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Complete Weakness in Calf from l5-s1 herniation

nbaugh7nnbaugh7 Posts: 1
edited 10/16/2014 - 9:21 PM in Lower Back Pain
Hello everyone,

Super quick back story

I have had chronic low back pain since i was 14 ( I am now 20). My first sciatica leg pain occured about 1 month ago. I immediately had an MRI that showed a herniation of the l5 s1 disc with spinal compression. I then realized my calf muscle was not longer able to support my body weight. I still had strength to resist the doctors pressing against my foot, just not the strength to do a toe raise. I have numbness down the backside of my leg and the bottom of my foot. I feel some pain when i walk a long ways or if i sit in a certain position for to long. All pain is bearable. A month ago my pain was a 10/10, i felt paralyzed and was rushed to the ER and had so many shots and drugs put it me.
So pain wise i am improving significantly although i have been very careful with every move i make. Numbness does not bother me. My main concern is lack of strength in calf. A month ago i could not walk on my toes at all. Now i have progressed to taking about 5 steps on my toes, but cannot do a single leg calf raise. I am going back to my doctor to discuss surgery in about a week. But i am wondering if anyone else has had this happen in their calf like me

Thanks for taking the time to help me out.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • substitutessubstitute Posts: 1
    edited 11/10/2014 - 6:33 AM
    Hi! I've had pretty much the same thing going on last four months. I had a disc herniation which caused severe sciatic pain that lasted for just one day but afterwards my calf has been just like yours. It has improved over time but even now after four months it's still weak. I can't really push off with the ball of my foot while running, which makes sprinting quite impossible. I can do a few single leg calf raises but the strength in my left calf is still far from normal. Even long walks tire out the calf and I start limping again. Numbness is still there as well but it's getting better little by little.

    I've seen a doctor, an orthopedist and a physical therapist and they've all told me that there's really no way to speed up the recovery. I just have to stay active and wait. Meanwhile I was advised to concentrate on strenghtening my core which may help to prevent back problems in the future. I do feel a little sceptical about that advice since my core has been in pretty good shape all the time but it doesn't hurt to try. After all they are the professionals, not me.
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