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Spinal Fusion/Leg Weakness/Numbness

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Old 05-04-2010, 01:59 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1
nug24 HB User
Spinal Fusion/Leg Weakness/Numbness

I have two questions, one about my fiances situation and one for mine. If you have suggestions/advice for either of us I'd love to hear it.

Fiances Background:

My fiance is now ten months post-op of a spinal fusion surgery from her T7 vertebrae. After the initial (failed) surgery she lost all movement and feeling from the bust line down. Luckily after the second surgery (a week later) she regained movement but still has no feeling. I keep reading/hearing docs say it could take a year but the year is fast approaching and nothing has come back.

Questions for her:

1. She still has issues with her leg buckling. How long will this last? Anything we can do to stop the leg from buckling?
2. She has no feeling? Any suggestions to stimulate nerves. Or does anyone have experience with a spinal cord stimulator. Would this be something we should look at?
3. Does working out/Getting in shape help nerve regeneration? I know it helps strength, but will it also help nerves?

My Background:

For the last few years I have had tremendous back pain that comes and goes. Somedays it hurts so bad all I want to do is lie down, others I am fine. So it's not a constant pain, but I can't pinpoint it. Another issue that started a year ago is my legs (again not always but regularly) feel like they ran a marathon. They are just exhausted. I seen 2 neurologist and have had MRI's but nothing is showing in the images. And I am tired of hearing "we don't know what's wrong". It would be nice if I knew what causs the flare ups but I don't and some days I just get miserable

My Questions :

1. Has anyone else had these issues or back pain/exhaustion where nerve tests/and MRIs show nothing THAT out of the ordinary (there are minor bulging discs, but nothing they say should cause this much pain) - please don't reply with sympathy pain

Thanks in advance for your help

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Old 05-04-2010, 03:08 PM   #2
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Re: Spinal Fusion/Leg Weakness/Numbness

[COLOR="Navy"]I'm sorry for you two.

As far as your fiance goes. It does take a full year to heal from these surgeries. I lost use of my left leg when my back broke after my 3 level fusion. It's been 5 years since then and I still have areas that have no feeling. One thing that happens when they do two surgeries in a row like she-and I had- they have to recut the nerves and sometimes you never regain feeling. I lost feeling across my pelvic area across my back, my leg and areas on my thigh. My internist told me that if you don't have feeling back by the end of the first year you aren't going to get it back. So I wouldn't get your hopes up too high.

As far as her leg buckling, has she been in therapy to help with strengthening the muscles so they will support her? You might also try accupuncture. sometimes it will help with the nerve meridians and she might get some extra feeling from it. I went for a year and it did help. I hope that she has good therapy to also help her learn how to deal with the "dead" leg. A good PT can do wonders. It will help the muscles but don't count on the nerves.

What did her surgeon say about using a spinal cord stimulator? I haven't had any contact with them so I can't help you there...

good luck!


Old 05-05-2010, 08:24 AM   #3
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Location: england
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helenlegs11 HB User
Re: Spinal Fusion/Leg Weakness/Numbness

The back surgery will take a while to recover from, especially any nerve damage and loss of feeling.I have read it can take 18 months.I hope the feeling does return for her soon.
As for yourself check out PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME. The muscles in the back and pelvic area including the piriformis can spasm (one way the body has of saying STOP!) if there is sufficient reason or injury. The problem is that the sciatic nerve crosses this deep seated muscle in the buttock and if it is tight It can cause sciatic irritation and pain. Groin and hip pain are also symptoms. Sitting and walking ,especially up stairs or inclines can be uncomfortable. You Tube and/or google it for a bit more info. A physiotherapist can locate the muscle to ckeck for tightness and can usually release the muscle (not in my case, unfortunately)
You mentioned legs feeling tired I would say mine are more "heavy" than tired, but this is also one of a number, of piriformis related symptoms.
Take care both of you

Last edited by helenlegs11; 05-05-2010 at 08:31 AM.

Old 06-03-2011, 12:13 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: warner robins,georgia,USA
Posts: 16
bj08 HB User
Re: Spinal Fusion/Leg Weakness/Numbness

I have a spinal cord stimulator for chronic back pain. The odd thing is that my legs have become progressively weaker since I got it. I have read that there can be leg weakness as a result of spinal cord stimulator. But what bothers me most is that now my legs have progressed to the point where it feels like I have really been running and they are severely tired from the running-almost to the point of light cramping if I don't stop walking. And I don't like it that there is marked loss of feeling in my legs so that I am fearful of falling and feel clumsy. When I had a stress test they did fine. They have checked the blood pressure in all limbs and that was good too. I have some bulging discs and pars defect (? collapsing of vertabrae) but supposedly no spinal cord pressure from bulging discs...I never anticipated not being able to get around without a problem. Due to back and buttock pain (radiating to left hip)I can't stand or walk for any extended period of time. Talk about depressing...

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