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Diagnosed with Cervical myelopathy. Had radiculopathy with wrist drop. Why do I have leg pain after surgery?

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I was diagnosed with Cervical Myelopathy from injury to neck...I had radiculopathy in left arm with wrist drop. I also had walking issues and pain in lower legs. After partial corpectomy surgery at c5 c6...the wrist and arm have recovered around 90% in 4 months...the left leg is fine except for some minor aches, but the right leg is achey below the knee when I walk on it or run in the back outer side of leg. both legs still have brisk reflexes, but they seem less brisk possibly? Just trying to figure out why I have leg aches after Cervical Myelopathy surgery?
Posted Thu, 28 Jun 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 14 hours later
Dear user,
Thanks for choosing healthcare magic for your query.

The surgery you underwent has helped you this far and as you might already be told that the neurological recovery in such injuries take quite some time. But I'm glad it has come this far and we might expect more return of function in coming years.

The nerves that innervate your leg pass through your spinal cord through tracts. Since a partial corpectomy at C5-6 has decompressed the spine enough, some residual effect persists or surfaces at a later stage. The ache in your leg is a result of the same. The other possibility is another fresh involvement of your lumbar spine in form of disc prolapse causing pressure over a nerve root exiting your spine.

In my opinion you have an option to wait it out or reinvestigate. Whatever you do, make sure there is enough evidence behind the diagnosis and no treatment is meted out empirically. You can even take an EMG-NCV test to track the nerve innervation.

The reflexes are either absent, normal or brisk. If they are returning from brisk to normal, then there is evidence of healing and there are chances of complete recovery. Meanwhile you may carry on with exercises and nerve tonics that enhance the healing.

Hope this answers all your questions. Feel free to ask more, I'm available for follow up.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with Cervical myelopathy. Had radiculopathy with wrist drop. Why do I have leg pain after surgery? 7 hours later
Thank you.... I have had recent MRI of cervical and lumbar....Lumbar was fine..Cervical still shows some moderate severe narrowing of neural foramina and some flattening of the ventral cord...not sure what all that means, but the surgeon reviewed and said it was fine at this time......I have also had EMG/NCV which was all fine for lower legs.

So i guess it would not be all that unusual to experience what I am experienceing with some leg tightness/pain while standing/walking after a while? I am slowly trying to get back into using an eliptical at the gym. I do have anxiety issues and have periodic twitching in different part of the body and this all has me on edge. One minute the tri cep will just shake on arm that had radiculopathy and then the right leg inner knee will twitch a bit and then it goes away?? back of ankle will vibrate for a second? This is usually a day or so after going to the gym?? Is this all part of the healing process. surgeon said that the brisk reflexes may never improve...only time will tell?

THANKS SO MUCH for your input!
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 12 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
Indeed time will tell. What you are experiencing are changes probably improvements of the motor nerves.

The MRI meant you have certain amount of pressure on the nerve and the front of the spinal cord too. That itself could be the cause of radiculopathy. Hopefully with exercises it will go soon, only time will tell. Do not be apprehensive.
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