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Severe leg/hip pain

hotcoffee29hhotcoffee29 Posts: 327
You have all been so helpful to me in the past and supportive, and here I am again with new symptoms!!

Despite everything I have been through until now, this pain I am currently experiencing is by far the worst. I started gabapentin about a month ago due to permanant nerve pain in my left leg. The neurologist cofirmed this diagnosis with an EMG. My pain has been getting worse after a brief period of relief afer my last surgery in May. The top of my leg/hip area has been sore and has now reached the point that I can barely lift my left leg. I cannot cross my left leg atall for severe shooting pain. Its getting harder to just walk.

I have been trying to rest my leg every day after work and icing it, however last night I noticed my whole left side at my hip area is very swollen. I am in constant pain. I have not done any new exercises or anythng like that, no falls, no trauma................I am so confused, have others out there suffered such severe hip pain from their back problems. I assume this is all coming from my back.

After my last surgery to clean around my nerves, making sure nothing was impinging on the nerves, how can I be in so much pain if nothing is touching the nerves? All my pain is all down the one side. This pain is much worse than anything I have suffered before.

I don't know which doctor to go see, my back surgeon, my neurologist or my PCP.............I am about ready just to go to ER but I know they won't do anything. I am trying to get through the next few days at work so I can rest over the weekend.

I am hoping if I get enough rest it will just improve on its own, my hubby is so tired hearing me complain about my pain and says its always something with me, I just don't know where and who to turn to.

Thanks for listening,


  • Sorry to hear of your leg pain. I have hip pain on my affected side and get nerve blocks in my hip that help. I can barely touch my hip without having pain but the nerve blocks help. I hope you've called your Dr. by now or Monday if the pain hasn't eased up. Take it easy. 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
  • to hear that you are in so much pain. :-(

    It is lovely to hear from you again, but sorry that it had to be because you are suffering. >:D<

    Have you had an MRI since your surgery to see if anything has changed since then?

    Are you still under the care of your surgeon since your surgery was only 6 months ago? If so, perhaps you should go and see him.

    Sandra, I am sorry that your husband seems to have lost his empathy for you. I think that for us 'spineys' it is important to be able to talk about our problems. It is theraputic and helps us to deal with our problems. You need to express what you are dealing with and how you are feeling.
    We are here for you Sandra, to listen and support you. Do use us as a place to unburden yourself. We understand and care about how much you are suffering. >:D<
  • I would recommend that you make an appointment to see your PCP next week. The swelling and other symptoms have me concerned. Ice and rest the hip/leg area, but definitely go to the ER if no improvement or worsening of your symptoms. Better to be safe. Keep us posted. Hope things improve.

  • about this relentless pain!!!

    Your support is greatly appreciated as always. Thanks Charry and Jelly for making me feel comfortable to express my frustration and Marianne I want you to know I did seek help from a doctor.

    I took Friday off work, my husband came around and was empathetic when he saw the swelling on my side and the difficulty I was having walking. He insisted I take the day off work and he called around doctors until he got me an appointment.

    I would have called my surgeon but felt like he has done all he can do, all the tests that can be run and basically beside the odd flares, no reason for my pain. My neuro told me my pain was permanent in my leg so I felt he really couldn't help with my hip, anyway I saw a new ortho and he diagnosed me with hip bursitis and gave me a cortisone injection. It was very painful and I have been icing my hip and resting since yesterday. I really hope this is it and this shot helps as it's been so annoying having all this pain in the same side all the time and not really knowing why.

    My right side is great, no problems, no pain, no numbness nothing, no side effects from the surgeries but my left side is horrible, from my low back all the way down through my foot. I really wish someone would just try to take a look at the whole picture and provide some answers. The only thing I take is the gabapentin from the Neuro and manage the rest with advil and tylenol, ice and heat and resting as much as I can after work.

    I know I am one of the lucky ones, so many of you here have been through so many more surgeries and include hardware and have lots more pain...............I simply cannot imagine. MMy husband finally said to me he is just frustrated to watch me suffer after 2 years with 2 surgeries and I am not better and feels its all been for nothing, I can understand that.

    Here is an interesting question for some of you, the ortho took an x-ray of my hip yesterday and when he entered the room the only thing he seemed concerned about was why I had 2 vascular clips that showed up on my x-ray, well I have no idea why, never knew I had anything like that!! The only thing I can think of is the hysterectomy I had in June, but no one mentioned anything like this to me and all I knew about was the disolvable stitches and I had no complications, so wjy the vascular clips on my left side??? Anyone else have anything similar to this? I will call my OBGYN on Monday to ask if they did indeed do this and why. Perhaps this is normal, the doctor didn't act like it was, it just really surprised me.

    Thanks to everyone was again for such kindness.

    Jelly, how are you holding up, are you still working back at school and recovering from your fusion? Please tell me how your doing now.

