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  • lots of pain in back and lower extremeties for 3 months

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    Old 11-03-2012, 02:47 PM   #1
    2010dlk
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    lots of pain in back and lower extremeties for 3 months

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    First thank you for taking the time to read my post, I am so hoping somebody here will be able to help me through these trying times.
    I am a 44 y.o. very active female before all this. Starting in early August I began to suffer lots of pain in my groin area and worse than usual pain in my lower back, not sure what to do or what kind of dr. to see I just kinda waited it out. I finally went to my general practitioner who did some blood tests and urine tests and said the results were a high white blood count along with blood and bacteria in urine and thought I probably had a urinary tract infection, possibly in the bladder or kidney. He prescribed an antibiotic which did not take away the groin pain at all. About 3 weeks into all this I also began to have very extreme pain in my buttocks, very severe pain. I was in so much pain memorial day weekend, friday night. I ended up going to the emergency room. the dr. on duty said I had sciatica and sent me home with vicodin and prednisone and said I would start feeling lot better in a few days. Well I did not feel better, I began to feel a lot worse matter of fact, the pain was so bad, I ended up back in the e.r. again on monday. the dr. that day was horrible and very rude. he lifted my legs couple times said i had sciatica for whatever reason but said i did not warrant an xray. he sent me home with tramadol and diazepam. saying the first dr. should of given me a muscle relaxant. I took all the pills, did the ice, heat thing and still just kept on feeling very bad and lots of pain. I also was told to take it easy and rest during this which i did. During all this I scheduled an appt. with my dr. in the mean time one day i was walking into my kitchen and my left leg completely gave out no warning whatsover walking one minute and on the floor the next. I got right back up and it didn't seem numb or anything no different really but scared me for sure. My dr. sent me for a cat scan with contrast for my pelvis which i didnt quite understand, but the results did touch a bit on my back as well as other areas. the back result was: osseous structruces are remarkable for degenerative disc disease at L4-L5 and L5-S1 with mild broad-based posterior disc herniations at each of these 2 levels. My dr. didnt seem to think it explained my symptoms though. I started to see a chiropractor and ended up going a total of 9 times for adjustments. The only kind of relief I seem to get from the chiro was the groin pain has gone from constant to off/on many times throughout the day. To sum up the pain factor, i now have off/on groin pain, lower back pain constantly, constant buttocks pain mostly in the left but sometimes in the right. Occasional pain in my left thigh and left hamstring, sometimes also pain in the outer and inner part of my thigh, and pain behind and just below and around my knee, some pain/cramping in back of bottom of my leg and bottom of my feet pain. Over the past 2 days I have also been experiencing some pain in my pelvis and in and around my hips. This morning when I awoke the pain in my left hip was extremely bad. I finally got an mri last thursday and my dr. called me that night to say that they found an L4 disc protrusion which was covering a large area. I asked if it showed it maybe pressing on a nerve or something to explain the pain but said he didn't think so but is going to send me to a neurologist who will have a better understanding of the results. I am really curious what is going to happen at my neurology appt.? and what they might do for me. Under my dr. and chrio advice the past few weeks i have been trying to do more because laying around to much can also be bad. I got to tell you standing or sitting for any amount of time is very painful. Some days I just want to ball me eyes out. Even now as i write this my left hip and left knee are excrutiating, as well as very bad cramping feeling in my leg and feet. Also I really am not sure if this disc problem is all i have going on because I also have a lot of spasms and pains on my right side as well. unless that can happen i don't know? I am currently taking 20mg. of diazepam daily and between 300-400mg tramadol a day, sometimes it takes the edge off more than other times. I have tried very hard to stay away from the narcotics because I do not want to become just another statistic living hooked on narcotics the rest of my life. Any advice would sure be helpful. Does any of this ring a bell to anyone? It stinks to be in this much pain and the not knowing is very hard as well. I thank you for reading this, I know it is really long but didn't want to miss anything. Really lookin forward to any replies

     
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    Old 11-03-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
    georgie782
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    Re: lots of pain in back and lower extremeties for 3 months

    HI, I am a 54yr. old women. The pain you have is so common to mine. I had a 3 level lower lumbar fusion 3 yrs ago. Rightnow as I am typing my lower back hips hurt so bad and now for the past 3 days in the lateafternoon my whole body hurts, crap it scares the living **** out of me. I had a PAD test done on my legs last week am waiting for the results.I would really love to hear from you i saw in your letter that this all happened awhile back. Please let me know what your Dr,s have said. Thanks much and I will let you know my out come.

