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leg weakness

I have written on Spine Health trying to find somebody with a similar case but to no avail. Just recovering from a hysterectomy for removal of a large fibroid uterus. My walking coincidentally had been worsening throughout the time of me being monitored for my fibroids but no connection was made by my GP. He believes I have some damage to my sciatic nerve that has caused my leg weakness but I haven't had any trauma to my back and the MRI of my lumbar doesn't show anything. I went to see a Neuro and she said there are changes to the sciatic nerve but it looked like something was pinching or pressing it higher up than in my leg? I mentioned the large fibroid uterus and she advised getting their position checked. I kept asking to be referred to my Gyn as he didn't know I was struggling to walk for the passed 2 years and was getting worse with every monthly period . Eventually I fell in the street when my leg gave out in July and that's when I pushed forward myself and one thing led to another and here I am a month on from hysterectomy and removal of a large fibroid uterus lying on the left side where all my symptoms were. I have to recover from surgery before I get the all clear for exercise and physio but I just really want to know if anybody has heard of anything like this because although I have read about fibroids causing pain, backache etc. I've not read that if in the wrong position, they can cause leg weakness. Neither the GP or Gyn have said definitively what is or has caused it? The Gyn operated because it was necessary to remove the uterus because I met so many of the criteria for removal. Thankfully not cancer! He just said he hoped as well as relieve me of heavy painful periods and anaemia it might improve and help me rehabilitate my leg strength? Anybody any thoughts at all? I can't walk without crutches at the moment or I fall. If it wasn't the fibroid uterus what's caused it?


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Sorry for what you are going through.
    Not having hysterectomy or anything like that causing my spinal issues, I can't speak to that.

    You mention seeing a couple of doctors and what they think....but I don't see mention of much on testing.
    You had MRI which was negative..no issues.?
    Does that mean they have no idea what is causing your leg weakness?
    Have you had an EMG? nerve conduction testing... Or any other testing?...

    It seems they would continue to investigate.
    Legs weak and you falling doesn't seem like something one should have to get used to, esp without any diagnosis as to why.

    If I'm reading correctly, you did not tell your gynecologist about your leg weakness and falls which were esp worse with monthly periods?
    Curious as to why you did not tell doctor?..

    You also mentioned you did not have trauma to your spine. But you did fall and or have fallen ....more than once?
    Even if you didn't land on your spine, the twist, the bending..all that is involved with a fall...I would think it's a possibility of trauma. Or funny bending, twisting to try to prevent falls?

    When I first was needing work ups and being sent to specialists, I found it helpful to bring along a family member or a friend.
    Doctor told me I had trauma to my neck and thoracic area.
    I denied it, saying....no, no. Never car accident, etc...... My friend with me reminded me of all my falls, always backwards and it started with me falling off six foot ladder, landing on my back.
    I think since I didn't feel any pain from the falls at the time, they did not register with me. I dunno, but I was poor historian.

    So many times diagnoses are difficult, as some symptoms can overlap into different issues of different parts of the body.
    Seems that you and doctors need to communicate clearly, maybe you take some notes on what your experiences, symptoms are day to day to inform doctor.
    Maybe notes on what doctor mentions to you, as, well, at least I can find too much information overwhelming to try to remember.

    Doctors could try to rule out issues, for ex, if they rule out any spinal involvement, they may need to do further testing to continue ruling out mimicking diseases.

