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152264 tn?1280354657

Pain in "knob" below waistline--bursitis or WHAT?

Hi folks. I'm casting around wondering why I have "soreness" in the knob just below the waistline--the knob on which you carry babies and laundry baskets. I don't think it's the actual hip joint.

For many months, I've had on-and-off "soreness" in that knob (right side), mostly when I first stand up, with every step. A week ago it got significantly worse--after a long busy day on my feet, which followed a two-week period of mostly just sitting. But since then, the soreness has gotten better and worse with little relation to activity, it seems.

I feel the "soreness" strongly when I do these things:

--when I "tense up" that knobby area
--when I bend forward from the waist and hit 45 degrees
--when I move that leg across (in front of) the other leg while standing (adduction??)
--when I step on that leg (each step).

I take 3 doses of both Advil and Tylenol daily--done this for years, for overall muscle achiness and joint discomfort which the doctors haven't really explained. Also a whole raft of minor neurological symptoms (face, legs, hands, dizziness, hearing loss) for 9 years, including Lhermitte's. MRIs of head and lumbar/cervical spine show no significant lesions, though the MRIs are two to five years old.

I do have scoliosis--lumbar only--I think it's a 35-degree curve, but it's never caused me significant problems--although the right side of my lower back (same side as the bum hip) has been partly or fully numb for years. No lower back pain to speak of. Hips appear even, right shoulder is way lower than the left one.

Any ideas at all???

Many thanks,

Nancy T. (51 years old, 50 lbs overweight, not athletic, but I walk a lot)
14 Responses
393986 tn?1303825975
Hi there, Sweetie!!!  I think you better have a Dr check that out.  It could be bursitis or it could be spasticity.  It sounds like a cortisone shot might give you some relief in that spot.  I have major issues with spasticity in my hip but that is just one area the arthritis is gettin and it always makes the muscles hurt like the dickens!!!!  

It might not hurt to have another neurological workup done.  New MRI's, blood work, etc done.  I have many friends here who have MS and they speak of muscle spasticity, etc as a major symptom.  It can't hurt to have that ruled out.  You say no significan lesions, does that mean they found some?  Did you see an MS specialist or just a regular neuro?

I would also have a full rheumatological workup done as well to check for RA, lupus, and other autoimmune conditions.

Others here will join in a little later and give their wisdom and advice as well.  Welcome to the forum!!!

Your Friend,

152264 tn?1280354657
Thanks for the kind response, Ada! Sorry to hear you have arthritis (and MS presumably, too?).

I've been waiting to see whether this "flare-up" of the hip thing goes away, as these things often do (like the periods of stiffness and pain in my left knee). You probably know the dangers of complaining to doctors too much unless something is really keeping you from your normal daily activities. I had one pretty uncomfortable day at work, but so far it's been tolerable otherwise. My experience has been that doctors rarely have clear-cut answers for you anyway.

(I've had UNEXPLAINED hearing loss, dizziness, visual ghosting, and other stuff--they are stumped by these things.)

The neurologists I saw in 1999-2003 were not MS specialists, but one was a dizziness specialist and probably knows a lot about MS, in fact he all but told me I had it, then said no. My brain lesions are "small scattered" ones that could be due to migraine, high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.--not MS-y looking. My symptoms are all relatively mild and nothing big is clearly wrong on the office exam (as of 2003), so no diagnosis. ANA was normal 3 times in 2000-2002. Reflexes were normal in 2006 when I saw a spine specialist, who said my symptoms were not due to my spine.

"Full rheumatology workup" is a laugh (excuse me). I saw a rheumatologist for the first time last year because of all this achiness and weird joint stuff. He blew me off totally--did not order ANY blood tests, just said after a brief exam, and reading my list of symptoms, that I did not have "any disease" and my symptoms were "not in the realm of MDs." Suggested fibromyalgia without actually saying the word, said I could try PT, acupuncture, massage, etc.

He "diagnosed" the hip strain I was complaining of (NOT the same as the "soreness" I wrote about here--this was different, a very strained feeling in my hips when I"d walk more than two blocks continuously, causing my walking to be very much slowed down in recent years) as "trochanteric bursitis" even though he didn't examine the hip and when I read about it, I saw I do NOT have the symptoms of trochanteric bursitis (he didn't want to listen to me AT ALL). No tenderness on the hip, I can lie on it with no problems, and anyway the hip problem I told him about was extreme strain, not pain (like walking up a steep hill when walking on level ground).

Thus, I'm not ready to see any more specialists!! I have "too many symptoms" to be taken seriously and followed.

As you say, spasticity may be a factor, maybe more in that stiff knee, but I suspect it's more likely mechanical factors and years of too much weight-bearing. I am just wondering what structure this could be causing the "soreness" in that knobby area. If it gets worse I will see my regular doctor, who is young and therefore actually willing to listen, it seems!

Thanks again for your response! :)  Take care.

