Update to my gluteus medius tendinopathy diagnosis

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Update:  Sorry this is a long read. For those of you that do not know my story, I have been treating what I was told was gluteus medius tendinopathy in my left hip for a year and half with injections and PT.  Latest development wih my condition:  

I was going to PT twice a week I was walking OK although I was using ice after walking short distances. I was able to sit in a chair and drive always with an ice pack. Then I was unable to do even that. I’ve been in bed since last a Sunday, have a porta potty next to my bed. Was supposed to have an appointment Tues morning with my primary dr but I couldn’t drive and could not find transportation to take me. So I emailed my primary dr and told her I was in excruciating pain and she said get to the ER and she wrote them an note explaining what was going on with me.  Anyway I went to the ER at a major well known hospital in Boston where all my records are.  That ride to the hospital was unbearably painful. So hard to describe if someone has not had this but the stabbing sharp pain reduces me to tears. I was seen by a doctor and he said it’s was the tendinopathy and takes a long time to heal and that there was no magic bullet to fix overnight, even though my primary dr believes it’s my back and included that in her note to the ER.    He sent me home with lidocaine patches valium and a medpack of prednisone which I had to tell the ER dr that my primary dr said not to leave without this script.  She was quite upset that the ER dr never ordered an X-ray, ct scan or MRI of my back that night! So scheduled for 2 days later the first available appointment to have it Friday night.  By Friday at 2am was doubled over in pain. I had severe tremors and my left leg and side was paralyzed by muscle spasm went to ER by ambulance. After giving me morphine and Valium I had an MRI showed I had a bulging disc at L4 and 5 and nerve compression causing the severe pain in hip thigh groin and buttock.Had an epidural injection at 2:00 PM came home on Oxcy and flexorall and hopefully this is going to do the trick.  Although this may be the beginning of many injections, at least I have a firm diagnosis that I could have treated and not left to shots of the hip and doctors telling me they could do nothing more for me. All this time the dumb drs only we’re treating the hip never looking at my back as a source of this pain.  Only the knee Dr who operated on my torn meniscus (also from favoring the other side and using a cane for 2 months) thought it might be my back. My PM also wanted to look at my back from my symptoms. That's what you get from the medical profession it’s all a guessing game for them. My primary care was awesome during this whole thing so I'm home resting. Hopefully this shot will help but I need to address the situation with a spine specialist and also do some changes in my lifestyle. I will begin aquatic PT and any other kind of treatment to help avoid surgery. I am so thankful this a problem that I hope can be treated successfully although many people have continuing problems such as mine. So now my dear friends in this group, I will now have to join another discussion group but wanted each and everyone of you to heed my warning!  Be your own advocate and pursue every avenue available to you.  God bless and I am here for you anytime, so please reach out if I can help. 


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  • Posted

    What a horrible time you had, Andrea, finally getting to the point of discovering that it was your back/spine causing all of your pain. I am so sorry for all of your agony. It's been my experience the other way around, that when the doctor saw that the X-rays of bones and implants looked great, that it was assumed my back was the problem for gluteal pain. I went through spinal X-rays and MRI and sacroiliac injection, only to find out that it had nothing to do with my spine!

    I certainly hope that this new direction will help you to get back to a pain-free and active life. ??💛💜

    It's best if they check out everything, isn't it!

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    • Posted

      I have had x-ray, and MRA on hip. Was told they could see nothing wrong. He asked about my back. I did have an EMG on my leg but all that showed was slight problem with L5. Got an injection today. So far, I'm worse. Dr mentioned scope. Should I do scope or ask for referral to "back" Dr?

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    • Posted

      I'm sorry. Arthroscope is what I meant by "scope", on my hip. An EMG is eletromylogram and it's probes they insert to see if your nerves are reacting normally with the muscles or if the nerve is being pinched. The nerves to my leg are fine.

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  • Posted

    Very sorry you had to endure so much pain before the X-rays showed herniated discs. They are quite painful ask anyone who has had herniated discs knows it can be debilitating and totally life changing.

    Nice your on the road with a plan of healing.I hope that you are given all that you need to sustain you thru this next journey to a healthier and active life pain fee. Just knowing what's wrong is such a relief.

    Ask about etanercept a bio drug I had, it's an injection to help herniated discs. Works ! It's truly a miracle to finally move again without the extreme excruciating pain. I felt total relief right after the injection could tie my shoes for the first time in months. 

    I can't imagine why docs missed it for so long!  But very happy for you that you will find relief and even better back to a active life  again just doing the simple daily thing that bring joy ! 

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