he did send me for an MRI (not sure if that's because my mum gave him a dressing down about leaving me in pain, I'm 43 by the way but mum is a force to be reckoned with :-) )

    The MRI showed prolapsed L5/S1 and trapped nerve, this was done in November, I was then referred to Neurologist who I saw in January, surgery was recommended hopefully this is taking place in the next two weeks.

    What I'm trying to say is keep going to the docs until they do something, if you can't get in tell them you will go to GP out of hours, they won't like it as they have to pay for it, good luck, insist that you get referred for an MRI and to see a neurologist

    Debbie :-)

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    • Posted

      Hi Debbie i am 42 and my mum pushed for me to bless her. She said my face was etched with pain and she couldn't bear it.  2 surgeries later after micro discectomy then spinal fusion 8 weeks ago and im in lot less pain and my spine feels stable. Wishing u well for the next 2 weeks and that's marvellous your mum was there for you. We knw our own bodies better than anyone. To think 4 years ago i suffered and GP fobbed me off with voltarol gel and then my back just went and the most unimaginable pain 
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    • Posted

      Hi Laura

      You can't argue with the power of mum, my mum said pretty much the same as yours, my GP didn't stand a chance she was determined she'd get answers and action :-).

      I'm really pleased you're doing well, keep safe xx

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  • Posted

    Dear Chris

    omg that's dreadful.i was fobbed off by GP to physio and i knew something was very wrong i had pain tightness in my lower lumbar back left buttock and down my leg and foot long story but i paid for an MRI and i had 2 prolapsed discs causing sciatica nerve pain. MRI is the only thing that can show up issues in the back insist on one. Tablets mask pain ihave just come off tramadol. I've had a discectomy and spinal fusion at 2 levels in the past 11 months. I have no sciatica now and in recovery. 

    Let me know how you get on. I ask had am SI joint injection 2 weeks ago which was great.

    be careful of chiropractors cracking your bones. It works for some. My spinal surgeon said that if youhave prolapsed discs they open up more Sofor me it was a no no 

    stay strong 

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  • Posted

    Sorry that you are experiencing so much pain. Sciatic pain is horrendous but for some people it settles down in 6 weeks to 6 months. I've been living with a disc bulge at L5/S1 pinching my S1 nerve for 5 years. To start off with acupuncture and heat can help far better than medication. I didn't get an MRI until I had had the pain for 2 years, then had steroid injections then epidurals. I have now been approved to have a fusion and been waiting for 5 months. . I now have two disc bulges pinching two sets of nerves S1 and L5 and live with sciatic pain in my left bum cheek and left leg 24/7. You do have to keep pushing but yoga and Pilates can significantly help as it can loosen muscles and help with stopping spasms. It's interesting that the osteopath noted tight muscles and you might find some relief if you can loosen these up. Sadly specialist back services are overwhelmed and under staffed, it's a long journey. Good luck 
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  • Posted

    I've been off work since September 11th.

    33yr, herniated l5

    I went to the doctors for weeks regarding back pain, fit notes, sick notes.

    I eventually got referred on to Physio funnily enough he gave me excises for a herniated disc, nothing worked I was popping more tramadol and codeine that candy.

    I went in half way through the Physio and lost my sh1t with on of the doctors, I should say tramadol gives me funny side affects, one being I speak me mind and don't care.

    Anyway he offered me more pain meds I scream at him for a MRI as nothing was helping the discussion carried on for some time, ( thankfully it wasn't my normally doctor who is pretty good)

    He eventually sent me for a MRI

    But it's not all fine sailing from there,

    Got referred to a specialist

    Referred for injection into the hip (didn't work)

    Referred back to specialist

    Sent for injection into spine canal (worked for 4 week)

    Refered to Physio

    Referred to the chief specialist Mr panicker finally

    Rendered for surgery

    In between each of those steps is at least six weeks some are more but definitely not less.

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    • Posted

      I work for tesco

      I got one weeks sick pay and have been on ssp since, my partner got offered full time hours and and possible promotion which she got

      Complete roll reversal

      My ssp will stop some time this month.

      Along with my employment.

      Tesco said I'd worked for them for 6 years so I get 6 months support which had ended so when were we to sign the occupational health paper work ie to let me go.

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    • Posted

      Wow that's bad, my friend works for Tesco, he was off for months with the same thing and then had surgery, he's back at work now with no ramifications, are you in the union?
      Report / Delete Reply

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