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Gait Issues
Feb 2, 2006
From summer of 2004 I developed a gait problem. My husband first noticed that my arm wasn't swinging properly when I walked and slowly my walking deteriorated. I was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis and had a laminectomy on Sept 2 (C4-C7). They said this was causing the walking problem, but may or may not cure it. Other symptoms that developed in the time before surgery - neurological weakness, tremors, numbness - mostly all on my right side are largely reduced/gone. I have some numbness and tremors in my right arm, but pretty minor and they go away and some ocassional numbness in my foot.

The ongoing problem is the gait. The PT says my muscle tone is fine and there isnt too much he can do (he is very good and knowledgeable about neuro issues). We are going to try water walking. When I walk, it sort of looks like a drop foot situation, but its not - I have full control of the foot - but he wants to have a brace made "for safety reasons" so I don't trip over my toe.

The doctor says I am doing great -- "give it a year" -- meanwhile I'm frustrated. Where I used to be a power walker, I can barely walk at 2mph on the treadmill. Doc says exercise as much as possible. I currently go to Curves 4-6 times a week, then 10 min on stationary bike and 20min on treadmill along with stretching and leg lifts with ankle weights. I'll add the swimming/water walking.

My questions:

1) anyone similar out there?? I see others on this board being told to give it 12-18 months -- the frustrated part of me finds this hard to believe, but I have seen improvements in other areas

2) I have mixed feelings about the brace. I don't want to feel defeated -- I want to do everything I can to "fix" this as opposed to "working around it"

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