Inner thigh/outer calf extreme pain

L2 dermatome

L2 dermatome

Inner thigh/outer calf extreme pain.

I have arthritis in my left hip, all the numerous tests show that, I understand that. But there are some days that I walk normally without pain, not a thing hurts anywhere, that I can not understand.

This pain began after I had lower back surgery. Some days the pain is so intense, other days I do not have pain. I have Stenosis and Scoliosis, that also has been confirmed with MRI's of those areas. EMG found a delay transmitted from head to toe. Doctor's all say that after I have the left hip replaced the pain will probably be eliminated. I do not think the hip is what is causing the excruciating pain in my inner thigh and outer calf.

As I said, some days there isn't any pain and I walk normally. I personally know people with hip replacements and know they have pain, sometimes more pain after the metal implants. Also the high metal readings in their body that needs to be monitored. Modern medicine should have advanced by now and surely could have come up with something that "works" and not with the use of metals in our body.

Seems the choice for persons with arthritic hips is "only" cutting open the skin, cutting off leg bone, hammering a steel peg into the bone, grinding out the hip bone, inserting steel, screwing it in...what?? Modern medicine? Sounds more like science fiction with the pain or infection that can follow.

That is my choice? Explore the idea of hip surgery when the pain could be from a pinching of a nerve in my back? I don't like the idea of being a guinea pig and running around with metal in my body for the rest of my life. Once the hip is replaced, there will never be the chance of replacing my original parts. That is a huge decision. A decision that I will not jump to make. I want to rule out EVERYTHING and get to the bottom of "what" is "causing" the pain for sure.

Dear Suzee,
An "incidental finding" is something true but irrelevant. Let's choose an example. Say I am diabetic and then a wart starts growing on my ear. It's true I am diabetic, but it probably has nothing whatsoever to do with the wart.

So, the question is, is the arthritic hip an incidental finding. I share your concern. It could cause the pain in groin and upper inner thigh, but most unlikely to be related to the outer calf extreme pain.

At what level(s) did you have the back surgery? If the pain in the leg started immediately after the surgery, that's most likely the cause, indeed.

The big question is: "what reproduces the pain?". Try bending slowly forwards, backwards, to the side. Does it give you pain in the back and leg, does it increase the inner thigh/ outer calf extreme pain.

Then do the Slump test for sciatica ... it the naughty leg much tighter/ painful.

The test for the Femoral nerve is unfortunately more difficult and should be done by an experienced clinician.

Now, lie on your back, and pull your knee to the chest. Gently rotate the hip. Compare sides. Do you get significant pain in the groin and hip. Is it very stiff?

Could you ask: Where on the Kellgren Lawrence scale does your hip arthritis lie?

Better still, take your camera and photograph the X-ray. Attach it here or send as an attachment to Contact.

Start every morning, on your bed, gently pulling your knee to your chest 10 x and then gently rotating the hip. Gently, discomfort in the hip yes, pain no.

Then start these hip exercises ... they are difficult, take your time and learn them properly, and remember you're not training for the next Olympic team! Slowly, gently.

Also these lower back exercises ...

Have you ever consulted a chiropractor? Perhaps start looking for an experienced, well-recommended person in your town. Take your scans.

No easy answers, Suzee, but yes your concerns are legit. Good luck, let me have the results of the questions above.

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I hope this has contributed.

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

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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.

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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.

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