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Back pain & struggling to walk

(9 Posts)
whattimeislove Sat 11-Aug-18 22:36:04

I can't remember if I've already posted on here, the last couple of weeks have been a blur. I've also been reading TROUBLEDMAM's thread that has scared me even more.

5-6 years ago I had back problems, MRI showed ruptured/bulging discs pressing on my sciatic nerve. Lots of pain etc but ultimately it was much better within 4-6 weeks.

3 weeks ago I damaged my back again. The lower back pain was bad again, but this time I was getting excruciating (think shouting in pain) muscle spasms that terrified me ( as well as the pain) - I literally couldn't move as they'd come back.

After 2-3 days I felt like I was losing control of my bladder, rang 111 who sent an ambulance. I needed gas and air to get out of bed and downstairs to the ambulance, that's how bad the pain was. In hospital they did the finger up bottom test, said I was fine & gave me drugs (pain relief) & gabapentin (nerve relaxers or something?). Refused to do an MRI & sent me home.

Since being home on the drugs my muscle spasms have stopped, but I now have sciatic pain down my leg and my foot is numb. This means I struggle to walk & lose my balance. I still can't sit without pain & am exhausted after just climbing the stairs.

I've paid for an MRI scan & now waiting for results. But the numbness in my foot is worrying me. It's not getting better at all, if I'm late with my drugs the pain gets worse quickly.

Does anyone have experience of this? It's not like last time & I'm scared I'm doing nerve damage by moving around, but everyone tells me to keep moving.

Any advice you could give would be great.

Ollivander84 Sat 11-Aug-18 22:57:58

I had numbness with my sciatica in my foot. Ultimately I got cauda equina and had surgery. Try not to sit too much, lying down flat or standing is better for taking the pressure off the discs
Hopefully the MRI should bring some results, I had a massive disc herniation at L5/S1

whattimeislove Sat 11-Aug-18 23:04:43

I'm sorry to hear that, how did they diagnose you in the end? Yes sitting is pretty painful so I'm avoiding it as much as I can.

Ollivander84 Sat 11-Aug-18 23:13:48

They wouldn't do an MRI, I was seeing a physio via work who refused to touch me after 4/5 sessions and referred me wink for an MRI
The results were enough that I was referred to neurosurgery who said I needed an op. During the wait time the pain got so bad they did another MRI and found the herniation had doubled in size - I was on paracetamol, naproxen, codeine, diazepam and morphine at this point
Then I went numb. That was ok until 30hrs before my op I thought I had wet myself. Back through the MRI and my op at that point was 24hrs away so they just moved me to first on the list

5hr op(!) and discharged 21hrs after it because I'm stubborn and wilful the surgeon said. He also said he meant gentle strolls when I had my post op (I was up to walking 5km and back on my horse 42 days after)

whattimeislove Sat 11-Aug-18 23:21:01

That sounds awful. How long was it from start of pain to surgery? I'm dreading needing surgery & dreading the wait tbh.

Seems that you've recovered well though?

Ollivander84 Sat 11-Aug-18 23:24:41

Pain started in January but got v v bad end of March (I couldn't work from 30th march)
Op was 11th May. Recovery ok but I do have back pain a lot now, no leg pain though and nowhere near the same level

whattimeislove Sat 11-Aug-18 23:36:27

So it sounds like yours got worse as time went on, while mine was worse at first (with the muscle spasms) but then I developed the numbness.

I'm just scared that if they put me on a waiting list they may leave it too late and damage will be irreparable sad

Glad you're much better than before though.

Ollivander84 Sat 11-Aug-18 23:39:45

Mine was similar to yours - but I had pain, then lots of pain and then no pain but numbness
Offer to take a cancellation, that can help

whattimeislove Sat 11-Aug-18 23:48:06

That's a good tip - thanks.

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