  • Glad you saw the doc. Swelling is not anything I experience with the nerve pain in my hips or legs. Interesting about the vascular clips. Definitely contact the OBGYN first thing Monday, if for no other reason than to give you some peace of mind.

    Hope the injection starts to help out soon.

  • I'm glad you got to a doctor and got injections - I hope they help with the pain caused by your bursitis. Have you gotten any relief yet?

    I can relate to you and your husband's situation. I also have had two surgeries in two years and am still in pain. My hubby is tired of it all and we've had more tiffs in the last two months than we've had in the last 23 years because in his words, "He just wants his old Cathie back."

    I hate to tell him that I'm not sure that will ever happen, but I think that what he's really looking for is my positive attitude, not my health. I've been golfing with him and I've been working very hard to keep up with my cheerful attitude and joking around with him. So far, it's made him feel better.

    So I just wanted you to know that I although I can't help with your hip and pain issue, I can certainly relate to the tension all this can cause in a relationship. You're not alone.


    PS Please let us know what your ob/gyn says about those clips. Very interesting indeed!
  • Sandra,
    I thought I told you not to come around here anymore! Seriously, I am so sorry you are having problems. But it is lovely to hear from you! Next time bring coffee.

    1st, Like "C" I have never experienced swelling with nerve pain in my hips or legs. I have however with bursitis so hopefully you have the right diagnosis and the steroid shot will help. Actually with bursitis, oral steroids helped me tremendously as well. I really am hoping this is just a bursitis flare up and has nothing to do with your back. Have you spent some time on a ladder? Sitting on the balls of your feet or on a step stool?

    2nd, I also have to agree with "C" that you should get to the bottom of the vascular clips. I know they left them in me with my gall bladder removal and didn't bother to tell me. I had to ask about them when they were spotted on an image but it sure is worth investigating cause you just never know!!!!!!!!

    3rd, When you had your hysterectomy did you have your ovaries removed? Now, you don't have to answer that question in a public forum but think about it cause if you did those steroids may really play some havoc with whatever you are doing, if you are doing anything, for HRT. Just a thought...Been there done that!

    Lastly, I have, what I like to think is a strong marriage of 29 years. Man has this 3 years of chronic pain and spine problems tested things. Like Cath's husband, mine just wants his wife back. I try and he tries. So much compromise is required. We CANNOT sit back and say, "why can't he see how much pain I am in." We need to sit back and see how much pain they are in as well. So theirs may not be physical. Whoever said all pain was physical? It truly does hurt to watch a loved one suffer and change right before your very eyes and not be able to do a thing about it.

    Take Care Sandra. Here's hoping those steroids have you feeling human again by Monday.

    Keep us posted!
  • I am doing well in my lumbar spine area, where the surgery was. Last week was my first week back to my full hours at work. I feel like I am starting to be useful again!

    I have actually been into work this morning for 3 hours (Sunday!). On Thursday afternoon, we heard that we have an OFSTED inspection starting tomorrow. That has got everyone very stressed! I am supporting a new teacher in her first year of teaching. I was in there to try and help her as much as possible. She is a young mum with a 10 month old baby, so lots of demands on her.

    I am still having problems with my neck and thoracic spine, particularly my neck at the moment. I'm waiting for the results of an MRI scan.

    I really hope that this injection will give you good relief in your hip.

    As for the vacular clips, well I would certainly find out about that! Were they meant to be left inside you? Also, if you have another MRI scan, will there be a problem with them? I think they might be a reason to not have one (not sure about that).I can't believe that they didn't tell you they were there! :S

    Hope that the chat with your hubby has helped to clear things and that you will both understand each other better now. Hope that you can have a special time, just the two of you, to pull together again and feel close. :X

    How are you getting on back at work? I hope that they are being more supportive.

    Take good care of yourself >:D<
  • Thank you all for understanding about the tension between my husband and I. It is challenging and we have 3 very busy children to take care of, a house, full time job and sometimes I just feel the stress of it all and Friday was the first day I have taken off since returning to work, it just got that bad.

    I have spent most of the weekend resting but today I did laundry and a few other things with the family and my pain has increased again tonight. The weird thing now is that my pain is settling in the front of my thigh, the area of the injection site is very tender and sore, standing is hard and that makes my back hurt too. I will try to sit as much as possible at work tomorrow.

    I see my neurologist tomorrow after work to follow up on the Gabapentin, he is not a surgeon, is it worth mentioning this new pain to him? My swelling is located on my upper thigh but what makes me hip look odd is that the left side (my bad side) seems higher than the other side, its definately not equal and doesn't look symetrical. I am sure however that is very normal fo us "spiney's"

    It means alot to me to hear from so many of you. I do think the diagnosis of bursitis is probably accurate and hopefully I can squeeze in a few mins to make a call to the OB so I can find out about the clips.

    Jelly, good luck at work....I hope they get to the bottom of your neck issues. It seems like when we get one area fixed, then another part goes, no fun atall!! Let us know how the tests come out and what they think about your CT and what can they do for you. I really wish you well.

