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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Re: Help?!?!
Jul 18, 2012
Do you remember the old kids' song from many years ago that went something like "the hip bone's connected to the knee bone, and the knee bone's connected to the ankle bone, etc?" I obviously don't remember the lyrics real well, but I always think of it when there is a question such as yours.

Something as simple as having pronating feet can cause someone to end up with spinal issues because of faulty structural alignment. Our posture begins with our feet and if we begin with a faulty foundation, the amount of misalignment increases as we move up the body....

We know that spinal nerves innervate a specific part of the body, so that if you have a hand that is tingling, it may be due to a pinched nerve in the neck. If the big toe is numb, doctors know to begin looking for issues with the Lumbar 4 nerve, etc.

This isn't to say that the problem always originates in the spine. Of course you can also have additional issues with the knee mechanics as well.

Also, when one part of the body is in pain or injured, the body naturally compensates for the injured area. This can result in muscles that are out of balance, causing muscle spasm and eventually even pulling the spine out of alignment.

Take a look at a "dermatome map" to see what areas are innervated by the L3, L4, L5 and S1 nerves. Sometimes people have terrible pain on the front of the thigh, as well as the classic running down the back of the leg, sciatic-type pain....To what extent your actual knee pain is coming from your stenosis, I couldn't really say.

If your facet issues are as bad as you indicate, it may be that there is sufficient instability that it is causing your leg to feel out of control. The nerves that control it may be getting pinched from time to time, due to instability.

You will just have to be very vigilant after your compartment surgery to begin the ankle pump exercises as soon as you are allowed, and to carefully follow whatever instructions you are given to minimize the development of scar tissue. Will you still be able to walk after this surgery? I do agree that the worst thing you could do for your back is to take to your bed for days or weeks at a time.

You are right that you won't know which ailment is causing which pain until after the back surgery. If your facets are that bad, I think you will be looking at a fusion rather than just a decompression. Has anyone suggested that possibility to you?

If you need a terrific orthopedic spine surgeon I can recommend Clifford Tribus at UW Spine Clinic. He is a good diagnostician and a very nice human being.

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