Numbness and pain in both legs up to waist

Posted , 8 users are following.

I hope this is in correct category. I am a 48 yr old woman with no known health issues About 10 weeks ago I got a back spasm that didn't release causing me much pain. The next morning I woke up with extreme pain in both of my hips as well as my back. Daily this became progressively worse as the pain started to travel down my legs, eventually causing from the knee down to become numb, and ultimately numbness traveled from knee to under feet, then back up legs to hips, including the genital and bottom areas and when this occurs I cannot walk and I must hold onto something to stand because I literally do not feel my feet or legs. There have been occasions where the onset has been so rapid that I actually fall where I stand.It is painful to walk more than a few steps at a time without holding onto something, and especially difficult and painful to walk up the stairs. Actually, it feels as if I'm always in one degree or another of pain from hips down.

I'm waiting on my appointment with doctor so I can get a referral to neurologist for MRI. I believe this to possibly be a pinched nerve, although the back pain and tight muscle is gone. Has anyone experienced such debilitating leg numbness and if so, what was done to treat it? I'm at my wits end here and still have 2 weeks for my appointment! I am tired of falling down randomly in public especially since it is difficult to get back up when I can't feel my feet.   

0 likes, 18 replies

Report

18 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Sounds like it is coming from your spine.  Did you twist your back or fall on it? A specialist will be able to tell you more from scans which should show what is going on inside.
    Report Reply
  • Posted

    Hi geminimom,

    I am almost 100% certain that this is a slipped disc in your spine. Usually, if it's on both sides, it could mean that it's collapsed completely and is pushing into your spinal chord. These nerves are highly sensitive and oxygen-dependent, and can start dying off if placed under pressure for too long. 

    I don't mean to scare you, but you need to get yourself to a radiologist urgently - don't wait for the neurologist! If your doctor isn't available for the referral, go to the emergency room at your local hospital. The in-house doctor there will be able to refer you for x-ray/MRI (probably immediately). This is not something to be toyed with. My friend almost ended up paralysed for life, by waiting too long. 

    Please, go immediately. 

    Report Reply
  • Posted

    I am a retired physician. I do not know exactly what is wrong but it could be and is likely to be an herniated disc. You don't necessarily have to have a specific traumatic event. Something as innocuous as a sneeze could cause it. It really does not matter at this point. You need to see someone immediately. If there are pinched or compromised nerves you could have permanent damage. If the damage includes your bladder and rectum, you will lose control not just now but for the rest of your life. This is considered a neurosurgical emergency if it is part of your problem and again, I said if. You need to get an MRI and see a neurologist or neurosurgeon now. If you can't get an appointment, go to an emergency room.

    Report Reply
  • Posted

    I would not wait for appointment, I had some similar things. One day I was sitting I the bathroom both legs went numb. My wife called 911 my life has never been the same. Now I am permanently disabled. With me it turned out to be a rare brain disorder called central pontine mylinosis. Don't take a chance. It's not worth it what ever it is get it check. I wish for the best result. gary

    Report Reply
  • Posted

    Thank you all for your replies. The emergency room basically pats me on the head and tells me to elevate my legs and take some Tylenol. Maybe I am not expressing myself and what's going on well?   I had no desire for anything other than a diagnosis and where to go from there and said as much. I practically begged for an MRI but was told my primary had to do referral. I am in so much pain and the numbness seems to come on more frequently and I just want the problem fixed. It is humiliating to fall down and have to crawl to find something to pull myself up by. Besides "I can't feel below my waist" and "I dead drop fall to the ground and can't walk" is there some key term I'm not expressing for the ER to take me seriously? I don't think I can wait another 2 weeks as now I am also going numb while sitting which used to be only relief I had. I cannot live like this much more.

    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Healthcare has gone downhill and if your er is like most of them, good luck, they do the same thing at mine and all they have are residents who do nothing at all, the real doctors let the wannabe ones do all of the work
      Report Reply
  • Posted

    That is utterly unacceptable! You need to make a scene... Call an ambulance, or have someone take you there, and then call for a wheelchair because you can't walk. It sounds ridiculous, but I've learned first-hand that doctors only take you seriously when you're basically on death's door. I agree that this sounds like it could be Cauda Equina, which is incredibly serious. You cannot wait. I'd just straight-up call an ambulance. And yes, tell them you're worried about bladder/bowel function (even if it's not true).

