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    Old 05-16-2013, 10:15 AM   #1
    Feather822
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    Severe back hip and leg pain... help

    I have been dealing with lower back pain for the last few years. The left side of my back gets extremely swollen and feels like a baseball is in it. I had my first child less than a year ago and during my pregnancy my pain increased.( I had the back pain long before being pregnant)

    After I had my first child the pain in my back became dibilitating. On top of the excrusiating back pain I started having sciatic pain in my left leg and for the last 3 months at least I have had no feeling from my knee down on my left leg. Since having my child I have seen a nuerosurguen, my primary, a pain rehabilitation dr and have gone to physical therapy twice which made my pain worse. I now have a referral to go see a nuerologist.

    In the last month and a half I have had severe right leg pain now. Its a little different than my left leg pain so I'm not sure if its my sciatic nerve in my right leg. In my right leg I have similar symptoms except I have a lot more pain in my hip and in my knee almost as if its a pulsatiting pain and there is no numbness.

    I have a 9 month old daughter that I can barely play with because I can't move. I don't feel relief when I'm laying down sitting standing, etc.

    I have had 2 mri, an x ray or my back. My x ray came back normal. My mri says I have degenetive disc, spinal stenosis, and slipped discs in my L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1.
    Even with all that the nuro surgeon said its not operable.
    I have been on prednizone, tremedol 50 and 100. I have been given mucsle relaxers and on vicodin and nothing is helping my pain. I'm only 25 and I feel as if I'm 90. I can't move,and its debilitating. What can they do to help me or what can they be missing............. I need any amd all suggestions please

     
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    Old 05-16-2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain.....help

    Hi Feather, I'm sorry about your pain. One thing I would suggest is to ask your doctor for a nerve pain medication such as Cymbalta, Lyrica, Nueronton, etc. things like that, those meds are made specifically for the nerve pain and might just give you the relief your looking for, narcotics don't help much with nerve pain. Another suggestion is to get a second opinion and even a third opinion. What was the reason your doctor said your issue was inoperable? I wouldn't necessarily trust that one. Keep us updated and good luck to you.

    I'm sure other people will be along soon to offer more thoughts and idea's.

     
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    Old 05-16-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain.....help

    I would suggest you make an appointment with an orthopedic spine surgeon. You do not need to mention to this doctor that you have already seen a neurosurgeon. Without having further information about your MRI findings, it is impossible to comment on what possible solutions there may be for your problems.

    Unfortunately, degenerative disc disease is one of those generalizations that can include a number of issues. Unless it is causing an instability in the spine or nerve compression, the surgeon would consider it not to be a cause for surgery.

    Did the neurosurgeon comment on the swelling you have in your back? I can't imagine what that is. That would be a cause for concern for me.

     
    Old 05-16-2013, 01:33 PM   #4
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain.....help

    Thanks for the replys. I was perscribed cymbalta but I was on tremadol so the pharmacist said not to mix the two so the dr said not to take it and when she took me off tremedol and put me on vicoden she never addressed cymbalta again but I will call her and ask her because I am desperate for some relief.

    My mri results were
    L3-l4- a diffuse annular bulge is eccentric to the right.
    L4-l5- there is a posterior and left forminal disc protrusion and mild facet arthrosis.mild narrowing of the left neural foramen and asymmetric mass effect on the traversing L5 nerve root
    L5-S1- left paracentral disc protrusion. In concert with mild arthrosis, this leads to lateral recess stenosis and mass effect on left s1 nerve root

    Degeneratives changes at l4-l5 and l5-s1 with mass effect on left l5-s1 transversing nerve root

    The nuerosurgeon didn't give much reasoning as to why it was inoperable and just referred me to another dr and p.t.
    What will an orthopedic spine surgeon help me with. I will go anywhere I can to help with this pain.
    The dr did not see my back when it was swollen but did say he could feel some type of mass on the left part of my lowrr back near my spine.

    I feel so frustrated bc no dr seems to care enough to go through everything with me and explain there findings even when I ask. Ladt time I went to the dr I cried bc she didn't know where to go from here. Why can't they figure this out!!! I can barely walk or sit let alone take care of my 8 month old like I would have imagined. I'm 25 and in good health for the most part. I cry almost everyday due to pain and frustration. I feel like I'm going crazy. On top of all the pain I'm going through, when my back swells up I can barely move. Its amazing how inflamed it gets. It looks like I have a football on the left lowrr back . Please give as many poinions as possible. I'm doing all I can but I don't want to keep being perscribed pain meds, I want a solution and to fix it.

