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Calf Muscle Atrophy with negative MRI
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rudiross posted:
My concern is not so much with pain, but I couldn't find a more appropriate area to post. I have had a 75% decrease in size of my left calf muscle as compared to the right over the last year or so, and it's now to the point that it's affecting my gait. I had an MRI last month which showed no trace of the previously untreated herniated disc at L4 I had 16 years ago, and was basically negative. I am scheduled to see a neurologist soon for an EMG, but wondered what other causes the atrophy could be due to, since I was convinced that my lower back situation was all to blame. I'm 51 years old, male, and unrestricted in my activities. Any insight would be helpful and appreciated.
Thanks,
Rudi
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bj1208 responded:
Hi Rudi - welcome to the support group -

just curious who read the report of the MRI? did you see either an Orthopedic Spine Specialist or Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist? They are the best at reading the results - so would question if this was done,

Are u limbing at all? are u feeling any burning/tingling/numbness in the leg? these would be symptoms that either the disc is still bulging (not sure why it's not still showing unless it has fused itself over the years).

Also, normally an EMG Nerve Conduction test is done when they are concerned that nerve damage has set in the leg - which is normally caused by a bulging disc pressing on the nerve root -

these are the only things I can see that would cause the decrease - but you would have to wait and see what the neurologist says -

please keep us posted - take care - Joy
 
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rudiross replied to bj1208's response:
Joy, thanks for your response. I beleive the MRI was read by a staff neurologist, and reviewed by my GP. I read the report and there was only moderate degenerative changes noted, no bulging or any irregularities noted. I haven't seen anyone else as of yet, and am still waiting to have the Neurology consult set up. I do have a slightly progressive limp, starting about 6 months ago, with feelings of numbness in my foot which has been there all along since I first injured my back in 1994. It's just that the medial head of the gastrocnemius is no longer there, and thus causes the limp. I also can not raise myself on my toes using the left foot like I'm able to do with the right. I'm mostly worried about how bad it will progress from here, and would like to be able to gain this muscle back. I'll update once I have my next appointment.

Take care, Rudi
 
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Manny250778 replied to rudiross's response:
Hi Rudi,
Sorry tp hear about your muscle atrophy in your calf, I have the exact same symptoms as you and have been to see my GP after having had an MRI. Initially, prior to having the MRI, the GP simply couldnt diagnose the reason for why I had loss of size in my left calf and why I couldnt raise myself on my tip toes, because when the muscle loss initially happened, I had little to no back pain at all... Now I have been told that my muscle atrophy is due to my back injury that I had years ago... beyond that i'm getting zero answers with respect to how I can reverse the situation.

I'd love to find out how you get on after your next appointment.

Good Luck,
Manny.
 
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An_189690 replied to Manny250778's response:
also, the back pain was due to a slipped/herniated disc... I don't know if that is what was up with your back also?
 
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dianer01 responded:
Rudi,

My right leg atrophied after a ruptured disk whch was untreated. I lost about 25% of the size of the leg and initially had a difficult time with stairs and would scuff my foot quite a bit. Exercise helped but I would NOT start any type of exercise until you have been examined by a Neuro or Ortho spine specialist.

When you see the Neuro, be sure to write down all of your questions so you do not forget anything. Leave space for notes too!

I am about 8 years out from the disk rupture which caused the atrophy and 4 years since my L3-s1 fusion, I now walk without a limp and while there is still a difference in size between my legs, the strength is about the same.

Good luck and let us know what the neuro says.
 
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rudiross replied to dianer01's response:
Manny and Diane, thanks for your insight. It appears we are all in pretty much the same situation. Per MRI done in 1995 I had a ruptured or herniated disc at L4-L5. My GP at the time talked me out of surgery, for which I'm thankful. The first 6-12 months post-injury I had recovered from the numb foot and foot drop (left side) to the point where I could carry on with anything I wanted. I began a rigorous workout program and found that if I kept my muscles strong (particularly abs) I had no more flare ups. Today I workout with weights 4-5 days a week and do cardio 2-4 times as well. The only exercise that doesn't result in increased muscle mass is calf raises. The left calf just does not respond at all, so I stopped doing them, since my right side was over-compensating for the weaker, left side. I'm having the EMG and nerve conduction tests this Tuesday, and hope to have a plan set out by then. By the sounds of things though, the damage done will probably turn out to be irreversible. I'm just worried about where it will end. I don't want to have a progressively worse limp as I age!

Best regards to you all, and I will update next week.

