Right calf swelling and left inner thigh pain

by Louis
( Perth Western Australia)

I have a degenerated lower back L1-L5 region where just from my X-rays clearly show that over time there is less cushioning between disks as I have been waking up with sore legs.

First started with the right calf swelling and in lots of pain.

Secondly now the left leg is suffering but from the inner upper portion of the leg right near the knee cap, it hurts less if I straighten the leg out but if I try to bend the leg anywhere up towards the 90% mark it hurts like hell and is very tender to touch around the knee cap area.

Treatment I have had in the past was 1 epidural injection. 2 steroid injections, physio at least 10 times and countless ciropractic treatments.

It just seems a little strange that the right calf had improved and the swelling around the calf area had reduced to nearly normal capacity but now the left leg is suffering, I have lost a lot of weight do to drugs I am taking such as GABAPENTIN, PANADEINE FORTE AND DRINKING BEER to block the pain for I simply cannot sleep at night.

It is a nightmare that will not go away and even though I have a pretty good tolerance to pain
I somehow still managed to get through the day without killing myself as I know there is light at the end of the tunnel I hope; do you think it may help using a more posturpeadic bed as the bed I use is somewhat collapsed a little towards the centre or is it just too far gone for any help.

Hello Louis,
There are two things that make me think this may have nothing to do with your back.

1. No back condition is going to make the right calf swell.

2. You make no mention of lower back pain.

Can you reproduce the pain in your legs by bending and twisting your back? Does it cause back pain?

Type Slump Test into the Search function at C-H. Do the test and let me know what happens. It's a test for the sciatic nerve.

The test for the Femoral nerve is more difficult; that's what would affect your inner thigh around the knee area. Your chiropractor would have done the femoral nerve stretch test. Ask him what the result was.

If you prick your legs with a pin, are there differences? At C-H you'll also find some tests for the muscles that often become weak associated with a pinched nerve. Look at Femoral nerve. Were there any changes in the reflexes?

When you haven't responded to medical, physio and chiro treatment, I'm assuming that they all might be missing something. Could it be a knee problem? Hip pain may radiate to the knee too. Is your hip stiff?

Do you know if anyone looked for Homan's sign in your swollen calf? A deep vein thrombosis is the usual cause, and is particularly serious.

Frankly, I'm not sure, but something doesn't fit. Perhaps a fourth opinion! I expect you've seen the cartoon where four doctors are standing around a bed, deep in thought. One raises his head and says: Well at least we've narrowed it down to one of four things.

Sorry to stir the pot rather than offer solutions. What I think is really positive is that you are thinking yourself and looking for other solutions.

An epidural can cause arachnoiditis too. Time for an MRI if you haven't already had one.

Dr B.

PS. Let me know what comes of all this.

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