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Arm and leg weakness

Does anyone know or experienced arm and leg weakness at the same time from their neck issues? For almost two weeks now I have had on and off weakness in the left hand and foot and upper thigh. I have a herniated disc that is touching the spinal cord in the neck. Well actually two of them. Also have an osteophytes that is touching the thecal sac. Have more than one of them too. The left foot will actually get stiff and kind of cramp up at times. One physical therapist said that my neck problems would not be causing my leg and foot issues, that that could only come from the lumbar spine. Another therapist said the neck could cause leg problems if the spinal cord is involved. I can still grasp things fine and my walking is ok, it's just a weird feeling of weakness on and off. If anyone has experienced this can you tell me if anything helped alleviate it? And if the neck can actually cause the leg and foot weakness too. Thanks.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    parts of the body, you would state that cervical issues should not cause any leg /foot problems. You would almost have to believe that you would have some lumbar issues that could result in the lower extremity problems you describe.

    Again with the textbook, I would understand arm/hand weakness being associated with cervical issues. But over the years, I have toss out the textbook from time to time and rely on what is actually going on.

    If this is a concern for you, then I would make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor. Let them be the ones to tell you what could be happening and what should be done.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,372
    edited 03/05/2014 - 6:54 AM
    I agree with Ron that you should contact your doctor (whoever you see about your neck) and let them know about your arm and leg weakness.

    I had a 2 level ACDF fusion because I had compression of my spinal cord. I had symptoms in both arms and hands, and legs and feet. I was told it was all coming from the cord compression in my neck. I even saw a neurologist and he said the same thing. I had already had a lumbar fusion due to sciatica in both legs and lower back pain, but they still felt that my leg symptoms were coming from my cord.

    I do still have most of my symptoms now so I have been referred back to another neurologist. I wonder, and my physiotherapist tends to agree, that I may have been left for too long before having surgery and I may now have permanent nerve/cord damage. I also have what I call stiffening spasms in both legs and especially my right foot which turns tightly inwards when I have this. The doctors call it spasticity. Everything I have read about it seems to indicate cord damage. I said this to my neurosurgeon and he agreed with me and said I need to see a neurologist again.

    Please do contact your doctor and let them decide what they think is going on with you.

  • I have the same problem, I have a disc out in my neck that is compressing my cord, I talked to my pain doctor about it and she started pressing on my lower back and asking if I had any lower back pain. I talked to my surgoen about this and he said ABSOLUTELY you will have leg problems if it involves your spinal cord. I have mostly left leg problems, as my left arm and hand and neck but my right leg is getting more and more involved with the numbness and tingling as well. I have like numbness and weakness in my upper thigh and my calf and my foot. I have been up many nights pacing the floor because I am getting cramps in my feet and can't get rid of them. I am on muscle relaxers now and they seem to have calmed down but I have to take them every night and have done so for over 6 months now. I am scheduled for surgery on March 19th and my surgoen says that this surgery will fix all of these problems. I can only hope.

    Please keep us informed on how it is going.
  • I think weakness in any part of the body makes the whole body to fall sick.Your arm & leg weakness can be due to your neck problem as spinal cord is involved.Spinal Cord is the most critical part of our body.Its better to take regular assistance from your concerned physio for your day to day work.
  • Jill make a point to go see a neurosurgeon and then go get a second and third opinions. I am not a NS or a doctor but my NS and 3 others have confirmed depending on how badly your cervical herniation is pushing against your spinal cord will depend on symtoms you are feeling. I have a c4 c5 severe herniation that is pressing into my spinal cord with bone spurs nearly penetrating the spinal fluid causing pain and weakness along my arms and legs.. Im having surgery tomorrow morning to fix my problems. I have done all of the alternatives from massage to acupuncture to PT to epidural shots to chiropractors non of them helped within the last 8 months so my last resort is surgery.

    Jbnms99 good luck with your surgery next week on March 19. Keep us posted on your recovery. I will do the same with mine.
  • I wonder, and my physiotherapist specialist tends to believe the truth, that I may have been staying for a long period before having surgery therapy treatment and I may now have long durable nerve/cord damage. I also have what I get in touch with stiffening suits in both legs and especially my right legs which changes strongly inwards when I have this.
    James Colls
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