Rudi
 
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rudiross replied to rudiross's response:
Had the neuro consult yesterday with EMG and nerve conduction test. This revealed only chronic injuries to the nerve, and no ongoing disease process which is a very good thing. MD said it doesn't appear that anything active is going on and the atrophy shouldn't continue or worsen. Unfortunately, I just have to live with the damage already done, as there is little anyone or anything can do to "regrow" the muscle that was once there. I suppose that's really not too bad a price to pay for avoiding surgery 16 years ago, which judging from what I've read, often results in more surgery over the years and more problems than solutions.
 
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bj1208 replied to rudiross's response:
hi - well at least you got the results - I know it can be devastating to learn that there is permanent damage that you have to live with - I have the same in both legs - my left being worse.

think the only thing that we can do is continue to do the strengthening exercises to keep the stability that we have -

please keep us posted as to how u are doing - take care - Joy
 
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Manny250778 replied to rudiross's response:
Well at least it isnt gonna get any worse. Good luck with everything Rudi.
 
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AndGil replied to rudiross's response:
OMG ive searched so long online to find someone with the same problem as me! Hello there by the way. I had a severe herniated disc which had to be removed in 2004. Before the surgery I had a numb left leg and lsot the ability to stand on tip toe on my left foot. Unfortunately, this was permanent for me due to the nerve damage so I too walk with a limp like you. I am very self conscious of it and its a pain, but my spinal condition was so bad it warranted emergency surgey as I could have list the use of my legs so hey, I cant grumble really. My left calf is now nealry 2 inches less than the right, as the right leg, as im sure you know has to do all the work. I fins it harder to walk uphill than down for obvious reasons. Please keep in touch.

Take care

Andrea
 
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AndGil replied to rudiross's response:
OMG ive looked so long online for someone with the same problem as me. 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
 
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AndGil replied to rudiross's response:
OMG ive looked so long online for someone with the same problem as me. 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
 
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bj1208 replied to AndGil's response:
hi and welcome to the support group -

you are so right as no one knows what it's like - I had surgery 3 years ago - my neurosurgeon kept saying that since he did the surgery (fusion L5-S1 - removed disc put plate, screws and cage in) that there was no pressure on my nerve root any longer - he did not believe in EMG Nerve Conduction Test and didn't believe I had such problems with my legs. it wasn't until 9 months after my surgery when I started going to this last Pain Management clinic and they noticed how I walked with my left foot extended outward - they sent me to physical therapy and also to a brace specialist - they also did an EMG Nerve Conduction Test - permanent nerve damage in both legs - my left being worse -

So I walk with a leg brace on left leg and also use a cane - I've gotten used to the stares and appreciate the extra care I get while out (people holding doors or making sure to step out of my way) so it's really not bad - just have to hold your head up high and smile -

hope you stay with us and just let us know how u are doing - take care - Joy
 
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davejames99 replied to bj1208's response:
Hi there
Amazing have found some fellow sufferes,I will keep this as short as pos.
Aug 2010 i had a check for prostate problems,this included an internal exam ,passing a tube down the penus for inspection.
From this equipment i was given a serious bladder infection,the following day i could not stop shaking,a bit like malaria.
Doctor gave me 3 days of penicillen and a course of OFLOXACINE for 10 days this cleared the infection.
I had a operation to allow the urine to flow easier, on discharge from the hospital the discomfort in passing urine was considerable,the doctor issued another course of OXFLOXACINE it transpired it was not the infection but normal recovery pain.
After some 2/3months i noticed a strange feeling in my left leg
i was unable to maximise the stride of my left leg without limping and found i could not lift my body on the ball of my left leg.
In fact there was no signal from my brain to carry out this action ,liken it to a light switch turned on but no signal is recieved by the bulb.
I have had Mri scans ,XRays.Neurologist,a ligament scan,
they were going to give me a cortizone injection as there is some hernia history on the spine ,they decided there was no point in the injection as i was not experiencing any pain.
At this moment i am having phisiopherapy which makes my leg feel bad and takes 2 days before it stops aching,
the left calf has lost a lot of muscle mass and is permanently
cold.
I am convinced the drug OFLOXACINE has created this situation,just check out details re this drug regarding
tendon and nerve damage .
I have contacted the drug company who are in discussion with the specialist dealing with my case.
I live in France and recieved all the treatment here,i reported the poor standard of the clinic where the original infection was passed to me via their instruments.
I have allways been very fit for my age and this is a considerable blow,the problem is on going,if anyone has used this drug i would be very interested in their experiences,
I know there is a group in America which is requesting a ban on this drug.
These are the basic facts,i can give a complete history if required,
All the best Dave


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