     
    Old 05-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #5
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    Lightbulb Re: Severe back hip and leg pain.....help

    My goodness girl you sound awful. I have the same pain in my legs . I am going thru pure hell, My painmanagement doc, only want to take all of my hardware out they think that is my problem. I cant go there due to fear and other problems. So I have been seeing my primary Doc. she has been really reaching out there to help figure out my leg problems. I had test done for nerve problems that cleared I have no nerve damage in my legs, So then I went for vascullar Dr. They did 2 test on them I go in again next month for more test, I have venous trombosis in both legs, I hope she will order to have stints put in cause the pain is so unbareable. Maybe you should see your primary and see what they say, and I agree to have another opinon and maybe 3 cause somthing needs to be fixed to help you, you are so young to have such pain. Good luck to you and keep us posted. As ever georgie 782

     
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    Old 05-16-2013, 06:46 PM   #6
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain.....help

    Hi feather, I cant imagine a dr feels a mass, orders an MRI & never says if the MRI showed the mass or not. I think if i were you & i had had 2 back surgs @26 before my firstborn, i would go to my family dr when its swollen, take my MRI disc & report & let the dr tell me if the swollen area was even included in the MRI or was it out of the pictures too far to be seen or was it on the disc & the radiologist didnt comment & also let him examine me & see what he recommends. Muscle spasms hurt & mine have been severe my leg was numb, painful however but i couldnt walk & PT brought on more pain until they changed the modalities to ultrasound, heat, Hwave machine, Tens, massage until it was better & then i had stretching exercises. Im so sorry that you are suffering so much & hope you can find answers so you can enjoy that baby girl even
    more than you already are! Let us know how you are doing.
    When you say "amazing how inflamed it gets" what do you mean
    like can you see redness?Also, if the family dr is the one that
    doesnt know where to go from here has she seen it swollen &
    inflamed? The pain dr didnt tecommend epidural steroid injections? Maybe teteri is right with the spinal orthopedic surgeon.

    Last edited by gmak; 05-16-2013 at 07:10 PM. Reason: added on question

     
    Old 05-16-2013, 07:42 PM   #7
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    Unhappy Re: Severe back hip and leg pain.....help

    Unfortunately my back has not been inflammed when I was due for a dr visit. I discussed that with my primary and he suggested the same thing. I did p.t tiwce in the last year and it did nothing but more pain. They did stretches, massages, heat therapy., shock therapy and the traction bed.

    My back get a little tender looking but I think its because it geys so swollen. I just looks very very swollen on my left hand side near the spine you can feel a lump and you can see how swollen it gets because it will make a crease right above my buttocks and not on my right . Its hard to explain but the inflammation takes up the whole left side of my lower back in a large area.
    My primary is referring me to a nuerologist and he mentioned doing injections next. I have an appt for the nuero on june 25 unless something opens up sooner.
    I will look into the ortho dr as well.

    I go everyday with so much pain and now it is in both legs as well.

     
    Old 05-16-2013, 07:56 PM   #8
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain.....help

    Im so sorry. I know how frustrating it can be to want to be young & act young when you are young. The MRI pretty much covers the spine area unless it is muscle spasms because muscles by tendons are connected to bones & then the vertebrae gets pulled over just enough to touch the nerve or thats what the dr said happened to me when my leg eas dead. Other than that has anyone xrayed your sacroiliac joints? They are located just above the buttocks on each side of the lower spine about 2-3 inches over to the right or left. I would ask the neurologist or the pcp. The spinal orthopedic or a spine only neurosurgeon have the most education & training in the mechanics , physiology, and disorders of the spine. A neurologist is trained in diseases of the nerves & also can do EMG & nerve conduction studies to check for nerve damage. I truly hope this can be resolved easily for you & you get better soon. God bless you!

     
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    Old 05-16-2013, 10:55 PM   #9
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain... help

    I forgot to mention that my rehabilitation dr wants to also run blood work and refer me to a dr to check for autoimmune diseases because they run in my family. Example, fibromyalgia, lupus, graves disease, arthritis, etc. My family has every thing under the sun. Is this something that can contribute to some of my pain...

