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Numbness in Inner Right Thigh and Genitals

saadatahssaadatah Posts: 10
I am 20 years old, 170lbs, and a 6'0" male that lifts weights 4-5 times a week. Basically, I felt like I haven't been well informed enough by the doctor, and it's been a week since I request for an MRI has been put in and still working with insurance company to get that to go through. On Friday March 21st, I went to the gym before a formal dance I was to attend and decided to max out on squats. My previous max was 385lbs and I wanted to get 405lbs. I worked my way up to 365lbs and did that rep for 1 and my back felt a little awkward after that rep, but I didn't feel any pain. I decided to go for 405lbs and was unable to even apply resistance to the rep simply from muscle fatigue. I went to a formal dance on friday and another on saturday and rested on sunday. I decided to go do a light workout for abs and lower back to stretch my back out on Monday, but I evidently had misjudged my back problem. I felt fine after the workout was completed around 1 p.m., but around 3 p.m. I felt slight numbness in my inner thigh. I had felt this numbness before when I had a bulging disc a year and a half before in my L4. However, the numbness progressed to the right half of my genital region by about 11 p.m. on monday. I still went to school the next day and by night time on Tuesday I felt as if the numbness had spread to my entire genitals. This worried me, and I went to the E.R. A CT scan was performed on my spine to see that I had several bulging discs. I know for sure this included my lumbar region, but I'm not sure about my sacral spine. I have only very felt minor pain and some days it's almost no pain but rather slight discomfort. The numbness is what has my very worried because last time I injured my back I did not have any genital numbness. Any advice?


  • mcjimjammmcjimjam Posts: 307
    edited 04/01/2014 - 11:12 AM
    Did the ER doctors give you an outline of your treatment options? If not, you might want to get a referral to a spine specialist (neuro or orthopedic surgeon) to find out more about your condition.
  • The last thing you want is to end-up a regular here, I love the people here but chronic spine pain isn't something I'd wish on anyone. Please get as referral as recommended above. I think you need to deal with this before it gets any worse. They are far better equipped to diagnose your problem & work with you to develop an action plan.

    I hope you get this resolved. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • According to my MRI results, I have a bulging disc in my L2 and L3. Still not sure about why the numbness is occuring in my groin region, but I guess it might have just be a pinched nerve that will become unpinched over time?
  • Have a look at the dermatone chart on this site or on the web. It show you which damaged disc correlates to which part of the body it effects.

    It's also Sandi's avatar.


  • http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/lower-back-pain/cauda-equina-syndrome
    Numbness in the genitals and or rectal area, changes in your ability to control or eliminate your bladder or bowels, increased numbness or increased pain in the "saddle area" of the body, where the saddle would come into contact with your inner thighs, genital area or buttocks .....inability to either hold or eliminate urine or feces, not being able to tell you need to go....all are signs that you need to be seen and seen immediately for evaluation.
  • Numbness in your inner thighs and genitals should be a huge alarm bell and the fact that the ER didn't keep you to operate immediately is rather disturbing. I had the same issue about 16 months ago. I started having numbness in my inner thighs and the area that's sometimes called "saddle area". I finally went to the hospital and they told me they needed to operate immediately.

    Basically, the nerves that control all your essential bodily functions are being pinched off. Pinch them for too long and you will have long-term nerve damage and long term problems with bladder control, etc. Usually nerves can regenerate, but these specific nerves are so fine and sensitive. I was told that with these symptoms, you should really have surgery within about 2 weeks to avoid permanent damage.

    I waited about 4 weeks. I don't have permanent damage (thank goodness), but my bladder control is not what it used to be. I can tell a difference. When I have to go, I have to go immediately!! It's almost like the control to hold it has become diminished.

    Anyway, I can't stress enough the importance of getting this taken care of immediately. Don't wait around. Don't weigh your options. Don't go seek alternative treatments.

