After nearly seven years of distress and pain, Diane can play again!
It started when she had to miss a Tim McGraw concert in Indianapolis with her friends. “The pain was so intense I couldn’t find any comfort except lying flat on my back, on the floor, with my feet resting on a chair,” Diane Krill recalls.
She notes, “there really wasn’t any trauma that caused my nerve trouble. It started over six years ago with a pinched nerve, and the pain would come and go. I thought it would heal itself.” Diane later learned that her sciatic nerve was causing the pain.
The sciatic nerve is a peripheral nerve that originates at the base of the spine and runs down the leg and into the foot. It is the largest nerve in the body. There are many possible causes of pain in this nerve. Two common sources are general wear and tear or sudden pressure on the discs of the lower spine.
Diane treated her back with heat packs and over-the-counter pain relievers. “But the pain continued to worsen. It became searing, electric pain from my back, down my leg, all the way to my foot.” remembers Diane. “I couldn’t play with or pick up my beautiful granddaughters, ages six and two, even cuddles could cause pain if I moved the wrong way,” she says.
Diane notes that she constantly had to sit and rest while shopping with her friends. Plus, Arizona hikes were always a favorite thing to do on trips with her husband, but they became very short hikes, as she was in pain. Diane recalls, “it always seemed like I had to go sit when others were still full of energy. The pain zapped me.” She admits, “I couldn’t wait to get home to sit on a super-hot heating pad to make me feel better.”
Diane tried seeing a chiropractor, but it was just too painful to get an adjustment. Eventually, she arranged to see a pain specialist at OSMC. Dr. Gene Grove. Over the years, Dr. Grove treated Diane with injections to reduce inflammation and provide some pain relief. Diane notes, “When I saw Dr. Grove, he always followed up with a friendly reminder that I had a next step to feel better… back surgery. He told me to let him know when I was ready to ditch the radiating pain.”
Diane admits, “I have a very distinct memory of when I became ready for that next step… After staying home for so long due to COVID, I was excited to finally see that Tim McGraw concert. When I got home, I couldn’t find any way of walking, standing, sitting or lying down to get relief. The injections weren’t effective any longer. There was just nothing I could do. I was completely miserable.”
Diane went to visit Dr. Joseph Caldwell, Spine Specialist, at OSMC.
Dr. Caldwell details, “Diane was having symptoms from a common problem. She had developed arthritis in her lumbar spine that was progressively getting worse. This was causing stenosis or pinching of the nerves in her back. This can trigger radiating leg pain, known as sciatica, and can significantly affect mobility and walking. The arthritis also caused instability in her lower back. She had exhausted all conservative treatments and we felt surgery would provide relief. Her surgery involved decompressing the nerves and a spinal fusion procedure to address the instability. Her leg symptoms were relieved right after the surgery. And, her low back pain improved as the area healed.”
The doctor continues, “I am pleased that she is so happy with her results. It is quite gratifying to able to help people with this problem. The results from the surgery are quite often instantaneous. It’s great to hear about patients getting back to doing the things they love to do and have been missing out on for so long.”
Diane recalls, “I immediately knew I was better when I woke up from the surgery. And it’s amazing, after just a few weeks, I felt so good!”
“I want to sing Dr. Caldwell’s praises. He took the time to show me my x-rays and MRI. He explained exactly how things would go in surgery. He put my mind at ease. And, I should have done it sooner,” she says.
Nonna is back, Girls! Your grandma can play!
Diane is thrilled to be shopping, hiking, biking, cuddling, and PLAYING again.
Sciatica pain gone!
This blog post is not intended to provide personal medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment to you or to any other individual. It is information for educational purposes only. You should not use this information in place of a consultation or the advice of a healthcare provider.