Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
141 Doctors are Online

Had back surgery done. Started getting pain and stiffness in back, hip joint and knee. Related?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1846 Questions
I have increasing pain and stiffness in my back, especially at night, and it wakes me up nearly every night. This has gone on for several years. I have constant, nagging pain in my SI joints, hip joints, and sometimes my knees. I had back surgery 8 years ago for a herniated disc, but this is a different kind of pain. I have become increasingly short of breath (I'm a teacher, and it's getting harder to talk for an entire class period.) I have a constant pain between my shoulder blades and around my ribs. My left big toenail has also detached, but I'm not sure if this is related.
Posted Sat, 30 Mar 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 38 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

Sometimes auto immune disorders may present with the symptom you have. Here the body's immunity mistakenly attacks the tissues of the body causing such problems.

Do you have any problem like rash on the face, mouth sores, fever, fatigue, hair loss etc.
Is there any swelling of those joints involved?
How is the movement at the joints? Is there any restriction of movement?

Your doctor after physical examination will order certain investigations like complete blood counts, X XXXXXXX ESR, Rheumatoid factor, CRP etc to arrive at a diagnosis.

Non steroidal antiinflammatory medications along with certain other drugs like steroids, disease modifying agents are used to treat such conditions after arriving at a diagnosis.

Waiting for your response,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had back surgery done. Started getting pain and stiffness in back, hip joint and knee. Related? 2 hours later
Thank you for your quick response and your advice. I have had some of the symptoms you mention. I have had a low-grade fever off and on for several months (99.5 - 100 F), and probably longer. Last year, I began losing weight - I've lost about 25 lbs., and haven't done anything different. I just haven't had much of an appetite. This weight-loss/low fever thing has happened before.

I haven't been able to afford health insurance for years (pre-existing conditions) and I don't have a regular GP, but I saved up money and saw a rheumatologist last October. He ordered X-rays of my hands, knees, and shoulders, and blood tests (ESR, something with a C, a full blood count, and the RF test. All the blood tests were negative, and he said the X-rays didn't show any degeneration. I do have pain in these joints, as well as my feet and ankles sometimes, but the X-rays didn't show anything, I guess.

 He would not order any X-rays of my spine or discuss my spine and neck (crackling, pain, restricted movement) symptoms. He said he doesn't do backs because they are too complicated. At that point I was really in debt and couldn't really afford to follow up with a GP as he suggested. He said I probably have fibromyalgia since it wasn't RA, but I looked up the symptoms of fibromyalgia and the symptoms just don't match up. Is there anything else that it could possibly be? I would just like to have some guidance for when I'm able to see another doctor.

I'm sorry my response is so complicated for a follow-up. Any additional advice would be greatly appreciated, and thank you again for your previous response; it's given me a direction to look in.
Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 2 hours later

Thanks for your reply.

All your symptoms were suggestive of autoimmune disorder which led your Rheumatologist to get all those investigations. A negative ESR, C reactive protein and RF factor along with normal X rays might have led him to rule out auto immune disorder and think in terms of fibromyalgia.

Your weight loss is significant and requires examination and investigations. Life style modifications (yoga, breathing exercise, meditation, playing with kids, walking, balanced diet etc) which relieve stress are useful if fibromyalgia is the cause of your pain.

Hope this helps.

Wish you good health.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an Orthopaedic Surgeon

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor