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Avatar universal

Cant stand on tip toes and calf muscle atrophy

Cant stand on tip toes and calf muscle atrophy

I'm numb from my crotch down the back of my leg to my foot, but noticed in the past 2 weeks or so my right calf muscle was feeling very tight, never paid much attention but over the past few days I noticed I cant tippy toe on that foot and it scares the hell outta me!!

I had severe sciatica last feb (08) lasted for about 10 weeks. Was on Naproxen, Co-Codamol 30-500's and Tramadol for the pain, one day my back went and couldnt walk for about 8 hours, after that it got gradually better (as in pain was less) but developed the numbness now the wasting calf muscle!!

Can anyone help me on this, what I need to do, exercises etc to rebuild the muscle or lessen the numbness.

Does anyone know if the numbness has replaced my severe sciatic pain?
Jon
33 Responses
454186 tn?1388978568
how are you now? getting better?
Avatar universal
Hi Blackfire, I had the same exact symptoms as you.  It started as severe sciatica running down the back of my right leg all the way to my foot.  Turns out that I had a herniated L5 disc that was impinching my S1 nerve.  I went for about 5 months with that condition before opting for a discectomy.  I had a discectomy back in Dec 2008 and shortly thereafter I noticed right leg weakness and calf numbness and inability to stand on tippy toes.  I underwent 5 months of physical therapy and exercising on my own but didn't notice any improvement in my condition.  I am now 4 weeks post second surgery in less than a year.  I had nerve decompression surgery back in november.  The procedure was performed by a neuro surgeon but he did explain to me before the procedure that there were no guarantees I would see any improvements.  Now four weeks post surgery I am noticing a little improvement and starting to gain a little strength back in my leg and the calf is starting to get a little stronger as well, day-by-day.  The definition is finally starting to return to my calf.  However, some days are better than others.  Some days my leg feels strong while on other days it feels like it did before the second surgery.  I'm actually not sure what to conclude at this point and I'm not so sure the second surgery is going to be a permanent fix.  I recommend that you go see a neurosurgeon and explain your condition and ask for an MRI.  If you have a compressed nerve in your lower back, physical therapy or other non-invasive procedures won't work.  They will just irritate the nerve more and more.  On my MRI before the second surgery, the irritated nerve showed up clear as day as it was swollen and easiy recognizable.  I'm afraid if you do nothing your problems with your right leg and calf will only worsen and could end up becoming permanent.  There is a strong probability that based upon the symptoms you listed in your post you have nerve compression in the L5/S1 region as well.  But only a neurosurgeon will be able to diagnose and provide you with different options for treatment.  Oh, BTW, don't opt for the accupuncture either.  That non-invasive procedure was only an irritant and made my ears hurt after the doc put pins in my ear lobes. Made my lower back hurt as well after being shocked with 6000 volts of electricity on numerous occasions trying to make my condition better.  The only thing that treatmant made me want to do was whip the doctor's ***.  I was only scheduled for one of those appointment and that was my decision.  

If your symptoms are anything like mine, you have the problems with the right leg but no back pain.  I still don't have any back pain and thankfully I do see slight improvement with my leg.  We'll see what my condition is a few months from now.

Hope this helps. Let me know what you decide to do and how you're progressing.  Like you, I'm also concerned about long-term prognosis.
Avatar universal
I read your response to blackfire.  Interesting.
I have been to 2 specialists ... neuro-surgeons and one was the head of medicine in his field for a well known hospital.

I have ... through tests ... lost muscle mass in my calf muscles.
I am unable to lift up and stand on my toes on either leg.
Even by holding onto a chair to balance or push down on ... legs can't lift my body.  Very frustrating.  Especially since I was an athlete who used to do calf raises with weights.

I have NO back or leg pain ... other than I am often prone to leg cramps.  I have also experienced deep, deep pain in my knee and shins.  It's like my leg just has a "deep pain" and it feels as if my leg is a piece of wood.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Just trying to find some answers.

Sincerely,

Indiana Dude
Avatar universal
I read your response to blackfire.  Interesting.
I have been to 2 specialists ... neuro-surgeons and one was the head of medicine in his field for a well known hospital.

I have ... through tests ... lost muscle mass in my calf muscles.
I am unable to lift up and stand on my toes on either leg.
Even by holding onto a chair to balance or push down on ... legs can't lift my body.  Very frustrating.  Especially since I was an athlete who used to do calf raises with weights.

I have NO back or leg pain ... other than I am often prone to leg cramps.  I have also experienced deep, deep pain in my knee and shins.  It's like my leg just has a "deep pain" and it feels as if my leg is a piece of wood.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Just trying to find some answers.

