Hi everyone...I need some advice. I'm a 30 year old female who has CONSTANT leg pain. It started about 6-8 months ago. The pain doesn't seem to radiate from any place specific but is in my upper thighs, lower legs, groin, buttocks, sides of thighs, knees and lower back. I also experience constant pins and needles in both feet. I went to my PCP and she did blood work and found out that I was anemic. Big woop! She also did an EMG which doctor said could be a pinched nerve in ny lower back causing everything. I made another appointment to see her again because now I have experiencing very sharp pains near my right knee. They only last for like 4-5 seconds and have only happened twice out of the blue. Anyone else has the same symptoms as me?? I feel like I am going nuts always being in this pain!
Hi! Thank u! I do not have pain on both legs at the same time. Can the pain be at the same time? Yes! But it doesn't have to be. Right now, it's predominately in my right leg.
No MRI yet. I go back to the doc on Wedensday. Hopefully she will be prepared with what we can do next!
Pain in the leg that originates with a disc problem or a stenosis issue usually are in one leg only. There are exceptions to this, particularly when there is some instability, which is why I asked about the flexion/extension x-ray. This test most clearly and inexpensively shows a condition called spondylolisthesis, which is when one vertebra slips over the top of the adjacent one.
Another situation is when a disc bulges not to the left or to the right side, but in the middle region. Then the pain can effect both legs, one or the other...and can kind of come and go, back and forth.
You might want to look online for a "dermatome map." You may find it interesting to see if your pain corresponds to a particular pattern. As you probably know, the spinal nerves innervate various parts of the body, with cervical spinal nerves covering the upper limbs, and lumbar mainly covering the lower limbs. If you go to the doctor and tell her you big toe is numb, she will know to begin her search for something is compressing the L4 nerve...there's nothing magical about it. The nerves run in a particular pattern that sensitize a particular area. When a nerve is compressed in the spine, pain can be felt anywhere along the nerve's pathway.
If you do get a MRI, be sure to ask for a copy of the disc and the radiology report. It is a good idea to get into the habit of keeping a file with copies of your tests, MRIs, etc. Hopefully, this pain will be a one-shot thing...but if you end up with ongoing issues, it is very handy to have these records on hand without having to go back to the original source and wait and wait to get copies. Plus, then you can come back here and tell us in detail what the MRI found!
You mentioned your PCP, who did the EMG? Was it a neurologist?
I strongly suggest that you see a specialist meaning either a neurologist; orthopedist or neurosurgeon. I think if the problem is stemming from the spine a specialist is the ONLY one to truly diagnose the issue and how to treat it properly. And if you do decide to see one of the above it should be some one specifically trained in "spine" issues.
From there you can determine the cause of the problem, the extent of the problem and proper treatment. to me there is a reason for "specialists." hope you find the answers you are looking for.
A neurologist did do the EMG, my PCP referred me to her. She said the nerves in my leg were a little slow but she didn't see anything major. She said that it "could be a pinched nerve in my back" causing all the problems but further testing would need to be done.
I have been thru spine issues since 1988. I have been thru 5 major surgeries and surgeries to implant then remove a Spinal Cord stimulator to control pain. It was removed because it didn't work. I am now going for another type of implant to control pain ---- a morphine pump which is scheduled to be done o 1/11/13.
I also live in NJ originally north jersey now south jersey. One thing that I found when it came to the spine since my issues seemed to continue I found finding a doctor affiliated with a Major teaching hospital. That seems to have worked the best for me in figuring out what was wrong and how to treat it.
There are a lot of great orthopedic hospitals in NY if you are close to that area and the same holds true if you are in south jersey, Philadelphia has a lot of great deals in the area.
Hope you find the answer and probably the next step for you would be an MRI assume. That should give further details as to what is going on. Good luck.
If I need a spinal doctor I would love some recommendations from u Pebble! I live like 20 min from Philly and I know that they have awesome hospitals there! Thanks so much for the support everyone! For a while u think u are the only one going through it cuz no one in your house is going through it and u get tired of complaining to them about being in pain all the time!
I also live less then 1/2 hour from Philly. If and when the time comes we could probably come up with a doctor for you.
Lauren I find that people that are not going thru pain, whether it be spinal pain or some other form of pain that is continous, it is hard for people to really grasp what you are going thru.