    Hope it all works out for the best for you!
  • saadatahssaadatah Posts: 10
    edited 05/07/2014 - 12:58 AM
    So it's been about a month and a week now and the numbness is fairly consistent. The doctor said he saw no reason for this to be occurring and to wait 3 months to allow time to heal and see if the numbness lessens. He said if it is still present after the 3 months, then the situation will be reassessed. My back discomfort has definitely lessened thus far, but it still gets aggravated when I sit for extended periods of time and the numbness in my thigh will get worse temporarily probably due to muscle inflammation. However, the genital numbness has been consistent. Basically, I can feel some touch, but it is hard to distinguish between different types of touch. The numbness has not worsened at this point in my genitals, but I can't help but feel that this 3 month wait period will have resulted in permanent nerve damage. I have no problem using the restroom and can hold it when the urge to go arises. So, I guess my bladder and bowels are not being impeded nor do I feel weakness in my legs. I feel like it might be cauda equina as suggested, but the doctor didn't mention this as an option.
  • Have you seen a specialist yet or by doctor do you mean just your GP, family doctor? With many spine problems 'wait & see' can be good advise but you are describing symptoms that could require urgent, immediate action. Its my understanding that both USA & European guidelines for doctors state that a patient experiencing spine related genital numbness should be referred for specialist evaluation immediately! It's better to be safe than sorry. Please push for a referral.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • It was a neurosurgeon that examined my MRI and stated to wait the 3 months and let my back heal. He said the genital numbness was not related to my injury of my spine/back and that if the problem persists, then I needed to be referred to see a neurologist. I don't fully understand his diagnosis because the genital numbness occurred along with the back injury so I would have assumed that they were related. I am going to try and see a neurologist very soon.
  • That neurosurgeon does not know what he is talking about........I am including a link to a dermatome map.......it shows the level of the spine and what areas of the body are innervated by the nerves at that level......now, the thing to remember about using a dermatome map, is that if the area effected is say L3-4, EVERYTHING at the L3-4 level and below, can be effected by compression of the canal at that level.......that includes your bladder, bowels, and it can be sensation only or it can be motor ( bodily function) and sensory ....or motor only........it depends on how bad the compression is, where exactly the compression is pressing what nerves.......
    Print off the link to Cauda Equina Syndrome and the dermatome map and ask the surgeon to explain why what you are experiencing is NOT CES.......sadly there are too many doctors who are not at all that familiar with the syndrome and it's effects......

