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no physical reason for pain

My 11 year old son injured his lisfranc ligament back on March - it has since healed however for the past week and half he is has excruciating pain in the same spot on his foot. We have seen 3 orthopedist this week, had a xray, nucelar bone scan and blood work. Everything appears perfectly normal except that he is still in severe pain. Nothing helps, heat, cold, motrin, tylenol with codeine. Today had novacaine injected in the exact sopt on his foot yet he is still complaining of severe excruciating pain. We now believe it is psychological however the pain is very much real to him and he does believe it is in his head (so to speak) - I was told to take him to a psychiatrist but he is adamant that the pain is not in his head.  He is depressed and miserable - what do I do?
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356518 tn?1322263642
Take his word that he is in pain and keep looking for the answer. I know it is very frustrating to keep hearing nothing is wrong but the alternative is to give up and that is not an option. I would have him see a psychologist just to rule that out and then go from there.
When your child is in pain it is very hard to deal with and it makes you feel so helpless. I understand that as a Mom and I am sorry your son is having so much pain and your feeling like there's nothing you can do. Just keep looking and searching for the answer:)
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Avatar universal
If your son says he has pain believe him. I been in pain for the last 3 years and believe me it's real. they took a mri on my ankle and could not find anything. I know the pain is real I feel it everyday. something's you just can't explain. Be careful with those injections. I had an injection in my ankle and the pain got worst.
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547368 tn?1440541785
Hello Chops and welcome to the Pain Management Forum.

I agree with Sandee and Eve. Can you imagine how frustrating (and depressing) it is to have pain and no one believes you, not even your mother? It is important that you support him and not take the side of the physicians at this point.

You did not mention a MRI or a CT has he had either? Has he seen a Foot and Ankle Surgeon?  Anyone who has symptoms of a Lisfranc injury should see a foot and ankle surgeon right away. Arthritis and problems with foot alignment may develop. In most cases, arthritis develops several months or longer following a Lisfranc injury, requiring additional treatment.

I encourage you to locate a large teaching medical complex, such as a university hospital and find a foot and ankle surgeon associated with the facility. So many of us were not believed for years. When my SI Joint condition was finally diagnosed too much damage had been done for too many years for any treatment to be successful. Help your son discover the source of his pain.    

Good luck to you and your son. The process of searching for a reason may not be easy but please keep looking. It is obvious that you are concerned. You've taken him to 3 physicians and now have come here. Please let us know how he is doing.

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Avatar universal
I concur.  

Take your child's word for it and persevere with more detailed study. A friend of mine went through every scan and test for back pain, and it was only an MRI (several years later) that showed enough resolution to detect compression of the spinal column. X-rays etc missed it. Another friend once had a chipped bone in the heel. It migrated over time and eventually resulted in severe pain. An ankle sprain as part of the same injury event meant that initially the sprain pain and recovery masked the bone fracture. The doctors thought he was exaggerating - until a more thorough examination was done.

All the best,

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775302 tn?1253100505
I don't want to sound like a broken record here but Please, beleive your son even if you don't. Sometimes, as humans we don't beleive what we can't see and we tend to beleive other popele with " degree's" on their walls before our own family and friends. You sound like a wonderful mother who is trying very hard to help her son and you should know that. There are many many conditions that are hard to diagnose but treatable if caught in time. You just can't give up. I told my doctors for several years that I was in pain and they kept telling me it was due to a previous condition I had and I should just deal with it. It made me so mad and even a little emarrassed so I stopped going to doctors for almost a year. Finally the pain was so unbearable I made a last ditch effort and begged my GP to take me seriously, he sent me to a specialist who with only a few tests was able to diagnose and begin treatment.

Not all doctors know the same things and depending on who you see they tend to only think about their specialty. If you see a neurologist, they are going to think is HAS to be neurological. If you see a podiatrist he will only think feet ( even if the pain is in the foot it may not be where he/she should be looking for a reason. You need to find a doctor who is willing to  think outside the box. It is harder then you can imagine to find that special doctor but you will. Don't give up. you are not alone. and this experience will bring you and your son closer together. Especially if he knows you are not only on his side but that you believe him as well.

Best of Luck
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Avatar universal
I would believe him like the rest have said.  I have been dealing with chronic pain since a car accident in 2000 and unexplained sickness as long as I can remember, which caused me to miss alot of school.  Until this year there has been no physical reason for the pain in my neck and numbness in my right arm.  I only have a bulge between c5 and c6 and have been told by some that this does not cause pain.  I also have been dealing with depression for along time.  recently I found a psyciatrist and am also seeing a cousler there.  Today i saw them and the counsler told my that trama induced psycological pain is just as real as physical pain.  I was recently taken off my pain meds and still have not found the right medication for my depression in 10 years.  Anyways this counsler told me about a way to release the trauma induced pain if that is what it is .  She said there are these handles, connected to some machine that she has you hold on to, she asks you to think about the traumatic event and then she makes the makes the handles vibrate and has you tell here exactly what thoughts you are having. Somehow this will release the trauma which is stored in the creativity and emotional part of the brain.  I do not know exactly how this works but I am scheduled to have it done in 2 weeks I assume it does not happen in one session but again I don't know exactly until I have it done.  I do not know if this is what is going on with your son but if he is very depressed it would not hurt to see a counsler.  I have never heard of this before and do not know if every counsler knows about it.  She explained to me that a man one day became paralyzied from the knees down.  He could not walk and had no feeling, he saw many doctors and there was no physical reason for the paralysis.  He went through this procedure and gained the feeling back and could walk again.  He was in a war when he was young and had walked through ice cold water, later in life something triggered this traumatic memory and that is when he became paralyzed.  If the doctors cannot find a physical reason it would not hurt to find someone who believes that no matter what kind of pain it is, it's real. I have done nothing but cry the last 5 days since false results was cause to take my pain meds away until I talked to her. I now feel as if there is hope and I hope that you can find someone like this for your son if no doctor can find a physical reason for the pain.  It does not sound like you will give up and I wish I would have had a mother like you when I was little.  I thought that because this pain and numbness woke me up at night I thought it couldn't possibly be all in my head but after talking with her it kind of makes sense.  Not that its all in my head b'c I don't consciosly think about it, but are brain works in mysteriously strange ways that is not our choice.   I hope you do not take anything I have said negatively b'c I hope that your son will get better soon and live a happy pain free life. Prayers for your son and you.
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