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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8629
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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My mom has been suffering from groin pain for over a year now.

Customer Question

My mom has been suffering from groin pain for over a year now. The biggest mystery is that it seems to be worsened by stress. It's only on one side. The pain cannot be "brought on" during physical exams. She did possibly injure the area about a year and a half ago stepping out of a cave tour at Old Man's Cave in KY. She does remember hearing a "pop". The problem is, she has had numerous xrays and MRI's that have not provided any useful information. We know she has what doctors have always called rheumatoid arthritis which mainly affects her knees. She has tried chiropractors, orthopedic doctors and her PCP. They have suggested pinched nerve in her spine, hip degeneration, infammatory arthritis. None of the prescription NSAIDS help her. We would appreciate ANY suggestions or help. Could she have a ligament tear/injury, could there be a fracture that went undetected, could she have inflammatory disease that needs a different type medicine....? Please help.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 3 years ago.

Which areas has she had MRI'd?

Which type of doctor has she seen?

When does the pain start?

What makes the pain better...or worse?

What blood tests has she had?


Where exactly does she feel the pain?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hip and lower back have been MRI'd

she's seen chiropractor, rheumatologist, orthopedic, and primary care

the main thing she can relate to when it starts is when she's under a lot of stress. other than that it just kind of comes when it wants to. they can never get one certain movement or activity to trigger the pain.

she's tried celebrex and she thought it was helping a bit at first but then she had a bad day and the pain was the same as always so nothing specific has been successful in helping her. she did get steroid inj from rheumatologist at one point at it helped slightly, i believe.

she's had a blood panel for rheumatoid but i think that's it. no one's ordered bloodwork.


she feels the pain in the "crook" of her groin...right at the top of her leg, kind of where your underwear or a bathing suit will fall.


something else we were wondering, could this be related to her medication Lipitor? i know its only in one leg but she says she does feel achy occasionally because she notices her whole body feeling better when she first take the just never helped the groin pain specifically.


any help you can offer, even if it's some other testing or type of md would be greatly appreciated. thi is affecting her quality of life.

Expert:  Pauline replied 3 years ago.

My apologies for not getting back to you sooner.


The first thing is that MRI is very sensitive at picking up soft tissue injuries such as torn ligament or ruptured muscles. A plain x-ray is best for bony injuries , although the hip can be tricky to fully visualize well on a plain x-ray in the lateral plain.


Pain in the groin is typically associated with referred pain from the hip, and I would have expected the x-ray to have shown changes such as osteoarthritis which we commonly see referred to the groin. It would also have shown some reduced movement or pain on movement when fully examined in all the directions of movement by an orthopedic doctor.


However a Bone scan may be helpful at picking up abnormalities that a plain x-ray cannot. But due to the radiation involved, her doctors need to be able to clinically justify the scan.


It is good that rheumatology blood work has been done. I also do not think it is related to the Lipitor as this would have shown continuous muscle pain.


What she seems to describe is a muscle spasm/cramp. I would suggest that she has blood test to look at her levels of potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphate to see if any abnormalities crop up.


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