Prolapsed disc at L5 - sciatica

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Hi , this is my first time here. I've read a few horror stories already and am hoping to make a full recovery... hope im not being too naive!

Im 34 and have been off work the past 5 weeks. I had been having some pain in my left leg for a number of months and had been prescribed some co-codamol by the doctor, which to be honest made no real difference.

I went back to the doc who referred me for physio but from what i gather that wont be available for another two or three months yet (waiting list).

However i paid to see a private physio who was able to tell me i have a prolapsed disc at L5. I have had various therapy treatments so far with no progress. Ive also had some traction and am due for more next week so im hoping that this will do the trick.

Im currentlytaking Co-codamol 30/500mg. The maximum dosage is 8 tablets in any 24 hour period. I seem to only get relief after taking 4 of these, although it does make me feel quite sick for the first half hour.

The worst time seems to be the mornings. When i get out of bed , my back is leaning to the left and i am also leaning forward. It takes a long time to get anywhere near straight, not to mention the pain involved in doing this. (the exercises advised by physio).

The pain eases to a degree after the tablets kick in, and also when walking or standing up straight. It all comes back though if i sit down or try to drive.

I am quite lucky in the fact that my work will pay me full pay for the first six months of beinf off sick. However, i dont want to be off any longer than required.

I'd be grateful if anyone recognises any of these symptoms and could point me in the right direction, as its very frustratinh when you dont seem to be making any progress.

I am considering going private to see a consultant and having an MRI done. Can anyone tell me how much this might cost and if it is indeed worth it ?

Thanks in anticipation

Ali

[b:c9755b1059][/b:c9755b1059]

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  • Posted

    smile Hi Ali, i think it would be a good idea if you went back to your GP and ask if you could be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon at your local hospital, they will most likely order an mri scan to be done, and will asses you too, you may need surgery, anyway i think a scan privately will cost between £500 -£800, i was quoted £700 about a year ago and that i would need a gp referral as well, i didn't do it cos 1, i couldn't afford it and 2, my gp wouldn't have referred me cos at that time he didn't believe anything was wrong, but prices and conditions differ in different parts of the country, so its best if you ring a private hospital ( can be found on google) and enquire, good luck keep the site posted on how you get on
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  • Posted

    Hi

    Your age and situation is almost identical to mine. I had the op last Weds to remove prolapsed disc, same location as yours. This is called a bilateral disectomy. Apart from initial pain and tightness in the calf muscles, i am starting to feel so much better than before the op. I would recommend it straightaway. I am looking forward to the future at last!

    Good luck, let me know how it all goes

    Chris

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  • Posted

    Hi, I would suggest you get assertive with your doctor and don't take no for an answer. The fact that you have been in this pain for 6 weeks, with no action being taken is not acceptable. Something needs to be done-if your doctor refuses, you are entitled to a 2nd opinion. Also depending on the waiting list you could be waiting for quite a while after referral, so I'd do it sooner rather than later. Good luck, I have my fingers crossed for you.
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  • Posted

    Hi Ali, I'm 34 and you sound so much like myself 6 months ago. I couldn't walk without being in agony - and when I did manage to stand and try to move was stooped over to one side. I'm lucky that my work also paid my sick leave and after some negotiation they also funded part of my health expenses as they knew I'd get back to work quicker. Consultation was £180, MRI £350 and op £5000. I know most dr's won't do anything until after 6 wks which you now are.I started with symptons in Nov but put up with it till xmas after being told it was a pulled hamstring! Saw consultant middle of Jan and then had scan then Op in March -back to work in May. Feel great at present still twinges when I've done too much but I'm so happy to have my life back.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

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  • Posted

    Ali I did mean to ask have you tried a nerve block I did have this and it works a treat, but I appreciate it doesn't work for everyone. :D
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  • Posted

    [color=darkred:93ec7bf8b1][/color:93ec7bf8b1] :D

    I am 42 yr old femail who developed back pain off and on for the past year but it went away withing a day or two.