    Frog, does the clips left behind after your gallbladder surgery ever cause you any bother? I assume this is not normal then? I was just so shocked when the doctor questioned me about it.

    Well I will keep you all updated, hope everyone has a great Monday and thanks for all the words of wisdom to help me communicate with my husband, it is a much better day even though I am in bed with a heating pad (moving to heat instead of ice)) and my husband just packed my lunch box for the morning and set up my coffee, ahhh!!! :-)

    Oh and next time, yes coffee for sure!!!!!
    I am a huge coffee drinker, my Keurig is my best friend!!
  • I would mention to the Neurologist about your pain and swelling. He may want to order some more tests on your leg. I took Lyrica and my legs swelled up so much I couldn't barely put certain shoes on. Not sure if Gabapentin causes swelling also? I would be concerned of being in so much pain at the hip area and would get it checked out by your Dr. or ER especially if this is new the swelling and the pain is worse than before. Take care. 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 like my coffee with lots of whip cream! MMMM...

    The clips, in my case, cause me no bother at all. I wouldn't have known they were there had they not been seen on a routine scan. But TRUST ME when I say that things can be left behind after surgery that can cause quite the bother.

    You should check on it. Be on the safe side. Call Monday and make sure you are COMFORTABLE with the answers you get.

    (You could even request the surgical notes!)

    Feel Better and be sure and let us know how your doing.

  • I agree (Where is that like button?)

    Great suggestions Charry!

    Sandra, since you are new to the Gabapentin I wouldn't rule it out as a cause. Check out the side effects.

    Normally I would be all over saying it's back related considering your past history (if it walks like a duck...) but the swelling really makes me hesitant.
  • When I was reading your OP, I was thinking bursitis, as I have the same thing, and your symptoms were ringing true in my ears.

    I would definitely mention it to your neurologist, there could be something else going on that he may know of, or could refer you to an ortho or something. There's no such thing as a stupid question, except for the one unasked! Hope you find the answers and get some help and relief!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Thank you :-)

    What a day, long day! I just wanted to make a quick update as it's late and 4am comes quick!!

    I went to my neurology appointment and he asked me how I thought I was doing and I was honest with him and told him I am still on a quest for answers and not ready to just say this is it and depend on pain management. I have terrible pain on my left side and I want to know why.

    He said I have old nerve damage, didn't look like it was something that is on going, but that doesn't explain my hip pain and thigh pain and low back pain, he told me he recommends a second opinion from a neuro surgeon and said that I may need a 3rd surgery if he thinks there is something that can be fixed or proves my back is now unstable from the laminectomies. I asked him to wait and he agreed to send me for new MRI's, its been over a year since I had one, and he will read them and let me know what he thinks my next direction should be but he warned me that not everything shows up on MRI's and that he may still want me to see the neurosureon. So we will go from there.

    My hip is alot better, the cortosone shot must be really helping however the site of injection is swollen, bruised and a dark hole where the injection was, it never looked like that when I got them in my back, so I have been icing the spot again tonight.

    I am doubling up on the gabapentin now, he said I can take them when I get home from work to avoid the dizziness. Thats the game plan for now. My husband almost flipped when he heard the mention of another surgery and he told me if 2 didn't work why would I put myself through a 3rd, he was quite angry about that. But baby steps, I am not there yet and will wait to see if the MRI shows anything that will be helpful.

    I am very tired, so thanks again to everyone. I got home at 5pm, too late to call my OB to see about the clips, I will try them tomorrow so I can fond out before I have the MRI, I guess that might be useful info!!

    I am sorry for my typos, long nails on laptop on top of fatigue is not a good combo!!

  • Glad you have a neurologist that cares and listens. Sorry your hubby is having a difficult time understanding all of this. Get some rest.

  • I am going for my MRI tomorrow but won't get the results until Dec 1st on my next visit.

    I'll keep you posted. I did put a call in to my OBGYN but no call back, I assume it will be ok to proceed with the MRI, I will let them know I may have these clips somewhere!!

    I hope you are keeping well and looking forward to the holidays,

  • Well I just wanted to share a little info............ I never found out about the vascular clips issue, my OBGYN never uses them and it did not come from the hysterectomy, so I have no idea where or why this doctor asked me about it from my x-ray.

    I have continued to have alot of pain, on Wednesday I had a neck and lumbar MRI with and without contrast. Today when I got home there was a message from the imaging centre and she was trying to get a hold of my CD from my previous MRI's from my surgeon's office. I called her back and she told me they needed my films right away and she couldn't wait so she was driving o my surgeons office to go pick up a duplicate copy as they needed it to compare to my new ones. There was a sense of urgency that has me a little spooked but hopefully this is normal.

    My next apt with my doctor is not until Dec 1st, the wait will kill me. I have the films...........yes I have looked at them, stared at them, played with them, reasearched them and I have NO CLUE what it all means!!!!

    Hope everyone enjoys their weekend,
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