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Weak Leg

Several months ago, I started to feel like my leg was dragging. I went to a Sports Medicine doctor, who gave me PT exercises to strengthen my leg.
My leg weakness continued to get worse. I went to another doctor who sent me in for an MRI.
The MRI shows that I have 4 herniated discs in the Thoracic spine and 2 herniated discs in a Lumbar spine. I also have mild scoliosis.
Six weeks ago, I was able to run 3-6 miles at a time. Now, I walk with a noticeable limp.
On days that I do too much, I can barely walk at all.
I went to a Neurologist, and I left more confused than before the appointment. He said it may be the Lumbar spine causing the leg weakness, but he thought that there was nothing actively going on in that area. What?? How can there be nothing active if I am actively losing leg strength.
A few weeks ago, when I lifted my leg, it felt very weak. Now when I lift my leg, it doesn't lift much. I can't feel the muscles that used to feel weak. The harder I try to lift my leg, the more my toes twitch.
He said that maybe the surgeon may want to fix the discs in one or both.
The MRI of my brain and neck came back normal.
I am waiting to get in to a Neurosurgeon. I want to get a second opinion, but I really hate to wait since I am getting worse week by week.
I am 31 years old. I've never been in an accident. I threw my back out once as a young teenager, and once when I was 28 when I bent down to pick up something. My back bothers me off and on, but nothing excruciating. It does bother my back to clean bathtubs and things like that. I have four kids, so I've spent a good amount of time carrying babies and toddlers around.
I hate the thought of surgery. But I hate the thought of having one leg paralyzed.
Waiting just seems like forever. Has anyone else had anything similar?


  • Did your Primary Dr. order an EMG(nerve test)? I'm surprised the Neurologist didn't order that test. I have lumber issues and when I had a herniated disc my leg was dragging and numb. I would kick the end of the couch and hurt my foot from the numbness. But that has resolved over time for me now that my herniated disc has healed. I still have sciatica and numbness but not weakness anymore. If you collapse with your leg numb I would seek medical attention at the ER.

    I hope your Dr. can order that EMG test for you to see what's going on and hope your Neurosurgeon appointment can give you more insight into what's going on and 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
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am very sorry you are having leg problems. it seems very important that you see a doctor now!! please do not let this go for long and keep us informed!! good luck and i hope you are feeling better soon! Jenny :)
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    More testing should be done. And a second opinion before you do some permanent damage. I would want a Neuro or Ortho. spinal specialist surgeon. Welcome to S-H.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • The Neurologist did an EMG last week. He said he thought that it might be coming from the Lumbar Spine. He didn't really give me any results except for that.
    He said that it didn't seem like an active problem. I don't know why that would be, since I am actively getting worse. He said they couldn't test the Thoracic Spine.
    The Neurologist then suggested the surgeon might operate on one or the other or both. I left feeling rather confused and frustrated.

    I made an appointment at a spine clinic that does spinal decompression for a free consultation. I don't really know much about it. I feel a little skeptical because in my experience, places that offer free consultations or free trials are usual just a marketing scheme.

    From the MRI report, I shouldn't be having any nerve issues, right? I guess I just need to talk to a doctor that will actually communicate with me.

    The MRI says:
    T7-T8 and T8-T9 disc herniations which contact and deform the cord,
    however, cause no significant cord signal.

    T9-T10, T11-T12, and T12-L1 disc bulges predominantly left lateral as
    detailed above.

    L4-L5- There is a disc bulge. There is a central annulus fibrosis tear.
    There is no significant central canal stenosis or neural foraminal

  • Hi there,

    I read your posts with interest because I have a T67 "leaky" disc. It did NOT show anything abnormal on MRI. In fact, I also had some "bulges" on other thoracic and lumbar discs. But the one that was causing the problem (mid-back pain and R leg weakness/numbness/pain) was the T67. They only found it by doing discography.

    So don't stop pursuing this. My feeling that ortho docs have one opinion and neuro's have another. I get my care with a Physiatrist. They are MD's with specialized training in both ortho and neuro issues and especially with spinal injury. My doctor is a genius!

    I would seek out a Physiatrist if you can and get a second opinion. It's very possible that none of the bulging discs (lumbar OR thoracic) are the culprits. It could be that you have a tear in one of the discs which would not show up on most MRI's.

    My doctor tested my lumbar area to see if it was the source of my leg symptoms. It turns out, it wasn't. Many people can have bulging discs without any symptoms. So get a doc who won't just focus on the bulges, but will be willing to explore other causes. Let me know you have any further questions. I wish you the best in your search for relief. It's really a bummer, isn't it???

  • I hate reading this kind of stuff because it's happening to me and it's scary.

    Why do doctors do all these painful tests to figure out the "source" when doing so doesn't change the symptoms or the outcome? Don't they know from the symptoms and MRI's that we're not surgical candidates? I don't understand that. Glad I'm not a doc.

    I've hated learning that spinal surgeries "aren't" to fix pain. Lately, I've been learning that they also aren't necessarily to treat function either. Wow. It's okay to stay like this??

    I never knew spines were so fragile. You can bet my kids wouldn't have been carrying those heavy bookbags for school like they did if I'd known. I hope you pay attention to that with your four kids.

    Please keep updating your post.

  • Hi Christen,I am going thru this with both legs.Had EMg. Last week and dr said it would take a while for him to calculate the numbers.I would call them and ask what is your diagnosis.Mine is spinal stenosis and radicular neuropathy.You may want to search them and see if they match your symptoms.Good luck to you!
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