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MRI scan back normal - In Pain!!


I am a 30 year old male who for the last 6 months or so has been experiencing pain deep in my hip and since Christmas my lower back.

After seeing my GP, I was referred to a rheumatologist who advised that I go for an MRI scan. At the time of my appointment she suggested I may have Sacroilitis? I have had my MRI scan two weeks ago and my follow up appointment with the rheumatologist is March 11th. I phone up the rheumatology office and asked for my results to be sent to my GP.

The receptionist called from the GP today and said the MRI scan has come back normal and wait to discuss with the rheumatologist on March 11th.

Although I am happy that the MRI has come back normal, I am no closer to finding out what the problem is and am worried that no-one is going to help me. I have searched the internet to try to find my symptoms but can't seem to find anything.

Below is a list of the pain I am experiencing, any help or suggestions would be highly apreciated:

Pain is at it's worst on waking in the morning, in both the hips and lower back.
Pain can come and go, I sometime have two days where I feel next to no pain and then it comes back
Loss of appetite
Constant aching feeling deep down in my hips (not muscular)

I have been prescribed all different types of anti-inflamitorys but none of them seem to help. I have had blood test that have also come back negative. I am currently taking Co-codamol and Tramadol which seems to help numb the pain alittle

This is really getting me down, and any help or advise you can give me would mean so much

Thank you for taking time to read my post


  • Welcome to Spine Health. Wish you didnt need to be here. I have the pain you described. Its horrible. I have had spinal fusion and am still in considerable pain. My surgeon is now going to do SI Joint injections. Take a moment to read about SI joint issues here on Spine Health. I am hoping that the injections will resolve my pain. The good thing about the injections is that they are used as a diagnostic technique. Meaning if the SI joint is your pain generator when they give you the shot it will resolve immeadiately. They put lidocaine in first...so the pain is numbed if thats the generator. Then they follow with a steroid to bring down inflamation. Its very frustrating to not find answers, you must keep looking. Not everything shows on an MRI....my surgeon was floored when he got inside as one whole side, vertebrae were pretty much broken off. He had to remove all of the bone from L3-SI to fuse me. Crazy, I know. My advice is to read about SI joint and talk to your doctors. Ruling things out is almost as important as finding the cause. Please keep us posted and I will do the same when my injections are done. I am hoping with all of my might this will resolve my pain. Its a rough pain...unrelenting for me. I sleep on ice most nights. Mine is worse by the afternoon and by bedtime I can barely stand it. I wish you luck. Peace, Ellen
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • If you dont know, the majority of SI JOINT problems are not visible on imaging scans. The only thing I know that could show much is bone scans looking for "Hot Spots" . If your si joint is inflamed and swollen at the time of the test, it can show up as affected. So keep this in mind. I had to remind my PHCP this when my MRI came back normal.
  • I am 55 years old. Pain started 7 years ago. 3 Back specialists, 3 rounds of therapy, 2 rounds of injections, 8 different chiropractors, acupunture, and lots of different excercises. At least I have good core muscles. Sitting and lying in bed...;unbearable pain. I also had pain or a tight muscle feeling in my right buttocks. All my pain was on my baack right side, but did not go down my leg. To get to sleep was 4 advil, 1 hydrocodon, 1 muscle relaxor, ice and 2 white russion drinks and tossed and turned with 4 pillows and a bed roll to get to sleep. I was down to 2 advil pm most nights because the excercises helped and was worried about all the drugs I was taking. Then one day a 80 year old woman that I talked to was describing her symtoms and surgery. I have now gone to see her doctor. It turns out that I had a facet problem that was the sitting issue and now know that I had 2 problems going on. I know I had stenosis, but it turns out that stenosis was causing a problem in the nerve at the L-4. I have just received a injection and ran home and crawled in bed and I laid in bed with no pain. Can you imagine after 7 years I can sit and lay down. I am still a little uncomfortable lying down yet, but I see the back specialist in 2 weeks. I suspect the L-4 is so pinched that I may still require surgery. I think a laminotomy may be in the near future. I just wanted to let people now about my experience. Maybe your SI Joint pain isn't that at all.
  • Hi Ktessmer,
    Your post gave me a bit of hope. I am suffering from SIJ and is not having any relief with injection, PT etc, I have consuted a GP who also performs Accupuncture and he has commented that my source of pain may be some where near L4 due to ligaments and not SIJ. However his needle therapy did not give any relief after 4 sessions.

