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Sports Medicine

Leg Pain

04/25/2011

Question:

I have a sharp pain below my right knee on the right side of my leg that`s been bothering me for l 1/2 months now. the doctor said that the nerves in my leg might be inflammed. Now the pain is beheind my right knee too. I`ve tried icing it and taking naproxen as prescribed by the doctor. nothing is working. I even got a MRI. the results were negative. my leg is still hurting me. what is wrong with my leg?

Answer:

Although it is not clear that your question relates to sports participation or injury, hopefully the following information may be of some benefit.

In response to your question "what is wrong with my leg?", a diagnosis and treatment plan must be based on a medical history and physical examination, and possibly also such diagnostic studies as imaging (X-rays, MRI scans, etc. which evaluate structure) and/or electrodiagnostic studies (electromyography and nerve conduction studies, which evaluate nerve and muscle function), among other testing which can be done.

Pain in your leg can be "referred" from your knee, but also, referred from your lower back, such as when there's nerve irritation in your lumbar spine (lower back). If the MRI scan you underwent was of your leg or knee but if your pain was actually referred from your lower back, an MRI scan of the leg or knee wouldn't show the problem.

You should ask your doctor to explain in more detail why the nerves in your leg may be inflamed, is there any other testing necessary, what can be done to resolve your condition as soon as possible, and whether referral to a physician specialist would be helpful.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University