PDA

View Full Version : Difficulty Walking at 11 Months



lumbar3491
07-12-2010, 08:47 AM
Hi All,

It has been some time since I posted here, but I do read your threads often. I recently passed my 11-month surgery anniversary. Overall I have been very pleased with the results, particularly the absence of pain. However, I am concerned about my walking and thought that others of you may share this experience. I did read some earlier threads on this subject, but they don't quite fit my situation as far as I can tell.

My concern is that the gait of my walking is very slow and doesn't seem normal to me. My legs just won't move past this slow gait. It seems to me that I was walking better in my earlier post-surgery months. When I use my trusty Nordic Walking Poles, I move better but not normally. Have any of you experienced this or have any suggestions?

Thanks

Karen

Susie*Bee
07-12-2010, 09:51 AM
Karen-- glad to hear that overall things are going well. I guess my first question would be if you have discussed this with your doctor at all, and the second question is if you have had any physical therapy. My first round of physical therapy (other than the initial post-op stuff) was at about 6 months, at which time we worked on my gait. I was walking with tiny, hunched over steps. We worked on my stride. I now walk like a normal person, if you want to put it that way. Some things like that take some work over time. Just wondering if you've seen anyone about it...

lumbar3491
07-12-2010, 01:26 PM
Thanks, Susie

Yes, in addition to the post-op therapy at home, I did go to PT at around 3 months. However, we worked on stretches, which I still do, but not on my gait. So I'll call my surgeon to discuss this when I get home from vacation tomorrow and see if he can give me another prescription for PT to focus on my gait.

Thanks for this great suggestion.

Karen

Susie*Bee
07-12-2010, 02:06 PM
Hopefully that will do the trick. When I went to PT at 6 months, I actually didn't realize quite how small my steps were... and I was looking down to make sure I wouldn't misstep! That came from walking outside here at our country home where the terrain is a little lumpy and I was afraid of turning my ankle and going down. :eek: I was quite proud that I'd been walking 2 half-hour walks a day, but I was just forming this new way to walk-- like a hunched over little old lady. And my muscles got used to that. After awhile, my therapist had me walking v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y on the treadmill, (at something ridiculous like 1.0) with my head held high, holding on tightly, of course, stretching out that stride. :rolleyes:

Sometimes when I read how well a lot of these people do with their surgeries and how quickly they bounce back, and what all they can do, I am just in AWE! I think of the labored recovery I had. I think of how, towards the end of July (my surgery was in May) I went with hubby to do our "big shopping" -- we live about 40 minutes from a decent sized town to get groceries, so go every 2 weeks, and how when we were done and I was totally wiped out, I realized there would be no way I could go back to my full time job at school in two more weeks... We just are all so different. I admire you for working at this. I kind of pestered my surgeon about PT. I just wasn't strong enough. So he authorized me to have PT at 6 months and again at 11 months. Best thing he could have done. I swear I could use it again. My legs have gotten weaker on me for some reason. Oh well. My plan was to walk this summer but my sciatica was so bad to begin with. I'm about to try again. Wish me luck! And I wish you luck with your gait/stride!

LindaRacine
07-12-2010, 09:42 PM
Hi Karen...

Please take the issue to your primary care doctor. There are neurologic conditions that can result in slowness of movement.

Hope it's nothing of importance.

Regards,
Linda

theizzard
07-14-2010, 06:49 AM
I took my issue of aching pain in my calves when going up stairs and now just walking anywhere to my gp. My calves ache terribly as do my hips on occasion. I told my gp all my symptoms because I know that the there is a possibility of a neurologic problem and he suggested a podiatrist to see if my legs were the same length. One fear was that I have PAD (peripheral arterial disease) and he said no, maybe my legs were a different length? Because of some other symptoms that I told him about that he attributed to drug side effects for, I made an appointment with a neurologist.

Shari
07-15-2010, 12:47 AM
I used to be very fast on my feet. It was hard for others to keep up with me unless they had long legs. I have slowed down post -opp. Combo of age and surgery, I think. I can walk fast in spurts, but it doesn't last long.

Feels normal to me,
Shari

lumbar3491
07-15-2010, 08:37 AM
Thank you all for your comments. I'm going to call my surgeon today to discuss my gait issues. I'll let you know what he says.

Karen

Shari
07-16-2010, 12:40 AM
Thank you Karen,

I could never put my finger on how to explain the change in walking. You enlightened me with the true explaination, "gait change"!!!:)

Thanks,
Shari

TexEx
07-16-2010, 06:49 AM
I am having some "gait change" issues too. My sister/therapist said that it is from walking so stiffly for so long. My body just needs to be retrained to walk correctly again. She is working with me to stretch out all of my lower and upper back muscles and my leg muscles so that we can train me to walk with my normal gait. I also have to just remind myself as I walk to not walk so stiffly.

Interested in hearing what your sugeon says Karen, keep us posted.

Melissa

lumbar3491
07-16-2010, 04:58 PM
I just got off the phone with my surgeon. He asked me a number of questions, such as did I feel pain when I walk (no I don't), do I feel my gait has changed (yes I do, in the last few months). He feels I need to go back to PT to get a gait assessment so he is sending me a prescription first thing next week. I'll keep you posted. Again, thank you for all your messages.

Karen

Susie*Bee
07-16-2010, 05:24 PM
Karen-- that sounds like a good start to find out what's going on. It also sounds like your surgeon was concerned. Keep us posted with what you find out at PT.

