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Weak Calf Muscle



  • That's great news! What kinds of things are you doing in aqua therapy?

    I hate to think of you running, and especially on sand. Please be careful. Sand is not a level surface...even down by the water it is still slanted, so it will put uneven stress on your whole spine with every footfall. Did you ask your PT about it?

    It's really important to try to keep your muscles in balance as much as possible. But it sounds like you're making great progress.


  • Seven weeks outside of surgery. I have been swimming for 3 weeks. I also started hot yoga today. Never thought I would go to one of those tree hugger classes, but what are you going to do. It is part of my road back.
    Still no complications that I can see. My smallest fingers on my hands are reminding me less and less often that they are bothered in any way. My back was a little soar last week after my first day of land therapy. I took it easy for a few days after that. Most symptoms are completely gone. My toes were feeling completely normal for a few weeks. This week the smallest 2 feel a little different along with the pad of my foot below them. Noting bad, just different. We will see how long that lasts.
    Hopefully yoga will help increase core strength and increase flexibility. I am seeing improvement every day in calf strength and flexibility. I can run now without any major issue (not that I am running). I am just capable. Walking perfectly. Lost 10 lbs in the past month. Hopefully this continues and I continue toning up. I am not rushing anything. If I need to take it easy for a day or two I just take a few days off or work half days.
    So, long story short, I am happy with my current progress.
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  • Cre, it sounds like you have amazing insurance coverage to fly to LA for a procedure. Or, were you able to pay for this procedure out of pocket? I'm just a little confused...was the back institute in LA "in network"? Was there a lot of insurance red tape?

    Although I do not believe (maybe it is just hope) my condition will lead to surgery, if it does, the procedure you had completed sounds like the best surgical option and I need to know how you accomplished this with regards to insurance coverage.

    I'm Type A as well, and if I can get something done w/o removing bone, etc. and forego side effects such as scar tissue, then it will happen.
  • Don’t even get me started on our healthcare system. We appear to have the best doctors in the world. If they could only be found easily and covered by our insurance plans without having to fight the insurance company tooth and nail.
    My insurance company (auto insurance) has made every excuse in the book as to why I didn’t need chiropractic care, never mind surgery. I took a different approach with my insurance company some time ago. If they didn’t want to cover it, I would. We could fight about the rest later. It really screws up there system when they still get paperwork from the doctors, but they see you paid for it.
    I paid for the travel, hotel, food, surgery, CAT scans, and the procedure. My attorney says we will get it all reimbursed, but who knows. My surgeon is accepted by insurance companies, but I doubt he is “in network”. As I was laying in bed with a calf muscle that didn’t work and a host of other problems starting to pop up on a daily basis, I was way past being concerned about what insurance would and would not cover. I was more concerned about being the next guy to head down the path of surgery after surgery, fusion, and a failed back. If I have anything to say about it, I am going to be the guy who gets thru this.
  • If you saw me on the street, you would never think I was roughly 11 weeks outside of surgery. Having said that, I have put everything else in my life second to recovery. The pad of my left foot under my 3 smallest toes has felt puffy a lot less lately. I can also feel less of a difference between my 3 smallest toes and the rest of them. No back pain. My muscles are gaining strength and I am getting back into shape.

    I check in with my doctors about once a week. I am thankful they make themselves available for me. I am still only allowed to do yoga, but I may be cleared to start light weights in the days to come. I am doing “hot yoga” 3-5 times a week. It is humbling. When I first started I could barely do anything. I started out with private classes so I wouldn’t be fumbling thru a large class having no clue what I am doing. After 2 weeks I am doing regular classes. I have seen significant progress. I don’t push myself too hard. If I can’t do something, I accept it. I clearly see progress in each posture each time I come back. My left leg is weaker than my right. If my thigh cramps up at all I stop and massage it out. The stretches are hard. I can’t go near as far in several poses as most of the class (even a brand new student). I am making progress though.

