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Anybody have SI Joint pain secondary to other problems?

tippy_toesRNttippy_toesRN Posts: 2
edited 06/22/2015 - 6:12 AM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
I am going to give you guys a history of where I have been, and where I am now. About 11 (2003-04ish) years ago I went for my first appointment with an orthopedic back specialist. At the time I was only having pain in my thoracic spine. It constantly hurt and felt very weak. At that visit, he did a full spinal x-ray from cervical spine all the way down to my coccyx. He diagnosed me with Scheuermann's Kyphosis and scoliosis, he said with a 45 degree curvature. He prescribed Ibuprofen 800mg, and physical therapy. He also said we needed to follow up periodically to monitor how fast it was progressing. I went to physical therapy for about 2-3 months, but it got soooo expensive that I had to quit. I did some exercises at home for a while and then I honestly quit. I was still hurting. I never went back anywhere else I just dealt with it. Moving on to 2009 and two children later. I got a job working at a local orthopedic surgeon/specialist office. They happened to have a back specialist! How convenient lol I chose to start seeing him. I had my records sent over and had an appointment with my new ortho. I had new x-rays done. He told me that I DID NOT HAVE KYPHOSIS. He said that I did have some scoliosis and arthritic changes, but chalked my back pain up to me being overweight. At this time I was at the smallest point in my entire life (I had the gastric bypass) and was only MAYBE 20lbs over normal weight. I got another prescription of IBUPROFEN 800mg and I think flexeril, and another prescription to PT. Then in late 2009 I received news that I was pregnant with my 3 (and final!) child. During this pregnancy I started to have what I thought were nerve problems in my right lower back. Not over my actual spine, but the in the area where you hurt when you have a very bad UTI. It was awful and left me bed ridden. I could not stay in any position for to long, I could not straighten my back completely when walking. I could not bend over. It was horrible.The pain did not radiate down my legs. It was just a horrible pain that was what I now believe to be my SI joint. I want to clarify that it did NOT radiate it was in one area that I could/can pinpoint. I chalked it up to being pregnancy related. When I had my epidural it was awful. The anesthesiologist could not find the correct spot ( I am guessing due to my scoliosis?}, I was poked 4-5 times and EVERY TIME she inserted the needle the most awful pain ran down my spine into the spot where I had experienced the pain during pregnancy and yes at this time down my leg. This is all on my right side. The pain,(the nerve pain not the actual insertion of the needle), caused me to scream and cry every time she tried to get it. Eventually she said she got it and during labor only one side of the epidural was effective, and I cannot remember which side :(. I am going to add this because I want everyone to understand, the pain was so awful that I was scheduled to have a tubal ligation done the next day. When I found out that they were going to just do another epidural block and not give me general anesthesia, I had a breakdown and canceled the procedure. I couldn't do it again, and I chose to have ANOTHER SURGERY for the tubal 6 weeks later. That is how bad the pain was. Post baby I was still having the problems in the SAME spot, R sided lower back. I went back to my ortho, and after an MRI he referred me to a pain specialist. I really wish I had that first MRI. Anyway, the pain doctor began giving me injections (facet blocks and steroid injections) in my lumbar spine. Oh wow those helped my actual spinal pain (that I had gone to the first ortho for), but never the right sided lower back. Never. Eventually since those had been effective in my spinal pain, he did some radio frequency ablations. Once after one of those I had a year pain free! So after several flare ups of the lower right back pain, I went to the pain management doctor and sat down with him and described what I was going through and he said, OH that is your SI joint, lets go get you an injection right now and see if that helps! I was thrilled and feeling hopeful. I will say that those helped a little, never relieving all of the pain except for once, when I went and had 3 in a matter of a week or two. Like back to back injections. I did have some relief after that one. This cycle goes on from then until now. In February of this year, after I had maxed out my insurance on the amount of shots and ablations you can get, I went back to him for another appointment in desperation and just cried. I asked him what we were going to do. New symptoms had also started. I began having pain that almost felt like deep nerve pain in my thighs bilaterally, but more pronounced on the right side. The pains are intermittent, and are on the anterior and lateral thigh only. The pain does NOT radiate down the entire leg. Also at times while sitting down I feel burning sensations in my lower legs that are relieved by position changes, and sometimes when climbing stairs or walking UP something I get a burning sensation on the TOP of my RIGHT foot that is relieved after planting my foot down and all weight is evenly distributed on a flat surface. He told me at that time that we needed a new MRI of the LUMBAR spine to see what I have going on now since these things are no longer working. I will now post those results.

