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muscle atrophy

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Old 03-17-2006, 05:12 PM   #1
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,228
Sage48 HB UserSage48 HB User
muscle atrophy

Hello all, I have posted a couple of times in the past, but have been reading all of your posts. I am so sorry that we have back pain....for whatever reason, it is not a good thing.

I have a new question tonight. I have a lateral herniation at L4/5 and hypertrophy at L5/S1. As well as a bulge at L3/4.....I fell 3 1/2 years ago and hurt my back....(had an acdf at C5/6 2 years ago, also due to the fall. I have been having various treatments....epidurals, tranforminal epidurals, pain meds. etc...but my back is very unhappy. Low back ache - leg ache, intermittent numbness in foot...with pain along side of foot..needless to say, it has not been fun......

Today, my daughter was giving me a mild backrub and she said...Ma, your lumbar muscles have atrophy......(she is a paramedic....has been in for over 20 years) what does this mean....??? Have I lost my muscles? Is this due to the herniated disc?? Has anyone else had this problem?? This does not make me happy...I've been walking...but that makes my back and leg very unhappy. I've tried mild yoga...which I try to do...but again, at a cost.

If anyone else has had this problem...please let me know, and what you did to help it...

May you all have a comfortable night..

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Old 03-17-2006, 05:55 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,291
Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: muscle atrophy

It is a shame so many of us suffer with back problems. But lucky you, to have your own family member so knowledgable and able to help out with a massage.

Cannot say that I've had specific muscle atrophy due to my back problems. I do know that each of us respond differently, and that my own muscles can atrophy quite quickly. For instance, when I first crushed my arm about 30 years ago, when placed in a cast from the tips of my fingers to the shoulder right after surgery, that cast had to be removed only 4-5 days later. Non movement in that limb caused my arm muscles to atrophy quite rapidly and in those few days my hand and wrist were trying to draw downward in spite of the cast.

It was a fast lesson about why I should not ever be placed in a cast again. Had not considered that, but then perhaps that is why my spine specialist starts me on PT so quickly after each of my spine surgeries. Although he didn't work on my arm, he had asked me questions about other surgeries and was aware that I experienced that problem. It is often posted on the board where some docs haven't allowed PT for months after surgery, but my spine specialist always starts me on PT quickly.

It is certainly something you might should discuss with your spine specialist. Surely with having both C section and lumbar problems I would encourage you to be dealing with a true spine specialist and not a general ortho or general neuro surgeon.

Best wishes.

Old 03-17-2006, 06:55 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,228
Sage48 HB UserSage48 HB User
Re: muscle atrophy

Quietcook, thank you for your reply. I am sorry that you have had to go through so much. I am in Pain Management right now, and have been for the last year...had PT...made me hurt worse....the epidurals, which really did not help very much - the last one was the transformaminal epi, and that helped for a couple of weeks....have problems with medications, so I am now kind of stuck with hydrocodone 10/500...helps. but it wears off in about 4 hrs...can take up to 4 a day... heat and ice helps at times...
Am being referred to the Mayo clinic..waiting for an appt....
Just before I had the ACDF my arm had appeared approx. 15 months after my fall....but it has gone away...went to PT after surgery and do some of the exercises still.....
I think my lumbar muscles had had it with the herniated disc and stenosis...they are beginning to rebel...or rather go away..atrophy...
I am just amazed that the Dr.s/surgeons say wait, wait...wait....and then when stuff begins to atrophy...and we have suffered for years..then they say...oh you should have surgery...
In most of the articles I have read it says that to have the best chance of recovery, if therapy, epidurals etc. haven't worked, and you still have major should be done within 6 to 12 months at the latest...and yet, from what I've read on the boards.....we are waiting for years for help...
oh well....
I thank you for our speedy reply...and hope that you feel good for the least..!!!

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