    I am the last person you would ever expect in a yoga class. Some yoga stuff is just GOOFY. Some classes are great, but others you feel like everyone should just go out after, hug a tree together and sing “coom by ya”. Not exactly my ideal crowed. Sometimes I have to listen to some of the songs that are supposed to relax me and I just want to take a huge hammer (like in a Warner Brothers cartoon) and smash the radio. I am trying to be a little funny hear so if I missed, I apologize.

    My point is that it is GOOFY, but helping out a ton. I am exercising, sweating a ton, getting stronger, and NOT TWEAKING MY BACK. That is huge for me. My abs and core strength are coming back nicely. I also ordered P90X. Of coarse this does me no good because I am not allowed to do any of it yet. I did start the diet though. I believe this is also helping out a lot.

    If I am tired, I sleep. If I need a day or two of rest from working out I take it. If I need a afternoon off from work, I take it. I am no good to anyone with a back or leg that doesn’t work, especially me. I am doing my best to recover fully and listen to my body. That is my update.
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  • Doc’s cleared me to start a modified version of P-90x on 7/29. I started with VERY light weights. I am slowly increasing weight and reps. I have continued the hot yoga 3-4 times a week. Pad of left foot below 3 smallest toes still feels puffy at times. Some days are symptom less, others I can notice it.

    I am noticing some progress in each yoga class. It is slow progress but clear progress. I am increasing flexibility and leg strength. I am still worlds away from everyone else in the class when it comes to stretching and flexibility, but I am happy with my progress.

    8/14 I drove from Panama City, to Atlanta and on to Huntsville, AL. 6 hours to ATL and another 3 to Huntsville. I then had to sit thru a long dinner. My leg started acting up. I felt my left leg 3 smallest toes, pad below, and my calf started to ache a bit. I took a prescription anti-inflammatory and called it a night. Skipped working out the next 2 days but was feeling much better the following day. I drive from Huntsville to Panama City tomorrow (6 hours). Should be interesting to see how I do.
  • And I F*%# it up. Well hopefully not too badly. Tweaked my back today. I didn’t tweak my lower center back (thank god), but I do feel a tweak on the lower right side. It feels like a muscle I think. It is just on top of my right but cheek. No loss in motion, no shooting pains anywhere. Just a little tweak. Skipped my scheduled work out tonight, put the back brace on and have been relaxing for the afternoon. I will get a massage tomorrow and take it easy. Hopefully this is a minor bump in the road.
  • Turns out I didn't %&*@ it up. My diet was very strict and that was causing many of my muscles to cramp badly. I have continued with my work out schedule. Things are going well. Leg and calf muscles continue to come back. My calf muscles are seem to be tight less often. It is a very slow process, but I am seeing progress.
  • Read through your whole thread and definitely gave alot to think about.

    I was going in your direction in terms of getting the surgery but I think it comes down to the advice you get. So far pretty much every doc has told me you can beat it without surgery so it makes it tough to go forward with it and than when you read some of the horror stories it really makes you pause.

    I think when you are in that middle area in terms of the herniation being small but painful, it really is by far the most frustrating as opposed to a case where the herniation is obvious and the symptoms match.

    I give you many props for doing what you did.

    Wish you continued success in your recovery.

  • I have been using this forum for several reasons from the first time I registered. I have used it as a place to see what others are going thru, procedure research, and to keep a record for myself as to what happened when. I feel for anyone who needs to come here. Our symptoms are a minefield. Many of the procedures recommended send us down a dangerous path. It has been my experience that most of the doctors are misleading at best.
    I am very thankful for finding my surgeon and his procedure. I was literally falling apart. Most of the details were above. From what I understand my herniation was 3 times the size of a normal herniation that surgery would be recommended for. I left out the part where I started waking up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding and my two smallest fingers on each side being numb. Between not calf strength, my right knee starting to act up, now sleep and circulation issues, it was time to find a solution. My symptoms were clearly progressing and getting worse. It was by no means a quick fix, but didn't like the path I was heading down.
    In my opinion, no one can figure out your solution for you. You are the one who will have to deal with the ramifications of your choices. I don't know anything about your specific situation, but I wish you the best. Figuring out what I needed to do what the hardest thing I have ever gone thru. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I don't know what to say other than that.
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