I'm a 28 year old Stay at home mom and I've been having pain in my knee cap and down the outside of left leg for 5 years now. In 2002 I saw a bond doctor who said I had patellofemoral knee pain. In 2005 he did knee surgery. That fixed my knee but leg was still hurting he said that was due to a back issue. At the time I was pregnant so I put it on hold. I decided that I've been in pain long enough and I wanted some answers so this year I've seen 2 Neurologist, 1 Neurosurgeon, 1 bone doctor and my family doctor numerous times. I have had 1 EMG which showed some nerve damage in my leg and 1 open mri that showed a pinched nerve in my back. Then I had a closed MRI on my back, leg and knee. It showed that my back was FINE nothing is pinched but my knee and leg MRI show swelling and effusion in my knee, swelling in my leg and Edema in the marrow of my tibia bone.
My family doctor has no clue what to make of it. He did a rheumatoid arthritis panel and it was negative. No one knows what's wrong with me and noone can tell me which specialist to go to next. My pain has been a 5 out of 10 for the last 5 days now. I'm upset and I feel like I'll be in pain forever and noone will ever know why.
Who should I see next? I have good health insurance and I don't need a referral.
Hello Amanda....Sorry to hear about your problem. Have you seen an orthopedic? If so, what did he/she say? If not, I would ask to see one. I would also inquire about going to see a pain mgt Doc...Although your insurance won't require a referral, the Doc does...You'll need your family Doc to refer you.
I think most (good) pain management doctors will try to isolate the cause of your pain. Keep in mind, though, that there are many people who never get an answer to why they are having pain, they just end up finding ways to manage it. You may find ways to effectively manage your pain without the drowsiness or other side effects. I think a pain management doctor will also try other non-narcotic treatments. Have you ever used a TENS unit? Since you pain is localized to one area, it might provide you with some relief. Don't rule out other treatments like acupuncture, either. A good PM doctor should be able to discuss all of these options with you.
I think most (good) pain management doctors will try to isolate the cause of your pain. Keep in mind, though, that there are many people who never get an answer to why they are having pain, they just end up finding ways to manage it. You may find ways to effectively manage your pain without the drowsiness or other side effects.
I agree. Most good PM Docs are anethesiologists and are thus, experts in meds. They also are very skilled with back and hip injuries / pain because they see so many with the condition(s). I would explain to the PM Doc upfront what your concerns are so he/she just doesn't throw meds @ you. There is a common ground, however.
Lastly, I'm not so sure I wouldn't try to see another orthopedic or two....After all, they are experts with bone issues.
I agree & that is exaclty what my PM is doing, trying to find the source of the pain. I sound like I am always repeating myself, which I have a habit of doing, but I do not fully trust all of these tests & I think you will find that alot of people agree. I think sometimes a problem stays hidden & is not detected with all of this modern technology we have. I had one of the many doctors I was seen by finally come out tell me just that.
I am not sure what other doctors or PMs do in a case like yours, which by the way is simulair to mine, but my PM took all my symptoms & explained what he thought could be causing them & said that while he would treat the pain with meds he would look for the source of the pain & symptoms.
Every test I had showed alittle of this & that but not the root of all this pain & lose of range of motion. For example I had an MRI done on the shoulder, which showed some bursitis, tendonitis & arthritis, but not at the degree that the surgeon found when he go in there. It was abit worse then it appeared on the MRI. I have heard other stories about surgeons going in & finding more problems or its worse or even more complicated then what appeared on the MRIs or what ever other tesing was done.
I dont know if this helps you out, but I felt like you & still do. I know its an awful way to feel. It the not knowing that makes it all so hard to deal with.
Hang in there & look for a good Doctor that will look for the problem. Noone should live with those pain levels & I feel for you. Take care & let us know how is goes, Sammy
...will he/she try to find out why I'm in pain or just give me pain pills...
...I have 2 little ones at home and I'm wanting an answer and not just something for the pain...
There are a variety of approaches to PM. Some try to locate the cause of the pain, so treat with meds while looking for causes, some are palliative care docs, meaning that for those whose cause cannot be determined or the cause in incurable, they require treatment for pain and quality of life.
Being one of those who cause has yet to be found, I assume any good PM doc would work to determine why you are in pain. And, if they're worth their salt, they will also treat the pain.
Chronic Pain (CP) is unhealthy. CP can cause high pulse rate, high blood pressure, depression, muscle wasting, weight gain, immune system complications, insomnia, fatigue, etc. These reasons, and many more are why pain has been elevated to be the fifth vital sign, and it is imperative that it be treated. So the goal is to find balance between diagnostics, analgesics and quality of life.
Also, when pain goes under-treated for too long it can damage the nervous system's ability to recognize and report pain, causing the patient to be in a life-long CP state. So both the determination of the cause and the immediate treatment of the pain are critical to long-term health.
Many here on the board have undergone battery after battery of tests and learned, unfortunately, that either the cause will not be found or that everything has been done to treat the condition and it is permanent. In such cases all there is to offer is relief of pain.
Many here are doing battle with accepting their condition and the permanence of the pain and they are at the other end of the battle from you. I do hope you can learn the cause of your pain and eliminate it so that your pain is gone and will not return. I also hope you are willing to be treated for your current level of pain so that your nervous system is not damaged by it, rendering you a permanent CP patient.
PM docs will work with you to determine the necessary diagnostic and pain relief treatments. I hope you can locate a good one.