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Old 11-18-2003, 08:58 PM   #1
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Wolfman HB User
Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

Hi everybody.

Here's my story. Some time ago I started experiencing a very minor pain in my left groin area when I bent and twisted a certain way. (usually when i pulled my leg up to my chest) It was very minor and only happened in certain circumstances so I didn't think anything of it.

Then one day my friend taught me to drive a manual transmision in his Volkswagon Beetle. Obviously your left leg and hip/groin muscles get a lot of work when using the clutch.

The next day I was in extreme pain - felt like a burning pain in the groin muscle area on the left side (same side where i had felt the earlier pain). Almost to the point where i couldn't walk properly. The pain is located right in the area where my thigh meets the abdomen and extends upwards through the pubic bone area and into my lower abdomen right below my belly button (on the left side).

It got better in the following weeks but never truly went away. The whole leg continued to feel weak and the burning pain returned (although far less severe) with any kind of excercise.

The doctor thought this was simply a groin injury but nothing seemed to help -heat, ice, over the counter anti-inflammatories.

Probably two years have gone by since the car incident. (Granted I've only been seeing a doctor for a year or so - I just kept telling myself this would heal on it's own if I gave it a chance)

Finally he (doctor) did some X-rays of the left hip/pelvic area. I went to see him today and he feels that the problem is osteoarthritis in the hip which is causing the problem however he finds it very odd considering my age (I'm 24) and have no family history of this disease. He seemed a little confused and felt it was odd that the symptoms hit me so suddenly and that I don't have symptoms anywhere else.

He has referred me to a specialist for another opinion (could be some time before I get in to see him). He gave me a handfull of Celebrex but they don't really seem to do anything at all.

The pain (without medication) is bearable but seems to come and go randomly... it makes walking long distance difficult and I've pretty much accepted that I'll never jog or peddle a bike again.

I snuck a peak at the radiology report and it said simply "Minor burring on the left femor. No other abnormalities present" He based his diagnoses based on this and some poking and prodding...

What does everyone think? Does this sound like arthritis? Any advice would be appreciated. This diagnoses has devestated me....

 
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Old 11-19-2003, 03:35 AM   #2
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pooh52501 HB User
It could be arthritis that has set in from the trauma related. The best way to make sure of that is to see an ortho doctor about the pain and make sure you take the x-rays. Most ortho's take about 6 weeks to get into - but sometimes you are lucky and they will work you in quicker than that. Make it clear you want to see one as soon as possible.

If you trust your doctor - ask him to recommend someone that he would see if he was having similar problems.

 
Old 11-19-2003, 04:39 PM   #3
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Well I've been referred to a rheumatologist. Not that the doctor believes it's rheumatoid arthritis but just because i think he feels he's in over his head and wants a second opinion. He said "I'm going to give you a referall to doctor X - I'd be very interested in seeing what he thinks about this".

Not sure how soon I will get in.

 
Old 11-20-2003, 02:25 AM   #4
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Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

well that is good that he is referring you to another doctor. I am surprised that he didn't send you to an ortho. Normally for RA - there are some tests that they can run. You can do a search on-line - or go to the mayo clinic website and they can give you more informtion.

I am wishing you the best of luck. And I do hope that you get in soon. The waiting is the hardest part.

Barb

 
Old 11-20-2003, 10:35 AM   #5
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Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

Thank you so much for the kind words.

You're right - the waiting is the hardest part - wondering what exactly I have and dealing with the idea of a disease that could very well cause serious disability.

The pain isn't THAT much of an issue right now - it's pretty mild right now and I've been dealing with it for over a year - so another month isn't going to make much of a difference.

Last edited by Wolfman; 11-20-2003 at 10:36 AM.

 
Old 11-20-2003, 01:51 PM   #6
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ironhat HB User
Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

Hey there, Wolfman!
There are couple of other possibilities that you can prime the doctor with - don;t want to fracture his fragile ego, you know. I've had an issue with groin pain as you describe and it's due to a congenitally narrowed iguinal triangle. That's an area in the groin surrounded by muscles which leave an exit portal for nerves and blood vessles. If you were born with these being too close together, small movements that don't cause pain in most may cause pain in you. Mine has improved with stretching and especially the psoas muscle. This is done as though you're doing a lunge with the irritated leg back, keeping the foot flat on the floor - not as big a stride as a lunge, which you wouldn't want anyway due to the ease of irritating this area. You may end up at a neurologist if they decide that they have to surgically decompress the nerve.
Later,
Chiz

 
Old 11-20-2003, 01:52 PM   #7
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Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

Oops, sorry! That's the inguinal tringle - I lost the 'n'. Good luck!
Chiz

 
Old 11-20-2003, 02:03 PM   #8
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pooh52501 HB User
Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

wolfman,

I agree with ironhat on this. Another thing that you can do is called water walking. Basically you go to the swimming pool and walk around in the water. There may be a floatation belt you can wear - not sure of this. Some of the YMCA actually have a water walking class. Water causes less stress on the joints - while improving muscle tone.