  • So, I've seen a neurologist and a neurosurgeon at this point. The neurologist said my situation is leaning more towards Conus Medullaris Syndrome due to only numbness in my saddle area being a symptom without any numbness near my rectal area. The neurosurgeon said based on my MRI that I naturally have a narrow spinal canal which could have caused the nerve to become pinched or damaged more easily, and that he is going to get an x-ray on my back in different positions and run and EMG on my nerves to check the extent of the damage. He said most likely numbness is due to damage to the myelin on the nerve which will repair over time and the axon is moreso affected when you have loss of function; however, the most unsettling thing he said was that this numbness can take a long time to go away and may never go away. This honestly strikes fear into my heart that this could potentially be permanent.
  • I was afraid of that in your situation......either CES or Conus issues. I am sorry to read your update and wish you the best as you navigate this outcome.
    I know that surgery is not something that any of us really want, but in your case, it is the best option you have for the most complete recovery.
  • saadatahssaadatah Posts: 10
    edited 07/16/2014 - 10:25 PM
    Currently I still have numbness in my penis, scrotum, anus, and inner right thigh. I also have some numbness in my left thigh, but it comes and goes. I had a second MRI performed, and it was found that I had no bulging discs or herniated discs. I had some muscle strain in my gluteal region, but that was about the extent of the findings. All of my disc spacings were normal on the X-ray performed as well. I had an EMG performed, and all of my nerve conductions and muscle sounds came back as normal with maybe one or two irregularities that were unremarkable. They have given me a months prescription for Gabapentin and told me to take Alleve as well. It has been about 10 days taking both medicines and still resting with one trip to the gym for the first time in 4 months to do a light arm workout with 15 pound dumbbells and a friend spotting me. The numbness in my right thigh gets worse whenever I sit for an extended period of time longer than 15 minutes. I don't have a clue how these could be related, but it is very unsettling to be told there is nothing visibly wrong with you even on the level of an MRI and EMG. As far as I can tell the medicine helps temporarily to make my gluteal region not as sensitive to sitting down; however, I can still tell that the numbness gets worse the longer I sit down. I feel so useless and like a medical mystery. Any advice provided or maybe a clue to what is going on would be greatly appreciated.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 07/17/2014 - 6:06 AM
    Was the MRI taken with your lying down? Does your area have a standing or sitting MRI machine? The problem is that your symptoms seem to worsen while sitting, so the compression may be positional, meaning that whatever is compressing the nerves is relieved with your standing or laying down, and not so when sitting.
    I would talk to your doctor and explain very clearly that the symptoms appear and worsen when sitting for periods of time and ask about a sitting or standing MRI, versus a laying down one.
  • The MRI was lying down with my legs slightly elevated. The x-Ray was taken in different positions such as curled up in the fetal position on my side and slightly leaning back while on my side. They used contrast during the MRI to help see anything, but I will definitely go talk to him about getting something else performed.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Put down the heavy iron for now and maybe forever.
    I workout often almost obsessively but I am having to change my workouts probably forever and give up heavy lifting or run the risk of severe permanent damage to my vertebrae and other parts related. You weigh what is really important in life and you make decisions that are realistic.
  • saadatahssaadatah Posts: 10
    edited 07/20/2014 - 12:16 AM
    Perhaps I have spinal stenosis? I was researching on it, and it might make sense.
  • saadatahssaadatah Posts: 10
    edited 07/28/2014 - 3:05 PM
    There is no abnormal marrow signal seen on fat-saturated images to suggest an occult fracture involving the pelvis. Within the pelvis, the bladder is only partially distended and the bladder wall therefore appears mildly circumferentially thickened. This is felt to be due to non-distention as opposed to true cystitis. Multiple pelvic varicosities are incidentally noted. No pelvic adenopathy identified. Colon and visualized portions of the small bowel have an unremarkable MR appearance. There is a mild increased signal noted at the origin of the gluteus maximus on the right along the border of the sacrum. This likely reflects a degree of mild inflammation/strain involving the right gluteus maximus muscle. There is no evidence of a complete disruption and no avulsion fracture identified. Remaining intramuscular signal is within normal limits involving the musculature of the pelvis. The post contrast images demonstrate no suspicious enhancing solid or cystic mass.
  • So, it's officially been 6 months, and I'm having the feeling that I never will get better. I was placed on a Gabapentin 2 month dosage and was instructed to take 4 aleve a day as needed for pain and inflammation. The Gabapentin did not help very much at all and the aleve helped the numbness not seem as noticeable while still being equally present in severity. The numbness seems to persist in both thighs with increasing severity through aggravation of my back and sitting for a prolonged period of time. The numbness in my saddle area has not changed which leads me to believe either permanent nerve damage or very, very slow recovery. I also have noticed numbness in my big toes primarily on each foot nearly constantly. I still have done no physical activity since the injury other than occasional sexual activity (maybe once a month). I notice the numbness gets worse almost instantly when I lay down on my side. This appears to me as if the problem with the thigh and toe numbness is related to a problem in my hip region. In addition to numbness in my toes, I have what seems like altered sensation or slight weakness in my feet.
  • Hi. I'm suffering identical issues to you. Just wondered if you've had any change in your symptoms since your last post? Thanks
  • axa403aaxa403 Posts: 1
    edited 06/25/2015 - 2:54 PM
    Hi, I am an Occupational Therapist working in a hospital setting and have alot of experience providing rehab/therapy to patients that have a variety of diagnoses and conditions. To me, it doesnt sound like a spine issue...I think you may have a hernia. Has any doctor ever performed any cross-sectional CT scans on your groin/abdominal area? The symptoms you are describing fit well, and lifting weights can definitely cause hernias. You may have an internal hernia that is being missed. I would have your MD look into that possibility if I were you. Good luck!
  • sandi123ssandi123 Posts: 456
    edited 06/27/2015 - 2:08 AM
    Worsening and increasing symptoms need to be evaluated by your surgeon, not a pm or gp. The symptoms you describe need to be reviewed with your surgeon.

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