Hip, muscle or nerve pain

by Trace
(Cambridge new zealand)

HI, I had a car accident in 2013 resulting in my right hip socket being broken in a few places and my hip being dislocated as well. I had surgery to put my hip socket back together with metal plates.I was in hospital for 3 months and it took another six months of physio for me to be able to be walking on it with 90% - 98% of my full weight. I all so suffered nerve damage down my outer leg, ankle and foot ie Drop foot.

The outside of my hip down to my knee is semi numb and down the outside of my leg below the knee is numb and half my foot is numb on top and I have semi feeling in the ball of my foot. I've managed very well over the last few years with no hip pain and a small amount of ankle soreness every now and then. I can't stand for longer than 3 hours; after that my leg gets tired and I start to limp with my toes scuffing as not being able to lift my foot properly.

So this is my problem; 6 years later and in the last 6 days I've been doing a lot of work using that leg more than normal. I've been doing plastering and painting a big room. I've been doing a lot of going up and down a ladder and standing on the ladder putting full weight on my bad leg more than I have since the car crash. Now I'm in so much pain starting at the side of my right hip and the pain going down the front and outside of my thigh, the pain carry on down the outside of my knee then at the bottom of my knee the pain goes around the front bottom of my knee and carries on down the front of my shin bone.

The pain is unbearable in the morning till I have antiimflamation pills and osto panadol. Then it's tolerable; walking is OK but when I stop and stand it's very painful; it eases when I'm on my bed resting it or if I sit the pain eases after a bit and I can walk OK for a minute or 2 before it starts hurting. I also have arthritis in my knee and a blown Achilles in that leg too. So my question is, is the pain I'm getting muscle, nerve or my hip needing attention?

It's a long shot, Trace, but my bet is a nerve problem, probably in your lumbar spine; however you make no mention of lower back pain, so it's not certain by any means.

If you bend slowly forwards, backwards, to the side do you get any lower back or leg pain?

The critical evaluation would be sciatic and femoral nerve stretch tests.

If you pull your knee to the chest, is it very painful in the groin?

Can you lift your big toe off the ground?

My advice would be to go back to the orthopod who fixed your hip six years ago; he will direct you.

Good luck, let me know what transpires.

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.

Do you have a problem that is not getting better?

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Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70 percent of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there is a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong. Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what a DC does.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my eBooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful from the life and work of a chiropractor, you will love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the amount without telling me.