Cervical stenosis: Leg weakness

Posted by candrgonzalez @candrgonzalez, Aug 25, 2019

Hi. I’m 59 years old female with chronic neck pain. I have been diagnosed with cervical stenosis and a bulging disc. I am very concerned because I get leg weakness and loose my balance. Has anyone have this leg problem? I just started seeing a pain management Doctor and he said he is going to treat me with some neck injections.

@candrgonzalez

Hi Jen. As of today my balance problem and pain is better. Maybe the neck injections helped? But now I have an issue with loosing muscle. I started to lose weight and went to see my PCP and Pain Management (lost 7 pounds- I'm very slim so 7 pounds is very noticeable for me) and the Doctors tell me is from loosing muscle because of my back issues (pinched nerve on neck and low back). Have you had muscle problems? I am very concerned about this.

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@candrgonzalez I did loose at least half of my muscle mass in my shoulders and upper arms, mostly on the back where I didn't notice it happening because of atrophy from spinal cord compression at C5C6. Along with that there was weakness, exhaustion and pain when I had to raise my arms. Pushing a shopping cart or driving a car were very difficult. Now, as I approach the 3 year anniversary of my decompression surgery, a lot of muscle has come back from physical therapy, but not all of it. There is still a deficit of about 25 % missing. Perhaps that will continue to improve. Time will tell. If I had had surgery sooner, I probably would have more muscle now, and I would have done it sooner, but I could not find a surgeon willing to help me for 2 years. My case had an unusual presentation of symptoms that was misunderstood by 5 surgeons. That's why I came to Mayo. Epidural injections help by reducing inflammation which relieves some pressure and they may help for awhile, but the effects are temporary and it won't fix the problem. If the spine issues progress further, at some point, injections may not help any more. The injected steroid also interferes with getting a good MRI image. I had to wait 6 weeks after an injection to get a new MRI and it showed progression of bone spurs.

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Thank you for the information. I have an appointment Monday with Pain Management and I'm going to ask for Surgery Consultation Referral (Mayo does not accept my Insurance).

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@candrgonzalez

Thank you for the information. I have an appointment Monday with Pain Management and I'm going to ask for Surgery Consultation Referral (Mayo does not accept my Insurance).

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@candrgonzalez You're welcome. It may be worth checking at all 3 Mayo campuses because the insurance that is accepted might be different between them. If not, you can try looking for a surgeon at a university with a medical school. I'm glad you are feeling better.

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