Buttock, thigh and hip pain with severe swelling

by Trish
(Boston, MA)

I'm fifty two and had acute onset of pain in grocery store over a year ago. Six months later I had arthroscopic hip surgery due to a torn labrum and femoracetabular impingement. Surgeon debrided the labrum and shaved femoral neck due to hip dysplasia and a bony abnormality.

Had lumbar spine MRI 6 months prior to surgery revealing annular tear L2 L3. PT throughout the entire year and a half. Intermittent improvement. Major SI joint issues co-existing the whole time. Five steroid injections in hip joint, SI joint, bursa. Severe nerve pain. Lower back pain and buttock pain that never stops. Lateral hip pain and massive swelling.

Had recent lumbar MRI which revealed a herniated L5 S1 and narrowing. Nerve pain is very bad. Swelling behind thigh and ache in front of thigh. Some groin pain, though of my pains that is my least. Hip and back equal parts pain.


Hello Trish,
I'm afraid it's back to the orthopaedic surgeon who operated on your hip. Soon.

Those disc injuries would not contribute in any way to the swelling in your upper leg/ buttock. There's risk of serious infection, or vascular occlusion, deep thrombosis. Serious stuff.

I would ask for an immediate consultation with him. Sorry, but looking at the info, from what you've given me, this is not good news.

All of which contributes to what is happening in your back; normally I'd suggest you start with the back exercises on our site, but that involves hip flexion. Orthopaedic consult first.

Let me know what comes of it all. Hope I'm wrong.

Dr B

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Oct 24, 2014
Thank you
by: Trish

This has been a frightening time for me. I had difficulty with my surgeon post-op due to poor follow-up care and am being followed by a new surgeon who has been very perplexed by my case (as all doctors have) I am seeing him on Monday and sent him a letter questioning vascular issues just this week and I mentioned Compartment Syndrome as well.

Thank you for taking the time to answer and for your well-founded advice. I will let you know what they find.

Please do let me know, Trish; it is perplexing. Meantime start working on the basics of good lower back care. Don't bend, rather go down on ONE knee if you need to retrieve something from the ground. Sit less, take short walks and do our lower back exercises.

Get onto a diet rich in the omega 3 fats; look it up in the search function at Chiropractic Help. They are strongly anti inflammatory.

Good luck.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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