    In May of this year I was cleaning around the house and developed back pain only this time it got worse and eventually I couldn't even get out of bed in the morning without excrutiating pain. Went to the GP and they gave me pain killers and recommended physio. After struggling up to the physio by car (driving caused real pain) I found that I was to painful for them to do anything.

    Was referred to a Nuerosurgeon who ordered an MRI and this presented a disc prolapse at L5 S1 with DDD. By this time I had developed pain in my outer thigh which sometimes (depending on how much acitivity) i did radiated to my toes. I had no ankle reflex but the pain in my leg at times was terrible. If I don't do much the pain is manageable but if I try do any activity be it walking, driving or standing too long the pain radiates down my leg and my hip really hurts. I have a constant limp as I don't want to put pressure of the leg to trigger the shooting pains.

    I am due to go in for a microdiscectomy this Monday and am hoping that I have made the right choice. I have read many sites and it seems that there are people worse off than me with numbness and pins and needles but fortunately for me I have not had these.

    I am not sleeping at night as when I move in bed the pain in my back is bad and depending on how my position is the pain can radiate into my leg. I just hope that I am on the final stretch to regaining my life back again after the op as i am finding it extremely hard not being active. I am putting weight on and get quite depressed at times.

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  • Posted

    [quote:9caeeb7e87=\"nainey\"][color=darkred:9caeeb7e87][/color:9caeeb7e87] :D

    I am 42 yr old female who developed back pain off and on for the past year but it went away withing a day or two.

    In May of this year I was cleaning around the house and developed back pain only this time it got worse and eventually I couldn't even get out of bed in the morning without excrutiating pain. Went to the GP and they gave me pain killers and recommended physio. After struggling up to the physio by car (driving caused real pain) I found that I was to painful for them to do anything.

    Was referred to a Nuerosurgeon who ordered an MRI and this presented a disc prolapse at L5 S1 with DDD. By this time I had developed pain in my outer thigh which sometimes (depending on how much acitivityI did) radiated to my toes. I had no ankle reflex and the pain in my leg at times was terrible. If I don't do much the pain is manageable but if I try do any activity be it walking, driving or standing too long the pain radiates down my leg and my hip really hurts. I have a constant limp as I don't want to put pressure of the leg to trigger the shooting pains.

    I am due to go in for a microdiscectomy this Monday and am hoping that I have made the right choice. I have read many sites and it seems that there are people worse off than me with numbness and pins and needles but fortunately for me I have not had these.

    I am not sleeping at night as when I move in bed the pain in my back is bad and depending on how my position is the pain can radiate into my leg. I just hope that I am on the final stretch to regaining my life back again after the op as i am finding it extremely hard not being active. I am putting weight on and get quite depressed at times.[/quote:9caeeb7e87]

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  • Posted

    Hi Ali

    I noticed you posted this in June, how are things with you now, I have wxactly the same symptons have been like it 8 weeks, iI am struggling to go to work on reduced hours as I do not get paid, never make it before 11am because of the terrible pains in my riight leg, am on the waiting list for a scan and to see a consultant, apparently waiting list for scan i 6 months, I have been on Tramadol Co-codomal, I am on Gabapentin but never feel with it, so hope they will give me something different just want a normal life back. :cry:

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  • Posted

    Hi in october 06 i was at work and had alot of pain in my back and in my legs 10 mins later my right leg was completly dead had no life at all and my left was not much better. a paramedic was called out to me and was taken into hostpital with suspected disc prolaps. When in hospital i was given an Xray but nothing was out of place or looked wrong by this time pain had gone but still no life in my legs. so that night i was taken to the Walton center in Liverpool with a supected stroke at 27 this was a bit of a shock to the system without my legs being completly dead. when at the Walton center after many tests i was told i had not had a stroke but they did not know what was wrong with me. After two weeks a little feeling came back to my legs and was soon walking with the aid of a zimmer frame then spent 4 months on crutches . The doctors at the walton center think that i have had a disc prolaps but when they moved me at the first hostpital to get me into Xray the disc whent back. But sinc then it has been moving around so some days are good with no pain other days i can be rolled up on the floor with pain. I have had 8 MRI scans up to now and soon due for another but every time i go for a scan there is no pain and they do not find anything. I was told by a doctor who was giving me a scan that i was to pay for a scan it would cost me £980. It has been 8 months sinc i first had a this and i cant see any light at the of the tunel. I have to say that the walton center have been very good in trying to get to the bottom of things but they are as fustrated as i am.
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  • Posted

    Hi There!

