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Hip pain, is it really my back?

nowwhat44nnowwhat44 Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Spinal Stenosis
I have another thread going discussing my new stenosis diagnosis. The main symptom that I have been having is a sore right hip. It would burn at night if I slept on it wrong. Sometimes it just aches but usually stretches and some advil take care of it. But in all my years of back problems, L5 S1 herniation 15 years ago and then fusion in 2007, never did my hip hurt. I would swear I had a hip issue before the studies. Doc thinks it is the stenosis and does not want to really address the hip. I guess I am wondering if anyone else has a lot of their symptoms in the hip. Like I said, I was convinced I had a hip issue, not another back issue. He says i have arthritic stenosis at the l4 level above the fusion.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,818
    but instead in the Hip. Starting from the hip, going down your backside cheek and down into your leg.
    So often that is caused by a disc impinging on a nerve root and results in sciatica.

    But, this is something you really need to discuss with your doctor
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • That's the thing, I rarely if ever get pain in the buttock or leg on that side. I get some foot pain on other side which I would def say is sciatic but the hip is so puzzling to me. I mean I was CONVINCED it was a hip issue like bursitis or something. Never in 20 years had I had hip pain with my back problems. Oh well..shall see I guess.
  • I have an L4-L5 DDD, bulge and tear. These are referred to as "mild/moderate" in my MRI report, but since I hurt my back almost 4 years ago, I have not been able to work - the pain is severely debilitating, and if I ignore it and don't rest - well - my legs just get pulled out from under me. I have never had surgery.

    About 1 1/2 years after I hurt my back, and after a hefty round of Physical Therapy, I developed hip pain as well - Over and over this woman made me lie on the floor and arch my back backwards (hope you know what I mean) - she said it would suck the herniation back in. It was all extremely painful - and as a result, I suddenly developed this hip pain - And it's just like you say, deep, deep in the hip, and you feel the pain deepening in your sleep. It makes me feel like the squeaky tin man whenever I move/bend too (no noise, but a squeak of pain whenever I move). Only in the hip (no buttock or whatever, like you say). I also continued to have debilitating axial back pain from the L4-L5.

    I had an x-ray for bursitis, as my needle Dr said she could give me a steroid shot in the hip. I don't even know whether it showed bursitis or not, because after some research I decided I didn't want the hip shot, because steroids into the hip can leave you with a big nasty hole in your flesh (not open - just kind of like a sink-hole in your hip).

    So - they could never really diagnose the hip pain (back or hip?) - a couple of Dr's also suggested it's SI joint (I did have an SI joint injection - it did nothing - aside from cause more pain, ha-ha!). However, my pain management (medication) Dr gave me Lyrica - it really took the edge of this pain (I've been on the Lyrica for two years now), and it helps me sleep at night (along with the Oxy) so I don't have that horrible pain at night now. I also got a very good bed - very, very important for this pain - I sleep so much better on the good bed. But maybe some NSAID's (ibuprofin, Celebrex?) may help you (+ get a good bed) - Of course, you should see your Dr about all this - This is just what happened to me.

    All the best.
  • Hi There, Sorry that you are going through all of this. I thought I would share my experiences. One day a couple of years ago I was walking across my back yard and my left hip kept feeling like it was out of place when I put weight on it. That was the start of my whole life changing. When the Dr. combined my complaints of my hip and kidney back pain together, there was concern of spinal problems. After being sent for MRI I was found to have a bulging lumbar disc, a herniated lumbar disc, and stenosis. I was sent for therapy to no avail. Pain got worse. Leg got weaker and off to surgery I went. Pain got worse, leg still weak. Still have stenosis and scar tissue now. Right now, this moment, my hip is killing me due to the weather. Started out raining this morning, and now it is snowing. I take pain meds, imflammatory meds, nerve pain meds, sleep meds, you name it meds, and still I hurt. I have a big ice bag I use faithfully, and a TENS unit that helps sometimes. Does the stenosis cause my hip to hurt along with the sciatica? I have heard about 3 or 4 different RXs from the Drs so far. They don't know. I have my new Thoracic stuff happening now to top if all off too. I guess I think if I get a correct RX then I get a correct fix or a correct RX I can tell people as to why I am still not fixed.
  • Probably is my back then. I don't understand why so may people have surgery that does not work? Or maybe it's not as many as I think and it's just the ones that are successful do not post anymore. Is it because people wait too long and the nerves are too damaged? I have had 3 back operations in the last 15 years. 2 discetomy/laminectomy and one fusion. All of them worked great to relive pain for a few years at a clip. If the nerve is freed up, why is there still so much pain for many people. Again, this scares the living hell out of me. I don't want or need surgery at this point but I also don't want to wait too long and end up with permanent damage. Right now advil does the trick so obviously no surgery. But at what point does surgery become a must? Sounds like coyote is there, you need surgery my man. Why not yet?
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I can tell you from experience that lumbar stenosis can cause severe hip pain. My diagnosis was stenosis, facet joint swelling and spondylolisthesis and I had horrible hip pain. In fact, I couldn't stand longer than five minutes, if that. It was my deciding factor to have the fusion - I couldn't even stand to cook dinner and my quality of life went down hill so bad that I felt I had no choice.

