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Hip pain, is it really my back?

nowwhat44nnowwhat44 Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:51 AM in Spinal Stenosis
I have another thread going discussing my new stenosis diagnosis. The main symptom that I have been having is a sore right hip. It would burn at night if I slept on it wrong. Sometimes it just aches but usually stretches and some advil take care of it. But in all my years of back problems, L5 S1 herniation 15 years ago and then fusion in 2007, never did my hip hurt. I would swear I had a hip issue before the studies. Doc thinks it is the stenosis and does not want to really address the hip. I guess I am wondering if anyone else has a lot of their symptoms in the hip. Like I said, I was convinced I had a hip issue, not another back issue. He says i have arthritic stenosis at the l4 level above the fusion.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,630
    but instead in the Hip. Starting from the hip, going down your backside cheek and down into your leg.
    So often that is caused by a disc impinging on a nerve root and results in sciatica.

    But, this is something you really need to discuss with your doctor
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • That's the thing, I rarely if ever get pain in the buttock or leg on that side. I get some foot pain on other side which I would def say is sciatic but the hip is so puzzling to me. I mean I was CONVINCED it was a hip issue like bursitis or something. Never in 20 years had I had hip pain with my back problems. Oh well..shall see I guess.
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  • I have an L4-L5 DDD, bulge and tear. These are referred to as "mild/moderate" in my MRI report, but since I hurt my back almost 4 years ago, I have not been able to work - the pain is severely debilitating, and if I ignore it and don't rest - well - my legs just get pulled out from under me. I have never had surgery.

    About 1 1/2 years after I hurt my back, and after a hefty round of Physical Therapy, I developed hip pain as well - Over and over this woman made me lie on the floor and arch my back backwards (hope you know what I mean) - she said it would suck the herniation back in. It was all extremely painful - and as a result, I suddenly developed this hip pain - And it's just like you say, deep, deep in the hip, and you feel the pain deepening in your sleep. It makes me feel like the squeaky tin man whenever I move/bend too (no noise, but a squeak of pain whenever I move). Only in the hip (no buttock or whatever, like you say). I also continued to have debilitating axial back pain from the L4-L5.

    I had an x-ray for bursitis, as my needle Dr said she could give me a steroid shot in the hip. I don't even know whether it showed bursitis or not, because after some research I decided I didn't want the hip shot, because steroids into the hip can leave you with a big nasty hole in your flesh (not open - just kind of like a sink-hole in your hip).

    So - they could never really diagnose the hip pain (back or hip?) - a couple of Dr's also suggested it's SI joint (I did have an SI joint injection - it did nothing - aside from cause more pain, ha-ha!). However, my pain management (medication) Dr gave me Lyrica - it really took the edge of this pain (I've been on the Lyrica for two years now), and it helps me sleep at night (along with the Oxy) so I don't have that horrible pain at night now. I also got a very good bed - very, very important for this pain - I sleep so much better on the good bed. But maybe some NSAID's (ibuprofin, Celebrex?) may help you (+ get a good bed) - Of course, you should see your Dr about all this - This is just what happened to me.

    All the best.
  • Hi There, Sorry that you are going through all of this. I thought I would share my experiences. One day a couple of years ago I was walking across my back yard and my left hip kept feeling like it was out of place when I put weight on it. That was the start of my whole life changing. When the Dr. combined my complaints of my hip and kidney back pain together, there was concern of spinal problems. After being sent for MRI I was found to have a bulging lumbar disc, a herniated lumbar disc, and stenosis. I was sent for therapy to no avail. Pain got worse. Leg got weaker and off to surgery I went. Pain got worse, leg still weak. Still have stenosis and scar tissue now. Right now, this moment, my hip is killing me due to the weather. Started out raining this morning, and now it is snowing. I take pain meds, imflammatory meds, nerve pain meds, sleep meds, you name it meds, and still I hurt. I have a big ice bag I use faithfully, and a TENS unit that helps sometimes. Does the stenosis cause my hip to hurt along with the sciatica? I have heard about 3 or 4 different RXs from the Drs so far. They don't know. I have my new Thoracic stuff happening now to top if all off too. I guess I think if I get a correct RX then I get a correct fix or a correct RX I can tell people as to why I am still not fixed.
  • Probably is my back then. I don't understand why so may people have surgery that does not work? Or maybe it's not as many as I think and it's just the ones that are successful do not post anymore. Is it because people wait too long and the nerves are too damaged? I have had 3 back operations in the last 15 years. 2 discetomy/laminectomy and one fusion. All of them worked great to relive pain for a few years at a clip. If the nerve is freed up, why is there still so much pain for many people. Again, this scares the living hell out of me. I don't want or need surgery at this point but I also don't want to wait too long and end up with permanent damage. Right now advil does the trick so obviously no surgery. But at what point does surgery become a must? Sounds like coyote is there, you need surgery my man. Why not yet?
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  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I can tell you from experience that lumbar stenosis can cause severe hip pain. My diagnosis was stenosis, facet joint swelling and spondylolisthesis and I had horrible hip pain. In fact, I couldn't stand longer than five minutes, if that. It was my deciding factor to have the fusion - I couldn't even stand to cook dinner and my quality of life went down hill so bad that I felt I had no choice.

