Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

is it hip pain or sciatic nerve damage? i have surgeries scheduled

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
new to the board. first post.

40 year old male who has had one microdisectomy on L5 S1.

Recently i have been having excruciating pain in what feels like my left hip, but typically have numbness on the left side of my left shin bone and numbness on the top of my left foot.

i know this isnt a classic case for any doctor, but was told i had a labral tear in my hip and also disc issues with L4.

i have had mri/xrays of all areas to determine what the issue is, both results say there is some issue.

my question is if i must have surgery (again) should i opt to have my disc fused with the idea that it might quiet down the hip pain OR have the hip issue addressed first.

has anyone out there ever heard of such a thing or had similar experience?

thanks in advance.



  • is it hip pain? is it back pain? or is it both. i had that trouble in 2ooo. i got hip replacement first and feel i made the right decision. hip surgery is far less trouble than back surgery....ask me any questions you like..
  • I was convinced that I was having both back and hip issues but my neurosurgeon kept telling me to hold off on believing I had hip problems until after the lower back surgery. He knew it was more than likely referred pain. Once he did the surgery on my lower back the pain in my hip was gone.

    Don't opt for anything surgically unless it is being recommended by your surgeon or surgeons. Let the experts recommend what they feel needs to be done to help you out.

  • i just wanted to clarify that my hip was completely deteriorated and definitely needed replacement so there was no doubt as to needing surgery. my back surgery followed 6 months later. what C stated re following recommendations of the drs is 100% correct. symptoms of hip and back issues are so similar. i did meet a fellow who had back surgery and it turned out it was really his hip that was shot. so the back surgery was in error! so be very carefull!!!
  • When do you have the "hip" pain? And, I wasn't clear whether your have the leg symptoms at the same time, all the time or when?

    Where you describe your leg pain sound more like typical issues with L5 than L4...but there is overlapping, of course. You might want to take a look at a dermatome map/chart for a generalized location: I like this one,http://www.backpain-guide.com/Chapter_Fig_folders/Ch06_Path_Folder/4Radiculopathy.html, but there are many others that you will find if you search for dermatomes.

    I know several people who were certain they had hip problems when it was an L4 and/or L5 issue. If you have a labral tear in the hip, it should be visible on a MRI...which, apparently, it is. But is it bad enough that it needs surgery, or will it heal on its own? Have you tried various conservative treatments for the tear?

    Since you've already had one discectomy, and it was a micro procedure, and since you have continued sciatic or radiculopathic symptoms in your leg, it would seem likely that you are having a continuing disc problem...or, there is a problem with the disc one level above the previous surgical site. If it is a disc issue and not something else, you could determine which disc by having a discogram diagnostic test.

    What is your spinal specialist suggesting to you?
  • I have a lower back and butt pain that is sharp stabbing like. Additionally
    when I lie flat on my back, do straight leg lift and feel the hip pain. If I lie on my stomach and do reverse leg lift I don't feel any pain.

    Dr marc safran from Stanford hospital is doing the surgery, which means probably a resident.

    As of now I have hip surgery scheduled first and am considering switching to the back first.
  • Hello,
    I posted earlier about severe leg, and foot pain due to a bad rupture at L5S1. What I forgot to say was that I had severe pain in my right hip also. I assumed ( wrongly) that this pain was Not from the disk. Now at 4 weeks post-op, I have no hip pain. I did have some the first week post-op and when I saw my surgeon at 14 days, post-op he said the irritaion to the siatic nerve can manifest in back, hip,leg and foot.
    I'm not a doctor either, but I think I would personally have the back done first and see what happens in 4 or 6 months.
    Just my opinion based on personal experience.
    Good Luck.
  • If you look at an atlas of the body, you can see that there are a number of large muscles that run across from the sacral area and attach at a point that is just out from the hip socket. The piriformis is among them. The sciatic nerve runs right beneath this muscle. If the piriformis is inflamed or tightens for any reason, it can have an effect on the sciatic nerve.

    The attachment point is so close to the hip socket that many people assume they have hip pain when, in reality, it is coming from this attachment site.

    I think I would have back surgery first and see what happens...although I'm sure the hip surgery is an easier recovery.
  • When my L5-S1 disc ruptured I had severe hamstring pain first, next severe hip pain (gluteus minimus) area, next horrible calf pain. Then, the needles in my foot and numb foot. I first thought that I had pulled a hamstring. Then I thought I had pulled a gluteus minimus muscle as the pain referral chart shows that a gluteus minimus injury can refer pain to the hamstring and calf. I had no back pain what-so-ever so I was shocked when they finally sent me for an MRI and it showed the disc rupture.
  • My pain sounds fairly similar to yours, and after undergoing the back surgery I would recommend investigating your hip.

    About 3 years ago I developed numbness and tingling in my left followed by shooting pains down my leg and throbbing pains in my hip/buttock area. No real back pain to speak of, but was diagnosed with a ruptured L5/S1 and after trying decompression therapy without success I had a microsurgical discectomy. It has been about a year since my surgery and my condition is nearly the same as it was pre-surgery, if not worse (i have some low back pain as well now). Several doctors have told me that my MRI shows that the surgery went well and there is no longer any nerve impingement. I have tried getting several injections in various locations (SI joint, L5/S1 nerve root, Piriformis, etc.) and none of them gave me any pain relief.

    A CAT scan of my hip shows FAI (femoro-acetubular-impingement) and a possible labral tear. The one thing that I have noticed is a pronounced clicking from my hip area when my pain is the worst. I have seen 2 hip doctors and both told my that the pain was unlikely my hip, but a number of other message boards have folks who indicate similar pain that ended up getting relief from finally diagnosing hip conditions. If you haven't had a scan of your hip yet it woudl probably be a good idea.

    Best of luck.

  • I was suffering with terrible leg and groin pain. After MRI was told I had Spondylolisthesis and needed fusion surgery. That was in 2006. I had no relief. After second MRI was told I had scar tissue and needed Epidural injections to shrink the scar tissue. I had 6 injections,CAT scan, and was told everything looked great. I still had the same pain I had before surgery and walked with a terrible limp. Finally after visiting a new NS,I was told to have my hip looked at. Films of my hip show total deterioration of my right hip and now in three weeks will have a Total hip replacement. I feel the source of my pain in 2006 was my hip. Wish me luck!
  • i would say that your continuous problems are indeed from your back not your hip .i myself have hip pain and there is nothing wrong with my hips and at 40 its unlikely that your hips are anything but healthy .please note that this is just my opinion based on my 15 years of constant back problems my advice would be to revisit your doctor and have some test done so you can put your mind at rest
  • Have osteoporosis now suffering with terrible pain in hips when getting up off chair also bending forward been having pain in both hands dont know what to do
Sign In or Register to comment.