I understand about a disease that can leave you disabled. But the thing to remember is that you are not really disabled - you may be physically challenged - but your mind is still working. We just learn to do things a bit differently than most others would.

I also understand that it may take a while for all this to soak in - but once you do - and set your mind to still living life and not allowing the pain, etc to control your life - then the better off you will be. I have the hip, knee and lower back pains similar to what you are describing. And am waiting for an MRI to see if I have Avascular necrosis in those joints as well. I do have it in a shoulder joint - but you know what I am stubborn and still working. lol

Barb

 
Old 11-20-2003, 05:27 PM   #9
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Wolfman HB User
Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

Thanks everyone for the encouragement.

However I'm not very optimistic about this NOT being arthritis due to the results of the x-rays.

"Minor burring <maybe it was spurring I don't remember> on left femur. No other abnormalities found".

Is there any other explanation for bone spurs?

Does arthritis usually happen as fast as this? I mean one day I'm biking walking fine. The next day (after working a clutch for a few hours) excruciating pain. (which DID get significantly better on it's own over the next few weeks but never really went away completely).

 
Old 11-21-2003, 03:17 AM   #10
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pooh52501 HB User
Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

Arthritis can seem to hit quickly - but it actually happens over time. Just we don't always feel the pain right away until it gets to a certain point.

Has your doctor thought of ordering an MRI of the hips to see if there was anything else going on beside arthritis? That is a possibility as well. Just to make sure there is no soft tissue damage, nerves pinched, or other problems. The reason I say this is because many times osteoarthritis is diagnosed and it turns out to be something else with the tissue/bones in the hips.

I have been told that I have the beginnings of OA in my hips as well, but because of another disease, my doctor has ordered an MRI to double check to see if OA or AVN or even soft tissue damage.

There are other questions to ask as well, Is the hip joint still have normal spacing - are they comparing one hip to the other hip - this is good in OA or AVN actually. Both OA and AVN have basically the same things going on - just AVN the bone deteriorates because of the lack of blood flow to the joint.

Another thing to remember is that with advancements today - there are treatment options that will still allow you to live a somewhat normal life. If the joint gets to bad or the pain gets unbearable - you can get a hip replacement done. If you find you are having uneven leg lengths you should see a poditrist and get a lift for your shoe for the time being - this will help ease lower back pain.

Request to see a pain management specialist if you must. They are good. They treat the whole person - not just the disease.

Barb

 
Old 11-21-2003, 02:29 PM   #11
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Wolfman HB User
Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

Here is the sequence of events that transpired between my doctor leading up to this diagnoses.


Visit 1:
------
I go in complaining of groin pain (that had lasted 6 months or more)

Doctor: It's a groin pull - go home and put ice on it.

Visit 2:
------
I'm back telling him it didn't help.

Doctor: It's a groin pull - go home and put heat on it and take some motrin.

Visit 3:
-------

I'm back telling him it didn't help.

Doctor: Here are some free anti-inflammatories (Celebrex). take these and go have some x-rays done.

Visit 4:
------

I'm back to find out the results of the x-rays and tell him that the celebrex doesn't really seem to do anything.

Doctor: Looks like osteoarthritis which is odd for somebody your age. Since it's not really interfering in your life go home and take pain killers.

I insist that it IS interfering in my life as I had told him MANY times before. This time sounding a little bit annoyed with him.

Doctor: Ok - go see this rheumatologist. I want to see what he has to say.

*sigh*

Do I sound a bit bitter? I've always found that doctors tend to brush off my concerns. I've only ever found one doctor that I truly liked (at a walk in clinic no less!) and he recently had a stroke and thus no longer practices.

So to answer your question - no MRI's done as of yet. I'm hoping that the rheumatologist takes my concerns a bit more serious.

 
Old 11-21-2003, 03:14 PM   #12
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pooh52501 HB User
Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

Wolfman,

Sometimes when you go to the doctor it is best to write out the questions you have before hand. Give him a list of the questions and don't worry about taking up his time. If he brushes you off - say excuse me - I am not a side of beef - in and out of your office - I have real concerns here and would like some answers.

Remember as well - you can always fire a doctor that don't take your concerns into consideration. When you see your next doctor - and I am hoping it's not a long wait for you - request a MRI of the hips.

I can tell you what my pains feels like - if that helps you any - I get the groin pain - but also affects my lower back - and get the aching pains in the buttocks as well. The pain ranges from sharp - can't walk type of pain - to the minor dull ache that is just annoying to say the least.

