Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Please help me get a diagnosis ! Spine/bone pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 9 Replies
  • Posted By: genesmasher
  • December 28, 2009
  • 04:28 PM

40 year old male, 5'9", 175 lb. I am in a lot of pain, especially at night/ in the morning – mostly lumbar and thoracic spine (radiates around as well), also somewhat less – neck, sternum, ankles, other joints. All joints “click”. Lately, in the morning my hands are numb and tingling, but that usually goes away in a few minutes after waking up and moving around. I also have this constant high-pitched ringing in the left ear (only, right is fine).

All these symptoms began about four months ago. My prior medical history includes UTI followed by chronic prostatitis in 2006-07. Took several long courses of levaquin/cipro for that, finally got rid of it, for the most part. After taking the last course of antibiotics (Feb 2008) started having joint pain - mild at first, but slowly progressing - knees, elbows, wrists. General feeling of fatigue, inflammation (no fever though). Caused me to stop exercising (soccer), which I did for 30+ years with no prior issues. Went to see two rheumatologists over the last 18 months, did all sorts of tests - bloodwork for lupus, RA, inflammation, infection, PSA, blood culture - all negative or normal. Did X-ray and MRI of SI joints for spondyloarthritis - negative. HLAB27 - negative. Full body nuclear bone scan - normal. Of all the tests, my liver enzymes are elevated a little (ALT 88 - doctors say it may be my norm), lymphs (50%, but WBC 7000), slight vit-D deficiency (10-20% below norm) and mild degenerative disc disease at L4/L5 (apparently 90 % of people have). Last prescription was sulfasalazine, which is when I developed ringing in the ear problem. Stopped the med, but it didn't go away (three months now), so it may not be related to the drug. Seeing and ENT for this next week. Before sulfa, tried Elavil (helps to sleep, but doesnt take away the pain), Celebrex (minimal effect).

Basically, after doing all this testing, nobody seems to have a clue what is wrong with me. Suggestions were - fibromyalgia (it is the bones/joints that hurt, not muscles !), reactive arthritis (hense sulfa) - ruled out with MRI of SI's. This really makes me miserable - cant sleep well, and during the day feel pain as well, although a little less... :( I really don't want to just take pain killers all the time - they don't work 100% anyway - I want a diagnosis. Any ideas?.. Any specific imaging or other tests that might clarify this ?

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