    Ever since then I am asking my specialist under whose care I am since 1 year whether there could be other causes for my SIJ instead of the SIJ degeneration. He is not really paying any attention to that other possibilities.

    Were you having the SIJ dysfunction symptoms all along until they found out the actual cause? which diagnostic test did the doctors used to identify the problem is due to stenosis? Is it MRI?

  • Supgir1978SSupgir1978 Posts: 2
    edited 12/24/2013 - 1:43 AM
    I have been suffering for 5 months of continuous back pain. Got misdiagnosed with si joint dysfunction...MRI normal .dr. Tells me he has no clue. Only thing found in MRI is cyst on my ovary. I am at a 8-10 on a pain scale everyday of my life.i have taken more anti-inflamatories than one should ever consume. I've moved on the self medicating myself the dr. Obviously thinks I'm trying to get pills but I would have given up months ago with faking. I'm so depressed, angry, frustrated, I'm gonna freak out. Went and got si injections, pt, chiro, yoga. U name it ........still in pain :(
    Danielle Jacques
  • Any one going through the same thing
    Danielle Jacques
  • RTgirl2011RRTgirl2011 Posts: 512
    edited 12/24/2013 - 8:18 AM
    I have SI joint dysfunction. My joints are moving to much. I have had injections, but they did not work. I would get maybe 3 weeks of relief. I ended up going to my PCP since my NS wouldn't help me. My PCP has sent me to PT. I just started yesterday. After the stretches I had to do yesterday, I am in horrible pain. I couldn't even bare weight on my left leg for a while after my therapy session. I am going to assume if physical therapy doesn't work, I am going to have my joints fused. My PCP told me that injections are usually the last resort before surgery, so I guess I am working backwards.

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,338
    edited 12/26/2013 - 7:22 AM
    I saw my consultant on Friday 13th dec 2013 and he thinks I have S1 problems ..as well as a fresh MRI scan he did some manual test on me to confirm his thoughts .this involved me laying on a table with one leg over the side and him applying pressure to certain areas of my lower back {iliac crest] and testing applying pressure to the affected areas using a kind of twisting method ..it worked ! I hurt like hell unfortunately .he knows how much pain this generates and he has told me that the future doesn't look good ..you don't want to hear that from an eternal optimist ..at least he is honest I don't know about you guys but years of pain and social exclusion chasing pain relief and that's getting harder and harder to achieve ..what I am trying to say is ..what the hells are we to do ??? I take my pain killers but they only take the very top note of the pain .I have the luxury of having the best of everything .comfort wise BUT STILL I M IN PAIN AND SO ! ..yes I am angry I can't do anything ..its Christmas eve people are going out having fun or staying in going to house parties .I would be happy if I could go to sleep and sleep for 8 hours and wake up pain free ..that's my Christmas wish ..so hope ..I have spent years dispensing advice to newbies on this site and others and now I find myself needing help ..but there is no help what I am to do ???..I cant get comfy at all .it torcher ..I thought that after the ALIF {that was also torcher} especially on waking from the operation .that by now my pain would be under control ..it is not ..and my doctor can't do anything nor can my consultant ..I don't think he want to operate as he feel that it wont help with pain ......the thing is I look ;;normal... I hate to use that word ..but you know what I mean ..and to the outside world ..you would think there is nothing wrong with me ..its not until you live with someone that you begin to see just what they have to live with ..my younger brother is living with me and my wife at the moment and yes he knows his older brother has a bad back ..but even he could not believe just how bad it is until he saw with his own eyes ...he doesn't know how I cope ..nor do I ...that's for letting me rant ..I need to !!

    Post edited by the Spine Health Moderation TeamPlease review the forum rules prior to posting at these links for more information.

