At the times I feel the most weakness in my legs, I often also feel something like a wide band of weakness around and just below my waist. Associated with this feeling is a feeling of shortness of breath. I'm not explaining this well. I'm wondering though, if this is associated with spinal stenosis, DDD, and lumbar disk problems. Do any of you understand what I'm trying to describe and do or have any of you experienced this?
I[I] think[/I] I know what you mean. I had similar weakness in my legs and in my hips.... lots of pain in the hips.... felt like my hip joint was really spazzing out and the leg bone was being shoved out of the socket, up to my arm pit. I felt the shortness of breath for quite a while until I realized I was holding my breath because of the pain. I fell many many times; couldn't pick my legs up high enough. Come to find out it was stenosis of L4-S1 and spondylolisthesis of L4-L5; had a fusion and laminotomy right away. Hope this helps. I know it's really difficult describing pain and weakness sometimes. Doctors thought I was nuts when I told them my hips were being shoved up to my arm pits!
I am 11 days post op and seem to be doing amazingly. I have been up and about for a total of 8 hours today doing sitting, standing and lying. Prior to surgery i had not experienced what you describe above. I am now experiencing just that.
My legs are very weak and my buttocks are extreamly sore and weak and yes that area below my pelvis, around where the coccyx and S1 may be is sore.
I m seeing my doctor again on Monday and I am going to ask about this. Surely we are experiencing different things because i am post op and you are pre though i am fairly sure this is all nerve related. Do you get that nerve pain that is just so hard to explain.. I honestly have so much trouble trying to explain to people what nerve pain feels like. It just shoots everywhere...dull ache here..shooting pain there...tingling in feet by the time you have told someone the location of one of these sensations its gone... somewhere else.
I'm sure this has not really been of much help though really i do believe that when the pain goes to the legs and below the pelvis we are talking nerve interuption somewhere along the line..
Stillwater--I think I know what you mean. I had a myelogram yesterday, and felt almost exactly as you described the first time they tilted me upright to get the dye moving. I assume because of compression as it was moving through. The area from butt down to thigh was suddenly both weighted and painful....leaden-feeling. Luckily this got better when I was horizontal again and then wore off. But it sounds very much like exacerbated stenosis.
Last edited by standingman; 11-08-2003 at 02:07 PM.
[QUOTE=standingman] The area from butt down to thigh was suddenly both weighted and painful....leaden-feeling. Luckily this got better when I was horizontal again and then wore off. But it sounds very much like exacerbated stenosis.
Yes, weighted or leaden is a good way to describe it. I don't know if the out of breath feeling is that I'm holding my breath due to pain, or if the compression somehow affects the breathing capacity or diaphragm (although I can't imagine how it would).
With the myelogram I had, it was extremely painful when they put me in an upright position and for a while afterward, due to the due trying to get through. I don't think I'm a wuss about pain, but that pain was some of the most painful I've ever felt, including labor pains. And moving at all made it even more painful. Lying on my back with my knees drawn up to my stomach made it slightly less extreme. And then finally I was able to lie flat for the CT scan.
this is what I feel now:
hip pain around coccyx (tail bone)
muscle leg pain
every now and then buttock pain
top of food pain and hills
and every now and then tingling of toes (very minor)
Before surgery: all these symptoms were unbearable. I was soooo miserable.
After surgery: got a LOT better. However, second month post/op it turned scary. I really wondered if surgery was the right decision. Started going swimming, eventho I was in pain. It really helped. Started reducing pills like crazy.
at almost 4 months post/op, I only take a painkiller when I need it, perhaps every 4 or 5 days (I cut the pill in half to tease myself). Sometimes the symptoms come back (very lightly) but will go away, not enough pain to take a painkiller.
Before surgery: I was taking a cocktail of painkillers, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxant, sleeping pills, you name it.
After surgery: Took about 8 vicodin a day, started reducing gradually. Swimming really helped. Second month got kind of scary... I wondered. By the third month I was taking one vicodin a day and every now and then Vioxx. Going through the fourth month and I take a painkiller every 4 to 5 days... .Much better. Fifth month seems to be looking up, still some discomfort but I can go through life like this. I am very positive it will keep getting better.
The pain/weakeness I am experiencing feels like this: You know when you have your blood pressure checked and they inflate that cuff and when it gets to the maximum inflation it begins to ache a little? Well that is how both my legs feel from the knees down. On top of that (and not that i exactly know) but it feels like a stabbing pain. It is very random too. When people ask me to describe it I can't, or it takes me ages to do it. It comes and goes so quickly and randomly though the deaden weighted feeling is always there.
When i am in bed my legs are the hardest thing to move, it's almost as if they are not attached. They feel so heavy like lead. My reflexes are all fine though so it would seem there is no damage.
The pain/weakeness I am experiencing feels like this: You know when you have your blood pressure checked and they inflate that cuff and when it gets to the maximum inflation it begins to ache a little? Well that is how both my legs feel from the knees down.
The comparison of the blood pressure cuff is a good one. I think that would describe what I feel in my lower right leg at times. My left foot and lower leg is more numb all the time. I'm hoping there isn't so much nerve damage that it will stay that way.
The weighted feeling I was originally trying to describe is around and just below my waist, and makes me feel out of breath if I'm walking up stairs or walking very far. I finally reached around to feel where that is on my back and it's my lower back where it aches at times. (I guess it aches there a little most of the time, but my legs hurt so much more, that I tune out the pain in my back.) I can't understand why it makes me feel out of breath. The pain isn't that bad, just the heaviness.
When I try to roll over in bed, there is a lot of pain in my hips and thighs. But they hurt laying still, too. It will feel like it will surely hurt less if I turn over, but turning hurts so much it hardly seems worth it.
I was thinking about responding to your note on the other thread (good fusions) , when I saw this. I'll see you over there later!
I understand what you are talking about and describing in terms of your pain.
Don't take my word for it but in an attempt to answer your out of breath question, i'll give you my insight. I also apologise if you already know this.
I believe that the reason you are out of breath is because your muscles in and around your lower back are working so hard to stabilise and do the extra work of those muscles that are now so fatigued, that they require a hell of a lot more oxygen than per usual. Oxygen is transported to the muscles via the blood and the blood saturates the muscles. The heart which distributes the blood then gets the signal that there is not enough oxygen in the blood for the muscles to cope and therefore sends the message to your brain to tell your lungs 'hey we need more air', hence why you may be experiencing shortness of breath.
I am worried about the amount of pain you're experiencing in your legs - its nerve pain alright and it doesnt sound good. What's your position on the latest news from this surgeon? I think the sooner the better as it sounds as though the nerves are not in a good situation.
Thank you for the explanation about the muscles, oxygen supply, etc. I hadn't even thought about that, but it makes sense.That helps me understand a little better what might be going on.
I'll keep this short, after writing a really long reply to you over on the other thread. I lost the first one, but came back and wrote it again later. I like the new boards, but if you dont' do things quite right, they can quickly snatch back what you just wrote! LOL