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Front of thigh pain?

Hi everyone, I have herniated discs at L4/L5 and L5/S1 with spondylolithesis at 2 levels as well. Have been having increasing groin, hip and front of thigh pain. Had an MRA of my hip and was told I do have a labral tear, Dr wants me to try 6 wks of PT before discussing arthroscopic hip surgery. I am fine with this, however the thigh pain is really becoming unbearable, by the early afternoon I am hobbling and come home from work in tears. I have been getting epidurals every few months at L5/ S1 for the back of the leg sciatic pain I take an anti- inflammatory 3x a day, and take tramadol as needed for fibromyalgia pain..but it is doing nothing for the front leg or hip pain. I feel like at this point I need some pain medication...it's been 3 months since the hip pain started....but who do I ask? The ortho I saw for my hip? Or the Neuro I see for my back? I'm not sure which is causing this recent pain? All I know is that I can't take much more of it...to the point where I just gave my notice at work after 8 years because I can't function enough to do my job..


  • Can relate to this? Actually thigh pain is more on the outer side of front.... Going to bit the bullet and try the hip Dr for pain meds tomorrow. I'm just nervous because I get the feeling he doesn't feel this tear should be causing so much pain...maybe my disc issues are contributing? But right now I have no quality of life..can't even stand long enough to cook dinner ( I love to cook) without severe pain :(
  • SpineyKD23SSpineyKD23 IllinoisPosts: 89
    I have experienced nerve pain on the top and the outer side of the top of the thigh. It was due to my L5-S1 herniation, though I also experienced some nerve pain in that area with my recent L4-L5 herniation too. Sounds like there is a chance your pain could be related to discs so you could ask your neuro doctor about it. With the L5-S1 I also experienced some pain that was in between my hip and groin. I am sorry to hear you are in so much pain. I've been there and I know how much it can affect quality of life. I hope you are able to get some relief- keep us posted.
    25 years old: Herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 December 2008. L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2010. L5-S1 microdiscectomy March 2012. Redo L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2013. Redo microdiscectomy Oct 2015.
  • Thank you so much for your thoughtful response and words of support. It is nice to hear from someone that can relate. I am just so confused as to who to turn to for help. The hip specialist made it sound like he basically didn't want to hear back from me until I completed 6 wks of PT....yet he also said my disc issues wouldn't cause the groin pain. Maybe I should call my neurologist that I see for my back and have a much longer relationship with? I do have herniations at both those levels with nerve compression, as well as spondy at both levels. Also 2 annular tears on the opposite side. Just tired of feeling like this.
  • SpineyKD23SSpineyKD23 IllinoisPosts: 89
    It can't hurt to check with the neurologist. Nerve pain is tricky and doesn't always follow a particular path. I would think that the neurologist would want to then refer you to pain management or a surgeon if he thinks it's from your discs. You've already had injections so do you already have a pain management doctor? Has anyone talked about surgery as an option if injections aren't helping?
    25 years old: Herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 December 2008. L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2010. L5-S1 microdiscectomy March 2012. Redo L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2013. Redo microdiscectomy Oct 2015.
  • Injections have totally helped with the classic sciatic pain down the back of my leg...started out of nowhere 2 years ago and was unbearable until I finally had an epidural. Whenever I feel it creeping back, I call and he just schedules me for an injection..but it was only for the L5/S1 level as I didn't have a current MRI..when I first saw him I was so bad off that he didn't want to waste time getting the authorization from my insurance for the MRI..he just determined the disc by the pattern of pain and sent me right to radiology for the epidural. Now that my recent MRI shows the L4/L5 herniation maybe an injection there would be the next step? He did say if the shots weren't helping as much ( they wear off quicker and quicker ) I could see a surgeon. My PT seems to think I would need a fusion at 2 levels, so I am really hoping to avoid that. Don't know if I am prolonging the inevitable, therefore making it worse in the meantime? I am not used to being limited like this and it is really getting to me. I was a fairly active, young at heart and fit 51 yr old...used to working out, dancing, gardening, hiking etc.. I can't even rake my leaves now :( I work in retail and am on my feet for 5 or 6 hours at a time..lift mannequins, set shelves...just can't manage it anymore...
