Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sciatica on the Ropes?

I've been dealing with some bad sciatic pain these last few weeks that has really limited what I can do. I had an MRI a couple weeks ago that showed some degenerative changes in my lower spine that are causing some narrowing of the canals where the spinal cord travels and where the nerve roots branch off going to my left and right leg. The pain/tingling/numbness/muscle weakness is on my left side. It's been especially bad in the morning, consistent with the stenosis diagnosis and the third paragraph of the clinical description on this page. The physician's assistant for the orthopedist was most concerned about my lack of knee reflex on the left side. She even had me do the Jendrassik maneuver with counting backwards to no avail.

This morning I had my first epidural steroid injection. Except for a couple "bee stings" of anesthetic (see this post for my love of that -- this wasn't as bad as the dermatologist), it was just an odd feeling of pressure when the steroid solution was injected. They said it would take 1-3 days to kick in, but I felt considerably better later today (placebo effect?). I'm hoping the sciatic pain is on the ropes. I'm still far from 100%, but if the effect continues I'll be much better off this weekend. I'm hoping it'll be relatively painless to get out of bed tomorrow morning.

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