Just thought I’d write a quick post to update on me and my lovely new symptom I’ve been getting recently – leg numbness.
I first noticed that I had numb patches running down my right leg about 6 months ago. I went to see a Dr who wasn’t much use and told me it was probably related to my scoliosis surgery (that I had almost 7 years ago) and to come back if it got worse. I do have numb patches over my back already that I’ve always had but I’ve definitely not always had this leg numbness, this is a new symptom.
So I tried my best to forget about it over the next few months and carried on with life as normal. However, I noticed that it wasn’t getting any better (in fact it seemed to be getting worse) so I went back to see a different Dr.
The second Dr thought I should be referred to physio and also get checked by the orthopaedic hospital that carried out my scoliosis surgery, just to be safe. That was a couple of months ago now and I haven’t heard anything about the referral yet.
Anyway, this week I finally saw the physio. She thinks that I have something going on with the nerves at L5/S1 – they are being compressed/irritated/pinched whatever, which is causing the symptoms I’m getting.
At the moment, this is really getting me down. I think because I don’t know what is actually causing the nerve irritation. I don’t think it’s a screw or anything as my fusion is much higher up (T3-L3). I’m not getting any pain with it, just numbness and tingling and my right leg does feel weaker.
I’m going back to the Dr’s next week for an update on the referral as I’m getting myself worked up wondering what it could be. The main culprits (I think from Googling) are possibly disc degeneration or a slipped disc, but because I don’t get any pain at all I’m not sure if these are the cause.
I do know that years down the line after spinal fusion there is risk of disc degeneration in the non-fused joints, I just didn’t think it would happen so soon! I suppose I just need to wait until I see a specialist and have a scan or something but I hate waiting and not knowing. I drive myself mad on Google.
In the meantime, I’m going to do the stretches that the physio has recommended and also start swimming. I enjoy swimming but haven’t been in a while as I still feel really self conscious about my back. I bought a new swimming costume last weekend though so I’m going to force myself to go to see if it helps.
I’m also going to start Pilates. I have a Pilates DVD that the physio recommended for low back pain and have tried it out this morning.
I’m just annoyed at myself in a way because if it is something like disc degeneration or a slipped disc I may have been able to prevent it by doing Pilates and core strengthening exercises sooner. Exercises like Pilates are so important for those with spinal fusions as they can help strengthen the core and protect the lower back.
I have been to Pilates in the past but I have felt self conscious as I can’t do all of the movements and I hate getting singled out by the instructor and made to feel different. I also worry I’m doing the moves wrong due to my fused spine and will cause an injury. It’s a catch-22!
So now I’m worried I’ve caused this myself with all the high impact stuff I’ve been doing recently, without protecting my lower back properly by building a strong core.
Anyway, I’ll stop rambling on now and I’ll be sure to update how I get on with physio and if I ever get that referral.
I’d be interested to know though, if you have had scoliosis surgery, have you ever suffered with leg numbness years down the line?
Please let me know in the comments or contact me I’d love to chat to you and share stories. 🙂
Bye for now,
I had scoliosis surgery in 2010 and blog about my experiences living with scoliosis. My aim is to raise awareness of scoliosis and help and inspire others with the condition.