Medical Specialty >> Orthopedics

Doctors Lounge - Orthopedics Answers

Back to Orthopedics Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Severe back pain~ now my toes are turnign a grayish color

 janv1960 - Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:26 pm

I had a fall on ice at work March 2008. Under care of a pain clinic now and after 4 series of pain shots to no relief. My MRI have been negative. The pain shoots from my lower back around the front of my leg down to the foot. The pain is so excruciating it wakes me up feeling like a vice is squeezing my leg all the way down. Now I noticed my toes are turning a dark (almost dirty) color at the first knuckle of my toes. I go for a Disco gram next week and am very frightened of the test. Would a Nero-surgeon need the Disco gram for him to operate or is this a test I can avoid?
Thank you,
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:58 pm

User avatar Thanks for your patience.

Since the pain pattern in your leg acts like it is referred from the lumbar spine, a discogram has been ordered to get more definite information about the lumbar vertebrae and their discs.
With darkening skin in the foot, have a physician evaluate the circulation in the leg (pulses, swelling, sensation, temperature).

Let us know how things are turning out.
 janv1960 - Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:51 pm


Thank you for responding.

The disco gram was an intensley painful test. However, it was the only test that showed a tear in one of my discs. I said I would never have a test like the disco gram again due to the painful expierence but I must endourage your readers NOT TO GIVE UP if MRI'S and X-rays are negiative. HAVE THE DISCO GRAM DONE BUT BE PREPAIRED FOR VERY INTENSE PAIN IF THERE IS A TEAR IN THE DISC. Just getting the positive result for my pain did so much for my piece of mind, especially after all other tests were negiative.

Pain management doctors wanted to do the Endoscopic Microdisectomy or Disc Fx system at there office however, I have chosen to go to a surgeon and see what his opinion is. Things continue to get worse and I can now only stand for 10 minutes at a time before a rod like, vice griping pain starts down my spine and in my right leg.
In addittion to the former, is am now getting bladder infections and burning along with painful sex?? This is all so confusing and I am getting exhausted from it.

On FEB 2ND I go to the suregeon (finally after the disco gram, 5 pain blocks, 2 MRI's and numerous x-rays. all within the past 11 months.)

The temperature on my right foot is a degree higher that the left and there is noticible swelling. The pain clinic Dr's said it can be a result from the nerves binding up that may turn my toes grayish? I am anxious to see what the surgeon say's the cause is.

Thank you once again,

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us