Back/leg pain, opinions please

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MikeB
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 12/24/2008 8:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I realize this is not a Crohns issue, but there are a lot of people here who have wide experience on other medical issues, so experiences and opinions are appreciated. After some months of increasing lower back pain while standing, I had a real bvlowup of what is very likely lumbar spinal stenosis (nerve entrapment/pressure in the L-4 and L-5 vertebrae. Persistent pain in buttocks, thigh and down the leg, with flashes of tingling and numbness when standing erect. Sitting and bending alleviates it somewhat -- though it is pretty classic symptoms for that disorder. Initial Xrays showed some narrowing in those nerve pathways and I am waiting for M|RI to confirm. My research shows that this is basically untreatable except by steroid injections (for temporary relief) and ultimately surgery to snip away the occluding bone. Sleeping is difficult, and I am walking like Igor. If anyone has had this disorder, or had a family member with it, I'd appreciate any sharing of your experiences and outcomes. My instinct is to press for early surgery rather than noodle around with it. Thoughts?

Celey
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 12/24/2008 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Some people on the Crohn's board might be able to give you some advice about that, but you might have even more luck on the arthritis board...
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/25/2008 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Mike I have had that pain before, but it was usually after I had gotten off Pred. I would have pain about a week after I finished my taper. It is horrid pain, everytime you stand up to walk somewhere you get that stabbing pain that shoots down your buttocks and legs. Yoowwwwccchhh!!!!

My personal thought is to try the injection first and see how it goes. If it keeps coming back then I would go for the surgery. It is a miserable pain. Good luck!
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis. Currently my Crohns is in remission.


Margie11
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 12/26/2008 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Neighbor MikeB,

    IMHO, Arthritic and neuro issues are often Crohn's related. A few ideas come to my mind ,that could complicate or even cause your pain regardless of the stenosis diagnosis. First, from personal experience I know that soft tissue inflammation (in the gut)  can also put pressure on neuro pathways, It is my understanding that in theory when the sciatic nerve passes through or occupies the same area where your Crohn's inflammation resides, then you can have  nerve pain and inflammation similar to what you describe in your post. The  inferior gluteal artery ( aka sciatic artery) also passes near your intestines, and can cause numbness and crawling pain (like when your foot goes to sleep, then the feeling comes back X 10), when the inflammation, swelling, and bloating put pressure on the artery, and restrict blood flow. Another possibility would be Crohn's arthritis, which is often associated with a specific genetic predisposition that was thought to be independent of genetics otherwise related to Crohn's Disease, and now appears to have bearing on which of us Crohnies have arthritic symptoms. If you have time to research this just Google HLA-B27 Crohn's. This type of reactive arthritis can cause fusing of the spine, hip , and sacroiliac joints. I would guess that this kind of fusion could be one possible mechanism that could narrow the neuro passages as well. I am just a layperson making guesses, and I am sure there could be a dozen more explanations, but I wanted you to be aware of the possibilities I have began to explore, because you seem to like to take charge of your own health decisions. I have most of the issues you describe, and have never been on Pred.


              Never go faster than your guardian angel can fly!                  
     Be Patient And Tough, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You 
 
 Crohn's for life, symptoms included terrible joint and soft tissue pain, just met first cousin who suffers from Reactive Arthritis-explains sooo much. Great control on SCD (when I'm good) and I get by with a lotta help from my friends!
                                                Margie11


Margie11
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 12/27/2008 7:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Dawg,
Have you seen a rheumatologist? They may have more experience with this than your Primary care or GI Doc. I would at least ask for a referral. Good luck, this is so painful and slows me down so much.
              Never go faster than your guardian angel can fly!                  
     Be Patient And Tough, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You 
 
 Crohn's for life, symptoms included terrible joint and soft tissue pain, just met first cousin who suffers from Reactive Arthritis-explains sooo much. Great control on SCD (when I'm good) and I get by with a lotta help from my friends!
                                                Margie11


MikeB
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 12/27/2008 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies. Andlike yuo Margie I have never used pred, so a Crohns inflammatory connection makes some sense. The initial xray showed "some narrowing"in the nerve pathways in L4 and ||L5, but the MRI, which I hope to have next week, will be more definitive.For now I am refraining from standing or lying straight and the pain has moderated considerably, but it's clear I will need to push for aggressive treatment, as I'm not going to be able to accept this limited mobiliitywhen spring semester starts, as I have three evening classes to teach in addition to the day job. I'll keepyou posted.

Margie11
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 12/27/2008 9:59 AM (GMT -7)   

Mike,

 

  I seem to have less issue with this kind of pain and limited mobility when I am taking my fish oils and half a dose (3 capsules) of a bone builder called Bone Up. It contains minerals and other nutrients that play traffic cop and direct calcium to the correct places. I use this in hope of avoiding bone spurs, kidney stones, and the kind of fusing and stenosis that we have been discussing here. I also want to be sure I have everything available, (if I am absorbing that day) to utilize the minerals in my diet properly.


 


              Never go faster than your guardian angel can fly!                  
     Be Patient And Tough, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You 
 
 Crohn's for life, symptoms included terrible joint and soft tissue pain, just met first cousin who suffers from Reactive Arthritis-explains sooo much. Great control on SCD (when I'm good) and I get by with a lotta help from my friends!
                                                Margie11

Post Edited (Margie11) : 12/27/2008 10:02:55 AM (GMT-7)

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