What can I expect from this injury?

sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)December 17, 2005

Wow, did I do myself in. I have a degenerated disc and a badly pinched sciatic nerve. An MRI shows no fluid around or under the disc and the nerve is compressed by the bone

I was lifting a heavy flower pot into the car and the rain started and the wind hit the car door which caught my left sleeve and I wound up catching the pot with my knees and my right arm. When I stood up I heard and felt the pop. The pain started the next day and has been with me since then. I will never forget October 13.

My family doctor started me on pain killers and made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor who specializes in pain management. I HAD TO WAIT MORE THAN A MONTH!!! I spent all my time with my leg in a 5 gallon bucket of ice water to numb the nerve. Just before my appointment I got in real trouble and wound up in the emergency room where they upped the ante on the pain meds until my appointment. Poor DH got only a frozen Pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I got Oxycodone and enough steroids to let me sleep for more than 2 hours the first time since the injury. I had been waking up screaming after two hours of sleep and getting maybe 4 hours total in 24 the whole month. It scared DH but it scared the cat more. She doesn't sleep with me any more. I had a Transforminal block with the possibility of two more if the first didn't take. The doctor prescribed more steroids and vicodin and a new drug called Lyrica which is for neuralgia. The block didn't get all of the pain so the Lyrica dose was upped. I was disappointed the doctor gave me a prescription for enough hydrocodone to last a month. That doesn't sound like this is going away any time soon. I will be getting another Transforminal block shortly. At least I don't need the bucket of ice water any more but I can't take more than a step or two without crutches. I have lost 3 months of my life, DH and I are sick and tired of carryout food, my house and yard are disasters my budget no longer exists. What more can I expect? Is there any thing else I could be doing? An acquaintance told me she was out of work for 9 months! Any info would be appreciated. Thanks Sandy

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pricklypearsatx(z8)

My printer isn't working and because of back problems, I try to print out posts so I can read them easier. I can't quite figure out what you injured. Was it your knee?

Where did you feel the pop?

I have disc degeneration: the lower two.

Knee and back problems do seem to be "synergistic". I have a torn meniscus. What happens when a meniscus tears synovial fluid leaks out and this stuff is very irritating to the nerve.

I tore mine around June 1st. It started to improve in the fall. Around November. Some improvement occured in September. After that the knee itself was relatively pain free. I'm very glad that I didn't rush into any surgery!!!!

In my case, the intense pain I had was due to the synoivial fluid that leaked onto my sciatic nerve. After 6 months, the irritation stopped.

I didn't have nerve blocks. I think they might speed up the healing.

Linda

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 3:36PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I'm sorry I didn't make it clear, Linda. I can see where someone who is concerned with an injury to a different area might not understand exactly what I was saying.The injury was to the disc and the sciatic nerve which was and is still severly pinched. The nerve runs the length of the leg and fires off impulses all along the nerve. Without the meds it is like the leg is on fire. With the meds the pain is damped down to an endurable level. This is on top of Fibro.
The frustration is I can't do anything. Just try to carry a cup of coffee when you are on crutches or get the groceries into the house, or hang up clothes from the dryer. And that doesn't include the pain involved. I can get the dishes into the dishwasher but I can't empty it. If something is on the floor I can't pick it up. Forget about running the vacumn cleaner. The floors are filthy. The plants I brought into the house before the injury are mostly still sitting where they were put 'temporarily'. The ones that went into the basement where I have lights set up I haven't seen since October 13 since I can't manage the stairs. Thank goodness we don't have a two story house. I did manage to attach an indoor hose (1/4 inch)to the kitchen faucet to keep things watered upstairs but it is an embarrassment to have it running across the livingroom floor because I can't roll it up when it's not in use. I have so many ceramic pots in the yard that will be destroyed by the weather since I can't get them in. It makes me sick. How do you find someone to just pick things up and put them away? If I knew how to find them I would be glad to pay them but the closest I have come was to pay $12 an hour to get the leaves collected and bagged and that seems a bit excessive. I know housekeepers are expensive so maybe I am expecting too much. Is that the norm? If it is, I'll shut up. I have managed to get to the store a few times and I bless the ones that provide electric carts. They are amazing. Whatever did people do before they were invented. It still takes forever and I am exhaused when I get home but it is a real lift to the spirits when you can get out and accomplish something. I found a heavy duty cart at Harbor Freight that works to get the groceries from the car to the kitchen. It is strong enough to support me and big enough to carry most of the groceries in one trip. I park it by the door and DH complains it is in the way. What else can I do to make things easier? Sandy

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 2:38AM
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compost_hugger_nancy(z4/5 NES MI)

Get DH to carry things in?