     
    Old 11-03-2012, 07:03 PM   #3
    teteri66
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    Re: lots of pain in back and lower extremeties for 3 months

    What you describe in terms of the patterns of pain sound quite typical for a problem that involves the L4 , L5 and S1 spinal nerves, such as would come from a disc herniations at L4-L5 and L5-S1. I suspect there may be something else showing on MRI that your doctor didn't pick up on.

    You clearly have symptoms that indicate one or more spinal nerves are being compressed. Look online for a "dermatome map" and look to see which areas of the body are innervated by those lower lumbar nerves....You will see it runs down the leg and into the foot...similar to what you have.

    I know it takes a long time to get those first appointments with specialists, so I would like to suggest that you make one with a spine specialist. This is either a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to the neck and back. You do not want an ortho who replaces joints and mends broken bones, a sports ortho or a neurosurgeon who would rather operate on the brain. These are the two specialties that have the additional training in diseases of the spine.

    A neurologist is a specialist in diseases of the nerves and is not the best one to diagnose you accurately. This specialty is helpful to perform tests such as the EMG which can show if there is nerve damage, but is not the best person to diagnose a spinal problem, particularly if it is a mechanical problem or a herniated disc!

    If the herniations aren't too bad, the doctor will recommend conservative treatments such as a course of physical therapy, oral medications, perhaps a series of epidural steroid injections in an effort to

    You might want to be very careful in allowing a chiropractor to adjust your back. Until you know if there is nerve involvement, or perhaps nerve damage, a well-meaning chiropractor can cause more harm than good.

    Hope you get some answers soon. The type of pain you have is no fun.

     
    Old 11-05-2012, 04:47 AM   #4
    2010dlk
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    Re: lots of pain in back and lower extremeties for 3 months

    [QUOTE=georgie782;5083130]HI, I am a 54yr. old women. The pain you have is so common to mine. I had a 3 level lower lumbar fusion 3 yrs ago. Rightnow as I am typing my lower back hips hurt so bad and now for the past 3 days in the lateafternoon my whole body hurts, crap it scares the living **** out of me. I had a PAD test done on my legs last week am waiting for the results.I would really love to hear from you i saw in your letter that this all happened awhile back. Please let me know what your Dr,s have said. Thanks much and I will let you know my out come.[/QUOTE]

    I want to thank you for reading and replying to my post. It is awful pain and it is awful frustrating waiting for all the answers and trying to deal with pain meds. so far i have been trying to stay away from the narcotics as i don't want to become reliant and/or addicted but I am almost at the point where I might have to ask for them. I am hoping today my dr. office calls to let me know they got me an appointment with a neurologists but after reading many posts from many sites, one thing i know is it can take a very long time. I will definetly keep you posted. I have also notice that if I overdue anything wow it does make the pain really bad. Last night I had my family over for dinner and ended up standing a lot dishes etc... this morning is pure agony and in both legs and back. I also got another post from member who made som very good points about with so many extremeties involved that perhaps they are not seeing all that is on the mri and I totally think he is probably right. I will keep you posted on my progress and I hope you as well.

     
    Old 11-05-2012, 05:02 AM   #5
    2010dlk
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    Re: lots of pain in back and lower extremeties for 3 months

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5083202]What you describe in terms of the patterns of pain sound quite typical for a problem that involves the L4 , L5 and S1 spinal nerves, such as would come from a disc herniations at L4-L5 and L5-S1. I suspect there may be something else showing on MRI that your doctor didn't pick up on.

