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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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For 5 months I have experienced weakness in my left leg..left knee

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For 5 months I have experienced weakness in my left leg. It started out as severe pain in my left knee. When I would walk, it hurt so much I had to limp. After 3 months, the pain moved down to my left calf. Walking caused me to limp. I got an ultrasound at the hospital and they ruled out a clot. It was then x-rayed. Nothing. The pain has subsided, but I have no strength in the leg when I get up in the morning and when I stand after driving. I'm really concerned. Plus, I don't have medical insurance.
Did you have lower back pain as well?

Did you have any numbness in the leg?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I've had lower back apin, but it goes and come. Some have said that it's sciatica. I'm getting chiropractic treatment and it's helping. The severe pain in my left knee & calf has gone, but I don't have much strength in that leg, especially when I get up in the morning. I'm afraid.


The back pain has been gone for 10 years. I just moved about a year ago (I lost my home to foreclosure).. Where I'm staying, the bed has a very old mattress & box spring on it. The chiropractor thinks that this is the origin of my pain. Unfortunately, I'm still sleeping on that old mattress. Could it be that simple?. I've never experienced this strange feeling in my left leg. When I drive for several hours, I get out of the car and I can barely stand. I have become worried that it may be something more serious than an old mattress. Could it be the onset of MS. No one in my family has that. I weighed over 300 pounds, but I have been in good health - normal blood pressure, good blood sugar (under100), good cholesterol (with HDL being greater than the average), etc.


What you are describing certainly sounds suspicious for sciatica, as you know, as this is irritation of a nerve that runs from the back down the buttock, back of the leg into the calf and foot.

When the compression or irritation of this nerve is particularly bad -- it can cause muscle weakness in the muscles in the back of the leg. The fact you can still stand and walk means that you aren't significantly weak -- but that this nerve irritation could be affecting your muscles just enough so that you feel a bit weak and unsteady on that leg.

It really does not seem like the onset of MS (though of course, it is possible) -- but the fact that you had pain in that specific distribution, then this weakness in the leg -- makes it sound like the sciatic nerve is the culprit.

Of course, some people can feel that aggravating your back (with poor posture, poor sleeping conditions, etc) can worsen nerve problems in the back, and certainly weight has a lot to do with it.

Unfortunately, the best test for evaluation is an expensive one, a MRI of the lumbar spine. It certainly would be recommended if your symptoms worsened from what they are now.
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