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Severe Pain Going into Legs and Arms Worse Than Usual

Hi Everyone, My name is David. I am 20 years old. I have 5 herniated discs in my back, 4 herniated discs in my neck, Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Advanced Spondylosis, All of which are in both My Neck, and My Back.

My hips come out of alignment, Narrowing of my left Knee, and arthritis in my neck.

I have been having upper - mid back pain, around my shoulder blade area, I went for an MRI, and the results came back that nothing is wrong. My Pain Management Doctor says it could be other things that are not showing up on MRI's and Won't Show up on X-Rays or CT Scans..

The Last Few Days, I have been having SEVERE pain going down my hip, my sciatica nerve, all the way down my legs, and to my ankles. It is in both sides / legs, but worse on my left side. It lasts for days I don't get much sleep at all, all I do is turn all night.

I feel like Dr. House Having to drag around a Leg that is in Severe pain, from the second I wake up until the second I finally fall asleep.

I take

Over a Year on - Oxycodone 30mg 4x Just Started - Oxycontin 15mg 2x ( I was on MS Contn 30mg 3x )

Mobic 7.5mg 2x ( haven't started it yet I wanted to see If I would have any side effects from just starting Oxycontin, and So Far I Haven't. )

Xanax 2mg 3x ( It is the only thing that will somewhat help me go to sleep and help my anxiety. )

Due to pain, and everything in my life I get very nervous, on the edge all of the time.

My Pain is about a 7-8ish.

What do you use for your Pain?

When you see your Pain Management Doctor do you see him / her or a PA? Physicians Assistant


  • Welcome to the boards..

    If I could ask a few questions....Obviously no one here is a medical professional and just share our own thoughts/suggestions about which to speak with your own Dr.

    I'm a bit confused on where you say you have all these herniated discs, spinal stenosis, Spondy and such but then say you had a MRI that didn's show anything...How did you get diagnosed with all of those issues then as they can only be diagnosed by a MRI...

    Have you gone to an actual Board Certified Neurosurgeon or BC Orthopedic surgeon to get their opinin of the MRIs? Usually someone goes to a PM Dr. after they have sought out treatment or see if they need any type of surgery.

    And what else do you do to help your pain in addition to the medications?

    The other modalities for those with spine issues do physical therapy, yoga/stretching, aqua therapy, injections, TENS unit, nerve ablation, acupuncture, massage, ice, heat, steroids, not smoking, eating well to maintain a healthy weight, biofeedback, counseling, etc.

    As well as one of the main medications is for nerve pain which is either Lyrica, Neurontin, or Cymbalta. Opiates are not very good at touching that type of pain.

    Same thing with an actual muscle relaxer like Flexeril, Robaxin, Skelaxin, or Baclofen. I realize that some Drs. will prescribe Xanax off label for this but it isn't specifically made for this like those medications.

    I see an actual PM Dr. since I have had 3, two-level, cervical fusions and still have active, severe herniations in the lower cervical/upper thoracic and lumbar region. He believes in seeing all his patients face to face himself and I only see his PAs/Nurses for a quick intro and vitals check. He is also someone who spends quality time with every patient so no one feels rushed. Even after 6 years going there I get a half an hour or more. I would never go to a place that pawns me off all the time or where it seems like a pill mill where people are just lined up to get meds in 10 minutes or less. (Not saying you are in a place like this, just a general statement).

    So...hopefully you can clear up a bit more of how you got all those diagnoses if they aren't showing up on your MRI..

    And since you are so's even more crucial that you have a great set of Drs. that work with you to use every single modality possible to lower your pain. It's never about trying something once or's about each thing will take the pain down a tiny notch and all add up to a 5 or so on the pain scale.

    This way, you never solely rely on opiates to lower pain and can keep the tolerance from developing too quickly. I have had two med increases in 6 years. We usually rotate medications every 3 years or so as well.