    Good luck to you.
  • How long did it take for many of you to get so bad? I have had pretty much the same level of pain for a year and a half.
  • How long did it take for many of you to get so bad? I have had pretty much the same level of pain for a year and a half. It's strange to me because it says I have moderate/severe stenosis at L4. The doc looked at the image like, wow, yea you have some real nerve compression there. But yet, my pain is manageable with regular Advil 600 mgs twice a day. Some days I take nothing and feel almost fine. I don't know if this means I am on the verge of serious pain or maybe it won't ever come. Not complaining about it but just freaked out as to when it's coming. Seems like I should have it already. Ugh, I hate this stuff man.
  • I had sudden onset of pain after a roller coaster ride - the pain just never got better. I was off work a month, went back to work for four months, hurt my back again, and stopped work all together. I have the "micromotion" thing of DDD, where I repeatedly hurt my back (around 5 times a year - even when I'm very careful), so aside from chronic pain (I guess from the bulge and tear), and flareups about once a month that last a few days, I have these "acute" "micromotion" episodes, which take 2-6 weeks to recover from.

    My pain has not really progressed, however. But I have declined - I used to be very active, and now I'm very sedentary; the rest of my spine is getting out of whack from spending so much time lying down; I've had a lot of side effects from steroids and meds; the endless testing, MRI's, x-rays, discogram - yuck!; the "acute" episodes and I guess just the constant pain wears me down.

    No surgery, because the discogram I did was negative - I think there were problems with how the discogram was done, but I don't want another one, because discograms cause problems of their own.

    I guess after I stopped work and I still didn't improve was when I started thinking about surgery. At this point, I don't even mind keeping a very sedentary life-style - if surgery could just get me off medications (oxy, etc.) I would be very happy.
    But I'm still searching for answers.

    The spinal cord - with all it's nerves running in and out - it's like a primitive brain, extremely complex. Dr's don't know how to fix nerves - all they can really do is isolate the "broken" area (fuse) and hope that things die down.

    I think that surgery is really helpful to some people - and many are happy, even if it provides them with only 10 years of reduced pain (I know I would make that tradeoff now). But I also think that some people rush to surgery (some problems do resolve on their own), and Dr's can rush to operate on them. Everyone's back is so different too; so are their histories, how they hurt their backs, and how they tolerate treatments; and there's always the weird paradox that the magnititude of the pathology does not correlate at all with the magnitude of pain. Finally - I think many people do too much when they have surgery - it's very hard to accept limitations. Once you've hurt your back, and once you've had surgery - you are never the same. Very, very hard to accept.

    But the world is changing, and I don't know that within 5 or 10 years, people will be having so many back surgeries in the USA (except the rich of course!). With all the changes in healthcare, the dire financial position medicare and medicaid are in - I don't think they will be so freely available.

