I've already posted my lumbar MRI results. Summary: L5/S1 mild disc desiccation, severe-extensive facet arthritis and bulky osteophytes in the entire lumbar spine, mild broad base disc protrusion at L3/L4, spinal stenosis at L3/L4, and mild degenerative lumbar scoliosis. Consulted with a lumbar spinal specialist who told me that a laminectomy is in my near future.
I had an ESI 12 days ago. It's helped with some of my left calf pain but the pain in my left groin area, upper left thigh and mid-back rib cage(both sides) has increased dramatically. I am concerned that I have issues with my thoracic spine. (I've only had the MRI done on my lumbar spine because I was only having issues there and in my left leg and left foot for the past 4 years...but, oddly, the mid-back and rib cage pain is increasing as of late).
I literally feel twisted and it's obvious that my pelvis is rotated and torqued (it has been for a long time but for some reason the pain is much more intense the past few weeks).
Can lumbar issues, one level of spinal stenosis, mild degenerative scoliosis cause mid back-rib cage pain and into the shoulder blade area? Maybe I should get a complete spinal MRI? Any thoughts or suggestions? I have my 2nd opinion appt set for early May. (I have purchased 5 spinal books, I've been on pub-med, and the obvious websites that talk about the spine, and nothing really talks about the realtionship between a compromised lumbar spine and how it could possibly affect the rest of the back???? I am being hopeful that my mid-back, rib-cage pain is related, somehow, someway to my lumbar issues...???!)
I think it is entirely possible that since you have the fairly severe issues with the facet joints in the lumbar area that the same degenerative process is going on in the other joints of the spine.
Also, when structural alignment is thrown off, it affects other segments of the spine. It is common to over-compensate when one area of the spine is hurt or injured. The body automatically fights to be stable and upright. Muscles and soft tissue work overtime to accomplish this...which can result in unbalanced muscle groups, muscle spasms from fighting to hold a particular posture, etc.
The dermatomes in the thoracic area run in bands around the torso, so you might have pain in the front of the rib cage radiating from a pinched thoracic nerve, but it wouldn't radiate into the limbs.
If you have some scoliosis in the lumbar spine, you might have a little bit in the thoracic area, too.
When you meet with the next surgeon, be sure to mention this and get his professional opinion....
Thanks for your reply Teri! I'm very concerned about the rest of my spine. I wish they would have administered a complete MRI on my spine. I'll ask for one when I return from Arizona.
The mood swings and overall odd feeling from the ESI subsided about a week later, thanks for asking. I find it odd that, although it's helped a little with the lower leg cramping, I have more shooting and stabbing pains in my thigh, hamstrings, pelvis, and groin. I really didn't have that going into the ESI.