  • BreadmomBBreadmom Posts: 31
    edited 11/05/2013 - 9:32 AM
    I saw my neurologist yesterday and he feels that the arthritis inflammation in my facet joints are causing my current front of thigh nerve pain..feels it is too far down my leg to be radiating from the torn labrum in my hip. So I had facet injections done at 4 levels yesterday...ouchie ! Very sore and stiff today from the injections, so will see in a few days if they help with the nerve pain. Unfortunately he will not prescribe any narcotic pain meds and the anti inflammatories do nothing for me except upset my stomach...can't afford to lose any more weight . My 5 hour shift on my feet today felt like 12+ hours! Off to PT for my hip, then have a date with a nice pack!
  • I'm glad to hear you were able to get some treatment and that your neurologist thinks he knows where the pain is coming from. I hope you start to feel better soon- injections are no fun. And yes- ICE is your friend :)
    25 years old: Herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 December 2008. L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2010. L5-S1 microdiscectomy March 2012. Redo L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2013. Redo microdiscectomy Oct 2015.
  • AcgdPhotoAAcgdPhoto Posts: 3
    edited 11/06/2013 - 9:26 AM
    Although I will not get my MRI results until Friday, I do know thigh, hip/groin from Sciatica. I have been dealing with it for 5 months. It pinches and radiates pain down to my knee when it is really bad. Always hurts. It is almost as if my left leg and right leg are on separate bodies :) Hope you can get some relief.
  • Well, the facet injections seemed to give a lot of relief, unfortunately it was very short lived! My lumbar spine is worse than ever and the front of thigh and hip pain is getting worse by the day. I would guess the injections only lasted about 3 weeks before things started getting bad again. Very discouraging. But at least it pretty much confirms that the pain is stemming from lumbar spine issues and not the labral hip tear. I have been holding off calling the Dr, trying to make it through the holidays....looking doubtful now as I am in a lot of pain. Not sure what next step will be? Maybe ablation? Not too excited about that prospect, hear it is very painful procedure...Anyway just wanted to post a follow up :). Wishing all my fellow back pain sufferers a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season!
  • BreadmomBBreadmom Posts: 31
    edited 12/16/2013 - 1:02 PM
    Thank you Sandi..I had read that post previously :). At my last injection in Sept. The anesthesiologist mentioned ablation as a possible next step. However my neurologist had also mentioned surgical consult at the same appointment, so just not sure which will be my next step. I guess I can go for a consult and also try the ablation...not keen on the idea of either, but also so damn tired of living in constant pain.
    Thank you again!
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 12/17/2013 - 7:00 AM
    Did the injection help the pain, even for a short time? I'm sorry but can't recall at the moment. The ablation is done to burn the nerve fibers in the facet joints, and if the test injections relieved the pain, usually the rfa works for 6-12 months.......and the consult is a good idea with the surgeon, at least it will give you some idea of whether or not surgery is an option or not.
    I know when I saw the surgeon, I was worried, and honestly , frightened of the whole idea of surgery, yet, it gave me the information that i didn't have, and that the nerves were compressed and surgery was necessary , so it is a mixed bag.
    I hope that things work out for you Breadmom and if you need any help, just ask.
