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Ive had sciatica off and on for ten years but it was mild to start with then two years ago it became intense.

I am distressed by the lack of information passed from GP to patient as i was laid up for 11 weeks in excrutiating debilitating pain about a year ago but there was no attempt by my GP to inform me that an MRI scan would have established if it was spinal stenosis, bulging or herniated disk or multitude of other causes, enabling effective treatment, nor to issue me with a steroid injection, which would have relieved my pain.

Since then, and on having another current bad spell with it, i discover that MRI's and epidurals are no longer dealt with under primary care, or the GP, and you have to be referred to Rheumatology, and although i have now an appt with them in a months time, my fear is they will be a lot more picky about who gets granted the necessary tests and effective treatment.

I paid out collasol sums for chiropractic treatment, which only temporarily eased it, because i was not properly informed at the time.

Why should this be? Any comments please.

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3 Replies

  • Posted


    I'm "Not-a-Doc" so these thoughts are from personal experience. Start with this...


    In my experience, sciatica has always manifested itself down one leg. Eight months after a knee replacement, I got spinal foraminal stenosis which appeared as pain and extreme weakness down BOTH legs. The stenosis was located at L1/L2 diagnosed first by an MRI, pinpointed by a CT/Myelogram with contrast and confirmed by an unsuccessful pain shot into L1/L2 under fluoroscopy,

    Foraminal stenosis happens when the space between two vertebrae narrow (compressed disk), closing off the canals (foramina) that nerve roots pass through from the spinal column to the rest of the body. Pinch the nerves and you get stenosis...usually bilateral. (Note: there are other causes for stenosis that involve the spinal cord itself so I only know about this type.)

    As I described in the above article, my sciatica episodes were always caused by a pinched sciatic nerve. These episodes were always relieve by chiropractic. The one time that chiropractic failed (plus PT and pain shots) was the time it was caused by a bone spur literally crushing the sciatic nerve root at L4. Simple spur removal and decompressive laminectomy L4 through S1. Same day operation...all residual pain gone in a week.

    The stenosis was cured by an LLIF spine fusion of L2/L3. The Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF) is a technique where they go in from your side, drill out the disk, insert a car jack-like device in the space, expand the device to separate the vertebrae to the desired distance thereby opening up the foraminal canals, backfill with some bone from your hip and close. IMMEDIATE results, one night in the hospital, no brace, no rehab, NO PAIN!!! Miracle op.

    So your solution depends on if you have a pinched nerve at L4 and need the laminectomy or you actually have stenosis which can be taken care of by the LLIF. The CT/Myelogram is the gold-standard test to find out. A cute animation of the LLIF can be seen on YouTube. Search for "Globus LLIF Technique".

    Note: Three years after my LLIF, I severely twisted my back. Stupid me. Pain in lower back, left hip and lower abdominals. A PT showed me a Dermatome Map which explained that pain in all three of those areas is directly related to L1/L2. Chiro, PT and pain shots didn't work. My neurosurgeon will be doing another LLIF on me at L1/L2 next month. All my pain will be gone.

    This is NOT easy stuff but there are solutions out there. I attached a picture of my L2/L3 LLIF. You can also see the top of my L3-S1 TLIF (rails and screws) in the picture. All my back surgery plus a metal hip and metal knee make me the TSA's worst nightmare at the airport. The price I pay for 45 years playing hockey. At 71, I'm grateful that I can still walk...not bend...just walk and sit...


  • Posted

    Any comments on doctors not supplying adequate information when patients are clearly in pain?

    • Posted

      As i feel not informing a patient of what tests and treatments are available is tantamount to negligence

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