    So...if I were you at 20 years old...I would be getting at least 2-3 opinions from Board Certified Neuros or Orthos to really look at what is going on and if surgery could help fix anything or make sure you are on the best possible comprehensive program to keep your life active and full.

  • KarenDKKarenD Posts: 742
    edited 09/08/2012 - 1:22 PM

    What doctors are you going to - are you seen an Ortho or Neurosurgeon or other doctors? They look at MRIs differently than Radiologists. I had an MRI that the surgeon pointed out issues much worse than than Radiologist.

    Could some of your meds be contributing to your nervousness? You might want to check.

    I'm sorry you've had such problems at your young age. I hope you are able to get some relief soon.\
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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  • Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,550
    edited 09/09/2012 - 3:48 AM
    Welcome. I agree that you should see a board certified, fellowship trained spine surgeon, ortho or neuro, but one that only works on spines. They can see much more than anyone else can on an MRI. My MRI report itself showed nothing, but because my surgeon goes by the images, not the report, he saw the instability of my spine, facet problems and stenosis.

    I'm also confused how you know you have all these issues but say the MRI shows nothing. How did you get these results? Finding the right surgeon is very important, they don't always suggest surgery as its a last resort, but have a lot of tricks in their bag to help, noninvasive measures to try before surgery.

    Take care and keep us posted.
  • The MRI Shows things wrong in My neck, and lower back ( I have 5 herniated discs in my Lower back, 4 herniated discs in my neck, Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Advanced Spondylosis, All of which are in both My Neck, and My Lower BBack.)

    The MRI Didn't show anything for the mid - upper back, about shoulder blade area

    I went to an ortho and he had me do a nerve test where they shock you with something like a stun gun and then stick needles against all your nerves that were bothering me and I had to press against his hand as hard as I could.

    Nothing came back wrong, with my nerves or anything along those lines.

    The Ortho also told me to go to a Arthritis Doctor who told me I have advanced Spondolosyis? ( Not sure how to spell it ) But I got caught up in other important things, and I didn't get the blood tests he wanted done, or some other test maybe and that was it.

    I will be calling him Monday and making an appointment to see what tests I need to get done, etc.....

    My Ortho Surgeon also was taken off of my insurance so I can't go to him anymore.

    I have tried Physical Therapy, Tens Unit, I tried Cymbalta and it didn't do anything for the pain, and it made me tired 24/7 so I stopped it. I also tried injections not sure what they are called, but I haven't tried burning the nerves yet.

    I had one done that the PA or DR I don't remember who told me that it was similar to the Burning of the Nerves but I had one done and it helped a little for a week or 2 then it stopped. I had another one done and it made the pain worse for 2-3 weeks so I am Hesitant to get that done.

    My PM Doctor Told me Himself that I have a very High Tolerance to Pain Medication.

    If I missed anything let me know and I will be glad to answer it.

  • It is just one of the diagnostic tools used by Dr to determine the severity of your issues and whether you have active nerve impingement, which might require surgery.
    You probably do need to see a rhuematoligist who will do blood tests. They will look for inflamation markers in your blood as well as other markers which could help diagnose you underlying diesease. There are no hard and fast blood test that will show you have a certain diesease but could point them toward a condition such as rhuematoid arthritis, there is also a genetic test that could be useful in diagnosis anklyosing spondyolytis etc. Many of the arthritic diagnosis are done by process of elimination.
    How did you come by all the herniated discs? were you in an accident? heredity? you are very young for it to be normal aging.
    Here's hoping you have less pain today.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014, pseudo arthrosis suspected 2017, diagnosed  2019.  Revision C6/C7 pending. Multiple ruptured discs lumbar, l2-s1.
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  • Squier1SSquier1 Posts: 6
    edited 09/10/2012 - 6:20 PM

    I don't know how I got these problems. The only thing That the doctors and I can figure out is that I inherited it from my dad, he has the same problems just worse.

    I will be going to a Rhuematoligist fairly soon.

    Thanks, I hope everyone has less pain today also.
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