In 1998 I had a discectomy. Everything worked out great with the exception of extreme weakness in my right foot. Therapy did not help and after 10 years my calf muscle is noticebly smaller, I walk with a limp and my wife says that my lower leg is "bowing" out. Uneven ground is difficult to walk on as well as soft ground and gravel. I roll the right ankle quite often, sometimes I fall. Hiking or other walking exercise is becoming difficult enough that I pass up these opportunities. My wife and I are active,and this condition is getting the best of me. It limits me from many physical activities. I am to the point of trying to locate a solution to repair this. I am too young to resign myself to a cane or crutch. Can you assist me in a solution or am I just going to have to alter my lifestyle to accomodate.
If you sustained nerve damage (which is what can cause weakness and atrophy of the muscle) 10 yrs ago, it will not return to normal. If nerves are going to recover they must do so within 1 year.
Sometimes a small brace (called an AFO: Ankle-foot orthosis) can be a big help but a doctor such as a physiatrist or rehab specialist can sort it out depending on what muscles are weak.
When a leg "bows out" one must also look at the knee to check its alignment (which has nothing to do with your back or nerves).
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