No, my SI joints turned out to be OK although they did give me problems after my 3 level fusion from L3-S1...which was to be expected. Oddly enough, my biggest problem turned out to be something totally unexpected at L3. My facets at that level had completely worn away and it was allowing my spine to move in all sorts of ways Nature had not intended. My surgeon was very shocked when he opened me up as he (and everyone else I was seeing) thought my main problems were at l5-S1...which turned out to not be at all bad...but he went ahead and fused it as long as he was in there. The facet degeneration did not show up on any imaging I'd had done....and the surgeon ended up having to reconstruct that level.
It's funny (odd) because the L3 dermatome distribution was exactly where I had pain...but because the MRIs looked fine, everyone kept telling me L3-L4 was "fine." And then for months on end, I wouldn't have any pain on the front of my thigh...and the dermatomes do overlap to some extent so I was willing to think nothing was wrong, since that's what they kept telling me.
Luckily I had my surgery on the day after Memorial Day when no one else wanted to schedule. My surgeon only had one other patient, and I went second so my surgeon had all the time in the world to work on me. He didn't feel pressured because he had patients stacked up after me. So things worked out great.
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Re: Does this make sense..?
Once my fusion is solid, I think I need to find a rearranger. Or a giant dude with a hairy hand!
I am glad to hear that you are still thankful for the blessings you have. I can relate to "looking like there's nothing wrong with you", but struggling with everyday tasks. I sometimes get puzzling/dirty looks when I use my temporary placard or when I don't give up a seat on the train. But, I am at peace, knowing that I am doing what's best for my health.
In addition to studying the dermatome map for the areas where you have pain, I would recommend having someone check your hips, if you have not already. The pain in the inner thigh, particularly with sitting, could be because of a hip impingement. My psoas was also in spasm, but not sure whether that was because of the back or hip problems. There are fairly simple diagnostic tests which can rule this out as a problem, and unlike backs, hips can often be diagnosed with X-rays.
"I sometimes get puzzling/dirty looks when I use my temporary placard or when I don't give up a seat on the train."
I just love how people judge people without knowing anything.
Can you guys help me figure out what is going on? This issue is confusing me very much. Last night I was trying to "stretch out" before bed and started do really light pelvic tilts ( pull your belly button towards the floor ) and something "caught" above my left sacral notch. I immediately got a cold jolt just across my lower back and down into my thighs ( mostly on the left side. ) When I tried to get up it was like someone was hitting me in the funny bone ( but in the left sacral notch. ) All night long when I tied to scoot in bed the pain would come back. This morning I have this horrible throbbing pain all over. It just throbs until I try to move and it feels like someone is zapping me with a cattle stick. The left sacral notch is swelled up and very tender.
Can't say specifically, but you moved in such a way that a nerve got caught. Are you icing? Use a gel pack or a frozen bag of peas or corn and lay it over the sacral notch for 15-20 minutes per hour, being careful to protect the skin, of course. We don't want any frost-bitten skin! You can ice every hour if need be.
It may be that the piriformis muscle is irritated and is swelling. The sciatic nerve runs directly underneath the piriformis, although in some lucky people it can run right through the piriformis. Any irritation of the muscle can pull on the sciatic nerve, which can shoot pain in many different ways.
Try to just rest today and keep icing. There was a period of time when I couldn't do any sort of pelvic tilts or movements.
If you can get down on the floor, try this: Lie flat on the floor, with knees bent, feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor. Place a really small, flat pillow or folded blanket under your neck -- the idea is to have as much of the spine making contact with the floor as possible. Arms should be close to your sides with hands facing toward the ceiling. Now, just try to relax and breathe deeply from the belly...and stay like this for up to about 5 minutes, breathing slowly and visualizing all your muscles letting go and relaxing.....
Whenever I feel any tension in my back, I go into this position...and I also do it upon rising in the morning and before I go to bed at night. It helps to keep things in alignment, it lets all the muscles and soft tissue, including the fascia, to stop "guarding" and to release, and it gives the discs a chance to unload.
I performed your little trick and watched my son destroy his bedroom yesterday.The imagination kids have is beyond belief. I overheard him talking with someone/something "you've got the force, luke" there he was playing Star wars with his pet ginnie pig. I just laid down on his floor and watched for several hours. That poor ginnie pig just sat in the middle of the "bad guys" while my son flew his millenium falcon around the room. Then that mean 'ol ginnie pig played darth vadar commanding the imperial walker. Good times.
Anyhow, my wife picked up the report my PT sent to the neurosurgeon.
---------'s re-evaluation was completed as outlined. His signs and symtoms seemed consistent with chronic pelvic/sacral dysfunction over the years secondary to the underlying low back issues. His recent fall likely exacerbated those issues and led to his current condition. I also believe, as I have in the past, that -----'s underlying low back issues, in this case the disc tear/bulge noted on his MRI, need to be addressed to facilitate ----'s development of good pelvic function and stability.
----- has failed conservative measures. I believe he would benefit from surgical intervention, if deemed medically appropiate.
Good luck One Day. I hope you get the relief you so deserve. Your symptom and life sounds so familiar. I too have an annular tear and a bulge at L5S1 but am betting on a right SI fusion is the ticket for me.3 years hurt at work been in hadees aver since and I'm ready to do something besides test injections.. prolotherapy did help some..Some was very welcome but prolotherapy hurts like heck!! And takes a long time to see results.