Nerve Compression at Multiple Sites Causes Ten Years of Chronic Pain
Carrie is a patient of mine who needlessly suffered for ten years because no one could properly diagnose nerve compression as the source of her pain. I am sharing her story in hopes of reaching others who may be dealing with the same problem.
Carrie started her chronic pain journey more than a decade ago with severe sciatica pain in both legs. She underwent decompression of the spinal cord with a fusion of the L4-L5 vertebrae.
This surgery resolved her right leg pain but left her with numbness in both feet and shooting pain in her left leg radiating into the top of the left foot.
Through the years, Carrie tried dozens of therapeutic interventions. Sadly, one treatment she tried involved a charlatan chiropractor who charged her $5000 for powdered drink supplements and two small, ultimately useless machines. Neither of these offered her any relief.
Last year Carrie underwent multiple spinal injections by her pain management doctor. These spinal injections resolved most of the sciatica pain from the low back/buttock area down the posterior thigh to about the level of the knee.
However, again she was only able to achieve partial relief. The injections did not help any of the symptoms from the knee down. The more active she would be, the more pain she would experience in the lower leg and foot. She also started to have weakness in the left leg.
Carrie’s podiatrist referred her to me. Upon examination, I diagnosed her with serious nerve compression syndrome which involved entrapment of multiple nerves at various locations throughout the left leg. The problem started with a compression of the left sciatic nerve deep in the left buttock called piriformis syndrome. She also had a simultaneous compression of other nerves in the lower leg and top of the foot at three additional locations.
I performed surgery on Carrie, releasing the pressure on four different nerves at four different sites in the left pelvis and leg.
Two months later Carrie has complete relief from the pain in her left leg! She continues to have some numbness and weakness on the top of her foot. With these types of nerve injuries, especially ones that have been present for many years, recovery can take a year.
For most patients, the thing that really affects their quality of life is the pain. They usually do very well dealing with numbness or weakness as these problems do not occupy the mind every waking moment and rob the patient of sleep at night.
If you have been unable to achieve relief from chronic pain, I might be able to help. Please fill out a form on the right or call my office at 702-666-0643.
Tim Tollestrup MD