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S.I. Joint Injury, Piriformis Syndrome, and Back Surgeries

I'm in chronic pain all the time. 20 years ago I was bucked off a horse, did a flip over her back, and landed on my pelvis. Both s.i. joints were injured along with my pelvis. I didn't go to a doctor for a couple of years, so it wasn't treated right way.

Then I was running in a field (at a dog show) and severely injured my right piriformis muscle! I had absolutely no idea what was wrong, but couldn't sit, stand, sleep, and when I went to the doctor he sent me to physical therapy and they couldn't figure it out. So I suggested the piriformis muscle after researching online, and they agreed. So worked through that... took about a year for that to heal.

Then 5 years ago I ruptured L-4 and L-5 and ended up with 2 back surgeries, that didn't work right. Left leg has nerve damage and now the right leg is hurting when I lay down, from my pelvis down through my knee, calf, and into my foot. The muscles or tendons scream at me in waves... and I also have arthritis and bursitis in both hips.

I am disabled because of all of this, and am sick to death of going to the doctors office and then nothing happens, no relief. I've had several shots in both s.i. joints, and no relief. They just aren't connected good anymore.Shots in the hips do not help, just cost a lot of money.

So, my question is... what the heck is causing this horrible leg, knee, calf, foot pain in my right leg only when I lay down? All of the above or maybe just one injury? I sure would like to find something that would give me relief from this.

Help please!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 07/25/2013 - 9:31 PM
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • So, my first thing I want to say is don't give up looking for answers. I just moved from NYC to Amarillo Texas where my parents live because my PM doc who I love & is wonderful told me he couldn't help me any more. Only Rx pain pills. I decided I had to make lifestyle changes like living somewhere warmer(nicer on the body), am taking time off to see if it helps with the pain levels plus changing career so I am not sitting at a desk since I can not sit for more than 20 minutes.

    I found a new PM doc in Amarillo thru in network doc list & looking on line. The first two docs I tried to get into either turned me down or was always in surgery. I rolled the dice, & won. I started with a new doctor on Wednesday, 2 days ago.
    Below is my story since Wednesday. Going back in two weeks. I don't know if this doc is right but thank the heavens, he went a completely different way. Most PM do not diagnose, only treat, but thinking since I am in a small city, the doctor has to diagnose too. Their were only 9 PM doc in the entire city.

    My previous diagnosis, was failed L4-L5 surgery, SI joint issues/disease, & fibromyalgia(diagnosed by Rheum & PM agreed/treated me) Rheum diagnosed me with 15 minute exam & no blood work.

    The new doctor spent an hour & half examining me. I especially picked this PM office since they believe/treat Fibro.
    He said my back surgery healed & did not fail. I have no lower back pain in surgical sight or wrapping tingling in legs. Back pain in minimal.
    He said he does not believe I have fibro either!! Super excited & was able to give me explanations for all my trigger point issues.
    New diagnosis. This was given over 3 days of appointments. All the names of diagnosis are correct but may be getting some of the info switched. It was a lot of the few days.
    Ischial Bursitis also know as weavers bottom. This pretty much means you can not sit without pain, mine is massive. Also laying on your side will hurt over longer periods of time. Have to go thru all the proper channels so did cortisone shots 1 Thursday, 1 Friday.

    SI Joint Issues-all the tingling down the legs & sitting problems. I have tender points pretty close to the L4-L5 which I have had my whole life previously thought to be a fibro trigger/tender point. He said those were on the SI Joint. I had a SI injection last year & no relief. New doc said with chronic problems you will only get 6-8 hours of relief & it is moreless a diagnostic. I was blown away my last doc did one. Not sure what we will do after the Injection but maybe burning some of the nerves.
    Piriformus- not 100% positive I have but gave me the exercised to improve. He said to make sure you do 30 minutes of warm heat first. I am thinking Epson Salt bath would be best since magnesium also helps with muscle aches. Exercise is the only relief so realistically it is very doable.

    Iliotibial Band Syndrome- this runs along the outside of the hip down to the knee. I have tender points at the top & bottom of the band plus lots of knee pain. These were also thought to be fibro trigger/tender points.

    Tendonitis- was diagnosed as a kid. Also contributes to knee pain. Back of knee tender point was thought to be fibro.

    Degenerative Disk Disease- already diagnosed. Have a 2nd disk that luckily hasn't moved in 3 years.
    I also have another problem above the SI Joint but didn't write it down.

    So far, we did cortisone shots into Bursitis to see if I get any relief. If not, I think we will burn then, if that doesn't work, possibly remove.
    SI injection sometime soon.
    He told me to walk in a pool 3-4 times per week at each appointment. Starting tomorrow. He felt this was major important & mentioned it 3x so I would highly recommend.
    Going to do Piriformus exercises.

    I do take supplements like Turmeric(must have curcumin & black pepper-don't use spice), vitamin D3, Omega 3 & magnesium for pain. Doc added in Hyaluronic acid & said Boswellia was a great anti inflammatory. The Turmeric has been great & I felt my first pill in 20 minutes but I am sensitive to meds. Sweet holy basil is also a great anti inflammatory too.

    I hope this give you a little bit or a lot of info to look into. You are in charge of driving your health & relief. I have seen 30-40 different docs over 3 years & spend $$$$ of $. You just have to keep searching until you find someone who hopefully has new ideas or will think out of the box. My pain has always been in my hips & knees. Docs always said it was my back no matter what I said/thought. I had to push to even get an MRI of my knees. I had to push to get a chiro doctor who found my hip was very out of line. Took 6 months to get back in place.
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