Nancy T.
393986 tn?1303825975
I have definately been in your boat, I actually have Still's disease, its a rare arthritis, but I was first dx'd w/fibromyalgia and after many months of doing what my rheumy said and still not feeling better, I had daily fevers, and horrible wish I was dead kind of pain and weird rashes that would come with the fevers.  I kept going and pushing for answers.  At one visit, I had some abnormal reflexes and the continuing spasticity sent me for a round of tests with a neuro, he told me I had a seizure disorder which made no sense to me, kept going back to my rheumy and he finally admitted I didn't have fibromyalgia, he didn't know what I had.  

He thought it could of been MS at first and when that came back fine I had hundreds of tests done, MRI's, EMG's, EEG's, CT's, X-rays, bloodwork.  I was at the point where I just wanted a name and a treatment plan so I started to make a journal, I wrote everything in it, my temps, bp's, took pictures of the rash and in desperation I went back to my rheumy with my mother and he finally realized how this was affecting my life.  It was destroying it.  I was finally dx'd after five years of these kind of symptoms.  For the first few years I would not go to the Dr's when I felt like this because I always thought I would get labeled a hypochondriac and I was a few times at first.  

But finally my persistence paid off.  But unfortunately treatment was delayed for so long and now I have to deal with this arthritis.  It is very similar to RA and so is the treatment for it.

Nancy, my point here is, you know something is wrong with your body, that is the only opinion who counts and if you have to keep going to different Drs to finally get a dx.  And as my friends on the MS forum say, "You must persue those lesions!"  You could have MS or another mimic of it and you need treatment even if those Dr's of yours are being complete morons, try to go to another.  It is important, especially if you have MS because it is not something you want to go without treatment.

If you want you could post on that forum and they are a great bunch of people there and we have a wonderful Community Leader who is a retired physician.  They give me wonderful advice and have kept me sane when I was in LimboLand.  Hang in there, Sweetie.

152264 tn?1280354657
Hi Ada--thanks so much! Wow, you went through the diagnostic wringer for sure! Sorry to hear you have Still's disease, which I had never heard of before. It does not sound like much fun, to say the least. I'm glad you finally got a diagnosis and treatment.

I do actually read a couple of other MS forums, and although I don't read the one here regularly, I think you are talking about Quix? who has posted on one of the forums I've read. She is really helpful. So, I know about the supposed importance of "early diagnosis and treatment" of MS, but that doesn't seem to apply to people that the doctors have labeled as hypochondriacs. :)

However, my symptoms remain mild and under good control with some medications (except when something like this hip problem flares up, but usually these things go away after a few weeks or months and I forget I ever had them!). So, I'm not planning to pursue a diagnosis at this time, but if anything bad happens I will see a doctor. I just don't believe that I would get a firm diagnosis of anything at this point (and likely never will), and I don't want to risk a mushy or mistaken diagnosis or (MUCH worse) being painted as a hypochondriac again.

When you get to be my age (over 50), you just gotta expect things to start not working so well, especially when you add to the problem by being overweight, as I am. :) I am hopeful that the hip problem, whatever it is, will get better on its own.

Thanks much & good luck to you!

Nancy T.
422104 tn?1209763904
HI there, after reading your post it sounds like you are looking for answers.  I have to agree strongly with Ada on this one.   If you want answers and more importantly relief you need to find new doc's.   I think 90% of us on this forum and the MS forum have been to more doctors than you can imagine to finally get a dx.   I went through 3 doc's and a ton of my own research before getting the right answers.   Even after 4 years of being dx I am now in the process of getting a new rheumy because we disagree on the medication I am taking.    So when you are ready and willing to start again, don't give up!   Don't let anyone make you think you are a hypochondriac, if they do just write them off and find someone new. Best of luck to you and welcome to our forum.

152264 tn?1280354657
Thanks for the encouragement, Sue! Well, in the past nine years, for one thing or another (mainly dizziness and hearing loss), I've seen...

1 regular ENT
2 regular neurologists
1 neuro-otologist
1 oto-neurologist
2 ophthalmologists
1 neuro-ophthalmologist (called in by the ophthalmologist--not my idea)
1 rheumatologist
1 orthopedist/spine specialist
3 internists

'Nuff already!! :)

I've just decided to do the Taoist thing--like water running downhill... whatever happens, happens... there is no point in pursuing a diagnosis, only symptom management (and I DO try for that when necessary). If someday, somehow, that leads to some diagnosis or other, it'll happen; otherwise not.

The "hip" is already better today (but I was sitting a lot)--hopefully it will continue improving.

Best of luck to you both, and thanks again!

517981 tn?1216782018
Hi, this is one thing I do know about, if the knob is on the back side of your hip, directly below  your waist it sounds like bursitis.  I was recently in the hospital for bad back spasms and I have had a lump there for years. I have been told everything from fatty cysts to "nothing to worry about its normal. If it hurts its not normal. When the back surgeon came in to examine me she felt it and told me it was a bursa sac inflammed. I also had one directly in my hip joint. She injected them both the next day. It was relatively painless, cortisone mixed with novacaine. It releived the pain for about 2 months. Its back now and I need to have it done again. I am also overweight since my gall bladder surgery in Oct, which was screwed up. Now I have been diagnosed with gout in my knee and foot and they can't find out where its coming from.
I was also diagnosed with MRSA after being in the hospital.

