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Having lower back problem, pain and burning sensation on toe. Had spinal discectomy. Suggested spinal fusion. What to do?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I am a 60 yr old male who has had back problems for years of truck driving and jumping down off trucks.I have lower back pain but my biggest problem if the severe pain and burning sensation I get in the right big toe outside area.t is so severe is keeps me from sleeping.I first had a fusion of my big toe,no difference,then a spinal discectomy which maybe made thinga a little worse.I am being told now they want to do a spinal fusion but cant guarantee the pain will be fixed.My doctor says I have degeneration in L4/L5 and problem is pressure on sciatic nerve.Has been making my life very miserable .any suggestions?
Posted Tue, 16 Jul 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 58 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
The severe pain and burning pain that you have in the toe is neurological in nature. The nerve root compression at the level of L4-L5 causes such symptoms. The best way to get it treated is by surgical decompression of the nerve root and the regular physiotherapy to prevent further progression of the disease.
The neurological response to surgery is sometimes unpredictable. So, the extent of relief is difficult to predict. Sometimes medicines like Pregabalin, Gabapentin or methylcobalamin also help in relieving such symptoms. You can discuss it with your neurologist and get the proper prescriptions.
Another option that might help you for sometime is acupuncture. You can give it a try if you are not planning for surgery immediately.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having lower back problem, pain and burning sensation on toe. Had spinal discectomy. Suggested spinal fusion. What to do? 12 minutes later
is that not what the spinal dicsetomy was supposed to do?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 16 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.
The spinal discectomy should have decreased the nerve root compression but since it has failed to help you, the next step now is spinal fusion.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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