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  • Swelling in back from ... spinal cord damage?

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    Old 11-11-2014, 01:11 PM   #1
    brainskaput
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    Swelling in back from ... spinal cord damage?

    I've been having bouts of swelling on the left side of my spine-the left side is elevated compared to the right side but, more importantly, there's a football shaped swelling that aches, especially when pressed up against my chair at work (ugh!). I was in the ER last week w very bad pain in my lower leg (second time, and doc wanted to rule out DVT/clot). Veins fine so ER doc said I might need to get a scan of my lower spine if it doesn't go away. She also had asked if my back hurts which, at the time it hadn't so I'd forgotten!

    But swelling and aching is back today. The pain in my leg maps to the L5 nerve-focal point was mid calf on the outside, but radiating down to the bridge of my foot and up to under my kneecap. Fits?!

    NOW the pain is in my tailbone-is the problem expanding?

    So I'm wondering if that also explains the swelling along my spine and next to my spine (small football); only problem-it's on the side opposite my hurt leg. BUT it's the same place where I stabbed next to my spine with a steel rod-hard-when I flopped wrongly into a chair a few months ago. I had swelling right next to my spine then, too. . Could these all be related? I was initially thinking that the football was my kidney but, with my leg hurting, it would make sense that they're related. I have a photo but don't know how to upload.

    Thank you for thoughts!

    Last edited by brainskaput; 11-11-2014 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Add info

     
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    Old 11-11-2014, 09:15 PM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Swelling in back from...spinal cord damage?

    I couldn't guess if you injured something when you flopped into the chair, but it sounds like there may be a pocket of fluid that has formed as a result. I suppose if it is large enough, it could be pushing against the L5 spinal nerve and the pain is radiating down the path of the nerve.

    Yes these symptoms are most likely all connected, and are likely stemming from that L5 root as it leaves the spine.

    I would suggest icing the area on a regular schedule for several days to see if it helps. Can you take NSAIDs to help with the swelling and get that lump to reduce in size. Usually the body eventually absorbs the fluid, but it can take a long time.

    If it is something compressing the L5 nerve, it is common to have lots of pain when sitting, tailbone, groin or pain that runs over to the hip area. Any or all of that is possible....

     
    Old 11-12-2014, 06:22 AM   #3
    brainskaput
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    Re: Swelling in back from...spinal cord damage?

    Just to clarify-I stabbed myself in the back several months ago. I'm hypothesizing that these recurring episodes are related because the area of swelling is similar.

    Last night when I got home, my back swelling was worse. I'd bent over to get something and felt restriction of movement in my back (on the left side), as if there was a mass. Sure enough, when I looked in the mirror, I could see a tube-like mass (swelling) alongside my spine on the left, starting about my bra line all the way to my waist, where it curved out a bit, and the small football shaped swelling was lateral to that. Prior, the swelling next to my spine hadn't been quite as visible (but I could feel the elevation and see the football). My husband took more photos of the swelling. My leg was not hurting but my tailbone was at that point! It's freaky because, no matter what word combo I search, I cannot find pictures online that match this swelling. Just lotsa staged photos of people bending over slightly with grimaces and their hands covering their backs. No, I want to see what it really looks like!

    I don't know at what point to call the doc again. The ER doc mentioned the problem could be in my spine and tada a few days later and my back is swollen. I am taking daily aspirin (after the clot scare, and with my risk, not chancing it again!) and am already on lyrica and steroids for other reasons.

    Thank you for your thoughts!

     
    Old 11-12-2014, 02:23 PM   #4
    ChuckStr
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    Re: Swelling in back from...spinal cord damage?

    Has the swelling been consistently there since your injury? If so, even if the severity has changed it seems likely to be related to the injury. Since it appears to be getting worse I would see a Dr. I'm not sure what kind of process would be causing exactly what you describe but it sounds like some sort of reaction to trauma. My guess is you'll need some sort of imaging to figure out what might be going on and/or some anti-inflammatories to help with the swelling at least. I had a course of oral steroids recently when I had a flare up of cervical spine problems and they did wonders. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

     
    Old 11-14-2014, 11:02 AM   #5
    brainskaput
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    Re: Swelling in back from...spinal cord damage?

    No, not constant at all but the same area which us why I thought maybe it was related. It happened late summer. In late Sept., I experienced several days of the lower back small football shaped swelling (I thought maybe it was my kidney). It ached mildly, worse when I was sitting with my back against a chair. It went away. At the beginning of Nov., started experiencing pain in my leg, several times. I moved a couch on Sunday and this week the swelling and discomfort along my spine (and football shape) has been really bad, along with pain coming and going in my leg and tailbone (and even in my right arm-weakness and tingling).

    The doc thinks the pain is due to my spine, so I'm waiting for X-rays of the lumbar and thoracic spine. She thinks the swelling is from my muscles ? Along the spine and wants me to get PT to work out the tension. I don't quite understand why, and hope the pt doesn't injure me further! I moved a couch on Sunday (I've been working out with weights for 8ys so sliding a couch was not taxing!), and wonder if that injured an already damaged spine. My back hurts worse every day and I'm not doing anything right now! Upside, I got some powerful NSAIDs so fingers crossed that helps!

     
    Old 11-15-2014, 05:13 AM   #6
    brainskaput
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    Re: Swelling in back from...spinal cord damage?

    X-ray results! Moderate Mid-thoracic disc degenerative disease! I was too tired to research I late last night but will start now. I'm only 47, so am quite dismayed. But otoh it probably explains why my back has been bothering me so much all week! And explains the varied symptoms ("referred pain") I'd been experiencing before and during the swelling.

    Thank you for your support!

     
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