    If my pain keeps increasing should I keep requesting more mris to track my back. I feel like I need to be getting 3,4,5 doctors appt. I'm at the end of my rope. I have pcos and dr never thought that I could have a child and I was blessed and just had one and now I can't even cherish the time I have because I'm so consumed by pain all day. Can't help but think that this may be the only child my body will allow me to have and its all just slipping through my fingers. This is not the mom I wanted to be. I'm young, healthy, was in good shape before I became immobile. Athletic etc.

    I can't help but sit here at 2 am heartbroken bc I'm in such pain I can't sleep crying hoping this torture end soon.

     
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    Old 05-17-2013, 06:59 AM   #10
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain... help

    I am able to answer some of your questions, but before I do I would like to try to provide a few tips to help you cope. You mention several times how young you are to be going through all this, so I'll be "cyber-granny" and try to offer a little guidance as you move forward.

    First it sounds like you have had other health challenges in the past and they may be playing into some of the back issues. Due to the complexity of the spine and the central nervous system component that runs through it, and due to the fact that the spine is involved in every movement we make, it is important to recognize that it can take a long time to find a diagnosis and treatment. This is not like other health issues that are clear-cut, where the doctor can tell you what's wrong with one office visit.

    Your problems are apparently complex. You need to learn to accept the fact that you will probably have ongoing back problems and that it may take awhile to first, locate the people who can diagnose you accurately, and second, figure out what to do about it. You may need to go to a number of and variety of specialists to get to the bottom of this. That's just the way it seems to be for some people. I know this very well from personal experience.

    Some doctors seem to not want to go further than looking for issues that are immediately obvious. Some doctors thrive on challenges. Others apparently do not and give up if all the pieces of the puzzle do not fall neatly into place. Even with my own surgeon who I had very carefully picked after getting opinions from many other spine surgeons, it took me about twelve months to convince him that there was something mechanically still wrong with my lumbar spine that was causing my leg pain...and I did this by making an appointment every month even after he had told me everything looked "fine" on my MRI.

    So I want you to try to become more patient with your situation. A large componant of pain is emotional. As you become more worked up over your pain, over the time it is taking from your relationship with your daughter, it will cause your body to tense which can result in muscle cramps, etc., which results in less blood flow to the muscles, etc. and it makes everything more painful. I might suggest you look into getting a CD that will guide you through dealing with pain -- you can listen to it as you are falling asleep at night and it will help to relax you. I have used CDs by Bellaruth Naparstek. One that might work for you is called Health Journeys: For People Managing Pain which you can find at an online bookseller, if not locally.

    I've been on forums like this since 2008 and I have interacted with many people dealing with a lot of pain. I can sense from your post that your pain is controlling you rather than you controlling the pain. This is an important concept and I would urge you to spend some time thinking about what you can do to turn this around. Also try to take the emotional component out of the process.

    Last edited by teteri66; 05-17-2013 at 07:16 AM.

     
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    Old 05-17-2013, 07:05 AM   #11
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain... help

    Dear feather, Sometimes i think that going to new drs is an over & over exercise in i pour out my history, need their help so much & then they dont really listen or invest in trying to find out what is wromg because i have no relationship there no trust built up so they make a stab at trying to find out whats wrong & then drop the ball. I had better luck & found out what was wrong by seeing a NS that my old retired NS called & he cared & found the arachnoiditis & told me & really cared. Is there an internist, diagnostician, any dr that you or a family member have a history with that would be more aggressive in finding what is wrong because he is a friend of the family, friend of one of your drs? I just want someone to care & help you because it is such a special time having a baby & i want you to be able to enjoy it. I didnt see teteri's post until after i had posted mine. It is great & she is right it does take time sometimes & it does take patience but it will happen, you will find out what is wrong.

    Last edited by gmak; 05-17-2013 at 07:19 AM. Reason: add on

     
    Old 05-17-2013, 08:02 AM   #12
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain... help

    This is just my personal experience but I believe an orthopedic spine surgeon is generally more down-to-earth than a neurosurgeon, and is more willing to tackle the more "messy" issues...those that are not basic, clear-cut, obvious, neatly treated. An ortho spine surgeon's training is nearly identical to the neurosurgeon's ...and again, I stress this is not a general orthopedic doctor. You have to find one that deals only with the neck and back.