I know I have had this discussion somewhere on the board with people about you trying to tell people what you are going thru and either they don't understand or they say they do but you look in their faces and they don't get the pain that exists. So there are many times I am tired of trying to explain how I feel and rather then go thru the story I say I am fine.
There is the physical pain and after a while it becomes emotional pain of dealing with everything.
Again good luck, keep us posted as to your progress and we will go from there as to what support you need.
I'm satisfied with him. He seems good. I"ve been using him for 7 years now I guess.
While I think he is good, if he recommended surgery, my policy is ALWAYS if possible get a 2nd or 3 rd opinion and that is my policy even if they are considered the TOP doctors in America.
While I will continue to use him, I am at the point that I feel I want a second set of eyes to look at my films. There is never any harm in getting a different opinion or different approach on things from someone else. And usually when I get 2nd opinions the doctor is usually affiliated with a different hospital altogether.
I think I am at that point. I want to cover all the basis. Am I making sense in what message I am trying to convey?
I understand completely what u are saying! I hope it never gets to the point of surgery. My mom has a motto to never let anyone operate on your back. She has been an ICU nurse for over 30 years and believes that u never fully recover and sometimes end up feeling worse. I don't think I'll ever opt for surgery and we shall see what the docs say!
I somewhat understand your mom's feeling regarding spine surgery. But not sure I totally agree.
Of all the surgeries that I have been thru, I can say I never regretting having the surgery done. Yes I understand the risks involved and yes it can be overwhelming.
But its like the surgery I had in 1997 for a condition known as "flatback syndrome" I tried medicaton, I tried physical therapy. Things that I would normally try before even considering surgery. Yes I believe in conservative treatment first. But the conventional treatments failed. So here I was with "flatback syndrome" which due to the disc issues caused me to be in a forward flexed position. I was unable to stand up straight. The way my posture was described in medical reports was that I had a simian posture which meant that I walked hunched over unable to maintain a normal posture. I walked like an ape to put it more simply. so when conservative treatment failed I opted for surgery. Harrington rods were put in place. I was unable to walk for 14 months before the surgery was done. The only relief I got was bed rest and I wasnt about to spend the rest of my life in bed.
So the surgery was done and by the next day I was standing up straight and walking the halls of the hospital.
While I have had many surgeries I consider them all successful. While I still have issues it is not the result of the surgeries themselves. I believe I have the genetic predispositiion for spine issues. After each surgery it was a NEW issue that arose, not as a result of the surgery itself. I truely believe that without the surgery I would have been bed ridden for years and would have wasted away.
Again I say go into surgery any surgery with caution. the simplist surgery can have its consequences. I dont accept the answer that a surgery is "routine". Anything can go wrong even with tonislectomy or an appendectomy.
So I went to my PCP this morning and she referred me for an MRI of my back based on the results of my EMG. She also put me on a very low dose of Neurontin. I'm not sure how I feel about starting medication for a problem I don't even know I have yet. Anyone else ever put on the drug?
Probably most of us on this board have been on neurontin or Lyrica at some point. It can take a couple weeks to get used to but it does help many people with nerve pain.
I just wanted to comment that none of us wanted back surgery, but sometimes there comes a point where there is basically no quality of life and so much pain that one is willing to try just about anything. I would agree that one try every possible conservative treatment prior to thinking about surgery...but when those treatments fail and surgery is the only option, still do everything to research the surgeon and hospital, learn everything you can about the surgery itself and give everything considerable thought before agreeing to spine surgery.
Your mom is right. Any spine surgery alters the back and the person will never again be as they were prior to the onset of injury or pain. Some people do end up worse...but many regain at least some ability to live their former life.
I had a Microdiscectomy in Dec 2012. I was someone who never ever thought I would have back surgery based on all the horrible stories I've heard. But the pain won and I went thru with it. The surgery and recovery was a breeze. Pain gone instantly. No overnight hospital stay, I was in at 6am out and walked out by noon. Prior to surgery I could not sit (especially in a car!) for more than 10 minutes. The 30 min ride home was amazing. Not a hint of pain. I'm 4 weeks out and feeling really good. Occasional aches but nothing of significance.
I write this to help dispel the rumors that surgery usually makes things worse. Medicine has really progressed and if you have a herniated disc and a MicroDiscectomy is an option -Do not be afraid. Just find the best damn Neurosurgeon you can. Do your research and fear not.