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Lumbar Disc Herniations and Severe Hip Pain. HELP!!!

Started by emtangie on 07/21/2010 1:30am

I am a 23 year old female and I have been suffering from herniated discs since the age of 14. I originally started with one and then a few months later after wearing a hard plastic back brace I had a repeat MRI done and it revealed two more for a grand total of three herniated discs all between the levels of L3-S1. We tried finding a neuro surgeon that would surgically correct them back when I was 14 but due to my age every specialist refused. I dealt with the pain for about eight years and took anti-inflamatory medications around the clock to control the pain, not to mention chiropractic visits weekly. Last year in June of 2009 I finally found a doctor willing to do the surgery. He did an open discectomy at all three levels in the same surgery. I felt great afterward despite a major infection that followed a week later and resulted in my incision having to be re-opened and my back flushed out. I did great for a few months and had no pain for the first time in years. In September I started experiencing pain again and saw my back surgeon (who was not a neurosurgeon but an orthopedic surgeon rather that specialized in back surgery) and he ordered another MRI that revealed the beginings of a possible herniated disc and didnt want to rush back into surgery. A month later, in October, I was involved in a car accident and had severe pain and my left leg went completely numb. Once again my surgeon tried convincing me that my back had just been strained and wouldnt do another MRI. My family doctor went ahead and did the MRI anyway and only two days after having it done his office called and said he wanted me to see my surgeon ASAP. Thankfully I had an appointment the next day. My surgeon looked at the MRI and scheduled surgery a week later. I had fully re-herniated the disc at L5-S1 and it was pushing on my nerves in my legs causing the numbness. We had to postpone surgery for over a month due to another infection which lead to nerve damage in my leg. Two days before Christmas I had my third back surgery in a six month time span. I was doing great once again and then in January I fell and Injured my right hip. Finally in May I had surgery to repair a torn tendon in my hip. Since that surgery I have had worsening hip pain and severe back pain. We tried physical therapy on the hip and it only made things worse. I have noticed with the back pain, it feels like someone is shoving my hip into my spine and its pushing on my sciatic nerve. Also my right leg is anywhere from an inch to an inch and half shorter than my left when this happens. I mentioned it to my orthopedic surgeon for my hip and he said its just muscles and it should get better. Well he and my back surgeon have been arguing back and forth that its not my back and its not my hip. My hip surgeon decided to go back in and take another look at my hip last week. I had severe pain and spent three days in the hospital for pain control. Now that I am out of the hospital I have even more back pain and now I have tingling in my right leg and foot. My hip doctor said he called and talked to my back surgeon and they have decided there is nothing wrong with both my hip and back so their next step is a pain clinic. I am very leary about pain clinics. My hip doctor doesnt know about the tingling yet and I see him next week. I have an appointment with my family doctor on Thursday of this week. Do you think I should ask my family doctor to do an MRI of my back to rule out anything there or wait and see what my hip doctor thinks? I am also debating on going to the pain clinic or getting a second opinion? My hip still isnt right and it snaps and pops, clunks, and gives out on me but I keep getting told there isnt anything wrong with it and that is nothing compared to the pain that is associated with it. Please give your advise on what you would do if you were in my shoes or what you have done if you have already been in my shoes. I am still continuing chiropractic care and I am going to go just talk to my chiropracter tomorrow and see what he recommends. Thanks for any advise you have to give

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3 Responses


It's probably compression of the nerve again that's causing the hip pain. It would either be the disc it self or the scar tissues from the previous surgeries.

I have a similar issue and am going through an EMG nerve conduction test today to find out where the nerve is being compressed (and probably the cause).

For me my back and hip so no signs of pain but my foot has intense formication, feeling like a 1000 needles piercing me all the time.

I'd recommend get an EMG as well. Find out a good orthopedic surgeon with fellowships in spine surgeries. Since you've had multiple surgeries, you should think about going to a medical school like cleveland, mayo, john hopkins etc...I hope that they will do a wonderful job and can give you good advice.

You never know what your current docs have done and what they are trying to hide. And yes, a MRI might help. But the pop and clunk in hip is strange and might not be traceable in an MRI, that does not sound like a nerve thing to me.But I am not a doc :)

Until then just be careful and try a few alternative therapies maybe?


Well I had my follow up on my hip today. My orthopedic surgeon said he thinks that the second hip surgery might have helped flush out some of the inflamation in my hip but he doesnt know why my back still hurts and why I still have popping and clunking in my hip. He mentioned physical therapy and I refused and then he mentioned the pain clinic and I told him I had talked to my family physician about it and he wasnt keen on pain clinics either so we would like a second opinion. He was more than willing to refer me to somebody but my family doctor already took care of it. As far as the tingling in my foot, he said it could be a blood clot (given that I have calf pain too) or it could be a pinched nerve. He isnt sure the exact cause, its basically a waiting process. I would still like other's ideas and opinions if you have any. Thanks for the people that have responded already.


HI there! I am absolutely with you on this! I have the exact same issues! I'm 47 years and old and I'm recovering from two herniated discs that have been pushing on a nerve. It's not fun, I know. Having an MRI is an excellent thing! It will show you and the doctor everything you need to know about what's wrong. I personally don't recommend pain Specialists and here's why. I went to him twice for steroid shots..one worked for my muscle spasms and the second did not. I was shuffled around from one doctor to another and I was never treated by any of them. I walked in with pain and walked out with only prescriptions for muscle relaxers and pain medication, Galbapentin. No one was interested in doing anything for me. After feeling so terrible after my second shot, I'd had enough and put my foot down. I finally went to go see a chiropractor, after being TOLD by all of my doctors, NOT to go see one.

Well, my pain was bad enough with no healing in sight, I went. I'm hear to tell you, he's the ONLY one who has been able to treat me and told me what was wrong and that he could fix me. I've been going to him now for a month and half! He's wonderful!! He's full of knowledge, will go over your MRI or x-ray with you and show you what's wrong, how it got that way and what can be done about it. If he sees that he can't help you, he will tell what type of doctor to go to and why. I woke up with my condition back in April. I finally had to go on disability for four months with no treatment. I couldn't drive, work or sit for long period of times. If you feel that you need a second or third opinion, go do it. You know your body and when something isn't right...just like I did. I'm much better now, I've been back to work, I can drive and sit all day. I still have pain, but it's managed with Tylenol. Keep me posted!!