As far as pain, when I sit on my left hip it causes pain, sitting at the computer for too long causes horrible hip pain. I can barely walk on my left leg, it feels like I wish someone could take my leg and hip off.

Let me know how it goes. Maybe a orthopedic surgeon can give you an injection. I also take Nuerontin (gabapentin) 600mg 3 times a day for pain and it seems to help.


152264 tn?1280354657
Hi Shannon, thanks. Sorry you've had such pain, not to mention infection and gall-bladder surgery! At least they found out the cause of your pain. Good luck with the new injections.

Fortunately my "hip" has gotten better and not worse in the last few days.

The problem was NOT in the back, it was right in front--you know that knob you can feel just below your waistline, on which women balance babies, it was around that.

517981 tn?1216782018
if the pain is in the front it can also be coming from your back. I constantly have pain on my left side in front of my waist I guess is the best way to describe it and in my groin. I always feel like my intestines or something are causeing problems but my surgeons say its radiating pain from the nerves in my back, L4 L5 S1 area. At its worst its like wearing a pain gurdle, I hope that makes sense.

I go in tuesday for yet another injection in my spine, #50 but I keep plugging away hopeing for a good result. I will probably get the bursa done again too.

152264 tn?1280354657
Thanks, Shannon... I do sometimes these days have a vague mild ache in the back area where I presume the sciatic nerve starts, and sometimes also in the area that I think is the hip joint itself, lower down, esp. after sitting for quite a while, but the "soreness" in the "knob" was only felt when I actually moved my leg or torso into certain positions. It wasn't painful while just plain sitting or standing.

Not to say that you aren't correct... I realize there can be referred pain from various structures and it's no doubt more complicated than I know! However it's MUCH better now, so I'll see what happens.

I am really sorry to hear you have constant pain. FIFTY injections!?!? Omigosh...

I hope it goes well for you on Tuesday and you get relief. Thank you much for the information!

Nancy T.
Avatar universal
Hi Nancy - I am new to this port and am 82 years old.  My weight is normal and I am in very good health other than very bad back and hips because of degenerative discs.  For the past year I have been seeing a  doctor at a Pain Clinic here and it has helped, but actually, nothing is going to "cure" these things.  However, I do have a few comments. First, no pain is going away if you are overweight with excess weight on those joints.  This isn't a condemnation, just fact.  Second, about the shots.  I too, have to have the cortison/novacaine injections every 3-4 months for the pain and it helps my sacro-iliac pain wonderfully.  BUT, it doesn't work on that right hip.  The doc says I have greater trocanter bursitis and I am sure he's right.  There are options for that, and here they are. This doctor is a wonderful and talented man and even gave me his personal email to get in touch if needed, so I trust him.  I go back in 2 weeks after the injections for follow up.  I am given IV sedation and sleep through it a little, very mild.

Try the stretches this doctor gives you every day a few times while watching this video.  Many of the stretches on youtube are dangerous, but this is a good one. ( I am a retired nurse, so trust me:-)... I have begun this, hoping it will help.

After much research, I am convinced that if the exercises don't work in a few months, I may have to have the ligament cut of some type of invasive stuff because like you, the pain is intense when I turn or twist or bend.

Last week I had my injections and he did two in the sacro-Iliac bones, and one in each periformis muscle, which he said seems to be the bigger problem.  

So you see, it can be the bursa, but it could be the periformis muscle, which is the one over the Sciatic nerve.

The last choice for this pain is what they call radio frequency ablation, or RFA, check it out on the web.  They go into those nerves and kill them for about a year ( they do return) and they can't get the message of pain to the brain, so pain gone.  I am trying that next.  Get a very good PAIN CLINIC if you can, not just regular doctors.

Here is the link to the video for the stretch.

Avatar universal
forgot to look a the date on this post - egads 2008!  If you are still suffering, my sympathies.
Avatar universal
No worries, valentine1932 - it's an old thread, but you provided some good information that others might make some use of now.  

If you want to start a new thread about this or any other arthritis-related topic, you can do so by clicking the "Post a Question" button at the top of the page.  

And welcome!

152264 tn?1280354657
Hi Valentine, thanks for the response. I got a notification by e-mail that someone posted on this thread... and wow, I had completely forgotten about that problem! It did go away and didn't come back. As these things do!

I'm still overall-achy (and Advil-addicted) and never got any diagnosis for all my symptoms, although I figured out on my own that the dizziness was migraine-related.

Thanks and best of luck to you. So sorry about your back and hip problems. Whatever problems in those areas that I have now tend to be relatively minor and due to too much lifting. I'm glad you have a good doctor that you can trust! Take care.

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