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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  Medical Doctor (MD): Board-Certified Family Doctor
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Pain on the Left Side Above Waist

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I recently have developed pain on my left side just above my waist. It does not radiate anywhere and I do not have a fever or abnormal BM''s.

The pain extends very slightly toward my abdomen but is more above my waistline directly on the side of my body(left). It increases with walking and movement..On palpation it is very tender and sharp

What could this be? I was diagnosed with Chrons'' disease 20 years ago had surgery and have been in remission since...I have not experienced any abnormal bowel patterns? Can you help?


When EXACTLY did pain start?

Is it constant, or intermittent?

Do you feel any lump/swelling/mass when you palpate the site?

Any GI symptoms [gas, nausea, heartburn, bloating]?

Any urinary symptoms [frequency, burning, blood]?

Is it CLOSER to the side [just above hip], or closer to abdomen [more medial]?

Once you've answered these questions with clear, well-thought out answers, I will reply with my opinion. Your answers will enable me to get closer to an accurate assessment, which is critical to obtaining successful treatment or cure.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Steve's Post: It started 2 days ago when I sat down to lunch..I had a stabbing pain on the left side of my waist just above my hip bone...If I palpate just above the hipbone right on the side(left it hurts). The pain at first was constant and increased more with deep breathing,walking or movement...Now it is just aggravated with palpation if I lie flat on my back I can feel it more all the time(dull throbbing ache) and if I walk I feel it as a dull throbbing ache....I have no UTI symptoms...I have had some diarrhea off and on with increase gas but I am going in September for a colonoscopy...I have not had one for many years..No nausea no other symptoms..For the most part my BMS are normal....I do not feel any lumps or swelling on palpation....

Here are the MAJOR conditions I'm thinking of, based on the history given:

  • Left Kidney stone [perhaps LODGED in renal calyx or upper ureteral area], or Renal Colic
  • Recurring muscle spasms [of the deep muscle in that region]
  • Bowel pathology [eg. spastic colon; bowel distension with gas; or diverticulosis]

Given that--you really need to see a doctor [Internist or GI], for thorough physical exam, plus tests:

  • Complete GI physical
  • Urinalysis + Renal function tests
  • CBC
  • Abdomen xray [called KUB]
  • Ultrasound or CT scan of entire abdomen and flank areas

This is only way to elucidate the CORRECT diagnosis, which is always the first step to getting proper treatment.

Hope this helps

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Reply to Dr. Steve's Post: I dipped my urine at work and it was negative..Would a kidney stone or problem in that area be more in the flank area of the back..My pain is more on the side slightly inward toward the abdomen above the waist,left side...Also is this too far over for bowel problems...I have not had a period since February of this year..They have been sporadic for 2 or 3 year now...My initial US years ago and blood work showed I was pre-menapausal...Could this be ovarian related? A cyst? I had lifted a patient onto a stretcher just before the pain started and I wondered could this in fact be muscular or herniation?

One last thing why would the pain increase with certain sitting positions or lying positions and walking? If I am resting in a certain way or sitting it does not hurt but is stabbing on palpation.

1. A URETERAL stone could be in that location, or be 'referred pain'

2. Yes--a left ovrian cyst [or mass lesion] also would be in the 'Differential Diagnosis'

3. Not too far for bowel problem [some of your bowels do come very close to that location]

4. Certain sitting/lying positions tend to "scrunch up" or apply extra pressure to organs and nerves, thereby exacerbating the pain

5. Again--you need a Complete Exam and workup, as noted above [CT scan will be extremely helpful]

Dr Steve

Dr. Steve and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

It is very hard being a health professional(nurse)and not trying to negatively look at horrible things it could be...I was going to wait a week to see if muscular the pain would subside....Do you think this could be a mass(the ovarian part of the answer you stated) or are you referring to mass lesion as a cyst an not a CA? I guess you cannot see into my system obviously but have you ever run into similar situations with clients.

I am afraid to know what the outcome is.

I can sympathize with your angst [believe me--I've been there too: 'Med Student Syndrome'].

First--the 'ovarian pathology' option is just ONE of several possible conditions it could be; within that--an ovarian cyst[s] is much more likely than ovarian cancer; yet-ovarian cancer cannot be ruled out at this point. I do feel you should have an imaging study done: either U/S [you say last one was "years ago"] or CT/MRI scan to rule it out.

I see no problem with waiting this out for 7-10 days, to see if all resolves spontaneously.

Please feel free to recontact me afterwards.

Hopes and prayers that everything will turn out fine, [it usually does]

Dr Steve

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