    Again I would note that if I were in your position, I would see an orthopedic spine surgeon first, and the neurologist later because even if the neurologist finds there is a radiculopathy or that a particular nerve is damaged, this information alone will not be particularly helpful to you. You will still need to see a spine specialist to find out what is causing it. I think you'd be better served by finding a spine specialist that takes your issues seriously and is willing to work with you to get to the bottom of your issues.

    I do think it is a good idea to go to a rheumatologist to see if you have one of the types of arthritis, like ankylosing spondilitis that affects the spine. (This is the blood test that someone mentioned to you.) But do this at the same time that you are finding a spine specialist.

    Now to the MRI:

    L4-l5- there is a posterior and left forminal disc protrusion and mild facet arthrosis.mild narrowing of the left neural foramen and asymmetric mass effect on the traversing L5 nerve root
    L5-S1- left paracentral disc protrusion. In concert with mild arthrosis, this leads to lateral recess stenosis and mass effect on left s1 nerve root

    Degeneratives changes at l4-l5 and l5-s1 with mass effect on left l5-s1 transversing nerve root


    It sounds like you definitely have nerve compression going on at both the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels and the L5 and S1 nerve are being affected. Look online for a "dermatome map" to see what areas of the groin, leg and foot are affected by these two spinal nerves. This compression is at least one thing that is responsible for your pain. Apparently the neurosurgeon you saw did not feel it was compressing the nerve enough to warrant a surgical procedure.

    In addition there are three disc bulges that could be contributing to your pain symptoms. The report does not indicate the size or severity of the bulges -- could be minimal or could be causing symptoms...can't tell from report.

    "Mass effect" indicates that there is something (some kind of tissue) that is pressing into these nerves, causing them to be irritated or pinched. This may or may not be related to that swelling you were talking about in the earlier post...whatever...it really needs to be investigated.

     
    Old 05-17-2013, 08:44 AM   #13
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain... help

    Is the mass effect they are talking about most likely the lump I can feel on my back on the right side of my spine... you can feel the lump even when its not swollen. My mother had surgery for an aracnoid cyst that grew around her spine and went undetected for years and was having sympyoms like mine. Why didn't they address this to me. I am going to call my primary so I can get a referral to see a spine otho dr.

    Thanks so much for your help. All these new ideas and suggestions have given me a second wind not to give up.

    Should I be more concerned about this lump than the dr lead me to belive. And when I say lead me to believe I mean completely dismissed my concetn for it.

     
    Old 05-17-2013, 08:59 AM   #14
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain... help

    Hi dear,
    it always very sad to know someone in pain, but someone who is 25 is even worse.
    I am not a Dr but one thing I learned based on my own experience. Spinal issues need patience and rest, physical and emotional.
    I also get swollen sides of the spine during my flair ups. They come and go, this means inflammation of the muscle tissue. Since you have young kids, you probably pick them up all the time and this is enough to get pain and inflammation.

    Our spine and other joints start aging at 25. Your DDD and stenosis a little yearly for your age, but we all age differently.
    My mom lives terrible life in severe pain; she has severe stenosis and DDD, but many surgeons told her that age related spinal issues are not operable unless severe nerve compression occur. By the time nerve compression occur, it wasn't operable due to damages of the spine and they wouldn't be able to get to the right place without leaving her paralyzed.

    Her spinal Ortho recommendation #1: love your spine. Never do what aggravates pain, do mild stretches and excersize, relax muscles by doing meditation and yoga (yes, yoga is a life safer for spinal issues), hot/cold packs when pain gets worse and tons of rest.

    After my surgeries I purchased excellent meditation tapes and ear phones. I am always looking forward for time with myself, it relaxes me so well, thus my muscles.

    Being calm is very important too.

    Best of luck to you dear
    Moldova

     
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    Old 05-17-2013, 09:30 AM   #15
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    Re: Severe back hip and leg pain... help

    I don't want to wait until I'm inoperable if I can get an operation to help relieve my nerve compression. Two months ago I would have never said an operation was what I wanted but given the pain I suffer I will do anything

     
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