Some may know that I started having Sciatica issues in my right leg starting in late June. There were times that the sciatica was so bad that I was nearly in tears. While cycling, the Sciatica didn't bother me or only was a little noticeable. I began with vicoden, then physical therapy(PT) in mid-July. After about 2 weeks of therapy, my doc put me on prednisone and set me up with an orthopedic specialist(spine), but I postponed that appointment since I wanted to give the steroid and therapy a chance to work. I lost about 2 weeks of cycling to reduce any irritation to my muscles and sciatic nerve. In addition, I cut back on distance and went to a lower gear as well. After about 4 weeks, I was evaluated out of PT, eliminated the need for Vicoden, cancelled my Ortho appt., and I thought all was good with the world. After about a week or so, the Sciatica began to reappear and progress in intensity and I was back on the Vicoden. I just saw the Ortho yesterday, 9/10, and he has me coming in for an MRI next week and an epidural the following week. The X-rays showed I that L4/L5 disc on one side appears to be deteriorated with some arthritis in the spine and a small bone spur on L3. One bit of good news is that going clipless is not the cause or contributing factor leading to this. Now, the falls may have accelerated things, but I would've likely be dealing with this in the not-so-distant future anyway.
I'm hoping that the epidural will give me relief. According to the information about the epidural, patients usually get relief with just one shot, but you can get up to 3 in a year. I'm hoping to avoid surgery(like what I had in 2000) as that would definitely keep me off the bike for an extended period.