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Calf and knee pain from back?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and am hoping someone can educate me. The following are the results of my MRI taken in January of this year. Grade I spondylolisthesis related to facet arthrosis at L4-5; Disk bulging from L2-3 through L5-S1; accompanied by disk hydration loss at L3-4 through L5-S1. They say there is no herniated disk. The facet arthrosis involves L3-4 through L5-S1. My lower back does hurt some but it is my left knee, the kneecap and behind the knee that hurts, my left calf and my foot also hurts. My calf literally hurts so bad at night that it keeps me awake. My question is: Is this pain in the calf and knee coming from the above results or can it be something else with the leg?
I have had the nerves in my leg tested and they are ok; I had a circulation test done in my legs and they have told me I do have some hardening of the arteries and they told me walk to help that; muscle tests done in the legs and they are good.
Does this get better? I am in therapy for it twice a week and doing heat and exercise here at home. Any input will be appreciated.


  • I can't say for sure that it is the same for you but I get the same type of pain also in my feet, knees and ankles. My doc says that it is from walking differently to compensate for my back pain. He gave me an example of someone in the military carrying a heavy back pack and the way that they point their toes outward while walking hunched over to compensate for the load. My pain usually coincides with extra activity. My knees ankles and feet will usually start to hurt before I am aware of any back pain. I hope that this helps.
  • Thanks JJ, I had a good day at therapy today as it didn't even hurt while they were massaging me however, tonight I am having tingling in the back of my left knee.I have never had any tingling before, wonder why now? It feels a little like the electric stems I get. I now may have a Baker's cyst too. Thanks for your input, my hubby was saying the same thing.
  • Hi, this is my first visit. After a car wreck in 2005, I have had chronic back pain.
    I have been on Vicodin all this time. Lately my knee joint has been killing me. I thought maybe long term narcotic use would affect joints. Do you think this could be the case? Or am I just not walking correctly?
  • Welcome to Spine Health !

    I have L4 -S1 issues including 2 slipped discs, pars fracture and Sponylolisthesis, I have since had a fusion and am due for a revision of that in 2 weeks. I do remember I had awful hamstring pain before my initial operation, the pain in one calf was so bad I had the doctor check it out as I was beginning to suspect a DVT (Deep vein thrombosis -a clot ) however it did turn out to be hamstring shortening due to over compensating , using my knees more to save my poor aching back .

    There are many exercises you can do to strengthen your core muscles, they are the ones which help hold your back up and there are gentle stretching routines which help loosen up the hamstrings,(Google core exersises) they are certainly worth having a look at whether the pain is due to shortened hamstrings or not.
    I found the pain was worst at night and found a pillow under the knees at night eased the dull thud. A heat pad helped too .
    As with any new symptom , I would recommend that you inform your doctor about this.
    I have quite serious problems now, but still take a hobble around the block 3 times a day to keep all my muscles in use and warmed up, and am sure it helps.
    I hope you find the help and support you are looking for here at S H , ....I do!
    Best Wishes Viking
  • Hi everyone, Thanks for all of your input. My left leg is still killing me and I have decided to go for a second opinion. Nothing is helping. I can't sleep as it hurts so bad. I have been doing exercises but the leg has gotten worse over the past several days. And to boot...I lifted a case of pop (12 cans) and now I pulled something in my abdomen. I had a ventral hernia repair 6 months ago and am praying I didn't pull the mesh. So now I have both sides of my body hurting. Thanks so much for your input, it is really apprecaited. At least I know I am not alone.
  • I have facet joint problems and noted that those helped my back pain but not the leg pain. The epidurals helped the leg pain for me but not completely. Are you seeing a pain management Dr Maybe he can help. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I've had knee problems for years, but they are exacerbated immensely when my low back is out of whack. Has your physiotherapist checked to make sure your pelvis is in alignment?? When there is a malalignment, everything worsens, and especially my knee pain.

  • you may get relief with acupuncture. It made a huge difference for me when I had nothing wrong with my knee per mri and xray, but was swollen and hurt to bend after hearing a pop while mereiy walking and then being unable to put any weight on my leg. After a year of cortisone shots, anti-inflammatory medication and the opportunity for exploratory surgery to see why it wouldn't get better, an acupuncturist was recommended. It took 3 sessions of 15 minutes each and I was as good as new. (He did crack my lower back the first session so I would assume a chiropractor could also give you relief.) Now, he is on my first line of m.d.'s to see with aches and pains that don't go away on their own.
  • After my surgery i had cramps and spasms in my knee leg angle and foot. the doc gave me a med called keppra and it knocked out the pain. just a suggestion. it worked for me.
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