Balance & Gait Problems: A Real Puzzler
I'm a 77-year-old retired male. Although I'm generally healthy, I have balance and gait problems. They snuck up on me sneakily, starting (I'm guessing) about ten years ago. They've been manageable until recently (the past 1-2 years); if I were just careful, I'd be okay. Lately, I suspect they're getting worse. (I've fallen twice in the past few months.) My doctor has been puzzled because I have no dizziness (no pain either); everything from my waist up seems A-okay; the lower half of me seems to be the problem. And the lower half of me does have some "issues." My right knee is prosthetic, and my left is arthritic. My orthopedist tells me my 12-year-old prosthetic is in good shape, and my arthritic knee, though occasionally painful, can still be managed with injections. I have seriously flat feet (pronated), for which I have been wearing orthotics for nearly 30 years. The last time I saw my podiatrist, I asked if my bad might be contributing to my balance and gait problems; he thought no, that I still have good circulation and nerve response. At my wit's end, I met with a neurosurgeon, thinking my difficulties might be all "in my head." Two MRIs––brain and cervical spine––showed only "borderline" cervical myelopathy, which the surgeon thought wasn't operable; nor did he think it was the cause of my get-around difficulties. So, I'm at a loss as to where to turn next. Tuesday, I'll be meeting with my primary doctor to go over all of this. I suspect I'll be giving her a real puzzler. I thought I'd post here on the off-chance that others have had similar difficulties figuring out what was causing their balance and gait problems.