    Please continue to be a strong advocate for yourself ...willing to go through testing to discover cause of symptoms, in the hopes of treatment and or lessening or eliminating symptoms.
    Please keep us posted on how you progress! We're here to support you, even if our symptoms may not be complete match!
    Everyone s individual and unique!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi, sorry for not explaining too well. I think I was trying to keep my post short and re reading it it does seem a bit short of info.
    With reference to testing I saw a Neurophysiologist in March this year following an inconclusive MRI which showed bulging discs on the right but nothing on the left. I saw a private Neuro surgeon who said there was nothing to be done on the left and couldn't explain the weakness? He said if the symptoms were on the right he could do a discectomy to sort that but as the right bulges were causing no symptoms at all he considered them incidental and no worse than any he might see in the normal population who wouldn't know they had bulging discs? The Neurophysiologist did the needles etc. reflex tests etc. It was her who said that the results suggested that my sciatic nerve was being pinched or compressed high up and when I mentioned the fibroid uterus she advised getting them checked. My Gyn didn't know because I hadn't seen him for 2 years. He had discharged me after rectifying my anaemia and just said the fibroids were big but as my tests were benign and I had no other symptoms at that time he advised watchful waiting. It was some months later I started experiencing a problem with my left foot and ankle with shooting pains down the back of the leg and really bad cramps and spasms. I went to my GP and he referred me for podiatry, the Pod at the hospital was the one who said it wasn't my foot it was coming from higher up? Then I had the first lumbar MRI . I've been continually asking my GP about a link with fibroids and he said not possible and said nothing could be done except physio to strengthen the muscles despite me showing him that I couldn't do the exercises and that with every period my leg was weaker and weaker. My private Pod wanted to refer me to a foot ankle specialist but my GP refused to be involved saying he was happy that I had had some kind of event to my sciatic nerve? I hadn't fallen at that time and was still walking unaided. I told him I was scared to fall and he said it was in my mind that I would! After a period in July that was really painful and heavy I fell in the street! I went to my physio and she couldn't believe it and gave me crutches but couldn't understand why my GP wouldn't refer me to my Gyn to at least rule out the fibroid uterus being a cause. I contacted my Gyn myself after the fall in July and he saw me quickly and you know the most up to date events. Basically I've been continually seeing my GP since this all started, he has never accepted that the fibroid uterus could be a cause and so refused to refer down that route and has only given me physio and ordered the EMG. I got my own Neuro surgeon to give his opinion. The MRI was requested by the Pod at the hospital. The Gyn removed the uterus because it was large and causing so many problems but he couldn't guarantee it would abolish my left leg weakness. He just knew it would help my general health to be able to rehab my leg. So the timeline is
    May 2013 discharged from Gyn after anaemia rectified. Large fibroid uterus deemed as cause
    July 2013 started with foot pain like plantar fascitis
    January 2014 started limping and went to GP
    March 2014 got myself a Podiatrist as my NHS appointment not until August 2014.
    August 2014 NHS Pod advises MRI
    October 2014 first lumbar MRI ( nothing to see on left )
    November 2014 appointment with private Neuro Surgeo
    November 2014 started physio at instruction of GP
    March 2015 saw Neurophysiologist and second lumbar MRI ( nothing to see on left )
    March 2015 GP sent me away and said he didn't want to see me until August and to do exercises
    June 2015 told GP that I couldn't drive my car and was afraid I was going to fall
    July 2015 I fell, contacted my Gyn in desperation as GP refused to accept any link despite worsening symptoms every month. On crutches since fall.
    August 2015 MRI to determine size of fibroids
    September 1st Laparocopic Hysterectomy and now a month on waiting to recover from op before resuming therapy for leg.
    Hope this sets it out clearer
    All the best and thank you so much for taking time to reply earlier. All the best to you .