    Report Reply
  • Posted

    Thank you again everyone. Over last couple days the numbness is more frequent and the pain that comes before it has me in tears. I'm going to go to another area hospital this afternoon and hopefully have some better care there. 

    I so appreciate all of your replies and advice.Will update after visit to ER.

    Report Reply
  • Posted

    Wow.... I don't think I have ever felt as frustrated as I did today at the hospital. They took me in right away as if my symptoms at some level were serious.But that's where it stopped. The doctor looked at me as if i were some crazy person.  Mind you I went in dressed well, made up- nothing to look down on. Yet he didn't mention a thing about a neurologist or MRI or anything to do with my back until I asked him, no I begged him for the MRI. He then advised me that they don't order MRI from the ER. Basically I would have to be having a stroke his words- to get an MRI in the ER and even then, one has to be admitted to hospital first and as he put it " and I am not admitting you" He then asked if I had a specific back injury and if so I need to see my primary. In betrayal of my own self, I started to cry and told him I have been waiting on my primary for 10 weeks. That today the Dr.  office called to tell me they need to cancel and I have to reschedule my June 13  appointment and to call back next week when they will have more information  as to dr availability. He told me to call next week then as instructed.My primary is the only one that can help me.  I couldn't figure out why he was blowing me off that way.    He then out of the blue says let's run a UA to see if there's a UTI. I asked him would a UTI cause numbness in my legs? For 10 weeks? With no symptoms? So he said oh, ok let's forget the UA.    I tried to tell him I want an MRI and diagnosis. He again said they just don't do it there. You know the cry where tears are just flowing can't seem to stop but there's no audible crying going on? Just the tears? That's how frustrated I was. I'm   sitting there and I'm in pain and wondering if I was ever going to get help. Had to be one of the most ridiculous ER visits I ever had. I need different insurance.... 

    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Oh no! That is utterly ridiculous... So infuriating! sad I've had three MRIs in the space of six months, with only a 2-3 day wait each time (and I live in South Africa). That being said, I also ended up in tears at an academic hospital this week, when I realised my case had been referred to a psychiatrist - i.e. they basically think my problems are psychosomatic (I'm a fit and healthy 28-year-old woman with unexplained peripheral neuropathy throughout my body, which has basically been destroying my life). Healthcare is a joke. Is there any other primary care doctor you could see, to get a referral? Yours sounds useless! I'm very sorry you're going through this. sad

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Sorry, I was treated the same like a hypochondriac or a drug addict cause I was using some untraditional ways to kill the pain because they would not help. Now I live in hell every second of everyday. Not to say you have what I have I hope you don't have what I have. Mine did start with those symptoms. I have no answer for they take our life's so lightly. I guess bottom line it's all about the money. I had insurance but mine wasn't good enough for the help I needed at the time I needed it. I really don't know what to say. Beyond frustrated. Gary

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      So sorry, Gary. sad Unfortunately this kind of treatment seems to be the norm. . It's truly despicable. I have small fibre neuropathy, which can only be verified via skin biopsy, which they don't do in this country. Hence their claims that I'm just experiencing hysteria. I wish doctors had the decency to say: "We don't know what the cause is, because the human body is complex and science simply doesn't have the sophistication to accurately pinpoint all pathologies". But no - they're far too proud.

      That being said, this makes Geminimom's case all the more frustrating! Surely ANY sensible doctor would immediately put you in an MRI machine (or at LEAST do provisional x-rays, for goodness's sake)!

      Strength to all of you. We've clearly all been burned badly by the so-called 'healthcare' system.

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      I was treated the same as you and I asked for an Mri, the first doctor said that it would cost to much and probably my insurance wouldn't cover it so I found a new doctor who sent me for one and they did find nerve damage and rheumatoid arthritis. The only thing is that my neurologist would only give me gabapentin which does nothing for the chronic pain so when I see him next week I am going to tell him I want something different that actually might work for pain, if he doesn't want to do that then I Will find a different one.

      Report Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up