Sincerely,

Indiana Dude
1194360 tn?1265072204
A year and a half ago I ruptured my L6!-S1 disc and am still experienceing problems.  I also had minor ruptures L3-L5, but those are much better.  However I have experienced atrophy in my calf and foot.  My little toe has a mind of its own, and my big toe has lost at least half of its strength, but everything seems to have stabilized now.  The Nuerosurgeon told me that no surgery could help me, only time.  He did'nt want to cut into me, as I was not in severe constant pain.  Try to do walking daily, it's the only thing that helps. I'm okay with one foot being 2 shoe sizes smaller than the other, because when it first happened walking was agony for 6 months, so I'm grateful to be able to walk now with my little foot.  I had physical therapy and still do the methods I was taught whenever pain sets in, it helps a lot.  I took 6 pain pills in total, but everyone kept giving them to me, I could open a pharmacy with what I was given, but I did'nt want to get dependant on that stuff, so I just toughed it out, not fun. I know it could be several years before I feel better, so don't give up.  Most back surgery is barbaric, and leads to more problems.  Your spine is in a perfect vacuum, don't let anyone open it up.  Good Luck!! Don't give up...
Avatar universal
All of your symptoms sound very familar.  Roughly two full months after my second surgery in two years, I'm starting to re-gain strength in my right leg and in my calf.  Definition in the calf is also starting to return.  Going to see a neurologist or a neurosurgeon is definitely the right approach for you.  I didn't do that back in 2008 and saw an Orthopedic surgeon instead.  Mistake on my part!  As you know, the nerves in the back are very sensitive and it is my opinion that the problems I'm now experiencing were caused by my surgery back in 2008.  A neurologist or a neurosurgeon will definitely take the nerves into consideration whenever outlining a treatment plan for you.  I'm optimistic that my improvement will continue and I will regain most of the strength in my leg.    Let me know how you progress and what you decide about a treatment plan.  
Avatar universal
You may want to be tested for Charcot Marie Tooth which is a mile form of Muscular Dystrophy. I had the same symptoms, I was an athletic person and never had a problem until one day I fell and injured my back. After much exercising and chiropractic work, I still didn't see positive results, so I ended up visiting the MDA and was tested for Muscular Dystrophy. It is a neurological disorder that progresses slowly overtime. But the moment you start realizing the weakness in the calf muscles, that's when it becomes apparent and it almost feels like the symptoms came out of "nowhere". The major symptoms are weakness in the calves, not being able to stand on your toes, and eventually you will have more atrophy of the leg muscle. It is a condition that you can live a very fulfilling life, just might need orthodics, special shoes, and regular exercise to keep the muscles strong that you still have. www.mda.org
Avatar universal
. I had emergency spinal surgery in 2004 due to a severe herniated disc and was tild I could have been paralysed but I was lucky. The pain has gone but I lost the ability to stand on tip toe on my left foot and like you have a limp. I am very conciuous of this and feel people look at me. Its harder to walk uphill than down for obvious reasons. Somewtimes it gets me down but I shouldnt complain. My left calf is nearly 2 inches less in size and is now quite apparent. I was told that I would never have the ability to stand on tip toe again as the nerve damage was permanent, and they weere right as here I am 7 years later. Please keep in touch as no one understands what it feels like, only those like us.

Regards and best wishes

Andrea
Avatar universal
I have had pretty bad back pain which has increased to the back of my leg down to my left calf for about 2 months and have been going to physical therapy.  I was told that my back muscles and quads are too tight and are making my lower back pinch my nerves, just today after attempting to do the exercises my PT showed me I noticed that I am able to stand and lift myself up and down on my right toes however unable to even budge myself with my left leg.  It feels like I have no control of my foot/ankle.  I am however able to move my ankle in all directions as long as no weight is on it.  I appreciate all the info you all have shared and have hopefully saved me a lot of damage.  I am not going to just tough it out and hope it gets better, and going to the doctor and requesting an MRI asap.
Avatar universal
Your comment here hits home very much.  I recently had emergency back surgery due to a herniated disc in my lower back.  The doctor screwed up and I ended up having 2 sugeries in a row because he missed the whole left side of my disc and had to go back in.  Since then I have had a snowball effect of all sorts of other problems due to the nerve damage in my back.  My calf muscles are completely gone.  Mainly in my left leg.  I can't stand on my toes at all and noticed my muscle just hangs in my leg.  I also now am having problems with my female area as the muscle that holds everything into place is also now failing.  I am having a prolaps uterus, prolaps bladder and colon now too.   My colon muscles do not work properly either.  My surgeon has basically kicked me to the curb as he is done with me and tells me to go see my regular doctors now until I need back surgery again.  I have severe nerve damage now and all they tell me is that it can take 6 months to 2 years for my nerves to regenerate if at all.  I am very scared and have a a bunch of more tests coming up here in October for a whole pelvic floor testing and then probably more surgeries.  
Avatar universal
Hello.. I had back surgery in 2002.. emergency .. told I was lucky not to be paralysed.. I have a permanent limp.. cannot tip toe on my left leg and realize I have a disability.  I am sad to realize I will always have a limp.  Walking for excercise is difficult for me.  I relate to you.  What I dont know is did my surgeon cause this or was the fact the l4 , l5compressed nerve that fragmented into my spinal column create.  I can live with the numbness in the portion of my right genital area and portion of  the rectal area.. numbness in the back of my leg outer thigh.. but the limping is really a bummer.
Avatar universal
so are these side effects common, or are we just the unlucky few. I'm only 3 weeks outside of an emergency microdicectomy where my entire right leg was so numb and in so much pain I was at the emergency room and 2 days later I had surgery.  I however can't make a muscle with my right leg and I'm worried that the dr won't let me drive if I can't push down with my right calf. I'm walking with a limp. My balance is bad, my legs are weak. steps are terrible.  Again I'm only 3 weeks out from surgery though.  the funny thing is my hernated disc was pushing on my left side nerve originally and that's where all the pain and weakness was originally.  the bulge was so big it hooked itslef around and impacted my right side worse than my left side was impacted.  After reading these comments, I'm getting pretty nervous.  
1 Comments
Are you better now? I'm two weeks out of L5/S1 Disectomy. Pain was originally in buttocks and numbness same area. However since coming out of surgery I now have pain in my leg behind my knee and I can't actually stand on my tip toes or do a heel raise!! Have you improved?
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