Hello, everybody, I am new to this site and I am desperately in need of help.
I have been having an ongoing lower leg problem for going on 4 months now. I am at my wits end.
I have missed about 5 weeks of work and if I miss so much as one more day I will lose my job [I am a security guard who needs to walk and I am not collecting workers comp.]
I didn’t have a major catastrophic accident or event with broken bones—it is more of an overuse problem—from walking on railroad tracks to improve balance--long story not to be told here.
I get different stories from different doctors about what is wrong with me and I am seeking out more information so that I may solve my pain problem and end this nightmare.
My pain is in my lower left leg between the bottom of my lower knee and my ankle. It is along the outside of my leg. I guess between the shin and the calf. It is a burning pain that once it starts it won’t stop unless I do the R.I.C.E. treatment, and stay off of it by using crutches. There is no swelling and I am assuming that is because I am treating it before it starts to swell. I don’t know if I am having any loss of feeling or whatever in the foot because all I am focused on is the pain.
Once the pain stops, I slowly start using the leg again. The problem is that it keeps straining, spraining again [becoming inflamed and painful again].
The ER initially said it was a sprained knee [11-8-2011] even though I told them that the pain came up the leg toward the knee from below. The OS insists that it is a sprained knee—an LCL.
I went through a period of 6 weeks where I re-sprained it 8 times and wasn’t using the muscles in the leg for that period, because everytime it healed, I would get back on it and …..boom. Resprain. Finally I got it healed and rested it for a week before starting to use it.
I did manage to get an xray and mri of the knee, and neither of those showed any damage or problems.
After walking on it for around 5 weeks and doing PT, I managed to re-sprain it again. This time however, I noticed that the pain was being caused by me moving my foot. Everytime I moved my foot, the sharp burning pain came up the outside of my leg toward the bottom of my knee. The pain got so bad I went back to the ER [2-13-2012] and they said it was tendinits [they didn't do any xrays etc.]
I went back to the OS and told him about it and he didn’t want to listen to the tendinits story. He insisted there was nothing surgically wrong with my leg/knee and he insisted that I start walking on the leg again [by that time I had been off of it for seven days by using crutches and a wheelchair. So I didn’t see him while the leg was inflamed. I had been treating it with R.I.C.E. for a week before I saw him].
Everything was fine until 5 days later when I was attempting to hand-wash the foot, and somehow the movement has ignited another resprain incident. I am currently back on bedrest using crutches and a wheelchair.
I called a local dial-a-nurse number operated by the county and the nurse mentioned something about a peroneal nerve before she hung up. She was busy and didn’t have time to go into details.
Could somebody please tell me what I am dealing with here? Do I have nerve damage? Is this a peroneal nerve issue? I am on a county health plan because of my income, so It is not like I can just go picking and choosing specialists to see. What kind of doctor/specialist do I need to see? What do I need to do to solve this problem?
Wow, that is a lot of information. It appears that you may have a sprain, especially if there is swelling. The severe pain may point to neuropathy and you need to see a neurologist to determine that. The reason I would doubt neuropathy is that the pain is always with you in neuropathy. You would have feelings of changes in sensation and numbness that would be worst at night usually. I wish you luck with this.
Hi OMLL, I am with Tingles on this. Sounds like you need to see a neurologist. They're are so many horrific diseases that can cause nerve pain and a neurologist is the best place to start to figure out what is going on. I have RSD and peripheral neuropathy, both caused from simple knee surgeries. But you can get RSD from a sprained knee too. I am not a doctor so I cant say what you may have, but a neurologist can. I am so very sorry you are going through this, but please know that the wonderful people on here do understand. Someone is on here most the time to commiserate and sometimes that can make you feel better in some way. Hang in there best you can, K.
My perspective is slightly different in that I mainly hang out on the Back Problems board. It sounds to me like there is a possibility that the source of the nerve pain may be coming from a lower lumbar issue, perhaps a bulging disc around the Lumbar 4-Lumbar 5 level -- a L5 radiculopathy.
The spinal nerves send out signals and innervate the limbs and other parts of the body. The lumbar nerves innervate the area below the waist, including the pereneal nerve. This nerve is what controls the foot to lift when you walk. It can be damaged during surgery, by something as simple as resting a leg, unsupported on a coffee table, crossing of the legs on a habitual basis, squatting, and a million other ways, including a compression in the spine.
I don't know what you were doing walking on the tracks, but it is possible to cause problems by various physical activities that cause a change in structural alignment and posture, etc.
If a nerve in the spine is just slightly "pinched" from some inflammation or something like a disc bulge or stenosis, it can come and go. The quality of the pain can change and ranges from anything from dull achiness, to sharp and stabbing. it can feel like boiling water, water trickling down the leg, electric shocks, tingling, numbness, etc. Just to give you an example, when a pain is caused by a condition called stenosis, it will generally hurt more when standing or walking. It can come and go in the early stages. I think I went on for several years with mine before it finally got bad enough that I went to my doctor and then had a MRI of the lumbar spine. I wasn't working so it was easy to get off my feet whenever the pain started to act up.
