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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes difficulty in walking, leg pain, and numbness in the feet without any apparent injury?

Answered by
Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3332 Questions

Posted on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 in Brain and Spine
Question: My Son Cannot Walk. He cannot move his feet and toes. He did not have any injury, and nothing broken, there are no brusing and there appears to be no significant swelling. He was fine, normal in his legs the past 13 years. He is 13 years old. Never had any problem and have done significant exercises in the past. He started limping at end of school but the workout they did was something he did before. He did not fall . He has feeling in all of his legs but his feet feel numb and his toes but he is still Ticklish and laughs.

The only pain he has .. is when i squeeze on his calf muscles area ..
This makes me believe he has swelling and it causing the pain..
He has a lot of pain if he attempts ot stand on his leg, but he cannot do it alone.

I brought him to family doctor for check up, and she been their doctor for 12 years and she is good doctor but saw no sign of injury. I have my son sitting in comfortable chair legs up with ice on his feet and angles and have given him 1 naoproxin. I will give him 1 ibuprofin after 2 hours .. PLEASE HELP

I recalled as a child this happened to me once when i was about 6, we walked all night for Halloween, and the next morning i fell down when i tried to walk and could not walk .. I recover in a day or two ..


I also need to find the correct specialist and type of doctor, that can properly treat my son to help him regain use of his legs, so he can walk.

I presume he will need some sort of prozone / steroid shot and maybe physical theraphy, at minimum. But need to have him checked out and helped.
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Spinal cord pathological conditions to be excluded.

Detailed Answer:


I have read your question and understand your concerns.

Difficulty in walking and sensory disturbances in legs without any apparent injuries, in rare cases, may be caused by spinal cord conditions such arteriovenous malformations, transverse myelitis, for example.

I'd suggest taking your son to a Neurologist to evaluate him about any condition related to his spinal cord and also to have imaging studies done (MRI) in order to understand his condition better.

Treatment depends on the evaluations results.

Hope you found the answer helpful. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care.
Dr. Erion Spaho, Neurologist, Surgical

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
Follow up: Dr. Erion Spaho 2 days later
You gave a very limited response of rare cases .....

Can you tell me the most likely cause ?
Spent last two days in ER, etc ....Cause STILL UNKNOWN

He has no spinal damage that is visible in MRI, No spinal compression, MS has been
They did not see signs of spinal infection or inflamation ...
They are assuming it spinal .. cause both legs

He did second MRI .. full brain scan , full body scan, and they doing spinal fluid analysis, and a barrage of blood tests ..

I would like to inquiry possible TOP 5-8 most likely conditions that could cause such problems.

My son is at the XXXXXXX Children Hospital,
I am just looking for possibilities .... that can be evaluated and ruled out ..

or to test and identify ...

I pushed them and they are giving him steroid and anti inflammatory treatments,
becaue he did have sport injury damage and maybe it will stimulate his legs to respond ...

so, that is one other Question ....
IS THERE ANYTHING that we can DO treatment wise ,, that will help to STIMULATE MY SON's LEG TO respond, work ... His lower leg motor skills is non existence .. no movement capable.

are there spinal cord issues trama related that are not visually recognizable .. with MRI ?
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 19 hours later
Brief Answer:
Possible conditions listed below. SCIWORA to consider also.

Detailed Answer:

Hello again.

Possible conditions that may cause such issues include transverse myelitis, dural arterial-venous fistula, spinal cord tumors, trauma.

Contrast-enhanced MRI of the spinal cord is necessary to get a full view of the spinal cord and above-mentioned conditions.

If contrast MRI excludes any spinal cord lesions, SCIWORA (Spinal Cord Injury Without Radiographic Abnormality) is a possible explanation.

Immobilization of the spine for one or two months is necessary in cases of SCIWORA.

Hope this helps.

Take care.
Dr. Erion Spaho, Neurologist, Surgical

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T

The User accepted the expert's answer

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