  • Thank you again for your response and support. It helps so much to hear from and share with those that can actually relate! Yes, this round of facet injections..at 4 levels all on the right side, really did help with the front of thigh and hip area pain. However the full effect only lasted about 3 weeks before the pain gradually came back. My sciatic pain has been creeping back now too, so I will be calling for an ESI again, will talk with Dr then about the ablation and consult. I'm still trying to hold out until after the holidays :)
  • Dear Breadmom I have been through lumbar fusion L-2 to Sacrum surgery several years ago. I went through very similar experiences. The radiofrequency lasted about a year. I believe it is different terminology same idea as ablation. It may buy some time but doesn't put off the inevitable if you need surgery. You will need to see a Neurosurgeon. Before you commit to surgery you must be aware of the risks and the prognosis. This is very important! Research your surgeon and make sure you feel comfortable with him. The recovery period can be challenging but it is worth the effort you put into it. I was fighting this for about 5 years and had 2 previous laminectomies. It seemed like it happened all at once but it was 5 years worth of injections, pain and physical therapy. I was lucky in the fact that I worked in the operating room and had worked with the Neurosurgeon who did my surgery. I am now back to riding my bike in season of course, walking and hiking almost every day of the week {3 to 5 miles}. I wish you the best, you sound like an active person and that helps in recover after surgery
  • I will try to post a comment again here goes. I have been through an experience like yours. I ended up having a lumbar fusion L2-Sacrum. The radiofrequency I had before the surgery I believe is similar to ablation, lasted a year. But like you I had several other issues that needed to be addressed. You need to see a neurosurgeon and let him evaluate your case. It is very important that you know the risks involved and understand the prognosis. The pain does not immediately go away after surgery and the recovery can be challenging. In the long run it was the right decision for me. I am now back to doing things I enjoy. I try to walk 3-5 miles a day. I enjoy some hiking and I ride my bike seasonally. It takes a year to heal after surgery depending on what they do. I had screws, BAK cages, interbody fusion devices and bone morphogenic protein inserted. Good Luck I hope you feel better soon
  • BreadmomBBreadmom Posts: 31
    edited 01/10/2014 - 4:45 PM
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. It helps to hear others experiences! You are 100% correct in that I need to find a Dr that will look at the big picture and take it all into consideration. It is so frustrating not to feel like yourself and be able to do the things you enjoy doing. The Dr I have been seeing is a neurologist and while I like him and he has helped me with the injections, I don't think he sees much beyond relieving the actual nerve pain. Even with that somewhat under control, the constant pain, pressure and stiffness in my back can be debilitating. I have been putting things off through the holidays etc, but plan to call my Neuro on Mon and ask him to refer me to a spine specialist within the hospital. Thankfully he is at the top Boston hospital for spine and orthopedic related issues.
    I am glad to hear of your recovery and success, it seems so many here do not have very good outcomes! Thank you for sharing your story.
  • Breadmom said:
    I saw my neurologist yesterday and he feels that the arthritis inflammation in my facet joints are causing my current front of thigh nerve pain..feels it is too far down my leg to be radiating from the torn labrum in my hip. So I had facet injections done at 4 levels yesterday...ouchie ! Very sore and stiff today from the injections, so will see in a few days if they help with the nerve pain. Unfortunately he will not prescribe any narcotic pain meds and the anti inflammatories do nothing for me except upset my stomach...can't afford to lose any more weight . My 5 hour shift on my feet today felt like 12+ hours! Off to PT for my hip, then have a date with a nice pack!
  • Hi there I have exactly the same pain, it's impossible to describe just how painful it is to people. Now my leg is so sore I can't stand anything even clothing touching my leg. Thankfully my GP has given me som diazepam to help me sleep at night and changing my duvet to a feather and down one had helped a bit. I still have a few weeks before I go back to my orthopaedic consultant but really I am meant to be seeing him about something completely different but this could be related. I had a back X-ray but I will be surprised if that will show anything.
  • So sorry to hear of your pain. My thigh pain really does not extend to the surface, skin area..it's not sensitive to the touch. I do have Fibromyalgia so I always feel somewhat achy, flu-like with sheets, clothing etc..but nothing unbearable. This current thigh pain has definitely been relieved quite a bit with the facet injections..so it is most likely stemming from the inflamed joints in the L2/L3 and L3/L4 areas. Just had another round of shots yesterday so feel like I've been kicked in the back multiple times with a steel-toe boot today!