  • I can't comment re hysterectomy. But your leg weakness dropping to the floor and pain very much sound like the issues I have had with my back. The problem is the longer these issues go unresolved the more chance you have of permanent nerve damage. I had an L5 S1 fusion in April which was more complicated than first thought as my spine had not grown properly in the first place. I had had debilitating pain for a very long time before surgery. I am now left with extreme weakness in my legs,loss of balance and nerve pain in my foot. You are going to have to fight ,I wish I had done. Good Luck.
  • Thank you,
    I certainly feel that I have been making a nuisance of myself at the surgery. I have contacted a Neurosurgeon myself, highly recommended. As soon as my Gyn clears me for exercise and usual activities after my 6 week check up I am going to visit the Neurosurgeon and speak with him. He has asked that my MRIs and EMG be exported to him as its a different hospital altogether. I just want to know where the nerve is compressed and what I am dealing with? My GP has been satisfied to just leave it at that and repeatedly tells me there's nothing to be done and all I can do is physio? He can't even tell me where it is damaged ? I want to know and won't give in even though I am annoying him by making my own enquiries. He hasn't helped me much at all and infact has delayed my referrals or refused to refer me when other professionals have requested that he do so? I have tried to respect his professional opinion but when somebody who should be able to direct you to others , tells you he won't and there's nothing he can do, then it's time to take the reins yourself. I wouldn't have had this op now if I hadn't contacted the Gyn myself as my GP wouldn't, said it was irrelevant? So once I'm healed and can get out, I am going to see this Neurosurgeon to discuss what's been happening so far and what to do next. I will be posting back with news
    Thanks for replying and giving me that reminder that I have to continue fighting for myself . It is clear as I sit here with my crutches and a very sore tummy with stitches contemplating my day ahead, thinking about all the things I want to do But can't do, that it's down to me to sort this. i was wondering how do you manage to get around and do you use a cane, crutches?
  • Hi im so sorry to read about the many issues you are gpin thru. I cant identify with any of the women's issues you have. But I definitely kno what pain is including extreme leg pain, cramps, weakness etc. I have flat feet & plantar fasciitis. Which that alone can cause much pain & throws ur Gait way off. My hips are affected I limp partially because of it.
    My main problem is Degenerative disc disease or DDD. I had my first L4-5 successful fusion in jan. 2013. The minute I woke up from surgery my leg & hip pain & numbness were gone. I felt like a new woman.
    Now almost 2 yrs. Later im counting the days for my Next fushion L3-4. I have pain in both sides from hips down to my toes. It took me close to 2 yrs. To be diagnosed than my pcp sent me to a great pain center & this is where all my pain needs & referals come from.
    I did have a very serious Auto accident in 2006. So any muscle, back or neck pain was assumed from that.. Which I believe began my progression to All my issues.
    My worse pain now is in both my hips back & side of legs , calves & feet. I use a can now in th house or a walker with wheels if needed. I can say im pretty much in my bed all the time if im gonna find any comfort its lying down with legs elevated & many ice paks tucked all around me.
    I know much more than I did first surgery before & after like not to do much of anythng to Always watch my posture the way I walk bend or lift etc. No more mowing the lawn or spending hours doing yard work. Definitely no more Hiking!! My body is fragile & will continue that way.. All I can do is learn to treat it as fragile.
    Im sorry im rambling on what jumped out to me was ur leg pain etc. Not trusting your legs to hold you. I know bulging discs can push on Nerves & the Sciatica is a big one that cause pain numbness etc.
    Maybe getting that other opinion or a new primary care that doesnt have the answers is a great place to start. You know ur body & ur pain especially if its long term be more Assertive if need be.
    Ive taken a few falls in public my leg or both just let go. Use a cane or walker if need be it could stop you from doing a lot more damage.
    I use to keep it in the car but not use it cuz I said im to young to need assistance. Not any more its my security if I do go out briefly and a lil peace of mind.
    What im saying is look into that Sciatica it can be a real pain in the butt.
    Best of luck to you!! I hope you find the right answers. :)
  • I use a cane I have 4 in total and keep them where I can be sure I won't be anywhere without one. I don't feel like I'm walking properly either with or without it. But I need the support for fear of falling. My legs feel like I am wading through mud. Most of the pain has gone since my fusion. Which I am sincerely thankful for, but the weakness and fatigue is very wearing. I know it is still early days but I do feel I am slipping backwards. A lot of the time literally with my balance issues! I spend a lot of time explaining I'm not drunk! I am still fighting for a follow up appointment to my surgery I had in April,
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