It's going to be impossible to know why your legs hurt from here over the Internet, but considering you were told that there is a "malformation" in the lower back in the past, there is the possibility that they were talking about a "spondylolysis" - a slight issue in the bone of the back that can cause premature instability in the bones, and back and leg pains.
A MRI of the lumbar spine is needed for your diagnosis. If you haven't had one of those recently, then getting it would be very helpful. The "pinching" of the nerves in the lumbar spine can cause pain that radiates into the legs.
That is more guidance than I've ever had, thanks so much. I plan to follow up on the info & the MRI if they let me (I have metal staples in my abdomen from hysterectomy)... if not, is there another method of diagnosis?
If it is spondylolysis, can anything be done to correct it?
I also should have told you that it's in my lower legs more than the thighs.And the pain is not in the calf or the toes -as much as it is ON TOP of the leg & foot: i.e., the places you first would see if looking at me straight-on: the shins & top of feet.
It probably is really all radiating from the lower spine...the pain goes around the hips into the thighs -then, down the front of both legs. I don't know physiology, perhaps the nerve paths run this way?
For the pain my family MD has me on 3200 mg/day neurontin (with 200mg of Tramadol daily, 60mg Cymbalta and 4 Tylenol...) and it all does work well. I know the dangers of Tylenol but are any of these other meds dangerous over time?
That's 4 questions; I'll be sure to tip in quadruple:)
Metal staples from a surgery should not be a problem for a MRI.
Spondylolysis can create instability in the spine, and if that is found, and there is instability, many surgeons would suggest a fusion surgery (screws and rods used to help stabilize the spine, and prevent "pinching" of the nerves in the lower back).
Of course, this really depends on the MRI results.
The top ofthe leg, the shins, and the top of the feet are highly characteristic of L5 nerve pain. Different nerves go into different places, but if you look at a human dermatome map, the L5 nerve would seem to fit:
Those other medications you mention aren't typically associated with common known long term risks, but certainly, any medication over time could be an issue (but maybe minor ones, or ones we don't know yet).