The sciatica problem from last month resolved itself fairly quickly with a course of steroids and plenty of ibuprofen and I haven’t had any problems with pain since then.
Unfortunately, some leg weakness and tingling/numbness lingered on afterwards. Nothing bad enough to seriously affect my day to day activities, but abnormal and annoying.
I was able to get an MRI a couple weeks later which showed a ruptured L5/S1 disc (“Well, there’s your problem right there!”). The displaced disc material (circled in red) is pretty easy to see on the sagittal images
The axial image shows how the blob of disc material is pressing up against the nerves (where the left end of the red line is pointing).
The weakness and numbness hadn’t resolved by then, so that got me an appointment with a neurosurgeon today (four weeks later) who told me that because of the disc material pressing against the nerve, my symptoms weren’t going to get much better and that I was going to need surgery to remove the chunk of disc material.
If everything goes smoothly with the insurance approval process, I’ll be having that surgery about the middle of next week. Should be a pretty simple procedure he said and that I should be in and out with no problems. A week or so for recuperation and I should be good as new (until more disc material decides to ooze out).