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Weakness medial gastronemius (bilateral now)

pafrmboyppafrmboy Posts: 2
Hi all.....Could anyone give me there opinion on an issue that I'm dealing with? Much appreciated!

I developed this issue nearly 4 years ago when I was running and began to feel some numbness in my left foot.(I used to run about 10-12 miles per week). It was like I lost orientation of my left foot. I felt that I might trip. It was not every time I ran though.

It progressed to having some sharp back pain attacks over the next year and then the back pain all but disapeared. Sciatica and left leg numbness then developed over the next 2 years to the point that I had to sit down sometimes. As soon as I sat down for 10 mins, all was OK. This also was not all the time.

During the last 6-8 months all sciatic pain is gone, but I developed medial gastronemius weakness on my left side. It affected my gait and I could not stand on toes on the left side with the right foot elevated. Of course this led to knee pain, as the lateral gastronemius picked up the slack.
I have atrophy in the left medial gastronemius.

Amazing the right leg was always OK and then suddenly last month...like overnight, the right medial gastronemius was quite weak. I was alarmed! It happened so quickly. What is more weird is that the left leg is regaining strength!! ( I can stand (weakly) on toes using both feet), but feel that the left leg is doing most of the work. Both the right and left lateral gastronemius(s) are strong.

Again I have NO back pain except some tightness and an occasional ache. I take no meds except NSAIDS.

My issues are now "push off" during my gait. I feel that I want to fall backwards at times, as the plantar reflex strength is quite weak in both feet. However at times during the day, the strength suprisingly better! It's up and down.

I am a Registered nurse and do spend alot of time walking. I also can't run well and get knee pain on the push down stroke, while riding my bike.

I had an MRI and it revealed:

1. Atrophy of the left PSOAs.
2. A 1 mm bulge at L4/5 that abuts the thecal sac.
3. A 3 mm bulge at L5 S1 that abuts the left S1 thecal sac and nerve root without compressing, or displacing them.
4. No central or right stenosis seen. However the left side at L5 S1 has facet joint hypertrophy, disk narrowing and the bulge, causing stenosis at the foramen.
5. No central or right foraminal stenosis is seen in the lumbar spine.

I also had a nerve conduction/EMG done and it revealed:

1. Active and chronic denervation in L3/4 and L5 S1 myotome, suggestive of LS polyradiculopathy. Left worse than right.
2. It also demonstrated evidence of sciatica, left worse than right.
3. Differential diagnosis include lower LS plexopathy and multifocal motor neuropathy. Motor neuro disease is possible, but patient's clinical presentation is not suggestive of this issue.

The Nuero doc want to do some genetic testing with Athena DXs. I think that's a waste of time. I'm sure this is back related.

I'm 46 male, not overweight, or diabetic. No other chronic diseases, no hypertension, essentally pretty healthy.

How can this issue/disk shift from right side to left so fast? Do disks move? Could a rupture have happened and spread to the right side that fast? Ideas?

I have not had a surgical consult and really don't like the idea of surgery. (Nurses HATE surgery and I'm an OR nurse)!! (Open hearts) Am I a fool to NOT wasnt surgery? (Remember...no pain)

I do inversion therapy.

Will this resolve with conservative treatment, or might this be permanent?

Scared and worried!

Happy New year!!



  • 89 views and not one comment? Yikes
  • Hi, just wondering how things are going? I have pretty much the same thing as you following my first L5-S1 fusion in 1991. Its taken 20 years to get the denervation diagnosed. I was into sport and walking, climbing etc but these have been impossible for quite a few years now. I have recenty been looking at functional nerve stimulation to build up muscle tone but both gastrocs are pretty dead. I get the impression that our problem is a lot less common than foot drop. Get in touch if you recieve this as I would be interested in comparing notes and experiances.


    L5-S1 Fusion 1991, Endoscopic Decompresion 2010, L4-L5 Fusion 2012
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