L1-L2: Severe disc dessication is seen. Left paracentral disc protrusion is identified. This produces left lateral recess stenosis and left neural foraminal narrowing. Thecal sac is displaced by approximately 25%.
L2-L3: Moderate disc desiccation is seen. No central canal or neural foraminal stenosis is seen.
L3-L4: Moderate disc desiccation is seen. Small left paracentral disc protrusion produces mild left lateral recess stenosis. Moderate facet degenerative changes are noted. Thecal sac is displaced by approximately 15%.
L4-L5: Moderate disc desiccation is seen. There is a right paracentral disc protrusion producing right lateral stenosis and mild right neural foraminal narrowing. The thecal sac is displaces approximately 15%.
L5-S1: Moderate disc desiccation is seen. There is a left paracentral disc protrustion identified. This produces left lateral stenosis. Moderate facet degenerative change is noted. The thecal sac is minimally effaced.

IMPRESSION: Extensive multilevel dicogenic degenerative changes with multilevel disc protrusions as described in detail above. The only protrusion on the right is noted at the L4-L5 level. The remainder are on the left side. The most pronounced levels are T12-L1 and L1-L2.

When the results of this MRI came in, the pain management doctor said he didn't know I had issues that far up. He said that normally issues of the T spine occur from some sort of trauma or fall. I have fallen in my life yes lol, and I was involved in a car accident before all of this started where I flipped my car, but my thoughts are wouldn't that have shown up on my very first MRI???? I have had no trauma since the first MRI. At this appointment he went ahead and did another steriod injection at T12-L1 I believe, it was higher up than he had ever injected me before. I FELT WONDERFUL X3DAYS! 3 days pain free was awesome. I didn't even have the right sided back pain. Nothing it was great. I could walk upright it was wonderful.
Okay, now other physical symptoms I have that could be related are: FREQUENT headaches, bladder leakage/incontinence (which could be from previous pregnancies), and IBS.

I think this is all the info relevant to this issue. One thought I have had is that on the radiologist impression he mentions the T spine having some issues. This MRI was ordered for the Lumbar spine, so I know that he wouldn't mention anything further up. Wonder if there are issues further up??? I would greatly appreciate any advice, insight, just anything. Anyone experiencing this, and what has helped. I am so desperate and of course back in pain. I just want to feel better.

Since I wrote this, I went searching for some of my records and I have had a MRI of my T Spine. Here are the results:

Spin-echo imaging was obtained in multiple planes using T1 and T2 weighting. There is a disc protrusion centrally and slightly to the left at C7-T1. This causes some cord impingement. There is a small central disc protrusion at the level of T7-T8 and impinges on the thecal sac. There is a prominent left-sided disc protrusion at T12-L1 causing some left cord impingement. No spinal stenosis is evident. The signal in the vertebral bodies is normal. There is no mass in the spinal canal. The signal in the spinal cord is normal.
1. Disc protrusion centrally and to the level at the levels of C7-T1 and T12-L1 causing some left impingements.
2. Central disc protrusion at T7-8 without significant impingement.

Also I got my doctors notes and he noted that there was disc calcification see on a CT scan at the T12-L1 level, stating that no OTHER FRACTURES are seen. Does this mean my back was fractured? Also he noted that I had 65 degrees of lordosis.

So my new question is, could this SI joint problem be secondary to all my other list of problems. I am wondering if my scoliosis is causing me to walk differently causing the SI joint inflammation. Has anyone else had all these problems, and can give me any insight. I am gathering my records to be able to give my ortho (I am going back to the first ortho I saw) a complete picture of everything that has gone on since his diagnosis of Kyphosis.

Thanks to everyone in advance.

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :
While you did give us a lot of information regarding your MRI, we are not aware of the conservative treatments you had. I noticed you mentioned Physical Therapy, but I might have missed something, but I did not see anything else.

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

As a reminder, there is no one on these Spine-Health forums that are medical qualified to provide you with some of the answers to the questions you presented.
Those need to come only from your doctor. What we can provide is personal opinions only.

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 06/22/15 12:13est

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