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Is it lumbar or cervical? HELP


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Old 09-05-2006, 05:02 PM   #1
Janatee
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Is it lumbar or cervical? HELP

Hello All. I had a lumber laminenactomy in 9/03. That did work, BUT... in the last year, my left leg feels like lead.. I can't walk right, I stumble, a few toes on the left foot curl. I have good days and bad ones. It seems that when I lay on my left side I can almost feel my foot and leg return to normal. To me, this sounds like a disc moved and the pressure is off, untill I stand up again. Now, I did have this problem with the left leg, but not this bad, BEFORE the operation, but after it went away. I had all this done in NJ. Since then we have moved to SC. I saw a Neuro and after 2 MRI's with contrast, he feels this is coming from my neck.... I do know I have a bad neck, such as 2 hernia ted disc, but it sure feels like the stiff ness and the numbness in the leg and now the other leg, happen more when I BEND to much from the waist, OR stand and sit way too long?
Has anyone out there have these leg symptoms, and have you found out just what is the cause. Before I commit to a neck operation, I am having another MRI done, but this one is a special type. Its made by a company named
FONAR... Any one heard of this???? You can look this up on the net. Its really a neat machine. You can stand, sit, bend, lay down, AND if you sit you get to watch TV. YES....no closed in tube! I have to be drugged just to enter one of these lovely machines. So the nearest one to me in SC, is in Atlanta GA. I'm 3 hours away, but will go. And have the neck and back and lumbar all done at one time. Then I will feel better to know just what is going on, before I proceed.
Just really would love to hear from others who have this problem with their leg, or legs. This is now moving over to the right leg. I walk with a cane now, for I do not have good balance. Hope to hear! Thanks for listening....Janatee

 
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Old 09-05-2006, 05:55 PM   #2
nero
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Re: Is it lumbar or cervical? HELP

Hi there,

It is really tough to figure out the origin of the symptom but having had spinal cord injury that resulted in ACDF c-5-6 with plate and bone and an l5-S1 injury necessitating a microdisectomy, I can sympathize. My neck injury caused l'hermittia being pins and needles, electric shock to my body overall. Especially when I laughed, coughed or sighed. As well cervical injuries with spinal cord compression can affect bowel and legs most definitely. I have stumbled and had trouble with my gait at times but since surgery about two years past it had gotten better. Unfortunately mine was complicated by the herniated disc low down in my spine and that has caused me numb legs, heavy legs, missing the step, sharp pain in big toe, unbelievable incontinence problems which are horribly difficult to predict and necessitate deciding what to eat three days before an event I want to attend. So....yes to your answer, have your MRI done. Remember however, the problem with discs is that the inflate and deflate sometimes looking somewhat tolerable in an MRI. Then the next day you put out the garbage, or sneeze or sit too long in the drivers seat and you exacerbate it and the darn nerve is ready to be surgically removed by oneself. I went four months waiting for an MRI only to be told it was probably the adjacent nerve root and not the cord. When the MRI came back it was a sizeable herniated sequestered disc, meaning broken into pieces lodged against and compressing my spinal cord. As well the c6-7 was bulging but not enough to compress that part of the cord, so unfortunately my docs at the time chose to leave it. The pain was out of this world and I still managed to be brave and try to run a daily existence. The wonderful physiatrist who made me wait that long, didn't take my tears which I don't usually elicit, seriously, and sugggested I do Pilates. Can you imagine what that would have done. I now live with compression on the bulging disc and have to wait till this one blows out enough to have surgery again. I have learned to AVOID woman doctors through all this... not to stereotype ..but they hate seeing another woman complain/cry and although I was raised to be a brave soldier, the pain I suffered was worse than what I had to go through trying to deliver my first child that died before birth. So don't take any guff from them -you know what you feel....a nosebleed gets more sympathy because most people including gp's are so undereducated when it comes to the spine they will see if you can touch your toes, and if you can...guess what...you really are okay RIGHt??? Most gps get 24's hours tops of nutrition schooling so God help us all when it comes to the spinal cord and how it works and just what the pain threshold must be like for them to comprehend.

ADVOCATE,INVESTIGATE, MEDICATE when you need it and get the help you deserve. I am rooting for you ..

You go girl

Nearly new Nero,,,,,still trying....

Last edited by nero; 09-05-2006 at 06:04 PM.

 
Old 09-06-2006, 10:19 AM   #3
Janatee
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Re: Is it lumbar or cervical? HELP

Thanks Nero for the reply. Its always nice to hear from others who can guide you and just listen. I will try to keep my chin up and do whatever I can to move forward with this, and maybe one day, I'll be back to my normal self! I can only pray. Thanks again. You take care and let me know how you make out. Janatee

 
Old 09-06-2006, 11:14 AM   #4
sunshine221
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Re: Is it lumbar or cervical? HELP

Nero - thanks for the inspiration - I just past my one year mark and still have gait issues - otherwise better than a year ago. You give me hope that I can improve still into this second year.

Janatee - I was having problems with knee pain (doc couldn't find anything wrong), that got better and then I developed walking problems. I wasn't in pain, so I procrastinated - but was finally diagnosed with spinal stenosis (compressed cord) in my C-spine. Three docs, plus a chiro all told me that this can be related to the gait issues. I had a laminectomy last sept. A year later I have better balance, less episodes of tremors in my and foot, neurological weakness is reduced and reflexes are better, but I still don't walk properly. At least I'm not paralyzed which was a risk if I didn't have surgery.

Before surgery and even right after, people would look at me and say I have a "dropped foot", but then they'd examine me and see I had full control of the foot - the brain just wasn't/isn't sending the right signals for walking.

Good luck through your diagnostic process.

Last edited by sunshine221; 09-06-2006 at 11:18 AM.

 
Old 09-06-2006, 12:10 PM   #5
Janatee
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Re: Is it lumbar or cervical? HELP

Thanks Sunshine.. I also had the spinal stenosis. And after the operation, now all this only double. The left leg is the worse. And when I get up in the morning, I have to stand and wait till the leg stops jumping and going stiff. What a mess, but I KNOW there are people with worse problems then mine. I thank God each day I can walk, even with the cane... I will keep on this and find out just what is going on. Then on to a fix (I hope). Thanks again...Janatee

 
Old 09-07-2006, 12:13 PM   #6
sunshine221
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Re: Is it lumbar or cervical? HELP

As one of the regulars on this board has said, we get used to "a new normal"

I don't use a cane (probably should have when my balance was way off before surgery), but my walking definitely appears to be "off".

I hate it when well meaning people say "my you are limbing" or "you must be in pain" (I'm not) -- I never quite know what to say and it does depend who says it -- sometimes I shrug it off, sometimes I explain and sometimes I reply somewhat sarcastically "well I had surgery a year ago and I'm better than I was then"

I live in a pretty small town. If I lived in a bigger city where parking was tighter, I'd probably get a handicapped permit.

I do hope that you can get your problems (easily) fixed.

_Gloria

 
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