Donald Corenman, MD, DC
Post count: 8506

“Had a major L5-S1 ruptured/herniated disk which required a microdiscectomy (2013) because of calf weakness. The time between the weakness and surgery was about 1 week. Right before the surgery and right after, I could not do any single leg calf raises. The calf weakness after the surgery improved a small amount, but it took a lot of work, over a long time”.

Unfortunately, some nerves are irreparably damaged from the initial “violence” of the large disc herniation and even timely surgery (which yours was) is not enough to allow allow repair of the damaged fascicles (nerve fibers). Your nerve was probably operating on 50% of the remaining fibers until the puddle jump. I would have suspected a new herniation from that jump but you report no new changes. In this case, it probably was the stretch of the scarred root that caused further damage. Your interventionist hoped “a epidural shot was was performed because it was thought it might help with the weakness” but unfortunately, steroids are remarkably good for pain but don’t work for weakness.

See these for a better understanding:

Dr. Corenman