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I am due to have nerve decompression surgery on 2nd October following 10 months of left sided sciatic pain. I am posting on here in the hope that my experiences over the last 10 months may help anyone who is suffering from similar issues.
I am a 56 year old male from the UK. I am now retired but used to be very active doing property renovations, playing golf, walking etc...The injury did not cause my early retirement.
I have never suffered from back problems until December 2017 when the day after playing golf I developed a mild lower back pain. The following week i seemed to aggrivate the back issue by moving furniture and following a long drive I developed severe pain in the left buttock. Over the next few days and weeks the pain developed into the back of my left thigh, side of calf, ankle and numbness on top of foot, big toe, and what felt like a lump when walking on bottom of my left foot.
After 3 weeks i decided to get private physio treatment. I had 10 sessions over a 2 month period and my condition changed from not being able to sit for short periods and persitant pain to being able to sit on firm chairs for long periods and the most pain being in the morning when getting out of bed. What i did find was that i was unable to walk more than 50 yards without severe pain in the side of my calf. This seemed to develop after about six weeks from initial injury.
In Feb 2018 I decided to see my doctor who suggested Co-Codamol and Ibuprofen and to carry on with physio.
In March 2018 I went to see my doctor again as I thought that although my condition was initially recovering it now seemed to have plateaued. I still had re-occuring calf pain and numbness in my foot and toe. My doctor decided to refer me to an Orthopeadic Consultant who I managed to see private on my spouses work health care cover.
I had an MRI that showed stenosis at L4/L5 caused by a disc bulge.
More medication prescribed, Naproxen and Amitriptyline and a root block injection.
The root block seemed to be effective for a couple of days then went back to the usual discomfort.
Three months later a second root block, I might also say that the medication seemed to be having little effect, the second root block had no effect whatsoever.
I never considered surgery as my consultant always said that I was in recovery but I was starting to feel that wasnt the case. I was starting to feel down and felt it was starting to effect my relationship with my spouse even though she has been very supportive through the whole process.
I have recently been getting pins and needles in the left leg ankle pain that wakes me everynight and still have pain in the calf when I walk for more than 50 yards.
since December i've tried medication, physio, accupuncture, diet, tens machine but nothing seems to be working.
In early September I decided to seek a second opinion from another consultant who was straight forward and up front he said it could recover but it could take time, not just months but years or it may not recover at all. Surgery could speed up any recovery and has a 75% chance of complete sucess. I noted that the sucess rate was the same as the root block injection being effective but realised that the injection was to fix the pain rather than the problem.
I decided on the surgery....I am fully aware of what it involves and have read on this site posts from others where surgery was ineffective.
I am confident that it will be a success I have to be, as is my consultant. He has said that it is very effective with leg pain but often doesn't rid of back pain. I have never had back pain apart from the initial first week of the injury.
I have been fortunate in the fact that I am covered with private health care but do have the costs of each procedure from physio through to root block and surgery for anyone in thr UK thats interested as I know this whole process would take far longer through the NHS system.
My only regret at this point is that I didnt have surgery earlier as the last 10 months have been hell and have total sympathy for anyone that is going through similar problems.
I do intend to update this thread after surgery.
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