TexEx
07-16-2010, 10:25 PM
Glad you got some answers. Keep us posted, will be interested in what the PT says and how it goes.

Good luck with the PT,

Melissa

lumbar3491
07-17-2010, 07:14 AM
Yes, it sounded like my surgeon was concerned. I hope it is nothing more serious than retraining my walking gait.

Have a great weekend!

Karen

lumbar3491
08-05-2010, 07:15 AM
Hi All,

Here is an update on my gait issues. I started PT on Tuesday this week. The initial assessment found that:

- I have hardly any mobility in my hips and ankles
- I have sciatica in my left leg from my butt to my heal
- My SI joint is misaligned.

All in all, I have serious PT work to do. My therapist is not sure she can help my SI joint so I will definitely bring this up when I have my one-year appointment with my surgeon on September 1.

I'll be back again with more updates.

Karen

gmw
08-06-2010, 05:48 AM
Thanks for the update, Karen. Do hope your PT proves to be very beneficial for you and that your SI joint issue is resolved soon.

Glenda

lumbar3491
08-06-2010, 06:55 AM
Thanks, Glenda

I appreciate your support. It seems I will need to be very consistent in doing my PT exercises at home, something I have a hard time doing. Two days ago, I started back taking 75mg. of Voltaren to take the edge off the pain while I work on my mobility. Take the pain med is helping me get through the day better and has definitely lifted my sagging spirits. I'll keep you posted on progress.

Have a great day!

Karen

Shari
08-07-2010, 02:04 AM
Hi Karen,

Now that you have mentioned your hip and ankle movements, you've got my full attention. I never thought to ask my Dr., I just thought it was part of my new reality. I feel like my "gait change" stems from my hips as well.

Please keep us informed.
Thank you very much,
Shari

JenniferG
08-07-2010, 03:06 AM
Good luck with the PT Karen. You never know, fixing one thing may help or fix another. I'll be looking out for your updates.

lumbar3491
08-09-2010, 07:49 AM
Thanks Shari and Jennifer

It was a surprise to me that the inflexibility in my hips might be at the root of my gait issue. I've been doing my stretches and hopefully in time I'll see a difference. Right now, however, my left leg feels weaker than my right, tires easily with the stretches, and has significant sciatic pain. I'll keep you up to date with my progress.

Have a great day!

Karen

Shari
08-10-2010, 12:58 AM
Hi Karen,

One of my cousins had polio as a child. I remember him being in leg braces, and my Aunt stretching his legs everyday. May I ask how it affected you then, and if you think it has anything to do with your left leg weakness???

Just curious,
Shari

lumbar3491
08-10-2010, 07:09 AM
Thanks Shari

Polio is definitely a consideration.

When I had polio in 1949, I was never in a brace. However, I recall my mother exercising my feet. Frankly, I cannot remember that my left leg was worse than my right. But I have always been very stiff and was a total failure at any exercises that required flexibility. So, lack of flexibility is nothing new.

I do wonder if the current weakness and pain I am having in my left leg is related to the polio as I was told several years ago that I am a candidate for post-polio syndrome. When I started PT last week, I told my therapist about the polio and she noted it down. If PT does not help strengthen my left leg and improve my walking gait, I'm going to pursue the post-polio angle.

Have a great day!

Karen

mgs
08-10-2010, 07:56 PM
Please keep us all posted. Being one of the "August girls" [2009] - I feel a kinship w/you. This isn't easy, but we knew that going in. . .I hope the PT will work wonders.

lumbar3491
09-05-2010, 07:31 AM
Hi All,

Back again with a progress report. I have two more weeks of PT and saw my spine surgeon for my one-year checkup. Here's what is going on:

It seems my SI joint may be "out of whack." My surgeon gave me an A+ on the progress of my spine recovery (good bone development, for example). However, the x-rays did not show an issue with my SI joint. He is concerned, so I'm going for a CT scan of my SI joint on 9/15. Meanwhile, my PT therapist again assessed my SI area and tried out an SI stabilization belt during my therapy this past week. What a difference! Now I am wearing the Serola Sacroiliac Belt all day, and the stabilization in the SI area seems to be helping my gait as well.

I'll update this posting after I have the PT scan.

Have a great day!

Karen

mbeckoff
09-05-2010, 11:23 AM
Hi All,

Back again with a progress report. I have two more weeks of PT and saw my spine surgeon for my one-year checkup. Here's what is going on:

It seems my SI joint may be "out of whack." My surgeon gave me an A+ on the progress of my spine recovery (good bone development, for example). However, the x-rays did not show an issue with my SI joint. He is concerned, so I'm going for a CT scan of my SI joint on 9/15. Meanwhile, my PT therapist again assessed my SI area and tried out an SI stabilization belt during my therapy this past week. What a difference! Now I am wearing the Serola Sacroiliac Belt all day, and the stabilization in the SI area seems to be helping my gait as well.

I'll update this posting after I have the PT scan.

Have a great day!

Karen
Good Luck with the Cat Scan
Melissa

Shari
09-06-2010, 12:01 AM
Hi Karen,

I would love to know more about this belt, I guess I could look it up myself. But how do you feel in regards to how it's helping you???

Thanks,
Shari

JenniferG
09-06-2010, 12:14 AM
Great news Karen!