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  • Jellyhall
    Participant
    Post count: 90

    I know that with cord compression in the neck, you can have leg symptoms.
    I do have cervical spondylotic stenosis affecting my cord, and have symptoms in my legs and feet (as well as my arms and hands.)

    I have started to get pain in my right buttock and back of that leg down to the calf which is very reminiscent of the sciatica that I had bilaterally before my lumbar decompression and fusion of L4/5 for spondylolisthesis. Can this symptom be coming from the compression in my neck, or could it indicate that there are lumbar issues starting up again?

    I would like to thank you for a brilliant website and for the time you give to spinal sufferers to answer our questions. It is a wonderful resource to get information and very accessible to the untrained.

    Thank you!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8455

    Typically, symptoms in the lower extremities originating from cervical myelopathy (cord dysfunction from compression) are paresthesias, clumsiness and imbalance, occasionally electrical shocks down the spine into the legs and numbness.

    Right buttocks pain that radiates down the back of the leg to the calf is most likely due to nerve irritation or compression in the lumbar spine.

    Dr. Corenman

    Jellyhall
    Participant
    Post count: 90

    Thank you Dr Corenman, although this is not what I wanted to hear.
    Before my fusion the discs above and below were not in a good state but the surgeon felt that they weren’t bad enough to warrant fusing or putting in a device to take the pressure off. (When I asked about that he said that my insurance wouldn’t cover it.)

    Are there things I can do to help myself?
    I generally walk 2 miles each day to keep things working as advised by my physiotherapist, but have stopped other exercises I used to do because they seemed to be flaring up my neck and thoracic spine.

    I do not have the buttock and down the leg pain every day, just occasionally. I do have other nerve pain in both legs and feet that I believe is coming from my neck compression. This has improved since I have been taking Nortriptyline.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8455

    As long as you do not have motor weakness, the symptoms originating from the lower back, if tolerable do not need to be addressed. Core strengthening is the mainstay for exercies to protect the lower back.

    Dr. Corenman

    Jellyhall
    Participant
    Post count: 90

    Dr Corenman, can I just clarify how motor weakness and numbness show themselves?

    I do have occasional pain causing a feeling in my ankles (particularly the left ankle, but also less so in the right) that I have badly sprained my ankle and can’t put any weight on it. This will last for a while (1/2 hour or so) and then fades away until my ankle feels fine again. I have not thought that this is how motor weakness would show itself, but I am not sure.

    As for numbness, I do have in the top of my feet, around my ankle and lower leg, a reduction of sensation where touching lightly cannot be felt, but if I rub in the same place, I can feel that. I have this same loss of sensation over my wrists and lower forearm. I have assumed that numbness means a total loss of sensation as if I had slept on it causing it to go completely asleep with no feeling at all.

    I am correct in thinking that what I have does not count as motor weakness nor numbness?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8455

    Motor weakness is a feeling of undependability of the joint that the muscle crosses. For example, if the L5 nerve was compressed, the tibialis anterior would be weak. This muscle lifts the foot when walking so weakness would be demonstrated by a slapping of the foot on the ground when you step on the leg.

    If the L3 or L4 nerve would be involved, the knee would collapse when ascending or descending a curb or stairs. Pain inhibition does not count as weakness.

    You do have some numbness but this is a sensory nerve involvement and not to be too concerned.

    Dr. Corenman

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