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Not hip problems

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well I convinced myself that my right hip issue was not due to my back. My NS told me it was back related. I have had 4 hip surgeries and I thought this time I was for sure right. I was wrong. I had one of the drs in my office x-ray my right and left hip. I do have some problems on the right side. It has alot of arthritis and is more narrow than the left but the dr also took an x-ray of my back. Well he said I could have a little pain from my hip but my back looks like it is causing all of my problems. He seemed to think it is my facet joints that are giving my so much pain and referred pain. He said when the facet joints are arthritic it can cause so confusion with the muscles and nerves around them. So he ended up doing 3 level bilateral facet block injection. It definately didn't feel good because they are arthritic and are really inflammed but I was tough and made it right through them. Of course, the numbing medicine made my back really numb. Everything felt wonderful when I stood up NO PAIN. YES!!!!! Of course, the numbing medicine only last about 2-4 hrs and I am right back to hurting again now.

The dr I work for told me that if I had a fusion then he would expect me hips to need replaced about 2 yrs after. He said if your spine can't move then your hips and your sacroiliac joints will take all of the movement and mine will not be able to tolerate that. He also said that if I replace my hip because of the different way I would walk my back may get worse. So either way it is a lose lose situation. I guess my only choice is medicine and hope the facet blocks work. Surgery is out of the question for me even though a fusion is the only thing that can fix my back. I know it sounds bad but I was really hoping for something that could be fixed and not something that I am stuck with the rest of my life. So depressing. :( =(( :(


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey Cindy,
    Talk about a no-win situation, that is a tough decision. I think your decision to go with the meds sounds most logical. Down the road if you experience tingling and/or numbness then reconsider your options.
    I have had some hip pain since last Dec. and I was sure it was my hip joint. Then my rheumy checked me out and said my hip is just fine, the problem is most likely in my lower back. It isn't a constant or unbearable pain so for the time being I'm just gonna let it ride.
    I hope you can get some relief from your pain Cindy, you sure have been thru a lot. Take care of yourself and let us know how you are doing.
  • I will definately keep everyone updated on whats going on. I really think its a combination of both though. My hip didn't really get any relief from the lidocaine after I started moving around. My back was PAIN FREE though. Its nice to say that. It feels like its been so long since I have been able to say something is pain free. I just wish something would let up. I really hope these facet injections help. I have been dealing with this for the past fifteen years and I am only 26. Meds and deal with it is my only option until I can't walk and then someone is going to do something if I have to beg. I have a 1.5 yr old son and I have to be able to take care of him.
  • I had the same thing! They said it was the diagnostic test to determine if the Radio Frequency would work. The nurse told me that was normal for the numbing medicine to go away, but if you had temporary relief, the radio frequency would do the same thing on a more permanent or at least long lasting basis. Between 6 months to 2 years. They think that my horrible paid is coming from the facet joints too. I have scheduled this for the 21st and am in deed excited. it heats up the nerves around the facet joints so they are burned or stunted and that the relief would be there until the nerve endings grew back. From what I have read hear about this procedure, I am definately going to do it. See what your Dr. says. I think it is a better alternative to steroids and massive amounts of narcotics. I so want to get my body clean!
    I have had the fusion and if I could go back, I would not do it. Everyone is different though, just really think it through.
  • Someone just enlightened me to this name. Do a search and you will find info on it. It really might help you! I hope so!!! :-C
  • I suffer the same hip pain and basically all of the same pain as you do. A rhizotomy gave me great relief and lasts about 1 year. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • My hips seem to be the things that give me pain now 7 weeks after my PLIF, hardly any pain in my back though.

    Christina :)
  • Cindy -

    Why is back fusion an automatic no? I know you are against it, but not why - medically unable? Or??

    I do like the sound of the Rhizotomy for you - have you looked into that?
  • Reason for not having as fusion. My hips can't tolerate a fusion. One of the drs I work for in pain management said that if I had a fusion I would end up needing my hips replaced within 2 years afterwards because of the stress on them. So I don't want to go through all of that within a couple of years. I am going to see if the facet blocks work and go from there. I am going to talk to my PCP about changing meds and sending me to Duke.
  • Hi Cindy,
    Before I had my fusion this was one question I was very specific about asking.
    I have had hip problems since I was 11yrs old and at 15yrs had my first hip replacement then 2 years ago that wore out (after 30 years) and I had to have that taken out and a new one put in.
    My right hip has a lot of arthritis and will eventually need to be replaced but not in the near future.

    So you can imagine that when I was asking questions about back surgery I wanted to be sure it wasn't going to make my hips worse.
    I spoke with the spinal O/S as well as the hip O/S and 2 other ortho surgeons I know. All said it shouldn't make my hips any worse.
    I am now 3 months post op and have had no hip pain at all, except for muscular pain from learning to walk differenetly. I have always had a bad limp and different lenght legs so the physio is teaching me to walk with using all my muscles not just some of them.

    Hope this helps you a bit.

    Oh and what did you have done to your hips?

    Blessings Sara
  • They said it is called slipped capital femoral epiphysis. It pretty rare around here. Thankfully my ortho caught it just in time. He said if I didn't have surgery within a couple of days after the visit, I would have ended up paralyzed in that leg. He told me that the other hip would do the same thing. 2 yrs later back on the operating table again for the other hip. He also told me eventually the pins would need to come out. Well he was right again 6 yrs from the first surgery both pins had to come out. They were causing me horrible pain. He told me the next surgery on them that was needed was total hip replacement. He said he wan't to wait until the pain was horrible again and he would do it. He said if he would have went ahead and replaced them that I would need new replacements in so many years and that would have been multiple surgeries being that at the time I was only 18 yrs old.