  • I realize this thread is quite old, but here is my experience:
    In May/June of 2010 I began having hip pain. If I sat too long or got up too fast, it was awful- would almost bring me to my knees. We went on vacation and I was miserable, loaded up on Aleve and Tylenol only provided slight relief. When school started (I am a teacher of students with significant disabilities) it got worse. Then the trouble really started. Pain in the butt cheek, into my leg and knee, and then my ankle. I got barely walk. MRI showed a "significant" herniation at S1 and L5. Doctor did not sound optimistic about epidural injections, but I did 3 and PT anyway. Here we are in March-!1 week post-op and I have to say it was the best decision I made and only wish I had done it sooner. Relief was immediate! By the time I had surgery my right foot was numb, the pain in my knee and back of my thigh was excruciating, and I was having trouble controlling my leg. When my reflexes were tested, there were none.
    The surgeon said mine was the 2nd largest herniation he had seen andhad no idea how I lasted so long without surgery. I am able to lie flat on my back with my legs stretched out for the first time in 9 months.
    And it all started with hip pain!!!!!
  • Back pain may cause hip pain, however, all to often people relate most (if not all) of their pain to an ongoing problem, when the new pain very well might be just that-a new pain, a new issue. I had some horrible hip pain, it got so bad that it took me actual time getting in and out of the car, kept me up nights and was just awful. My PM gave me an ESI, told me that I had BURSAE, or Bursitis. I'm not big on ESIs but I was willing to try at that point, and it helped me immensely and lasted a long time. My hip has been bothering me again here lately, but not nearly as bad as it was then. If it gets worse I won't hesitate to talk to my PM about it again. Good luck with yours and I hope you learn the cause and can get rid of it.
  • Was pain in my left hip. I had it for years & wrote it off to driving a 5 speed.

    I can't remember what life was like without that hip pain. It would flare at times & be almost unbearable. I always assumed it was something in the hip itself, like bursitis & just sort of lived with it via handful of ibuprofen.

    In reality, it was a symptom of the damage in my lumbar spine. My PM does think there is some bursitis in there, but I can tell the differece--that pain is sharp & localized to a small spot. I feel it when I lie on that side.

    So, yes, definitely, hip pain can be caused by your back.

  • I came on to post a question about my on going hip pain and saw this post, I have been to 3 doctors about my hip pain and I was told I had bursitis, I have had 2 injections and they work for a few weeks and it always comes back. The third doctor I saw told me it is coming from my back and once I fix my back, my hip should get better so all the injections in the world won't help. He has recommended a fusion, it's my last resort, so I guess the final conclusion is that my hip pain is coming from my back, time will tell!!!

    Good luck to you

  • The past several months i've had really bad back and knee pain. I can barely get up when I'm sitting down in school or on the couch.

    Spam link not allowed. Removed by authority member, Cath111 4/27/11.
  • Hello. This is my first post, ever! Anyway, I had anterior and posterior spinal fusion of the L4,L5,S1 in June 2010. I then had anterior cervical fusion of the C3, C4, C5, C6, C7 in January 2011. I experience severe, deep, hip pain and have done a lot of reading. The sciatic branch of nerves which come off the L4-S1,pass through the periformis muscle which wraps around your hip from your buttocks. The sciatic branch of nerves also pass through the gluteus maxims, gluteus medium and gluteus minor. If you have hip pain that is deep, it could be these muscles are tight and compressing the nerves that come off the L4 - S1. I have been trying to find exercises to relax the periformis muscle and relieve the pain. Rest seems to work best but there is a stretching exercise that helps me where I stand on a step with one leg and bend the other knee up and try to rotate it out. I hope this helps.
  • Turns out my hip pain may indeed be from my hip. PM thinks I have burisits in both hips as well as sacroilitis in both.

    When I am done with lumbar ESIs, I might be able to get them in my hips.

    My left has had 2 major flares in the past wk, as bad as it's ever been.

    We'll see if the lumbar ESI helps.