My x-rays showed sclerosis on both side on the hip sockets - the beginnings of OA they say - but since I have AVN - that is what they need to rule out first. Also because I was given a cortisone shot into a joint that has AVN.

Another thing you might find to ease your pain while walking is to use a cane - at least that will transfer some of the weight off the joint for the time being.

Barb

 
Old 11-21-2003, 06:52 PM   #13
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Wolfman HB User
Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

I don't really need a cane - the pain on a day to day basis is not very severe at all - activities like running or biking seriously irritate it - a burning sensation in the groin, inner thigh and lower abdomen. Not really the hip at all.

On a regular day however (I work at a desk) the pain is perfectly tolerable (usually really just discomfort).

I think I will take your advice when I go to see the rheumatologist - a list of questions. My appointment is late december (before christmas) so that isn't too bad of a wait.

As for firing doctors it really isn't that simple here - it's very hard to find a GP and most in the area aren't taking new patients.

Once again - thanks to everyone posting in this thread!

Last edited by Wolfman; 11-21-2003 at 06:52 PM.

 
Old 12-28-2003, 04:42 PM   #14
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buDeeful6 HB User
Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Hi everybody.

Here's my story. Some time ago I started experiencing a very minor pain in my left groin area when I bent and twisted a certain way. (usually when i pulled my leg up to my chest) It was very minor and only happened in certain circumstances so I didn't think anything of it.

Then one day my friend taught me to drive a manual transmision in his Volkswagon Beetle. Obviously your left leg and hip/groin muscles get a lot of work when using the clutch.

The next day I was in extreme pain - felt like a burning pain in the groin muscle area on the left side (same side where i had felt the earlier pain). Almost to the point where i couldn't walk properly. The pain is located right in the area where my thigh meets the abdomen and extends upwards through the pubic bone area and into my lower abdomen right below my belly button (on the left side).

It got better in the following weeks but never truly went away. The whole leg continued to feel weak and the burning pain returned (although far less severe) with any kind of excercise.

The doctor thought this was simply a groin injury but nothing seemed to help -heat, ice, over the counter anti-inflammatories.

Probably two years have gone by since the car incident. (Granted I've only been seeing a doctor for a year or so - I just kept telling myself this would heal on it's own if I gave it a chance)

Finally he (doctor) did some X-rays of the left hip/pelvic area. I went to see him today and he feels that the problem is osteoarthritis in the hip which is causing the problem however he finds it very odd considering my age (I'm 24) and have no family history of this disease. He seemed a little confused and felt it was odd that the symptoms hit me so suddenly and that I don't have symptoms anywhere else.

He has referred me to a specialist for another opinion (could be some time before I get in to see him). He gave me a handfull of Celebrex but they don't really seem to do anything at all.

The pain (without medication) is bearable but seems to come and go randomly... it makes walking long distance difficult and I've pretty much accepted that I'll never jog or peddle a bike again.

I snuck a peak at the radiology report and it said simply "Minor burring on the left femor. No other abnormalities present" He based his diagnoses based on this and some poking and prodding...

What does everyone think? Does this sound like arthritis? Any advice would be appreciated. This diagnoses has devestated me....

Do you also get pain in the buttock with this. If so it may be sciatica. I was toubled with symptoms like yours with pain in the buttocks. I did some online research and found a great excersise which has helped me trendemously. I no longer suffer from sciatica unless i forget to do my excersises!

you will need a blanket and a watch or timer

step 1: roll a blanket up so that it is about 6 -8 inches thick and place
it on the floor

2: sit on the the rolled blanket and bend your right knee so that
your right foot is as close to your left hip as possible, as if you
were going to sit cross legged. Put your left foot in front of
your right knee as far right as possible, or if possible next to
your right thigh this is your goal. (I haven't acheived it
yet but I try to go as far as possible each time)

3: Place you hands on your left knee for stabalization and sit in
this position for 2 min. Keep telling yourself to relax your hip
and try to get your knee to the floor if this is not possible don't
force this will get better as the muscles strectch out.

4: After 2 Min switch legs and repeat the excersise. (Do 2 sets
on each side twice a day.) When this gets easy gradually
reduce the thickness of the blanket for more stretch

Let me know if this helps you as much as if has me. Good Luck

Last edited by buDeeful6; 12-28-2003 at 04:49 PM.

 
Old 12-29-2003, 06:23 PM   #15
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becky1954 HB User
Re: Hip and groin pain. Arthritis?

i went to the dr today for a followup on oa of the spine.i have also had hip pain and the thigh hurts to bend it.he pulled on it and swung it from side to side and said it was bursitis.that is also a possibility.
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