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Left Flank Pain - 2 Years - Undiagnosed

Hi everyone. I'm 20 years old and since May of 2007, I've had chronic pain in the left flank area of my back, which has only worsened with time. I can provide more information after collecting my medical history but this is what I know without terminology. There are other problems that have been discovered through trying to find a diagnosis which may be related but have not been thought to share a connection by my physicians.

It started suddenly with no injury or obvious cause. The day after the doctors visit I went on vacation for a week and a half, where the pain didn't present itself. A few days after I got home, the pain returned and has been going steady for the last two years. I saw a chiropractor and massage therapist for six months, twice a week each. They said I had thoracic outlet syndrome which was causing my arms and hands to go numb frequently, but once treatment was complete, the numbness went away but the pain in my back did not. I've also seen a ob/gyn who suspected endometriosis because it runs in my family. A laproscopy was performed, examining all reproductive organs and no sign of damage or disease was found. In conjunction with the flank pain, I would have pain over my left ovary and sometimes my right, that would worsen in reaction to my back pain worsening, but would never cause the back pain to worsen in reaction to it. I've had a history of ovarian cysts which were found to be unrelated, but recently, I've been having the pain specifically over my left ovary and when getting a sonogram, no cysts are found, though the pain over my ovary continues. Afterwards, I saw two urologists. When I was six years old, a vein wrapped around my ureter causing my left kidney to swell and be unable to filter correctly. They did a reconstructive surgery and solved the problem when I was six. Because of the pain area in question presently, and my history of kidney issues, it seemed like the likely cause of my pain. Through my new urologists, I've had 3 or 4 IVPs, and two cystoscopies. The first one was outpatient surgery where they placed a temporary stint in the left kidney. In the few days following the placement of the stint, the pain subsided greatly, but then worsened. The second cystoscopy was an inpatient surgery with hospital recuperation of a week and home recuperation of 3 weeks where they placed a stint that was to stay in for a month. This time, the pain didn't recede at all, but worsened substantially. Before this surgery, the pain was about a 5 out of 10, after the surgery it was a 8 out of 10 at the very least, without pain medication. On the IVPs before the surgeries, my left kidney was functioning completely, just slowly. After the surgery, its functioning increased greatly, so it doesn't seem like the pain increased because of something wrong with the surgery. I've had two MRIs, one of my lumbar spine and one of my brain. The lumbar MRI found a torn disc, but they said it wasn't the likely cause of the pain because it wasn't the right disc. The brain MRI showed I had a swollen petuitary gland, but that it also didn't seem to be the cause. In a blood lab test, my d-dimer was positive, and I was sent to the ER to check for clots. I had a CT scan and none were found so I was released. The MRIs and CT scans were over a year ago. The last surgery (the inpatient cystoscopy was August of 2008). Since then, I've been seeing a Pain Management Specialist and getting trigger injections, but am receiving no relief. I am on Darvocet 100 w/apap 650 tabs every four hours and meloxicam which brings my pain from a 9 out of 10 to a 7 out of 10. I choose to be on darvocet because of the duration of my pain as I dont want to become addicted to narcotics.

I forgot to mention that the pain is very sharp, in one specific spot about 2 square centimeters and sometimes feels as though its burning, like icy hot is circling around that spot, internally. Moving, standing or sitting in a specific position, or rest does not affect it. With pain medication its at a constant 6 out of 10, which sharp spikes of pain (10 out of 10) that over an hour or two slowly return to a 6 out of 10. It hurts so badly that I would be crying constantly were I not used to it. I catch myself holding my breath to get through the pain.

Any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you for your time!
2 Responses
Avatar universal
I feel your pain louise. I have had a left flank pain for 6 years now that recently will no longer go away. Dr's have run so many tests and cannot seem to find the source of my problem. Since May my pain has been constant and is like a fist in my back when its a 5 out of 10 and a knife when 8 to 10 out of 10. Next week I go to stanford for a capsule endoscopy and a few other test of my GI track. Oh, I've had all the other GI tests. 3 colonoscopies, MRI's, CT scans, you name it. Over the course I've given so much blood. Nothing has ever com back as a cause. So, the drs at my regular medical facility have given up on me. They don't even really like my calls.
Anyway, I wanted to let you know I feel your pain and seems there is no end to this madness.
Hugs to your bravery.
Neil
Avatar universal
Did you ever figure out what is wrong?  I am having very similar symptoms and am curious.
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