  • I just had a laminectomy this morning to help relieve severe, debilitating hip pain with same pain in shin/ankle.
      It started several years ago, in the same fashion as many who have posted here.  I could walk maybe a block and thats it before that severe pain would sit you down in your tracks.  On a curb, in the middle of the fairway, or even just squatting like a little kid down low to the ground. I tried managing the pain with ibuprofen, intermittent injections of steroids and booze (on the golf course anyway) until 12 days ago when I had a steroidal injection that triggered severe, intolerable pain in those areas a day later.  The pain I experienced over the last 11 days changed me permanently as a person emotionally and mentally. No, not scarred, just changed, hard to explain in words right now.  I have dealt with back pain for 20 years due to a herniated disk like millions of people have, but this pain that occurs in the hip/leg went to a level I didn't know could exist, especially since there was no "safe" position I could find.  You know that special way to lie or sit to alleviate the pain we all find. Typically, it had been the sitting position like many have mentioned and as I talked about above.  I did find something close to that getting down on the floor in a fetal position, but you just can't stay in that position for that long.  I would sometimes get myself to sleep for 15 or 20 mins in that position before my body would reject it and straighten out a little waking me to severe pain.  I would guess I slept for up to 5 hours total over this period.  Luckily my employer is very understanding and figured out a way to allow me to deal with the problem and I am using all my vacation days, which I am fine with of course.
      I tried multiple pain killers that didnt touch the pain (percocet, hydrocodone, dilaudid injections, even flexaril).  There wasn't really time to try to get Gabapentin in my system to work. Additionally, on the second day, when my doc realized how severe my pain was after the injection he put me on a 5 day cycle of duramed to try to calm the nerve/inflamation.  Yes, all this over the 11 days.  
    Getting back to my surgery this morning.  I woke up to no pain down in my shin/ankle, but incredible pain still in my hip, yes without standing or walking, I was on my back.  I quickly turned on my side trying for that fetal position, but obviously was still in terrifying pain.  They loaded me up with fentanyl, which I had not had before, but it messed me up pretty good.  Problem is, no pain relief from it.  After several painful hours, the pain has started to subside, and I am now back to pre-injection form, where walking is what brings the onset of pain.  I am somehow very happy about this however.  In my conversations with my surgeon, he said because the nerve and area are so swollen and irritated, that until we can bring that under control, I will probably not receive much relief beyond what is current.  I am taking ibuprofen for now, (I got so messed up on the fentanyl, and subsequent percocet they gave me later, that I cannot take anything else, my stomach feels like garbage and pretty nauseous)  And I suppose the tube down my throat during surgery probably has something to do with the nausea.
    I am hopeful this surgery will eventually help me further in this hip pain we are talking about, but I wanted to share my story with people who know exactly what I am talking about.  I will follow up with my personal progress if anybody is still paying attention to this thread.  I am a newbie here, but I hope that doesn't deter you from reaching out and talking about similar experiences. I am 42 years old and healthy aside from this life-consuming issue.  Peace

  • MyPain2MMyPain2 Posts: 1
    edited 07/30/2013 - 11:58 AM
    Vhgolf, any update on the outcome of your surgery. I'm currently experiencing the same thing everyone has described here and am trying to make the decision on surgery.
  • I developed right hip bursitis 3 years ago...at the time I had sciatica on the right as well as a herniation of my right L4/L5. Because of the sciatica and the herniation I walked different and with a gait and when I noticed I did that more because I was favoring my back to avoid pain my hip felt worse. Since my microdisectomy my gait has returned to somewhat normal (or as normal as it will get) my bursitis doesnt flair up as much. My pain would just be a constant ache and was the absolute worst when I was pregnant because I developed it in the left hip also so sleep was impossible. What I did find helped was sleeping with a pillow inbetween my legs.
  • I have many questions so bare with me. I am 56 years old and have been having back issues for many many years. About 5 years ago I had a fusion of L4 L5 S1 and just last year had a Spinal Cord Stimulator put in my back. I also in the last year have had two total knee replacements. I have recently been having sevear pain from my neck down to my foot on the right side. I had a CT scan done and it found that I have some broad bulging discs that are laying on my thecal sac. Anyway the surgeon said that is not what is cause my back pain...and could not give me an answer to what was.
    As a baby I was born with hip dysplasia and wore a cast on my right side from the time I was a couple of months old till I was almost a year. I have been reading up on it and I am wondering if it can cause long term issues and if that could be what is bothering my back. I also notice that when I walk I walk with my right foot turned out. I mentioned that to my doctor but I got the impression he just did not want to deal with me. I do have osteoporosis and osteoarthritis and I am so afraid of falling and now thinking that all my pain could be coming from my hip and I am even more afraid. I am a mess and really just wanting some opinions here. I see my knee surgeon in a couple of weeks and I am tempted to ask him to do a bone workup on my hip but don't know if it is worth it. Anyway any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
  • To bad that this is so old.
    I too was told it's my back, got the microdiscectomy done and still have the same issues! 
    Even after telling the neurosurgeon my left hip has arthritis and my left femur is shorter than the right.....insisted it was my back.
    Now I'm in misery with a surgical procedure I'm thinking I didn't need!
  • arc60aarc60 Colorado Springs, COPosts: 2
    My most prominent problem from my L4L5 disc issues has been hip pain.  From the time of injury, to surgery and to this day (almost 2 years later).  I have to always remind myself it's my back, not my hip, that has problems.  
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 08/22/2016 - 12:50 AM
    This is a very old post the member who created it hasn't been on the forum for 5 years ao I am closing it

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
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