It Isn't The Knee Or Hip But The Back?
Thursday, October 15, 2015
I had my appointment with the knee/hip specialist this morning. It took me 1.5 hours to get to the doctor's office. Once I was there, I had to wait for 1.5 hours just to be seen. My leg was hurting badly by this time. When the doctor came in, he told me that I have a small tear in the meniscus. I explained the horrible issues that I have had with instability and pain. He looked at my MRI again and said that he could scope it but it isn't worth the risk. I agreed. He examined my leg again and commented on the lack of muscle development. He asked how long ago I had had physical therapy. When I told him two weeks, he was shocked. I said that I had made good but very painful progress with my PT and that I do exercises several times a day every day still. It kind of ticked me off when he looked at me with disbelief. I told him that I fell on the way to the MRI. I remarked that it is scary and quite painful. He started typing a bunch of stuff into the computer. I then told him that I have to stretch my leg muscles out all day long to get relief from the pain. The stretches only give me relief for a few minutes and then my muscles go back into pain mode.
It was like a switch was turned on in his mind! He told me that he thinks for some reason the nerve impulses from my spine aren't reaching my leg muscles. He added that I might have some kind of stenosis. That's when I told him that, yes, I have congenital stenosis. I mentioned that on the right side, several facet joints fused themselves spontaneously. Now I am wondering if it has also happened on the left side. He suggested that it may be a pinched nerve. With a pinched nerve or obstructed nerve, the impulses that the spine sends to the muscles is interrupted and doesn't function properly. Thus, muscles can be perpetually tight despite stretching, there can be lots of muscle spasms and lots,of pain. I shared with him the fact that I had two radio frequency ablations in my lumbar spine last year for pain. He seemed to think this was a little bit different. He asked if I have a good pain management doctor and I told him my doctor's name. He was impressed. He told me to call the pain management doctor, when I get home, and request an MRI of the lower back.
On the way home, I made two stops. I went to Whole Foods and got some unsweetened dried fruit, olives, gluten free crackers, fresh veggies and fruits and gluten free oatmeal. Next I stopped at the regular grocery store and got several items for hubby. Then I went home. After I put the groceries away, I took the dogs out and called my pain management doctor. I explained my issue. I have an appointment for tomorrow morning at 9:30am! How is that for great?