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Weak Calf Muscle



  • Xe-xe - pool in circles! You remind me of myself during the first month : I used walker and made trips from one end of the hallway to the other. It was fall/winter and I could not go outside. So, tell me more about inversion table - I am thinking about one.
  • I am guessing that my two separate 10 minute walks on Sunday may have been too much too fast. Maybe it is my sciatica nerve getting progressively worse. Not sure. I thought I was making good progress and am light years ahead of where I started. Everything else continues to improve and I am walking better. My calf was sour Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday I started taking my daily walk around the pool and realized this may be a bad idea. I was cautious. 3 minutes into the walk my muscles started tightening. I stopped immediately and went in, iced my back and relaxed. I am going to take it very easy for a few days and see where I am at. Tuesday night I could feel the pad on my foot right below the three toes acting a bit sensitive. No issues walking, just sensitive. That continues on and off. I had it a bit this morning, but once I started walking on it, it seems ok. Still very cautious. The outside of my calf is a bit soar. It is definitely the outside part of the muscle and not the nerve. My nerve down my leg has been tender, during massage and chiropractic visits, threw this whole thing. It is slowly becoming less tender. I am fairly sure I can tell the difference between the muscle and the nerve. The underside of my thigh is a bit tenderer than over the weekend. I believe that is the nerve. Simply relaxing and going to the chiropractor today. No walks around the pool.
    NY hasn’t received my scans yet. Following up with a tracking number. I found another back surgery institute that seems to be different than the others. They are in California. They don’t do an incision at all. The scar is supposed to be the size of a freckle and the surgery is supposed to be the least invasive. I sent my MRI off and will run thru the same list of questions with them.
    My main concern is getting worse, vs getting better. I don’t want to be letting my nerve die. If there is a REASONABLE natural healing path without surgery, great. If not or the risks are too great, I am all for surgery. It just bothers me that making the wrong choice could leave me in a worse spot than I am currently in.
    Anyway, that’s my update.

    I am glad to hear you got better after surgery. How long after your surgery were you able to raise up on your toes again?

    I am not sure about the inversion table, chiropractic, decompression table treatments, any of it. I am reading as much as I can and trying to do the most logical things to help. I am DRASTICALLY better than when this first happened. I am not sure which things or if it all together is helping. I know that when I got on the decompression table the first few times (and still once in a while) some of my symptoms go away. The very light tingling in the feet for example. The calf usually relaxes if it is feeling a little aggravated laying on the triangle pad they put below my legs. I started slow on the inversion table. I can tell that I seem to stretch out about an inch or so by the time I get off. I can feel the end of the table above my head when I start, and a bit lower when I get to my 15 minutes. My first goal is to see if I can possibly get the herniation to reduce itself thru everything I am doing now. I am considering another MRI later this week or early next to compare. If I could somehow get to that point and continue improvement when walking, I would move on to other stretches and exercises to slowly strengthen my back. That is the plan at the moment.
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  • my point in telling you about being able to raise up on my toes was to point out that my l5 nerve was badly compressed for about 4 years and i suffered no permanent nerve damage.

    given the symptoms you describe, i think it is highly unlikely that you will damage the nerve by waiting. i think you have plenty of time to try all conservative methods.

    also while reading about your walks around the pool, it occurred to me that you may be putting too much stress on particular muscles by repetitious use. maybe this is comparable to walking around a track in one direction??

    do you vary the direction you are walking? how tight are the corners you make when walking around the pool, etc.??

    did you find this information?


