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Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: Left side pain

 theone - Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:43 am

This might not be the right area to post this topic so feel free to move it to the right forum. I'm a 21 year old female with a lot of medical issues since i was a baby to the point that I was tested for Alport and Turner syndromes which both came negative. I have diabetes [diagnosed at age 20] and Celiac diagnosed at same age. After being diagnosed with Diabetes I began having leg pain which was diagnosed as neuropathy simply because I have diabetes. One doctor saw me and reviewing my past diagnoses of having neurodegenerative disease he said he did not think it was neuropathy and that he thought this was something related to the spine. After that I began having pain on my left ribcage, at first it was a pinching pain in the front of the ribcage every now and then, eventually i realized the left ribcage seemed to have come off its place basically it looks as if there was something swollen underneath that is pushing the rib out. I was put on heartburn meds which did not help much, eventually i ran out of meds and didnt take them anymore. Now after a year the pain is getting worse and worse and I have noticed that [on my right leg which has "neuropathy"] the pain comes from the back and runs down the buttock [i asked my mom and she said that is sciatic pain] and i have started getting that same feeling on the left leg at times as if the nerve was being bothered.

Now i have constant lower back pain, back pain at the same region where my ribcage hurts and only sometimes pain by the shoulderblade on the back, my left arm seems to have been affected also as it feels weaker than the right arm, i've also experienced some neck pain and in the past few days pain on my side between my ribs and the hips sometimes radiating to the hips... what bothers me the most though is the ribcage which is very very painful when i lay on it as if it were pushing on the inside organs... what is the smartest test to have done for this? should i have an MRI or CT scan to rule out any internal organ inflammation [such as spleen] or does this sound more like a spine problem or bone problem? would an MRI also check for spine problems? please let me know what this sounds like or any idea as to what it could be.

Also, could such a pain be from an ulcer and not related to the leg pain? it seems like the sharpest pain is relieved by antacids now [but not in the beginning when i was taking prevacid] but even with antacids there is still a great deal of pain.

thank you
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:18 pm

User avatar Hi AJ,

I would recommend you start by seeing a neurologist. This way you can have your pain further evaluated. You may need some testing to see if nerve conduction is normal. If imaging is needed an MRI will probably be most helpful.

It may be that your rib pain is due to a nerve issue similar to your leg pain. The neurologist should be able to help sort this out.

Best wishes.
 theone - Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:19 pm

Thanks for your recommendation, I had to go to the ER since the pain was unbearable, they ran a CT scan, all organs are normal, i was told it would possibly be pleursy, I am being tested for Lupus now, now I have the opportunity to get either a brain MRI or a spine MRI, which would you recommend? keeping in mind that the leg pain comes from the sciatic nerve and that I have sensorineural hearing loss, [if associated] which test would you recommend I do first.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:48 pm

User avatar It sounds as if both MRI's are needed. It may be worthwhile starting with the head MRI. Multiple sclerosis could also explain your multiple neurological findings. The MRI of the head has a good chance of seeing any MS lesions (although they can appear in the spinal cord as well).

Which test you have done first should be discussed with your doctor, though. Keep in mind I do not have full access to your chart and have not examined you so my advice is based on very limited information.

Best wishes.

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