    Good luck to you.
  • How long did it take for many of you to get so bad? I have had pretty much the same level of pain for a year and a half.
  • How long did it take for many of you to get so bad? I have had pretty much the same level of pain for a year and a half. It's strange to me because it says I have moderate/severe stenosis at L4. The doc looked at the image like, wow, yea you have some real nerve compression there. But yet, my pain is manageable with regular Advil 600 mgs twice a day. Some days I take nothing and feel almost fine. I don't know if this means I am on the verge of serious pain or maybe it won't ever come. Not complaining about it but just freaked out as to when it's coming. Seems like I should have it already. Ugh, I hate this stuff man.
  • I had sudden onset of pain after a roller coaster ride - the pain just never got better. I was off work a month, went back to work for four months, hurt my back again, and stopped work all together. I have the "micromotion" thing of DDD, where I repeatedly hurt my back (around 5 times a year - even when I'm very careful), so aside from chronic pain (I guess from the bulge and tear), and flareups about once a month that last a few days, I have these "acute" "micromotion" episodes, which take 2-6 weeks to recover from.

    My pain has not really progressed, however. But I have declined - I used to be very active, and now I'm very sedentary; the rest of my spine is getting out of whack from spending so much time lying down; I've had a lot of side effects from steroids and meds; the endless testing, MRI's, x-rays, discogram - yuck!; the "acute" episodes and I guess just the constant pain wears me down.

    No surgery, because the discogram I did was negative - I think there were problems with how the discogram was done, but I don't want another one, because discograms cause problems of their own.

    I guess after I stopped work and I still didn't improve was when I started thinking about surgery. At this point, I don't even mind keeping a very sedentary life-style - if surgery could just get me off medications (oxy, etc.) I would be very happy.
    But I'm still searching for answers.

    The spinal cord - with all it's nerves running in and out - it's like a primitive brain, extremely complex. Dr's don't know how to fix nerves - all they can really do is isolate the "broken" area (fuse) and hope that things die down.

    I think that surgery is really helpful to some people - and many are happy, even if it provides them with only 10 years of reduced pain (I know I would make that tradeoff now). But I also think that some people rush to surgery (some problems do resolve on their own), and Dr's can rush to operate on them. Everyone's back is so different too; so are their histories, how they hurt their backs, and how they tolerate treatments; and there's always the weird paradox that the magnititude of the pathology does not correlate at all with the magnitude of pain. Finally - I think many people do too much when they have surgery - it's very hard to accept limitations. Once you've hurt your back, and once you've had surgery - you are never the same. Very, very hard to accept.

    But the world is changing, and I don't know that within 5 or 10 years, people will be having so many back surgeries in the USA (except the rich of course!). With all the changes in healthcare, the dire financial position medicare and medicaid are in - I don't think they will be so freely available.

  • I realize this thread is quite old, but here is my experience:
    In May/June of 2010 I began having hip pain. If I sat too long or got up too fast, it was awful- would almost bring me to my knees. We went on vacation and I was miserable, loaded up on Aleve and Tylenol only provided slight relief. When school started (I am a teacher of students with significant disabilities) it got worse. Then the trouble really started. Pain in the butt cheek, into my leg and knee, and then my ankle. I got barely walk. MRI showed a "significant" herniation at S1 and L5. Doctor did not sound optimistic about epidural injections, but I did 3 and PT anyway. Here we are in March-!1 week post-op and I have to say it was the best decision I made and only wish I had done it sooner. Relief was immediate! By the time I had surgery my right foot was numb, the pain in my knee and back of my thigh was excruciating, and I was having trouble controlling my leg. When my reflexes were tested, there were none.
    The surgeon said mine was the 2nd largest herniation he had seen andhad no idea how I lasted so long without surgery. I am able to lie flat on my back with my legs stretched out for the first time in 9 months.
    And it all started with hip pain!!!!!
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