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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Re: Myelopathy
Feb 26, 2011
Before my lumbar spine surgery, I had severe lumbar spinal stenosis in several levels caused from osteophytes, abnormal thickening and buckling of a spinal ligament into my spinal canal (canal, not cord), and several disc herniations. All of this also caused a condition called neurogenic claudication, which was awful. My spinal canal and all the nerves in that area (cauda equina bundle) were so compressed that it caused this claudication on top of the stenosis. This was also made worse depending on position. Actually both the stenosis and claudication were made worse any time my back was a little straight and I was not able to bend backwards at all. I couldn't stand straight either, it caused me to be bent forward at almost a 90 degree angle. The pain from the claudicaion was due to the nerves and blood vessels in that area being so squeezed and almost cut off. It caused severe cramp-like pain down my legs. It also felt like I had a vice grip around the inside of my lumbar spine. The stenosis caused pain as well, bilateral sciatica, my feet went numb, all sorts of symptoms. I was barely able to walk, only about 20 to 30 feet before I felt like I would collapse. I had severe muscle spasms all over, loss of knee reflexes (though I still have issues w/ my reflexes). You might want to read up on neurogenic claudication - perhaps this could be what your docs are referring to, I don't know.

I can't remember exactly anymore, but my lumbar problems progressed to this point over a period of about 3-4 years. I was 33 or 34 when it started (on & off) and just got progressively worse until I had surgery in '06. My doctors and surgeon had told me it would never get better without surgery and that was obvious, but that it couldn't paralyze me. The only thing it could do was cause permanent nerve damage, or it could have gotten to the point that I lost bowel or bladder control.

I have to say that my surgery gave me a lot of relief. Not complete relief b/c I still have arthritis and still keep getting more stenosis everywhere, but it helped alot. A lot of the symptoms I had disappeared or lessened after surgery. I do still get pins & needles in my feet when sitting, especially in the car, and once in a while when laying down, but not like before.

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