So this might be a long story but ill try and keep it relatively short.
I'll introduce myself: I'm Nicola, a 23 year old, 4th year medical student from the UK
I've had chronic low back pain since I was 11 from a figure skating incident. I have managed it pretty well until a flare up 18 months ago (August 2013). That is when i started on opioids (up to co-codamol 30/500 after three months.)
In November i developed severe pain on the medial border of my scapula and pain within the glenohumeral joint itself.
The scapular pain was burning in nature and very severe. With an NHS system it took until April 2014 to be seen.
By that stage the pain was horrific, chronic all day, significantly worse when writing (no answers to this from google!!), worse at night (maybe nothing to distract myself ?). I was having weakness (found difficulty lifting a kettle) and some numbness and tingling down into my palm (?ulnar nerve distribution).
As I cannot have an MRI due to a pacemaker insitu (whole other ball game with that story), i was referred for an arthroscopy and had that done in August 2014 at which I was told I had a bursa removed (?) and showed some form of tear / damage (?? doctor's communication skills about this weren't great!). Post-op I probably felt I had a 20% reduction in pain - which now has resumed to its full strength (it is definitely worse with writing / typing with study).
I had physiotherapy post op , she mentioned my shoulder joint was incredibly unstable (+ve apprehension test). and looking at my back asked if I ever had scoliosis. Subsequent X-Ray confirmed minimal scoliosis and degeneration of pedicle at L4.
On private referral to a spinal surgeon he would only CT scan my lumbar vertebrae as he thought there may be an osteoma... which there wasn't. He has now referred me to rheumatology.
In the mean time, I have developed right hip pain since last November. Sometimes I query if its sciatic as it travels down my leg but sometimes it is worse on movement and has a bone ache to it. I had a 3 day episode in November of bone pain which left me severely sore and almost unable to walk.
I'm at a loss of what to do, the NHS system is slow and I'm paying a fortune but its still not quick either.
I have a rheumatology appointment next Tuesday and to see my shoulder surgeon on Sunday but wondered if anyone has any clues here?
- Chronic thoracic back pain (lumbar pain which is functional in nature)
- shoulder pain - mainly medial border of the scapula which has ulnar nerve distribution of pain and some weakness
- Right hip pain - into the joint itself and sometimes down the leg
If theres any suggestions or help or anything I would appreciate it so much! The idea of going down a chronic pain route at 23 is horrendous!!! Im currently on co-codamol 30/500, Pregabalin + Amitriptyline