If you don't get any answers from the avenues you are pursuing, you might want to investigate the lower spine as a possible source of your issues.
The Following User Says Thank You to teteri66 For This Useful Post: June89 (03-10-2012)
He examined the whole situation and said he believed there was some type of issue with the peroneal nerve.
He referred me to a neurologist for additional tests. While the doctor was examining me, his movements of my foot [while testing it] have re-ignited the burning pain once again and I am back on bed-rest, crutches and wheel chair.
To be honest, I am getting concerned. I haven't read too many happy stories on these message boards. I am concerned that this problem is never going to resolve itself. I am concerned I won't be able to work anymore. I am concerned that the only solution [I can afford] will be to try and medicate the problem so that I can't feel it [instead of correcting the problem surgically]. I am concerned that my quality of life as I knew it will never ever be the same again.
I appreciate people responding. If I had known people had responded I would have responded sooner. I didn't get any email messages alerting me to any responses. From now on I will check back more often.
The Following User Says Thank You to onmylastlegg For This Useful Post: June89 (03-10-2012)
the fact that there is no swelling is one of the reasons, i believe, some of the doctors have treated me somewhat cavalierly and dismissively: as if my problem isn't serious because I have no broken bones etc.
i saw a podiatrist and he referred me to a neurologist
onmylastlegg....every sentence in that one paragraph you wrote has, "i am concerned". whatever it is...i'm sure it can be taken care of medically. it's not something that is going to kill you and i'm sure, once you get a proper diagnoses, that there will be some sort of treatment and even a cure. don't start getting yourself all anxious over it yet. wait until you find out what it is. you can actually make yourself sick with worrying. don't add that to the concerns you already have. stay calm and be patient. things will work out.
The following user gives a hug of support to boobootwo: onmylastlegg (03-10-2012)
I am happy to see you are getting to a neurologist. I understand that you have read some stories that appear to be unhappy. I understand that they may not be able to fix the situation and that it will not resolve itself.
As far as the quality of your life do not be too worried. What may seem to be unhappy stories are not all as bad as they appear. I walk with braces on my legs and use a cane but I can still walk. I find myself doing many of the things I still used to within a set of limitations but I can choose to be content with my current situation.
Many of the people on this board find courage they never thought they had and rise to meet adversities they would never believed they could overcome.
The following user gives a hug of support to tingles: onmylastlegg (03-10-2012)
Hi OMLL, I feel so awful for you. I have been right where you are, we all have to certain extent I think. Not knowing what you have is a terrible place to be. But, I really do believe the neurologist will be a big help to you, I really do. My neurologist dx my RSD and really helped me on my path to getting a better handle on it. Just knowing what is wrong is a big help. Not sure why but it is. When do you see the neurologist? I would tell them at your appt that you want to know more about peripheral neuropathy, RSD/CRPS, and all the other disease that have your symptoms. Are you reading up on the different types of diseases? Sometimes it can help to go in knowing a little about them so you will know what the doc is talking about. But it can also make you a bit crazy reading about them too, so try not to make yourself nuts. Oh you poor thing, boy I really do feel so bad for you, I really do sweetie. Hang in as best you can and do please let us know how your neuro appt goes. Karen
we can't tell you that it's going to get better....because like you...we don't know yet either. just a word of caution....if you're taking pain killers, try not to take them often....just when you absolutely cannot tolerate the pain. you don't need addicition to the pills to add to your worries. have you tried creams that freeze or dull the area, like arthritic creams or those freeze creams. they might help you tolerate better. in the meantime...i'm sorry that you're in so much pain, but if you continue to worry...it will make you feel worse. just hang in there and wait until you see the neurologist. i'm in pain everyday with my sjogrens and fibro....but believe it or not...i still haven't as much as even taken a tylenol. i just try to refocus on other things and keep my mind busy and sometimes....it actually helps with the pain. keeps me from focusing on what my body is doing to me. hang in there...you can do it. let us know after you've seen the doc.
I was under the impressiion that it was to include the ankle and lower leg.
They did it from lower knee to the top of the ankle.
Is that sufficient to show nerve problems that could be causing me problems?
I asked the guy that did the mri and he said he followed the written script. He said nerves might be too small to be seen anyway [then why did they prescribe an mri??????????????]
Will aggravated and agitated and painful nerves show up on an mri?
To hate my feet::: I reserved a bunch of material from the library;;;;am waiting till it all comes in to go get it; includes 4 books on nerve pain types of issues like causes and treatments of peripheral neuropathy and nutrition for neuropathy. Can't wait to start reading..........maybe.
To boobootwo: i hate taking pain meds and try to limit what i am taking.