    There is a condition that causes the thigh sensitivity you are describing. I believe it is meralgia parasthetica? You may want to look that up... If your X-rays are inconclusive, I would ask for further testing . Good luck to you and I hope you get some answers and relief soon!
  • swampiesuesswampiesue Posts: 11
    edited 01/19/2014 - 6:28 AM
    Thanks I will look it up, the weird thing is it all started with weeks of the sort of pain you described relived a bit when I went to Tenerife over Christmas. I twisted my back about 11 weeks ago. The pain radiated from one side of my lower back into my groin and down my leg. That has now eased and my back is normal again for now but I have always had a weakness there. Now however the pain has turned to this burning pain as though my flesh has been ripped from my leg exposing all my muscles and nerves.. Very strange ! Thanks for the name of that I will look it up. I hope you feel better soon x
  • swampiesuesswampiesue Posts: 11
    edited 01/19/2014 - 11:56 AM
    Hi there I looked up M.P and that is exactly it, just as described. Thank you so much for that link now all I need is how some advice on how to make it go away, the thought of feeling like this for the rest of my life fills me with dread.
  • You have something to ask your Dr about now...every time I searched front of thigh pain that condition came up! It could very well be that when you twisted your back that femoral nerve became pinched? Once you know exactly what you are dealing with, you can hopefully begin a treatment plan. I know how very painful and frustrating, and depressing it can be! Hang in there :)
  • rrober23rrrober23 Posts: 6
    edited 01/25/2014 - 6:08 AM
    I have MP in my left thigh. It manifested a few years before I herniated disc and started having sciatic pain. I had gone for a walk and when I was done, I had the strange sensation of water running down my leg. Neurologist named it and gave me Gabapentin. It was very painful at times. It always gets worse in cold weather. Some people suggested capsaicin creams or even just rubbing the area w/tobasco sauce. I found relief w/arnica gel.

    Now, 2 back surgeries (for disc and stenosis) later, it's still there. Since I take a lot of Gabapentin, it stays somewhat calm. That side of my thigh always feels tight and hard. That pain is unrelated to the source of my continuing sciatic pain. It does get very annoying, though.

    Good Luck!
    26/11/2013 TKR Left Knee
    14/05/2013 TKR Right Knee
    20/07/2010 Arthroscopy Right Knee
    07/10/2008 REDO Lumbar Laminectomy L5-S1(ongoing pain Left Leg: cramps hamstring & thigh, numb toes)
    14/12/2007 Lumbar Discectomy L5-S1
  • I got injections in L4-5 and it did not help my thigh pain. Through persistence I have finally got a diagnosis of greater trochanteric pain syndrome. X-Ray showed thigh splint and MRI show thigh tendonosis. Because my back MRI looked bad the doctors chose to ignore the other cause of pain. Make sure you look at all possible causes of pain. Many times there is more than one source.
  • http://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-message-resource
    Unfortunately, problems at L4-L5 can complicate the picture of a diagnosis, since the L4 area runs through the thigh as well, so that may be why you had difficulty in getting a diagnosis of the thigh pain.
  • swanpoopysswanpoopy Posts: 2
    edited 12/08/2015 - 2:23 AM
    I'm plagued with so many of the issues mentioned on this thread, & have suffered from pain & quirky problems since childhood. I finally figured out, on my own, that I have Hypermobility type Ehler's-Danlos Syndrome. A connective tissue disorder physician confirmed this in 2013.

    Thank you. There has been many detailed medical articles ( many centered around various conditions associated with arthritis) and member forum threads discussing this.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
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  • DerridaDDerrida Cleveland OhioPosts: 2
    To anyone here. I have had 4 RFAs.  (ablations) and they were not that painful. Ask the doc to inject the initial anesthetic slowly so that that part does not hurt. One time the doc did that way to fast and it was quite painful although brief. From what I've read it is if they hit a nerve that it can be very painful.
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