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Back & Leg Symptoms

Pelvic fracture and nerve damage (LL pain) after pelvic bone graft for cervical disc operation

This is a long story, but I'll try to keep it short. Five months ago, I had neck surgery for 3 degenerated discs in my neck. The surgeon took bone from my pelvis to insert between the discs in my neck. The day after surgery when I stood on my feet, I suffered a fractured pelvis - the bone broke off from where the donor bone had been taken. The next day, the surgeon operated again and tried to put the bone back in place with a plate and screws. A week later, the hardware came apart. After consulting with a pelvic specialist, I underwent a third surgery, where the bone was taken off completely and the ligaments involved were reattached. After much pain and much struggle, I am walking with a cane. However, I am now suffering with severe nerve pain in the knee to thigh area. The stinging severe pain with bouts of searing stabbing sharp pains are starting to get to me. I have undergone PT and I exercise daily at the gym. Of course the only way I can do this is because I am taking the pain medication Vicodin. I also have been diagnosed with stenosis and I have osteoarthritis. I have also suffered with muscle and joint pain for the last ten years. All I needed was damaged nerves in my leg to add to the misery. Can you tell me if this nerve pain will go away in time or should I see a neurologist. Thanks.

Answer :

My best advice to you is to see a neurologist because if the nerve pain is due to nerve damage (you have had many manipulations to that area), it is not likely to go away on its own.

Loss of sexual competency after pelvic surgery

I had a total hysterectomy a year ago. I am 45 years old. I was extremely sexual active, etc. Since the surgery, I seem to have lost desire and stimulation sexually. I am taking hormones and testosterone. No luck, No thrills, Nothing. I am wondering could I have experienced nerve damage during my surgery and this could be the reason why I feel dead everywhere. Can nerve conduction restore any damage in this area, the pelvic region...

Answer :

To answer the EMG question, Nerve conductions WILL NOT restore damaged nerve, they are purely diagnostic in nature and have no therapeutic effects. The other question is more the domain of ob/gyn specialists but certainly nerves can be damaged during surgery in this area causing symptoms similar to yours

Post laparoscopic hernia operation leg pain

I have had leg pain for 3.5 years. It started just after laparoscopic surgery for my hernia. The first 18 months left me crippled. The pain is less now but still persists in the hamstring area. I recently saw a local neurologist and he thought the leg pain and hernia surgery were unrelated and he did not think an EMG was appropriate (I disagreed). Question: In your travels, have you ever heard a story like mine, & what do you think? Thanks

Answer :

Pain after surgery could be due to injury during the surgery or to the position of the patient during the procedure. When the symptoms improve, it means that the nerve is slowly growing back. What patients may be left with is some unusual posturing which they used to put themselves in to relieve the pain but which is no longer needed. These types of postures respond very well to physical therapy.

Femoral Nerve entrapment

Would complex repetitive discharges at L3-L4 and a H-reflex latency of 32.4 msec on the right side be possible evidence or indication of femoral nerve entrapment, especially 5 months post op for femoral hernioplasty ?

Answer :

The involvement of L3-4 paraspinals and a prolonged tibial H-reflex provide no information about the integrity of the Femoral nerve. If you meant L3-4 Femoral muscle was involved (Quadriceps) and H reflex in the Quadriceps was that prolonged, then indeed Femoral neuropathy is present.

Post discotomy Lumbar Radiculopathy

I had a microdiscetomy on my lower lumbar L5-S1 and had a large portion of disc removed. I had 2 EMGs that were stated normal, and basically considered to be a malingerer since I couldn't activate my leg like they wanted me to, so anyways just recently I under went the 3rd this one was stated as a abnormal study, having electrical evidence of an old (healed ) or chronic right l5 radiculopathy, also stated needle exam reveals mild chronic reinnervation in a right l5 distribution, here's the question What does this mean in human terms

Answer :

In human terms, this is like having scar tissue on your nerve which can be detected by the needle inside the muscle. These findings are likely scar tissues from your previous surgeries, not evidence of a new nerve injury

EMG in Hamstring pain

The muscles (I think it's the muscles) in the back of my left leg from my gluteuss maximus to my ankle has been hurting since November. I've seen my doctor and she prescribed Motrin and heat. That didn't seem to work. I thought it was a strained/pulled muscle but I know by now it would've gotten better and it hasn't. My doctor thought that's what it was too. I went to an orthopedic and he examined me too. My appointment for an EMG test is tomorrow and I've wanted to know what they do? Does it hurt? What could it be? Please tell all.

Answer :

It sounds like your doctor is suspecting a pinched nerve and an EMG will be very useful in showing it or ruling it out. It is an uncomfortable test, where the doctor uses electrical shocks to study the nerves and needle probes to study the muscles, but does not last too long and is usually quite useful for conditions like yours.