    I too had the same disc prolapse as you. I am 35 and had 4 months off work, hardly able to move. I was taking co-codamol, diazepan and ibuprofen.

    Get the MRI done! I had an operation to remove a disc, and touch wood it is much better. I can cope with the aching now, have been off the tablets for some time and am back at work.

    I hope you get your problem sorted asap.

    Keep us informed,

    Chris

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  • Posted

    :shock: , hi nainey, i too have p disc and DDD, neck and lumber, and do sympathize with you, can you let the site know if you had the op, which must have been a week or so ago now, i'm due an op and do like to read other peoples experiences, more so i don't chicken out i suppose, lol, and oh my word how on earth did you get an operation through soooo quick!!!! your so lucky ..... ive waited since feb, and i see a neurosurgeon this thursday (23rd) then probably go on another waiting list for my op, and i was put down as urgent!!!

    anyway i do hope your feeling ok, don't forget to let us know ok,

    take care, and take it easy, mandy

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  • Posted

    Hi Mandy

    Was it your scan to yesterday did you to have to go private like myself, had mine done yesterday not real nice experience was it, but glad to have it done where was yours done had mine done in BUPA not as expensive as I thought £250.00 for lumber scan, let me know how yours went

    Jude

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  • Posted

    :roll: hi judith, shame u had to go private, but sometimes u have no choice do ya!! lol, thats a pretty good price though, yeah i went up kings in london on thurs to see neurosurgeon, and had to go back friday :roll: for another scan then wait there till afternoon for results!!! he's gonna replace the disc and maybe fuse some, cos i also have DDD, and YES!!! he put me on another waiting list!!!! grrrrrrrrrrr!!! ah well in a way you get used to ''the waiting'' in a way, , me and gail are 'racing' , to see who gets their op first, lol, really i hope gail gets hers first cos she been waiting longer, i've only waited since feb and as long as its this year i don't mind, and gail is my little ''guinea pig'' lol, so what ever she goes through she'll let me know , then i know what to expect, :twisted: , cruel arn't i ? lol, she know's i'm only kidding!!! she's my 'pain' buddy! anyway let us know how you got on (i know u have probably let the site know already, but i've not read anymore postings yet!!!) but i will in a mo, anyway take care, and take it easy, mandy
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  • Posted

    oooooops sorry judith, should have read your question properly!!!!!

    no i had a scan in feb following a car accident, so i was lucky to have it done within a week!!! but i've waited to see a neurosurgeon up kings, thats whats taken the time i think, but most on here, (like you) have to wait just to get a scan,

    i had another scan up kings on friday cos he wanted to check neck, and lower back cos i'm having problems there too!!! :shock: ,

    it wasn't all good news though cos he said i have nerve damage!! ekkk!

    but he gonna do op to replace disc but said it will help the pain bout 60%,

    well 60% less pain is better than nothing!! eh? and i'll will still have few probs with my left arm, sorry again, suffering 'hospital hangover'

    and i'll read posts properly in future lol :roll:

    take care mandy

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  • Posted

    [quote=\"daisymoo\"]:shock: , hi nainey, i too have p disc and DDD, neck and lumber, and do sympathize with you, can you let the site know if you had the op, which must have been a week or so ago now, i'm due an op and do like to read other peoples experiences, more so i don't chicken out i suppose, lol, and oh my word how on earth did you get an operation through soooo quick!!!! your so lucky ..... ive waited since feb, and i see a neurosurgeon this thursday (23rd) then probably go on another waiting list for my op, and i was put down as urgent!!!

    anyway i do hope your feeling ok, don't forget to let us know ok,

    take care, and take it easy, mandy

    [ sorry to confuse all u peps, i have p disc in neck, not lumber, it sounds like i'm saying in both!!!]

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