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How do you protect your "good" leg?

Lala329LLala329 Posts: 283
Random quick question:

How do you guys protect your "good" leg? Between the muscle weakness and pain in the radiculopathy leg I end up walking all weird and get pretty significant pain in the lateral aspect of my knee in my "good" leg. I know it's from all the limping and what not, and my PM doc has assured me that I am not going to damage my knee (gosh, I'm phobic of other body parts going out), but since it's pretty significant pain I thought it was worth asking because I know I can't be the only one...

Thanks :) I have my SCS trial coming up, so here's hoping it helps me have 2 good legs again :oP


  • :D
    That's a very good question you posed. I have no answer for you but I can attest that you not along in your fears about other body parts going out.

    I started my whole journey into spine hell with my left foot being in pain two years ago. I took months before I had surgery on my foot and during that time I was walking funny to favor the hurting foot. Well, I believe that's what caused my disc issue in my lower back, which led to more pain, etc., etc.

    All I can offer is to wear shoes with proper arch and cushioning -- I wore a pair of Easy spirit shoes for almost a year -- they saved me!

    Best of luck to you, take care,

  • I use a cane on the opposite side so that the cane and my leg touch ground at the same time to take the pressure off that leg. Some may say the cane changes the way you carry your back but limping changes the back also. Good luck with your SCS trial! Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • Had my surgery in March 2005-A complete disaster my apparatus failed after getting up and walking day after surgery..I ended up with 5 surgerys and 10 weeks in the hospital. My problem now is severe nerve damage.anyone had this experience?
  • I had the misfortune about two months ago to hurt my good leg. I was coming down the stairs like I normally do leading with my good leg and holding on to the wall when I felt a pop in my "good" knee. I went down and ended up at the ER where they said I tore a ligament. It freaked me out so much because I was so worried about what effect it would have on my mobility. The docs tried to give me a walker but I opted for a cane instead and used it for several weeks. It is now finally getting almost back to normal.

    It was not easy having to favor the side that I usually count on, and I am so glad that it didn't last longer than it did. I sure hope it doesn't happen again!
  • I would see about some PT. They should be able to teach you how to compensate.
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  • I know it is difficult but you need to try and make sure you use both legs and not favor. We have to think as we walk especially stairs. We know we are not damaging the bad leg further but the last thing we want is to damage the good one also..

    If I can not help but favor one leg I honestly just try to limit my mobility that day.

  • Lala,
    For some time I continued to stand on one leg and that in itself will cause problems for my spine, posture and hips in the future; I did use a cane to compensate for that overall weakness and try to put more weight on that. Not that I climb many stairs these days I ascend one at a time and the same on the way down, I have no sensation in my foot or toes and do try to do similar PT at home on both side and do seated exercise to try and keep that strength and flexibility I do have going.

    It is difficult not to compensate when walking and creating addition problems separate to our underlying condition and although I have stopped using my cane, it did not enable me to walk any more distance only improved the balance that I have. I now have to make a mental note of where I can sit down, with that immediacy as I move from place to place and the accumulative effort needed so that I have sufficient energy and capacity for the return journey.

    Although it may seem logical to use our poor leg more once that overall usage declines no amount of PT may give satisfactory improvement.

    I work with limbless young children and am always interested in how they walk and adapt to challenging circumstance.

    Take care and good luck.

  • Great question and probably a concern many of us have. My biggest fear (I've told my doctor) is losing my "good Leg" to the same numbness, pain that my other leg has. Or, doing damage to my good leg's knee or hip.

    I was told PT was focused on body mechanics.
    The more I thought about the exercises, I realized how true this was. The more I was told..."keep doing the exercises even after PT ends", the more I realized it was true.

    PT is about strengthening the core and other muscles so your body learns how work under the new 'condition' so that you don't do more damage.

    I do have to concentrate when I'm walking not to limp but I also have to do my stretches regularly to keep my hip flexors from being tight and I do my other exercises to keep my knees stronger.

    But the practice is key.
    The more practice, the more your body starts doing things automatically. Like when I sit, I just suck in my abs more sub-consciously b/c I practiced doing it.

    Hpoe this helps.
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