    Now there is alot of arthritis and I am convinced that it is almost time for hip replacement on the right one. Everyone keeps telling me thats its not hip but I am not convinced. It hurts right in the ball and socket joint. It like I can feel it rubbing and popping everytime I move a certain way. I guess I am going to have to get a real x-ray on it. We did it under a fluroscope but its not very clear and we didn't do different angles. Who knows though I may be wrong?
  • hi cindy,

    can they do a steroid injection into the hip joint for diagnostic purposes? or something else to check it for a pain generator?
  • That is a LOT to go through. I'm sorry :( It must be terrible. We have some similarities in being young, and having a child that needs to be taken care of. It's rough! Luckily, for me I only have one problem, and only need a one level fusion, and they think it will fix both my leg and my back in one surgery. I hope they find something that will work to ease your pain. Taking care of a child when you are hurting is really tough. I honestly cannot imagine what it must be like for you. Lose-lose situations are the worst... For obvious reasons. Sometimes I guess you just have to find the lesser of two evils. Maybe the pain meds are a good idea for right now... And possibly in a couple years or so they may have new techniques out... or maybe ADR will be covered by insurances, and they may find more secure and stable techniques for that surgery. I wish you the best and I hope you find something that helps :(
  • Cindy I had exactly the same! I have never come across anyone who has been through the same thing.

    When I was 11 I had the left hip go, but in those days nobody had realised what it was and the local Dr who mum took me to see each week just kept telling me my kneecap was growing too quickly. Eventually the epiphyis compleley boke apart and I was left screaming in pain. I had that pinned and 3 months in hospital in traction, then calipers etc.
    A year later the right hip started hurting so we go to it quickly and went straight to traction. 6 weeks later that hadn't worked so they had to pin it too and back into traction. I was in a wheelchair for 6 months after that.
    Then over the next 2 yrs I had the pins out and finally the replacement as soon as I had stopped growing. -MIssed an awful lot of school I did!
    Aparently the left hip just wore out and was bone on bone for years but I dont recall being in pain. Falling a lot yes!
    It is quite rare for females to get this. A lot more common in males about 13yrs which apparently is why the Dr never thought of it.
    Great excuse!

    Definitely worth getting an x-ray or a scan to get an idea of the state of the arthritis but there are also other things that can now be done such as lining the pelvis cap.

    I was also reading an articile the other day on research that has been done using stem cells in fractures that haven't healed. They mentioned that in the future they are hoping that they can inject stem cells into arthritic hip and knee joints to prevent the need for replacements.
    Heres hoping!

    Blessings Sara

  • I saw a few drs including ones in the ER they said that I also had knee problems and sent me out with a knee brace. Over this time, pain just kept getting worse and I was totally unable to lift my leg. I went to another ortho. He took a couple x-rays of my hip and he was right. He has been right every since.

    I am going to get it x-rayed and see if they can do an injection.
  • Cindy as a kid all my pain was in the knee. Apparently it was just refered pain and even 2 years ago when my first hip replacement gave up the ghost- the majority of pain came from the knee.
    As a kid I used to get out of bed and fall straight to the floor as my leg wouldn't hold me.

    I really hope you get some satisfaction soon.

    Blessings Sara
  • Thanks for the blessing. It is strange to have someone who has had the same issues as me. I live in a small town and it was pretty much unheard of in females (like you said) mostly males. Thats was me too about getting up I walked dragging my leg behind me. I don't remember most of my pain may have been in my knee.

    Whats really strange is a couple of weeks ago, I posted strange behind the knee pain along with the hip pain. It may be where it is referred too. I have had this really bad pain behind my right knee. I keep thinking that it is just probably muscle pain referred from my back. I even started taking muscle relaxers during the day. I usually only take one at night. I had my husband put a lidoderm on it.

    When they pinned your hips did they correct the external rotation? They didn't mine. I walk with both of my hips horrible externally rotated. I think all of the years of walking like this probably has something to do with my back being totally wore out at 26 yrs old.
  • When I had my hips pinned I suspect they did correct external rotation as I dont walk with my toes out. However if I lie on my back my feet fall out a lot more then normal.

    I know that I had a big difference in leg lenghts- several inches before I had the replacement. This certainly didn't do anything good for my back either.- I was lucky that platform shoes were in vogue so I wore 1 platform and had the other platform taken off. 8)

    Just out of interest do you have any joints that are hypermobile? My knees go backwards a fair way, my elbows, fingers and I used to be able to touch the floor with flat hands behind my ankles. (before surgery of course LOL)
    I've always wondered if it had anything to do with my hips.

    Let me know what the x-ray says.


  • I don't have any joints that are hypermobile. I still haven't went and had the x-rays done. I guess I am a procrastanator. It one of those things if you don't know then its won't have to be fixed. I guess I need that done though. Today at work I tripped and I feel like I broke my stupid toe on my left side. SO my toe on my left and my hip on the right boy am I in good shape. If its not one thing its another. I don't really know why I tripped it happened to fast. I don't know if my leg didn't work or what but my big toe caught my body.
  • I don't have any joints that are hypermobile. I still haven't went and had the x-rays done. I guess I am a procrastanator. It one of those things if you don't know then its won't have to be fixed. I guess I need that done though. Today at work I tripped and I feel like I broke my stupid toe on my left side. SO my toe on my left and my hip on the right boy am I in good shape. If its not one thing its another. I don't really know why I tripped it happened to fast. I don't know if my leg didn't work or what but my big toe caught my body.
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