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Leg weakness and nerve damage

joe84jjoe84 Posts: 3
I have a pinched sciatic nerve, at the L5/S1 I believe, it began about 9 weeks ago. Initially I had significant pain, limped, couldn't sit or stand very long, and had leg weakness in the hamstring and calf. The past couple of weeks I have had very little pain, right now it's really nothing unless I sit for very long time or bending over and lifting something heavy, other than that I can go about my day pain free.

However I still have leg weakness and some numbness in the outter edge of my foot and small toe. The weakness is about a 10% difference in the hamstring, and about a 50% difference in the calf. (Originally it was so bad in the calf that I could not do a calf raise at all). The strength differences right now don't impair my ability to walk around or use a stationary bike, however I really notice it lifting weights (leg curl, calf raises) and yy calf has shrunk some as well.

Has anyone had similar symptoms and can provide their recovery time line? Or can provide a time line or probability of regaining full strength? I have only been to an ER doctor (no family doctor) and was told not to come back unless I became incontinent.



  • Hi. Not sure i understand your quesrion. Recovery time from what? A previous pinched nerve?

    If there was no surgery needed fkr the pinched nerve and its no longer pinched then it would clear right up in my opinion, But if you have no way of knowing what the true condition thats still causing your issue is then there is no way of knowing whats realy going on without a full workup from a spine dr,

    Who knows at this point of what was or is causing it, so i am not sure what you are recovering from, as far as you know its still causing an issue but has not gotten worse yet, or its simply nothing to worry about,

    You the only 1 who knows if there is a serious enough issue in the way you feel if its worth seeing a spine specialist or not if you think you might be having nerve damaged while doing your work outs,

    Good luck, Let us know if you end up seeing a spine specialist and how things turn out,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Hi, I am interested in how long it takes to recover from a pinched nerve caused by a disc compression, and the associated calf weakness.

    The doctor I saw did not seem to concerned about it and said surgery isn't really effective as an option unless I become incontinent or had total foot drop, he was very vague about recovery and did not want to do an MRI to confirm the cause. Thanks
  • I think you should see your Family Dr. for an assessment. My Dr. sent me to Physiotherapy to see if they could help get the strength back in my leg and did other exercises also. My Dr. also sent me for an EMG/nerve test for the leg showing if there's compression on the nerve and saw the Neurologist that day as he does part of the nerve test. Only because I had signs of nerve impinging then she sent me for a MRI.

    In time my herniated disc had healed within 15 months but I had more issues after that with Degenerative discs. Each person is unique and needs a specialized treatment of care. See more info here http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/treatment-options-a-lumbar-herniated-disc

    I found a good Physiatrist(Sports Rehab. Dr.) who's helping with tests and treatments for back and sciatica issues. I hope everything works out for you. 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
  • Based on your post, you are taking the advice of an ER doctor. I love ER doctors b/c they are good at triage. But for specialty care, do not rely on their opinion.

    My rule of thumb? If I visit the ER, I need to make an appointment with my general practitioner as a follow up. My GP knows me and my history. The ER doctor does not. My GP has a smaller patient base than the ER.

    Go visit your GP. Tell him/her what is happening. Ask if it makes sense to visit a spine specialist. Not saying you need surgery but there may be a need for prescription anti-inflammatory or PT to ensure you stay strong and learn how to move properly when lifting and how to limit the bending/twisting.

    Good luck.
  • Update, I ended up getting a ct scan, I have a protruded disc at L5-S1. I have no pain anymore, that seemed to go away around 7th week, (at about 11 now) but I have, and have had, constant numbness in my outer left foot. I have had some occasional numbness in my right foot, however it is short lived and not constant, and no weakness like in the left side, which I still have some of, however the weakness has improved so I can function normally, but it is fairly noticeable when exercising, doing things such as leg curls or 1 leg calf raises.

    Last week I had some saddle anthesia, (first time) in both sides, and thought I was getting cauda equina, so I saw a neuro, he told me I don't have it but given the numbness I don't feel 100% comfortable with this. I still get some numbness in the saddle region depending on sitting position and duration.

    Anyway the saddle area numbness is really something of concern to me, has anyone experienced or heard of someone who has had such a sensation with a herniated or bulging disc without having cauda equina? thanks for the responses.
  • Ummmmm, the calf being smaller kinda caught my eye.....you measured them both with a tape measure? You could have an atrophic effect from the pinched nerve my friend. Did u show that to ur doc? Good luck in your recovery!!
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