Post Transplant - Core numbness and weakness

Posted by mellow123 @mellow123, Mar 29, 2021

Hello. I’m 9 months post-liver transplant . Im challenged with a couple of physical things. First, the numbness in my abdomen area. Parts of the numb area are gradually regaining feeling, but I know to expect that some of the area will remain numb indefinitely so I’ll learn to accept that.

My biggest challenge is my core strength, stability, and flexibility,I realize it’s significant that they sliced my abdomen muscles to get to my liver, but 9 months later It still feels like I’m walking around with some 30 pound mass in my core, can lose my balance ( thsts greatly improving! , and it generally feels like my abdomen muscles are almost dead or inactive.
Is this normal? How long should the healing process take until I can walk around normally without being reminded that I had major surgery in my abdomen?

Thanks

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Transplants group.

@mellow123 i was transplanted in September of 2018. I have a lot of the same issues. I Sent to my Gym anytime fitness. Got with my trainerstrainer and they set up a programs to strengthen my core i am doing great my core is still numb but I am very strong in the core now. I amble to do multiple planks now.. I hope this helps , congratulations on the transplant ,much prayers and strength. God Bless

REPLY

@mellow123

Congratulations on the new liver!

I had the same thing after my kidney transplant. Because of the type of disease I had my kidneys grew to be very large and both were removed at the time of my transplant. I was months out of surgery and still unstable, weak and prone to pulling muscles. It wasn't until I went to my primary doctor who referred me to a Physical Therapist that I started to turn the corner. Turns out I needed very specific exercises to strengthen my core and train my nerves to "talk" to each other again. The first day I wasn't able to sit on an exercise ball and lift one foot of the ground without falling over – yikes. I highly recommend seeing a Physical Therapist.

You've been through a lot and deserve to feel better!

@jolinda

REPLY

I think you might find this related discussion interesting.
– What exactly is proprioception? Anyone with experiences? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/propriociption/

I agree with the recommendation of seeing a physical therapist. @mellow123, have you considered PT?

REPLY

@mellow123, I would like to ask you how you are getting along since you last posted here about your transplant recovery.

Have you noticed any changes in regard to the numbness in your abdominal area?

And what about your core strength, stability, and flexibility? Others have offered their experience about what has worked for them after their transplant surgeries. With your doctor's permission, did you find a way to increase and improve your post transplant progress?

REPLY

Hello. I had a liver transplant six weeks ago. Did you get help for building up your core strength? I walk around hunched over most of the time. I would be very interested in knowing what may have helped you. Thank you!

REPLY
@crystalfaye

Hello. I had a liver transplant six weeks ago. Did you get help for building up your core strength? I walk around hunched over most of the time. I would be very interested in knowing what may have helped you. Thank you!

Jump to this post

I am at my 3 month post liver transplant and have been surprised at both the numb areas as if my gut was hiven novacaine and sharp muscle and nerve pains that are likely reacting to an unplanned torque in my body. According to a friend who donated part of her liver 12 years ago, some numbness will never recover and as she got back to regular exercise she would get occasional sharp pains for the first 2 years. I keep needing to be reminded that this major surgery has disturbed alot of muscles and nerves a nd healing will take a long time. Also my meds especially tacrolimus gives me temirs at times so bad that my balance is impacted. Give yourself time and work on muscles to gradually getting straight instead of hunched. The meds and the healing process will make you feel weak. Rest when needed. Stretch carefully and gradually. Healing takes patience, acceptance and moderated discipline for that bit of a push to get stronger. Barbara

REPLY

@crystalfaye I was very hunchy after my liver transplant- they called it in part guarding, which makes sense that we do that. I’ve done two rounds of outpatient PT during the 8+ months post transplant. I’ve needed help with getting re conditioned and coping with back aches. My last PT focused a lot on posture and stretching which helps my back and this insane amount of stiffness I’ve had. My posture is now much better and I feel more comfortable in my body in general. You should run it by your doc, but it’s helped me each morning to stretch in bed before I get up, and throughout the day, stop and reset my posture but pushing my shoulders back and squeezing my shoulder blades together. Very simple stretch’s and LOTS of walking are quiet miracles.