    you could be doing this type of exercise now....
  • Cre -
    1) the pain you are describing is a nerve pain. I had (and still sometimes) have this pain, sometimes it feels like a sprain ankle (muscle) or on top of the sKin or deep inside. One of my DR said that it is all nerve pain. My PT said otherwise and he even taped my anckle, but in this case I whould belive a doctor.
    2) You are very early into recovery. My first 2 months were continious cycle of flare up and feeling better, then flare up again. I am 5+ month now and have monir flare ups every week or so, they are better next day. At the beggining they were longer. o not be discoraged!
    3) I can recommend to look at the Dr Bookspan website - google it. If anything , it is inspirational. I found it helpful for functional training.
    4) I am doing the first 3 excercises mentioned above every single day many times a day
  • Thanks for the info every one. I have had a long week and haven’t made any posts. The pricking pains intermittently continued and started in the pad of my heel. I was also noticing that the calf and thigh were acting up. Some of this could likely be attributed to doing too much with my walking too quickly.
    I believe my realization came in a couple of ways. After a few surgical consults I found out more about my MRI. My herniation is 1 cm. I have been informed that many people do operations with a herniation 3 or 4 mm. Even though my mobility was slowly increasing I seemed to be at a plateau. I was trying to slowly improve calf strength that was clearly caused by the pinched nerve. If it got any worse or progressed I could easily be forced into emergency surgery. I came to the realization that I needed to take further action on the cause and not the symptoms.
    I don’t like the odds and definitions of success on most of the surgeries. Even though Microdiscectomy appears to be far less evasive than normal back surgery, I am not comfortable with the definition of success. I also am not comfortable with the 20% chance of going back for another similar surgery in the years to come. I a scared of scarring and complications.
    I talked to the PLDD (Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression) doctor who created the procedure in New York. Despite what some doctors have tried to tell me, this is nothing like a Microdiscectomy. There are other surgeons through out the US doing significantly different types of this procedure. This doctor in New York seemed very knowledgeable and told me that I should come see him. I seriously considered it. I would have tried this before the Microdiscectomy. I really was attracted to the minimal evasiveness of the procedure. I was also encouraged that this doctor actually developed this procedure. In my opinion, he is clearly the most knowledgeable regarding this procedure.
    I decided against the PLDD because of the 80-89 percent success rate. The size of my herniation concerns me. Since mine is larger than most, it seams my likely hood of success would be far less than a 3-6 mm herniation.
    I found a different type of surgery. One of the most upsetting parts of this process is the difficulty in finding information and the differences of opinions. It seems that everyone sticks to what they know and wont look outside there own box. I found a “Non Traumatic Discectomy” in Beverly Hills. The incision during surgery is not an incision at all. The scar is the size of a freckle. The procedure seems to be the least invasive and the smallest in size. They do not go thru the bone of the vertebrae. They gain access to the herniation without removing bone. It appears to have the least likelihood of complications and scarring. I was very impressed by the testimonials. There references were exactly what I have been looking for. I like the definition of success and there success rates. It appears to be my best choice.
    They reviewed my MRI last week. The surgeon answered all of my questions to my satisfaction. I flew out Monday. I completed my EKG, blood work, and consultation today. They will map my spine out and perform surgery tomorrow.
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  • Surgery went well. They went in the first time (8am) and shot dye into different parts of my spine. They brought me back out and sent me out for a CAT scan. I was back that afternoon. Their morning surgery on a different patient went late so my 1pm appointment turned into a 4pm surgery. I think I was back out around 6 or 7. I am not sure to be honest. They said it went very well. They had no complications during surgery. I don’t have any signs of complications that I can see. My hips felt slightly sore last night. They are not sore today. I haven’t taken any pain meds. I iced my back 3 times last night. The tightness in my back is gone. I feel a bit different (not sure how much of that is mental). I can’t quite put my finger on it. I am still cautious walking. No pin pricking in the pads of my feet. My 3 little toes feel slightly different. They said I could have a few shooting pains down my leg, but I haven’t had any yet. I go in later this morning for my post evaluation. I am scheduled to fly home today. I hope this progresses and I continue to recover.
  • Post operation evaluation yesterday went well. No shooting pains. No pricking in the right foot. I do still have the occasional pricking on my 3rd smallest toe. That was the first thing I noticed when my back went out. I tried to stand up on my toes with my right leg and had some movement.
    Flew from LAX to ATL, spent the night in Atlanta and took my last flight to Panama City this morning. Actually made it thru the airport without a wheelchair on the way back. I was still walking very slow. Trying to take it very easy. Still no pain pills needed. They did put a spinal block in during surgery. I need to do more research to gain a better understanding of the spinal block.
    My goal is to take it easy and recover. I would really like to avoid reherniating my disk. I see a lot of posts here about multiple herniations and I am defiantly trying to avoid future problems if possible. They took 2 ½ inches of stuff out. I am icing 3-4 times a day and on the anti-inflammatorys. I will look into therapy next week. I do seam to be walking better, but I am not going to try to push myself in any way.
    I hope I continue to progress. I am going to make every effort to put myself on a path to the best recovery possible.
    I am a bit on the optimistic side. The surgery was very seamless. No stitches and just a bandage. It went just like their references said it would. I still haven’t seen the entry point for the surgery. They told me the bandage should come off on its own in the next week or so. I am keeping my fingers crossed that things continue to improve without any setbacks.
  • You are a man of ACTION. Not only did you decide what to do, but you flew across the country to get it done.

    I am sending my very best wishes for a speedy recovery. I hope this procedure works out well for you and solves your back problems.

    I will be interested in learning more about what you had done and how you even heard about the surgeon, etc.

    Take it easy now and give yourself a chance to thoroughly heal and recover.


  • You flew from LAX (my hometown) to ATL (my adopted town) and drove to panama City? Wow...you're brave or superman or something! I'm curious about 2 1/2 inches of "stuff"? What was it, where was it, was it calcified, how are you today? What constitutes a "non traumatic discectomy"? Is this a surgery using a laser? Where in L.A. do you live? I was born and raised there and still have many friends and too much family located in L.A. Sorry, I'm something of a curious cat!
  • I am trying to not get in trouble with the forum rules. I really like this site and have used this forum for support, and reference when talking to different doctors and surgeons. It makes it a lot easier to refer back thru time.
    From day one I was hoping that I could find some unbiased guide to the different types of surgery. I am not sure the best way to evaluate different procedures, but there has to be something better than what we currently have. It really bothered me that it is 2009 and surgeons still seem to need to cut thru bone to get to a herniated disk. HOW CAN THIS BE, IT IS 2009. Haven’t we made any technological advances? Turns out there are and some surgeons have been doing it for over 10 years.

    The neurosurgeon who does this procedure refers to it as “non traumatic discectomy”. If you do a Google search for that phrase you will find him as the first result with his office in Beverly Hills.

    I am by no means an expert. I am just the next guy with significant back issues trying to make the best choices. It is 3 days after surgery and I have no clue what is ahead for me. I am just thrying to make the best choices. From the research I did, I believe this surgery over the standard Microdiscectomy everyone else seems to be doing has every indication of being less invasive. We will see the true results over time.

    I can say that I have ecstatic about my results so far. Everything went exactly as their references said their procedure went. One of the hardest things for us is that we are all different. What works for one of us may not work for the next. I still believe there should be a better way to help us evaluate the best path.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    I had surgery in Beverly Hills. I had to fly to LAX from Panama City, Florida. I connected thru Atlanta. I flew back the whole way, I wanted to avoid the 6 hour drive from Atlanta to Panama City.
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