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Question how back surgery can affect one leg's strength?

daflashddaflash Posts: 1
edited 01/16/2015 - 7:58 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
A little history may help. More than 40 years ago I had a dbl lamenectomy and fusion a L4&L5 for pain. It took exactly 13 months to the day to be pain free. I was hospitalized at the time for review by a Neurologist who de-admitted me since the pain was gone. Flash forward to March 2014 and two epidurals for back pain that failed. Several MRI's identified structural problems in the left back area. Surgery was performed in May and two more up to and including August. Pain was finally gone but, all came back in 30 days. I now not only had back pain but my right leg had now become too weak to go up stairs normally or kneel with the ability to get up without assistance. I also had to deal with swelling at the knee and general pain down to the ankle. I was asked to try physical therapy that didn't produce any results. Meantime, I was still having back pain and another injection in the area was reccomended. It didn't work right away but in a few weeks I was pain free from the back but, the weak right leg was now my prominent problem and still is. I tried more therapy for the leg but, it is rather worthless since I can't increase any muscle due to the constant knee swelling.

I guess my question is, could any of the back surgery have anything to do with this leg problem or should the symptoms be treated as a separate issue? I would really like to get my right leg strength back to normal. I've always been active by going to the gym three days a week, which I'm back to doing again as my own therapist. Climbing stairs, a ladder or up on the roof are becoming difficult, if not, impossible. If the weakness is some kind of nerve damage could time allow the nerves to repair themselves and give me back my leg?

Thanks for any response.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 01/16/2015 - 7:58 PM

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    edited 01/17/2015 - 7:34 AM
    is really medically qualified to give you an answer.

    But in my personal opinion, back surgery can have an impact on leg strength, especially if nerves were involved. My last lumbar surgery was in 1984. There was a lot of nerve damage then, some which is permanent today. My right leg has never been as strong as my left leg as a result.

    But this is something I think you should discuss with your Primary Care physician. There could be some other underlying concerns, or other reasons for muscle weakness.
    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
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