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  • cnalbert
    Post count: 2

    Dear Dr. Corenman,

    I saw your video on Youtube and I am here trying to find some help. Thanks in advance! Recently I have been suffering from back and leg pain for a month and I am seriously worried about it. I went to see the doctor and he recommended me physical therapy, but I don’t see sign of improvement…I actually feel it is developing… Here is how things happen: (as brief as I can)

    Background: 23 years old, no accident, was perfectly healthy until…

    [Start] Went to gym, tried some waist/leg exercises I didn’t do before, felt exhausted.

    [+1 days] Started to feel pain and sting on right outer thigh, especially when walking.

    [+4 days] Went to see doctor. Leg raise positive. Reflexes and muscle strength normal. Naproxen proscribed.

    [+5 days] Started to feel pain on right calf, and the area behind the knee.

    [+6 days] Started to feel stiff back.

    [+8 days] In rare cases sting and pain on left leg.

    [+12 days] Obvious pain on spine (lumbar area) when bending forward. Lower back pain started. Pain on hip and the right front thigh.

    [+15 days] X-rayed. Perfect spine, according to the doctor.

    [+20 days] Physical therapist gave me some exercises to do at home and told me to avoid bending.

    [+25 days] Good news: No leg pain and sting for most of the time.

    [+30 days] Developed CONSTANT SORENESS ON THIGH, CALF, KNEE AND EVEN ANKLE OF BOTH LEGS. Also, stiff back remains. I can’t bend forward because it causes pain in the back. Piriformis and hamstrings very tight, according to therapist.

    I honestly don’t know if I am getting better or worse. The good side is that I no longer feel obvious pain and sting, I just have soreness now. But the bad side is the symptom seems to spread, from right outer thigh, to the whole right leg, back, hip, left thigh, left calf, and finally both legs.

    Should I be worried about this? I am a student and I am seeing doctors from the university health services. They didn’t find the exact cause but they said it is usually not a big deal for young people. They did x-rayed me but they said it was perfect. But for me I don’t believe it could take so long to recover. It is now more of a mental burden to me… My father even scared me over the telephone: “I hope it’s not bone cancer!”

    Someone mentioned that it could be spondylolithesis(I don’t remember the spell…). Someone suggest me asking for extension/flexion x-ray, CT, MRI or EMG… I have an appointment next week, but I am thinking maybe I should see another doctor earlier… Any suggestions and comments are greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8660

    By your description of your symptoms, it appears that you have a radiculopathy or inflammation of one of your lower back nerves. The most common cause is a herniated disc in your lower back, typically at L4-5 or L5-S1. The X-ray can appear normal but I bet there is some narrowing of one of the disc spaces that is subtle and is not normally noticed by physicians who are unaware of this finding.

    An MRI is the next test to be ordered typically. If you have no motor weakness (you can walk around on your toes and heels without difficulty and can crouch walk), then treatment does not initially involve surgery. If you cannot perform those activities, you need to see a surgeon.

    Dr. Corenman

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    Post count: 2

    Thank you Dr. Corenman!

    I don’t have motor weakness. I can crutch walk and walking on my toes, though it does need a little bit more strength.

    Yes, you are right! The narrow of disc space is revealed on MRI, though i don’t know if it is the real cause.

    I had an MRI a week ago. The report indicates that I have 3 mild diffuse bulged discs, mild facet antropathy, stenosis of the lateral reces, mild central canal stenosis, thickened ligamenta flava at L2-L3, L3-L4 and L4-L5. Looks like L1 is the only normal one…. The canal stenosis seems to be congenital, but other factors together contributed to a moderate to severe canal stenosis at L3-L4 level. Additionally, I have mild straightening of lumbar lordosis and Schmorl’s Nodes on L3-L4 level.

    I know it sounds terrible… I didn’t realize I have so many abnormal/broken parts on my spine until the MRI… Feel depressed…

    Do you think that a single gym visit could account for so much? I personally think that it might be a combination of chronic diseases with acute sports injury…

    For next appointment i need to wait for a month. This is the busiest period of time of my life. I can’t just ask for a leave and take a long vacation staying at home… I really want to recover soon. I know it may not sound feasible, but do you have any other recommendations?

    Thank you again and have a nice day!

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