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Old 09-21-2003, 07:04 AM   #1
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ChristinaD HB User
Post Is this leg weakness normal after a discectomy

I am 2.5 weeks post op from a discectomy and removal of a bone spur and I am still having loss of leg strength and weakness and very tight muscles. I wonder if this is normal. I have been walking a couple times a day now as my doctor told me to start off small and build myself up. I just can't stand how weak my legs are though, especially the effected side. Is this normal and will my leg strength come back???

Christina [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]
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27 years old
1993: T1 to L1 fusion due to scoliosis at age 17
2000: Tore and ruptured L4 L5 & L5 S1-it finally got better after about a year. Did really well for about a year.
June 2002: Had a relapse and tore/ruptured disc again.
Now I'm 14 months into it and the pain is still there.
Can't deal with it anymore so I'm having a discectomy in Sept. Hoping and praying that it takes care of my problems!!

 
Old 09-21-2003, 08:35 AM   #2
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oakleygirl HB Useroakleygirl HB Useroakleygirl HB Useroakleygirl HB Useroakleygirl HB Useroakleygirl HB Useroakleygirl HB Useroakleygirl HB User
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Christina-
Take it easy. You are not even halfway through the healing process. Nerves take a long time to heal. Remember, those problems did not come on overnight, and they will not heal overnight. Is the nerve pain better than before surgery, though?

Good Luck

O'Girl

 
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Old 09-21-2003, 09:09 AM   #3
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A related question, Christina. Did you have any weakness in that leg prior to your surgery? Was there any evidence (from emg, etc.) of nerve damage prior to surgery?

Even if the answers are "no," my understanding is that surgery itself can cause enough irritation that, for a while, nerves are further "upset." As O'Girl says, it may take several months to see how things develop. This is true of many other kinds of surgery too. I had some minor abdominal surgery last year that left some numbness. But things did go back to "normal"
after a few months.

Hang in. But certainly consult with your docs, too, if you haven't, about this question.

Best to you,

Standingman

 
Old 09-21-2003, 02:34 PM   #4
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ChristinaD HB User
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Hi guys,
Occassionally I had some weakness in my leg when I had a flare before surgery. Right now, it's like my leg muscles are weakened themselves. I 'think' it is getting better each day. It is hard to tell right now. I just think that your probably right, I still needs lots of time to heal. It just get annoying when your legs start tiring so soon and get weak.

Love and prayers,
Christina [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]
__________________
27 years old
1993: T1 to L1 fusion due to scoliosis at age 17
2000: Tore and ruptured L4 L5 & L5 S1-it finally got better after about a year. Did really well for about a year.
June 2002: Had a relapse and tore/ruptured disc again.
Now I'm 14 months into it and the pain is still there.
Can't deal with it anymore so I'm having a discectomy in Sept. Hoping and praying that it takes care of my problems!!

 
Old 09-21-2003, 10:35 PM   #5
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Location: usa
Posts: 62
ricebird HB User
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To Christina:

Sorry to hear about the weakness.

I went through the same thing with microdiskectomy. Extreme weakness in one leg. I was unprepared for it. The sugeon was such I jerk that I never got any answers at all about it.

In a way, my situation was worse because I think the doctor tried to cover up the damaged nerve by causing me to bleed internally. They he blamed the pain I had as a result of it on my activity level. (though my activity level was close to comatose after the surgery.

But in any case, I'm 3 months from my surgery and my leg is getting stronger, with the help of good physical therapy. It's taking a lot of work on my part. The P.T. is really training me to do the right exercizes to strengthen all of my muscles, back, legs, stomach, shoulders, the works.

If you get good physical therapy for sure you should get stronger. My primary doctor wound up in a wheelchair after his back surgery and today he walks with a limp, but he's walking! So keep up your hope.

By the way, I have been told by several people that the sooner you start physical therapy the better. Keeps scar tissue to a minimum. Don't be afraid of P.T., the first few exercises are done in bed with minimal movement.

It will take time. You will get stronger. As for the weakness being normal? I don't call it normal. But obviously this happens some times.

If you are not comfortable with the explanations your surgeon gives you, get another one, but don't tell the second one who did the surgery, otherwise you'll just get second hand treatment, a different doctor, but the same treatment, just as you would have if you stay with the original doctor. These guys stick together! If the first has anything to hide, then the second doctor will help the first hide it.

Good luck, Ricebird

 
Old 09-22-2003, 08:59 PM   #6
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To Christina;

Just wanted to know how you are doing? I hope you are not having pain with the weakness. I feel for what you are going through. It's scary when the legs don't work well.

My leg took about 3 months before it started to show some improvement and I still have a long way to go.

What did your doctor say about it? Has he given you a time frame of when it might start to improve?

Ricebird

 
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