It may also be the injury flared up the fibro. (My recent surgery flared my fibro) I learned the hard way to pace myself and ask for help. I give nothing more than 15 minutes and lift nothing over 10# (occasionally), listen to my body and stop. Plan a full day of rest before and after attempting something.

With the Fibro itself it is important to conserve energy, and with an injury even more so. Otherwise, the injury may not heal or you'll continue to make it worse and worse.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 12:24PM
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smalltubes(7B Va)

hey i am sorry to hear about your injury, i have been battling the samr thing for over 4 years and it dont get any better, i always complained of hip and knee pain , i got xrays , and more xrays , it took me gettin an mri to diagnose my properly. I have been told by the nuerosurgeon i need surgery, but i am trying to stave it off with pain management, which doesnt work, pain killers help a little but the side effects of be constipated sucks, i have done chiro, and 7 other docts, they all say try not to aggrvate it but everything you do aggravates it. All i can say about gardening in the future is take one day at a time and if you feel strainedtake a break, my leg tweaks out everynight as im goin to sleep...later st

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 6:35PM
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Flowerkitty(Z6 or Z5 SE MI)

I don't have a problem any where as severe as yours but my upper back can act up, so that I have trouble lifting my arms, or my lower back so that I have trouble bending or lifting. In my case, my inversion table is a miracle worker.

We bought a Hang-ups inversion table from HSN a few years ago. You lay on it, hook your feet in, and either rock like a teeter totter, or hang at any angle you choose up to verticle head down. The instruction booklet said that testing showed that gentle rocking was a good as hanging upside down for decompressing the spine.

With the first symptoms, I get on the table and slowly rock. The table is so well balanced you just lift an arm a bit to go up or down. I pretend I am swimming slowly. It is very relaxing and enjoyable. I always get relief on my back, sometimes with just a couple rocks up and down.

The product is extremely well built. It looks like professional medical equipment. I couldn't get by without it. While co-workers are going to chiropracters or dosing with drugs, I just use my inversion table. Sometimes I hang at a 45 degree angle just because it feels so good, and then rock a few minutes to adjust back to normal. It really relieves pinched nerves and is as gentle as you wish.

Good luck to you. It is terrible to not be able to lift up a magazine to read it. I am grateful I can reverse my symptoms

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 10:53PM
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cburg(z6PA)

i herniated my lower discs and the sciata was horrendous until i had the steroid blocks. luckily for me that helped. i suggest no lifting whatsoever. lower back pain has never gone away due to facets arthritis and degenerative discs. ultram works wonders and is not 'addictive' like the vicodine. rheumatologist also started me on neurontin - an antiseizure medication but a low dose. i highly recommend seeing a rheum. who specializes in fibro

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 6:44PM
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joanne_gardener

I have a herniation at T-6 In 1995 I had surgery after
an MRI proved the disc to be fragmented and the fragment
was broken off and crimping the spinal cord into a bean
shape. What I did to get into this condition was lift
large rocks in the garden in 1991. Three years after
the operation I slowly lost the ability to walk. Presently
I use a scooter for distances and a walker in the house.
My point is take careful of you and your spinal cord by no means except not walking as an option. At 45
my Doctor Said you have aracnoditus you need to use an electric wheel chair for the rest of your life. I have only done so for distances soon I will have a 12th MRI
they are looking for scar tusse at T-6 that I pray it is
removable. To Answer your question is this; What can I expect from this injury? Only the Lord knows however
be sure to make up your mind to recover and follow
all the exercise plans that PT gives you.
I do my streching exersices daily and that is why I can
still walk in a small way. God bless and help us all.
Joanne

    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 7:07AM
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nerotx

Sorry to hear about your injury.
my sggestions are
1 Get you a good chiropractor or physical therapist. you need a lot of therapy. Ask about laser therapy,inversion theray, including all other forms of therapies you can get.
2. Get a lot of glucosomines. This is a non prescribed-over the counter nutritional supplement that helps with joint fluid.Ask your doctor as to how much you can take on a daily basis.
3.Be prepared to nurse your injury for a long time.6 months to 1 year. Be patient and realistic.Don,t do anything to aggravate your injury.Remmember,joint injuries are one of the hardest injuries to recover from, but you will be alright if you do the right things.
4.Do surgery as a last result. AFTER you,ve tried all other remedies. Laser therapy is really not new but it works very well.
Good luck and God bless.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 6:53AM
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