    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I'm sorry for all that you are going through right now, but surgery might not be the answer at this point, as difficult as that is to hear.
    Have you considered going back to physical therapy or swimming to try to increase your mobility? I understand that it hurts, but the only way to lessen the pain is to work through it so that it doesn't continue to increase.
    I remember how difficult it was to force myself to get up and walk, but the only way to stay on my feet was to do it, multiple times per day until I found that slowly I was able to increase not only the amount of time that I stood and walked but how far.
  • SidhukaramSSidhukaram Posts: 1
    edited 07/12/2015 - 4:39 AM
    I have been suffering for 5 months of continuous back pain. Got misdiagnosed with si joint dysfunction...MRI normal .dr. Tells me he has no clue. Only thing found in MRI is cyst on my ovary. I am at a 8-10 on a pain scale everyday of my life.i have taken more anti-inflamatories than one should ever consume. I've moved on the self medicating myself the dr. Obviously thinks I'm trying to get pills but I would have given up months ago with faking. I'm so depressed, angry, frustrated, I'm gonna freak out. Went and got si injections, pt, chiro, yoga. U name it ........still in pain Sad

    Danielle Jacques

    Hi Danielle,
    Hope you feeling better now. I have exactly same issue, i had fall over 3 months ago. Very frustrating and doctors keeping me on strong painkillers. My pain is 7-10. Have some issue with urinating. Dr said I have fat necrosis,post traumatic pain. Unbearable pain most of time and shooting pain in leg..
    Any suggestions!

    Moderator's message...Please click on link for helpful information
    Welcome to Spine-Health
  • My mri shows nothing is causing this pain in my upper back . It feels like something is separated and consumes me most days. On days where it isn't bad it feels sore as if I have the flu. I'm told to take 800 ibuprofen and tylenol switching doses. I have RA also.
    I feel as if the Dr.s are thinking I'm making this pain up. What can I do?
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    Curious how long your pain has been going on?
    Did you have any kind of injury?

    As far as thinking doctor's believe you are making it up, that may be undo stress since we really can't read their minds.
    My primary doctor seemed to do a quietly wait and see.
    Believing in myself, and my experiencing my pain, I continued to tell of my pain to her again and again, and then to the specialist, who was finally able to take the edge off.

    My primary doctor tried working with my pain couple of years before referring me to pain management doctor.
    That was best thing for me!
    He did variety of other testing, and began a plan for treating me immediately.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 142
    edited 12/06/2015 - 11:14 AM
    always good to get more than one opinion. My MRI was read as normal and I waited 5 months in horrible pain until a neuro saw a extruded disc fragment hidden and lodged in my nerve root. Many others never saw it.
    Fast forward two years and I think my disc has herniated again! Leg pain has returned. I will get more than one opinion this time.
  • HI Alan, Reading your post was like reading about me.

    I am 37 and I too am experiencing pain deep in my hip and my lower back.  I had an MRI on my back a few years ago and it was bulging disc and went for physio for long time and it eased significantly.

    However I had a fall last march, I slipped and landed right on my hip - it was bruised but I didn't think I had done any damage. However in the past few months I am in severe pain with it on a daily basis.

    My doctor had me on anti inflammatory for a number of weeks which did nothing much and then sent me firstly for an x-ray to rule out old fracture from the fall. All came back clear. She then sent me for an MRI and I just spoke to her this morning and all looks fine on this too. Although I too am happy that It was clear, in a way I was hoping that something would show up and then it could be fixed.

    the doctor is stumped and suggested I go back to physio ! She is going to speak with another doctor to see where they will go next. she said that she may look at an MRI on the back again.

    I'm glad I found this thread and will read up on SI joint now to see if that might be something to look into.

  • I know this old but it's probably your IT Bands.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    Hello carrieg!
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi Jennifer,
    I have the same problem with hypermobility SID. and I've read that we should not doing relaxation exercises, but only for sthrength of core and hip. I also feel worser after relaxing exercises.
  • i been in pain since my work injury in 2011,,had exrays that was ok had mri last week it came back ok,,im in so much pain something is wrong ,some where ,,,,pain in lower left back, pain left buttock goes to my leg ,,,,im going crazy here i know something is wrong i hurt way to long
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hello ruthanne

    This is an old discussion created by a member no longer on the forum so I am closing it.

    With help from  the link below you can search for articles on this subject or I suggest you create a new discussion using the link below

    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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