    You clearly have symptoms that indicate one or more spinal nerves are being compressed. Look online for a "dermatome map" and look to see which areas of the body are innervated by those lower lumbar nerves....You will see it runs down the leg and into the foot...similar to what you have.

    I know it takes a long time to get those first appointments with specialists, so I would like to suggest that you make one with a spine specialist. This is either a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to the neck and back. You do not want an ortho who replaces joints and mends broken bones, a sports ortho or a neurosurgeon who would rather operate on the brain. These are the two specialties that have the additional training in diseases of the spine.

    A neurologist is a specialist in diseases of the nerves and is not the best one to diagnose you accurately. This specialty is helpful to perform tests such as the EMG which can show if there is nerve damage, but is not the best person to diagnose a spinal problem, particularly if it is a mechanical problem or a herniated disc!

    If the herniations aren't too bad, the doctor will recommend conservative treatments such as a course of physical therapy, oral medications, perhaps a series of epidural steroid injections in an effort to

    You might want to be very careful in allowing a chiropractor to adjust your back. Until you know if there is nerve involvement, or perhaps nerve damage, a well-meaning chiropractor can cause more harm than good.

    Hope you get some answers soon. The type of pain you have is no fun.[/QUOTE] RESPONSE

    I want to thank you very very much for responding to my posts. A lot of what you mentioned does make a lot of sense to me. I also think something is being missed with my test reading results. A reason that leads me to think this is the first xray i had the radiologists who read it said no problems at all, my chiropractor disagreed when he saw it and that is when my dr. sent me for the cat scan which the same radiologist downplayed the 2 posterior disc herniations. Now the mri has been read once again by the same radiologist. Last time I went to my dr. and he ordered an mri i asked him straight up is the same radiologist reading this one to. It just doesn't make sense that the left protrusion is causing all these symptoms especially on the opposite side. Also i have stopped going to chiropractor after 9 adjustments he also thought we should stop with the adjustments. So can you tell me that when they do a nerve test how that differs from finding compressions in the spine. I have been on the internet for months now researching and I got to say all along I have thought it was some kind of compression. What I didn't mention is last spring I bought a dirt bike which after long rides would leave me with lot of butt pain, but would always go away within a couple days. So when this buttocks problem happened on its own even though I hadn't been riding it for months, I was think that may have been when I compressed or did damage. The narrow seats on those things are terrible. I have never had any problems like this riding my atv.... so might be the cause. Sorry to go on, My next websearch is a dermatome map that you mentioned and a search on spine specialist. thank you again. I really appreciate you taken the time and care to respond

     
    Old 11-05-2012, 08:17 AM   #6
    teteri66
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    Re: lots of pain in back and lower extremeties for 3 months

    Pain in the perineum and groin is often coming from the S1 nerve, which can get when there is a problem with the disc at L5-S1 or another issue at that spinal segment.

    I doubt the dirt bike caused the problem but it probably contributed to it. It probably caused a lot of jarring to the lower lumbar discs...and we know that many cyclists who ride a lot develop some nerve problems in that perineum area for the shape of the seat and the pressure it puts on those nerves.

    Did you get copies of your tests? If not, go back to the facility and ask for copies. The good news is that when you go to a spine specialist, he/she will look at the images and not the radiology reports, so you should get an accurate diagnosis. Sounds like the radiologist is downplaying whatever is wrong. Sometimes a disc herniation will appear small on MRI but due to its location or amount it is compressing the nerve, it can cause a great deal of pain.

    You may be able to resolve your issues with conservative treatments, but it is important to get an accurate diagnosis from a spine specialist. Otherwise you can waste a lot of time with a well-meaning doctor who is really only equipped to deal with simple spine problems.

    Can you go to Portland for appointments? It looks like there are a couple spine specialists practicing there.... Rajiv D Desai, MD has an excellent educational background and clinical experience and is rated very highly among his patients. It sounds like he is conservative in his approach and does surgery only as a last resort. This is the kind of doctor you want to look for. He is at Maine Medical Partners Neurosurgery & Spine.

    Last edited by teteri66; 11-05-2012 at 08:36 AM.

     
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