Hello fellow sufferers,
I read that I should introduce myself, with details, so here goes.
I'm 62.5 years old and I work at a desk/computer job. In 2006 I broke my right ankle and had surgery with two screws inserted. Everything healed on schedule and that was it.
Around August of 2010, my neighbor woke me up in the middle of the night with (what she saw as) an emergency. She scared the wits out of me and I RAN from a deep sleep to the front door. Once the so-called emergency was over, I went back to bed.
When I awoke the next morning, I experienced a pain in the lower, outside part of my right leg. Pain like nothing I've ever experienced in my life. It brought tears to my eyes. I figured I had "pulled something" in that area. Iced it and took it easy, but it recurred every morning for around 2-3 weeks, then stopped.
For no "apparent" reason, it came back in January of 2011. Thinking it was related in some way to my ankle, I went to the orthopedic surgeon who fixed the ankle. X-ray revealed no problems with the ankle, not even a bit of arthritis, and he told me to take Aleve (double dose) for three weeks. I did, and the pain went away.
It recurred again during my vacation in July 2011. Back to the Aleve and it stopped. In early October, it came back and nothing has helped. Aleve and Ibuprofin only "dull" the pain, but do not stop it. I went back to the ortho and had an MRI of my lower back which revealed a slightly bulging disk, but the bulge is on the left and the pain is on the right. The Dr. still decided it's sciatica and sent me to PT.
The PT was HORRIBLE! Prior to PT I had NO lower back pain. After two weeks PT I could barely go to work due to back pain and the leg pain was also much worse. So I dropped the PT.
Research on the web has led me to think I may have Piriformis Syndrome, since none of my symptoms seem to "fit" sciatica. I have no pain the the buttocks, and my pain does NOT go down the back of my leg. It's in the outside of my lower leg. It does not bother me to sit. I just have this excruciating pain every morning in the lower outside of my ankle/calf. Originally, it lasted anywhere from 20 mins to over an hour.
The main reason I suspect the Piriformis is that the Piriformis stretches have started helping to reduce the pain. I tried them, since I figured I had little to loose. I can definitely feel pain in my hip when I do this, but the pain in the leg decreases and is now only lasting 5-15 minutes.
I have also learned that bending forward, with my foot raised (like on the toilet seat), nearly stops the pain. Too bad I can't stay there, but it's pretty tricky to work on a computer in that postion.
I'm hoping to learn if anyone else has "atypical" symptoms like mine that's been diagnosed with Piriformis. Like many, my insurance is not good and my $2,500 deductible restarts 1/1/12, so I will not be seeing any Dr.'s in 2012 unless I'm half dead. I have to pay off the medical bills for 2011 before I can even think about any more treatments.
I will need to do this on my own. Thanks in advance for any insight, suggestions, etc.
P.S. One oddity about me that may have some bearing on this: Since childhood, I have been completely unable to sit "cross-legged." As a child, I "naturally" sat on the floor with my legs in an "M" position...the butt being the center point of the "M" the knees the top, and the legs the long parts extending down...or back. Teachers used to yell at me trying to get me to sit "Indian style." They thought I was being difficult. The fact is, I was not capable of sitting that way, and I still can't. I'm wondering if this is why my symptoms are "different."