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CMatthewCCMatthew Posts: 49
I had another MRI last Fri. to see how I was healing up. Good news is everything looks really good accept fluid build up in one of my joints in my back. Now the bad thing is the pain in my back is still awful and 1,000 times worse going from my right cheek down to my calf and sometimes as far as the outside of my right ankle and wraps under my heel. I took myself off of my pain meds over a month ago because i was sick of them and my body had grown use to them (tolerance) and I did not want to go up. I also wanted to see where my pain level was at. Now since i have stopped them I forgot how much i really hurt. I went to the DR today and he read the results and said he doesn't know what to say and blames my pain on opioid induced hyperalgesia. This makes me pretty upset being that its been over a month since i took myself off and this is the same pain i had before I went on these meds. I still take my Lyrica and my wellbutrin but the leg pain is something fierce!!! The back pain is tolerable but not the leg. OIH which is definitely something that can happen I think but it should go down as your use of the opiates goes down. I am lost for words and am getting an injection on FRI. for the fluid build up but what about my leg does anyone know what it could be and has anyone had a normal MRI and had excruciating butt, leg, and foot pain. I can't live with this the rest of my life I am only 33 yrs old and have two kids to support and haven't even been released to work yet and it's been 2 yrs. Thank you for listening and I hope someone out there has a better suggestion than this DR that my WC sent me.


  • May I ask what type of doctor you are seeing? I gather you have not had surgery on your back...would that be correct?

    I am not a doctor, but I do know from personal experience that one common cause of pain running down the leg is the result of a compressed lumbar spinal nerve. Sometimes when there is a bulge or herniation in a disc, it causes some spinal nerve root compression. If you look at a dermatome map you will see which spinal nerve might be involved--in my case the location you describe is where I experienced my leg pain, and it was from the L5 and S1 nerves. There is a definition of dermatome here if you are not familiar with the term: http://www.spine-health.com/glossary/d/dermatome

    Perhaps your doctor can adjust your medications and that will provide some relief. Have you talked to him about the cause of your leg pain? Perhaps it is the fluid that is pressing on the nerve, and after you get that taken care of, the pain will get better too.

    Good luck. I know how horrendous that sciatic-type pain can be...and I never had any luck with pain medications touching the pain.
  • No according to my latest MRI there is nothing pushing on any of my nerves that he saw. I had fractured two vertebrae when the accident happened a little over two years ago. That has healed and about two months after my accident i started developing leg pain. My Orthopedic surgeon had suggested that I go to a pain clinic and try random injections for 8 weeks and if that does not work to come back to him and we would talk about a Spinal Cord Stimulator. I went to the pain clinic in June of '09 and which was picked by my QRC and never received an injection there, just meds and some nerve stimulation therapy. It was going nowhere so I left and took myself off of my pain meds Oxycontin 80 mg 3x's a day and 10 mg oxycodone 4 x's a day for BT. The problem I have is the DR they have currently put me with is an orthopedic DR but since my new MRI came back fairly clean he wants me to get back to work and try to "tough it out". Now I consider myself as a person who can handle pain but since off my pain meds i have lost almost 30 lbs. and can't eat because my pain is so disturbing. I'm pretty much bed ridden my leg is out of control as is my back. I just don't know what to do, I have a family to support and this DR expects me to try to get back to work but only approved me for 4 hrs and I can barely walk. I appreciate the thought Second Self but my MRI is clean and I feel lost.
  • sorry you're having this pain. I went for a 2nd MRI and it showed a little fluid also but no compression like my first MRI also. But my Pain Management Dr. says to have the sciatica it must be some nerve involvement in my case. I'm going for my 4th epidural and facet and hip and butt nerve blocks on Thursday. I've had to go every year for at least 3 epidurals to get a little relief. I don't know how you manage and would keep looking for a Dr. to help you. You shouldn't have to be in so much pain. I take oxycontin 40 mg twice a day. My Dr. first prescribed 3 a day but try to only take 2 a day for the last two months. I've been in pain for 2.5 years and off work also. I hope you find a Dr. soon. I've seen 3 PM Drs. for their opinions and find Cymbalta works for me better than lyrica did and I take Wellbutrin also. Sometimes ice helps the leg and sometimes some heat helps. Don't give up looking for a Dr. to help. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm sorry to keep asking questions, but is the new orthopedic doctor a spinal specialist? The nerve compression I had did not show up on several different MRIs that I had over the past year and a half. But any other possible causes were ruled out and I was left with two possibilities: nerve compression or the nerve itself had permanent damage and was just not functioning properly, so my brain perceived that it was sending pain signals.

    Is it possible that you could see a different spinal specialist? I'm sorry that I don't know much about injuries that occur at work, so if this is a dumb question, I apologize ahead of time!
  • You might want to consider getting a second opinion with maybe a Neurosurgeon. From my experience with doctors sometimes there needs to be other tests done to rule out nerve impingement and or damage. MRI's are a useful tool but my doc told me they can miss things. What ever happened with looking at a spinal cord stimulator? It also might be a good idea to see a different pain management doctor. Sometimes you just have to keep searching until you find the answers you need.
  • Rwill-
    I appreciate you taking the time to read what i have wrote, but the problem with all of this is that I can't just keep searching until I find the answers I need because this is on work comps dime. It's been two years and they are not as motivated as me to find the real problem just to pack things up and get my paperwork of there desk! I am trying to get ins. through the state because i have yet to be released for work so therefore I have no ins. The minute I have my own ins. I will take the time to find DRs and Neurologists' that are interested in finding a solution instead of writing me off! I wish my work comp experience had been a better one if that even makes sense to say!
  • What about facet ablation? It didn't go down my leg, but certainly down through my hips and thighs. My back is out of alignment due to a fracture and that can set your facet joints off. A facet block is a test for facet nerve pain.

    Good luck!
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