Sciatica/lumbar disc/ MS?

Hi there, can anyone help…?

so, I was diagnosed with MS 2 years ago, and have been on copaxone. I haven’t had many symptoms apart from the initial one…

1 year ago I had a bad fall from a racehorse (my work)

i fractured several vertebrae, and in my MRI it shows disc herniation in the lumbar region.

my question is: is the leg weakness I have in my right leg due to my spinal injury or MS.

my symptoms are consistent with sciatica- searing pain through one buttock, lower back, SI joint, outer right leg…

whatever it is is making me catch my right toe, and swing my leg out, I also cannot run…

has as anyone experienced a severe spinal trauma like mine, while also suffering with an ms diagnosis?

I am worried it’s MS rearing it’s heads

General medical consensus is that this is still fallout from my fall, I am working so hard to get back to normal, it’s infuriating!!

Hello ElizabethAngela

It does seem from what you’ve written that it could well be due to the fall out from the accident.

Have you had a recent MRI scan to check on things?

Sorry I can’t offer more help, it must be really frustrating.

Good luck x


I really don’t know, as the symptoms of a back injury can very closely resemble those of MS.

I am a diagnosed person, but when I was first investigated, it was for a suspected “slipped” (herniated) disc. Nobody - least of all me - was expecting this to lead eventually to an MS diagnosis, but it was only when I had a spinal MRI, and the expected spinal injury or mechanical defect wasn’t found, that it sounded alarm bells with my (then) consultant neurosurgeon that we were dealing with something quite different, and he referred me to an MS-specialist colleague.

In your case you’ve indisputably had a spinal injury, which was the only thing that didn’t quite fit, in my case, as I was not conscious of any recent injury, or even any heavy lifting or carrying that could be responsible. Additionally, I’d always been led to believe a slipped disc was agony, and none of this fitted my experience.

I should have thought, though, that the MRI would have answered the question of whether there is mechanical impingement of your spinal cord. In my case, there clearly wasn’t, and that was how the investigation took a different turn. But if your MRI showed there’s definite compromise, it’s probably enough to explain the symptoms.

The MRI should also have shown if there were any spinal lesions independent of the injury, BUT spinal MS lesions are much more subtle and harder to detect on MRI than mechanical damage. It was only by the greatest good luck and vigilance on the part of the neurosurgeon that my one was seen. I’d been literally on the point of being discharged, when he took one more look at the screen, and said, ominously: “Wait! I want to know what that is.”

It appeared as very faint fogginess of the image, and was literally no wider than dental floss. Very hard to spot - especially by someone who was only focused on finding the very pronounced anomaly of a slipped disc. So all credit to him that he saw it, and recognised the implications - it wasn’t really his field.

I don’t know what made him hesitate and look again. He must have had some kind of intuition/premonition.



When diagnosed 2012 I had it left side weakness and fatigue, I was lead down alot about 6 wks later I got awful leg pains , spasms, twiching toes and limped. A brain mri showed no new lesions so requested a back mri told at my local hospital and told it was fine. Neuro thought i was so anxious i was causing the problems. I went to a chiropractor for months and finally a yr later my back mri was looked at by a specialist and I was told I had 2 prolapsed disks. I started physio etc and now Im fine my back still goes but iz unrelated to the ms. Im so glad I pushed and pushed and took more opinions. To me it sounds back related, it took a yr of work to get back to normal and I still do excercises daily but know what to do when It happens. Keep pushing xx

Thank you for your kind words. I’m going to keep pushing, there are two disc herniations, and I had a week where one of them must have bulged out further (ouch)

I’ve a review with my neurologist soon, who has seen me and doesn’t think this is MS related. I’ll just refuse to leave the office until he helps me come up with an answer!

lt seems a scan would be the only way to determine what is going on - and the sooner the better so you can get the right treatment for it. Sciatica is so painful - but the herniated discs could well be the start of the problem.

l had to stop riding after having a total hip and knee replacement. The hip is now ok - but the knee was not successful. l am still hoping they will get it right - and l will be able to ride again. l have had PPMS for 33yrs - and have managed to keep riding up until 18months ago. l cannot walk unaided - but with the help of a rather super mounting block l can still get on - getting off - dismounting is another story!!! - but my horse is very patient and forgiving - he takes me straight into his stable so l can slither off onto the rubber mats. Sometimes l end up in a heap on the floor - and he just looks at me and sighs. l use my Tramper scooter to get around the yard - can carry water/hay etc on it - and the horses all are very used to it and will let me lead them from the field into the yard - and even through the village. We have taken on two rescue donkeys - and l am hoping we can get them used to the scooter - and eventually get them to pull a cart.