REPLY
@katebw

@crystalfaye I was very hunchy after my liver transplant- they called it in part guarding, which makes sense that we do that. I’ve done two rounds of outpatient PT during the 8+ months post transplant. I’ve needed help with getting re conditioned and coping with back aches. My last PT focused a lot on posture and stretching which helps my back and this insane amount of stiffness I’ve had. My posture is now much better and I feel more comfortable in my body in general. You should run it by your doc, but it’s helped me each morning to stretch in bed before I get up, and throughout the day, stop and reset my posture but pushing my shoulders back and squeezing my shoulder blades together. Very simple stretch’s and LOTS of walking are quiet miracles.

Jump to this post

Great information! Thank you for sharing. I think I am going to pursue PT. Your issues sound almost identical to what I am experiencing. Did you have a lot of numbness or any skin issues? My skin is so sensitive all over my body.

REPLY

I still have numbness on the right side of my abdomen. My abdomen is a land unto itself! The right side is more swollen than the left though by now swelling is better. For about 3 months my skin all over was itchy, tingly and weird. I’ve Sarna anti itch cream for itching but I don’t put anything on my scar. I’m told to shower everyday and let soap bubbles flow around me but no scrubbing on my abdomen, no lotions etc. I’d say in general I felt strange sensations all over for the the first 3 months post surgery. I was convinced that I’d always feel that way and I told myself to take my lumps because after all I was alive. I have a 20 year old daughter and my husband/her father died suddenly when she was 8. I didn’t want her to face early adulthood without parents, this has been my essential focus. However, early on I crabbed about these discomforts. It’s a bit of an emotional trick to be so happy to live but yet the aftermath discomfort is also to be taken seriously. I do believe you will feel better soon- I’m a big fan of PT- and the business of living again feels more enjoyable. This is hard to go through and I honor people when they reach out.

REPLY

Thank you so very much for sharing!!! I know that my recovery will just take time. I am so thankful to God for his goodness!

REPLY

@crystalfaye, @ajdo129 – Welcome to Mayo Connect. It is fantastic that you both have recently joined Connect – and – you are both recent liver transplant recipients. Congratulations on your liver transplants!
I am also a transplant recipient. I received a liver and kidney in 2009. Reading your posts brings back memories of my own post transplant recovery time. I was a daily walker before liver failure and kidney failure. I benefited from PT in hospital during pre transplant hospitalizations and also during my recovery time. I remember the discomfort of standing up straight and the back aches. As @katebw has already shared, walking and more walking as are excellent. You just have to listen to your body and be careful not to over do it!

What do you wish that you knew before your transplant that might have made your recovery easier for you and for your family?

REPLY

I wish I had been forewarned about the tremors from tacrolimus. I was told there might be shakiness which I imaged as mild compared to the Parkinson's like tremors where I shake so bad at times I lose my balance.
I am seeing a physical therapist twice a week to work on balance snd strength. Also I am changing diet to eliminate my 1 cup of coffee a day and increase magnesium rich foods.

Everyone I know says I look great and how courageous I was to go through so much. Inside I don't feel great; I don't recognize myself in the mirror and; the emotional and mental aspects of my transplant journey have yet to catch up with my physical accomplishment.
It is awkward to to be so very greatful for a new life and ready to get back to teaching, dancing and everyday chores while facing debilitating and unpredictable symptoms that slog down those goals. I have accepted that the tremors may last a whole year and recovery is alot slower than implied.

My 4 month check up is around the corner and I am looking forward to decreasing some meds and finding out when I can add abdominal exercise to my aqua aerobics. When I can control my tremor induced loss of balance I will be back to the dance floor again.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment