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lipomas and back pain
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lipomas and back pain

I am a 22 year old women, petite 5'2, 105lbs and I have been having severe lower back pain for 15 weeks. I have never had a back injury. After being concerned with 2 lumps on my lower back area (above the tailbone) I went and saw my general physician and he diagnosed them as lipomas. He asked me to wait and see if they, and the pain, go away and scheduled a follow-up 2 months later. In the following 2 weeks my pain increased to the point of being unbearable and no amount of Ibuprofin,Tylenol,etc would help. Also the tumors felt like they were getting larger and I could feel a possible 3rd lump now. There is no way to verify if they were growing since no tests were done - I called my Dr. and he still insisted to wait and see and to continue with Tylenol (which I take all day long). I wanted them removed since I have concerns about cancer - my sister died two years ago from breast cancer. I am aware that tumors of this type are rarely malignant. I was referred to a general surgeon on my insistance. The general surgeon says their removal is unnecessary and has nothing to do with my pain. They are not deep, just under the skin but when you press on the tumor it doesn't hurt but the tissue around it will hurt more intensely (flaring up the pain) for hours. When I pointed this out he reminded me that if I really wanted them removed they'll do it but his advice was to just wait and see. Again - no tests of any kind have been run on me. Is this true that the lipomas have absolutely nothing to do with my back pain?? How can my Dr's be so sure when I have not (in my opinion) been thoroughly examined? How long do I wait and for what to happen? For the tumors to grow to the size of melons and then it IS complicated? I am scheduled for outpatient excision of the 2 tumors but I am worried my insurance will not cover since it is filed as cosmetic and "unnecessary". Thank you for any words of advice or correction!
     - A Worried College Student, Missouri
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Worried College Student:

Sorry to hear about your back.  There are a couple of important issues. The first, is that a lipoma in the sacral/coccyx area is different from lipomas found in other areas of the body.  Unlike the other areas, a lipoma in this region can be a defect in secondary neurulation of the spinal cord, a defect in the primativa meninx.  Just to make sure there isn't something worrisome, I would seek a visit to a neurologist.  Sometimes a lipoma in this region can be pulling at the spinal cord, and this can cause discomfort.  

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Always get a second opinion.  Pardon  the pun, but is no skin off the doctors back if it is something more serious.
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Avatar_n_tn
iw ould get a secong apiniuom my daughter had a spinal lipoma that involves the conus and filume terminale one of the main symptoms my daughter had was back PAIN she also developed a abnormal gait.  if you have not already i would get an MRI done to make sure they are not tying down you spinal cord this is what haappened with my daughter.  this can cause pain and damage , along with bowel and bladder problems, so i would get a second apenion, and a mri, it has only been 8weaks since katelynns surgery and she already has reduced pain and an improved gait.  good luck.

joanna hanna
katelynn 3(tcs, spinal lipoma, tangled nerve root, dermal sinus,syrnix, cong scoliosis, partial sacral agenesis, 13 ribs, bilateral renal reflux, damaged right kidney,
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Worried College Student in Missouri,
I am a 36 year old female who has had similar "lumps" in that location as long as I remember--always thinking it was normal physiology.  In the recent months they have grown and multiplies into 3 from 2.  I, too, have on going terrible lower back pain.  But I have had injuries in the past to the lower back.  I am going to see a specialist next week because an MRI revealed a Tarlov cyst on my lower spine and noone seems to have solid answers.  I, too, have been told these things ore not the cause of pain and am frustrated that docs seem to be unwilling to investigate--I'm sure there's political reasons for this but our health SHOULD be priority!  Please continue to search for a doctor who will be of help no matter how frustrated you get, you are your own advocate!   Good luck, perhaps I will be able to share some good news after my visit.
Also Worried, Maryland
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