EMG in lumbar disc prolapse

A friend of mine recently had and EMG with normal results. His MRI reveals herniated discs at L4-5 and L5-S1. He frequently has pain radiating into his legs. Is an EMG a reliable test? Are there ever false negatives? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Answer :

Yes, EMGs can be "normal" in clinically and MRI confirmed root lesions. So if your friend has the clinical and MRI signs, a negative EMG does not rule it out.

Heel pain

I worked in the yard for a couple of hours on Monday morning. that afternoon it felt like there was a golf ball under my right heel when i walked. The next morning when I got out of bed my right heel hurt so bad I couldn't put the slightest weight on it. All day Wednesday and Thursday I couldn't walk because of the worst pain I have ever felt. (right heel) this is Friday morning and I am slightly recovering. Could this be a sciatic nerve thing? I have had this twice before in the last 40 years but it was both times in the knee. I am 69. any help would be welcome.

Answer :

What you describe does not sound like a sciatic nerve injury to me. My guess is that you have a local tendinitis, perhaps Achille's (heel) tendinitis which should improve on its own with some rest and icing of the heel.

Numbness in the legs

My mother is suffering from a numbness in her feet and legs that makes it almost impossible to walk It initially started as numbness in her feet several years ago. It has now advanced all the way to her thighs. The original diagnosis was Parkinson's - it's not. The Neurologist then suggested B-12 shots-it hasn't helped. She is now scheduled for an EMG next week. Any thoughts? Any past experiences?

Answer :

EMG stands for electromyography, which loosely translates into electrical testing of the muscles and nerves. The test is a little uncomfortable. The doctor uses electrical impulses applied to your skin to test nerve conductions and then uses a needle probe (without electricity) to study muscles in your leg and back. The whole test takes 30-45 minutes. The test is quite useful, although not a 100% fool proof, in detecting pinched nerves and diseased muscles.

Nerve damage healing process

Upon your advice, I went to see a neurologist and had an EMG. The doctor told me that I had nerve damage due to the three surgeries I had in October. He said that the nerves would eventually regenerate and gave me a prescription for amitriptaline. He wants me to work up to 50mg daily. Right now I am up to 40 mg. I notice a very slight improvement in the pain, burning, numbness, etc. Can you tell me how long the nerves could take to repair themselves? Am I looking at possibly a year or even more? It is the nerve that runs from the groin down both sides of the thigh and across the knee. Thanks for your comments.

Answer 1 :

Peripheral neuropathy (among other causes) commonly present with numbness in feet. Although we do not have all history and examination but as a first step in case of your mother is to rule out peripheral neuropathy by doing EMG and nerve conduction studies. I wonder do your mother have any symptoms in the hands? B12 deficiency is one cause of peripheral neuropathy.

Answer 2 :

The symptoms you describe are commonly seen with peripheral neuropathies, and when they go up to the thigh, it's a pretty advanced form. Neuropathies are most commonly seen with diabetes and alcohol (now or in the past) but there are a slew of other conditions, which can cause them such as (to cite only a few) toxic, occupational exposure, metabolic and nutritional problems, thyroid disease, a disease known as Guillain-Barre syndrome and of course B12 deficiency, which is accompanied by anemia. The EMG should help in finding out whether or not there is a neuropathy and what type, but does not tell you what's causing it. Based on the EMG results, a neurologist should be able to order some blood tests to determine (and see if it is possible to treat) the cause of the neuropathy.

Numbness along shin (anterior aspect of right leg)

2 months history of numbness along the shin complaint in a 55 yr. lady with no clinical evidence of peripheral neuropathy. No low backache, started insidiously.

Answer :

Numbness along the anterior aspect of the lower leg/dorsum of foot could be due to a superficial peroneal nerve lesion (check out the anatomy) or a root lesion or a mononeuropathy among others.. An EMG would be very helpful in this case

LL burning and weakness “p. neuropathy vs. myasthenia”

If a patient presented with leg burning, bilateral, and leg weakness, would not an EMG/nerve conduction study be one of the first tests a doctor might do? These were my symptons, and after two years, five neurologists, not one doctor did an EMG, until ten days ago. Diagnosis. Peripheral Neuropathy and possible Myathenis Gravis. From what I have read, it appears if the legs are burning, pain caused just by the touch of a hand, a sheet, or clothing, that an EMG should have been one of the first tests completed. What is your expert opinion? Thank you.

Answer :

Your symptoms are a definite indication for EMGs. The burning feet are due to what we call a small fiber neuropathy, usually seen in patients with Diabetes or nutritional disorders. Symptoms of Myasthenia include fatiguability, double vision, droopy eyelids etc. It is important to find out how sure is the Doctor who did the study on you of the Myasthenia diagnosis, or if he/she needs to refer you to a specialist in this disease, because if you have it, you need to be treated.