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Mau from Singapore asked a question

What could be the cause of numbness radiating down my leg?

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Dr Henry Chan
(5 Reviews)
23 answers on DxD


Health & Fitness Orthopaedic Surgery
Hello, I am a 25 year old male. I recently have been feeling a persistent, numbing feeling that radiates down my left leg from below the hip. It doesn’t hurt, but I do feel the sensation of it throughout the day. At times, dull ache develops around my lower back pelvic bone area. Could you kindly advise if this is symptomatic of any serious issue that I should be aware of? Thank you very much.
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)

Dear Mau

Thank you for your question - I can completely empathise with you having endured back pain and leg symptoms in the past - it can be quite troubling.

Before I continue, I just want you to consider whether you have any of the following:

1. Numbness around the anus

2. A sudden change in bowel or bladder function

If you do, please can I urge you visit your local emergency department as soon as possible - these are known as "red flag symptoms" and require urgent attention.

As Dr Sean mentions, you sound like you are experiencing radicular/nerve symptoms.  This is due to nerve irritation somewhere along its pathway.  While the back is probably the commonest place for this to happen, most people will be able to recall an episode when it comes or when they "slipped" the disc.

Other areas where this compression can occur include along the pathway of the nerve and I certainly have had a few patients with hip/buttock problems (such as piriformis syndrome with irritation of the sciatic nerve) that have been the precipitating event for their symptoms.  Indeed, with your pelvic symptoms it would be important to consider these.  Alternatively it could be a problem in the back such as a disc herniation.

Often, these conditions can be resolved with conservative measures including pain relief, physiotherapy, gait assessments or guided injections.  As Dr Sean mentions, in some circumstances you may require further imaging such as an X-ray or MRI depending on your symptoms.  

As with many situations, who you see is down to personal choice, finances, locality and circumstances.  Often it is good to visit a multi-disciplinary centre where you can be correctly assessed and appropriately treated.

I wish you all the best with your leg and pelvic symptoms and if you do have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

BW

Dr Dinesh

0 312 views 0 Doctors agree Mon Mar 26 2018 01:34:16 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Hi, thank you for the question. This symptom that you are experiencing is something that is very common.

What you’re feeling is something we term, as a radiculopathy. It’s the sensation one experiences when a nerve from the back (Lumbar) region gets pressed.

Nerves are very sensitive, and any compression, from either a disc bulge or slipped disc, bone spurs, soft tissue swelling etc, can cause this symptom.

That’s also why you’re experiencing some Low back discomfort. They usually come together, though some patients may only have back pain, or leg symptoms.

It is important to identify the source of the compression, as sometimes left untreated, may lead to further compression and progressively worse symptoms. I would recommend that you visit an Orthopaedic Surgeon - scans may be necessary to identify the pathology.

Management options can then be tailored towards the cause, and hopefully resolve the issue.

Hope you find this useful,

Dr Sean Ng

0 338 views 0 Doctors agree Sun Mar 25 2018 04:55:16 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Hi Mau,

From the description of your symptoms, most likely you are suffering from a slipped disc, the persistent numbing feeling is cause by the nerve "pinch".
 
We would need to do a thorough check up and a MRI scan to fully investigate the cause of your symptoms and the severity of the condition. Although most slipped disc are not dangerous, some slipped disc can be huge resulting in severe compression of the spinal cord, this can lead to a davastating condition called "cauda equina syndrome" - you will lose control of your legs muscles, your bowel and your bladder (the red flags as mentioned by Dr. Dinesh).
 
So we recommend that you go and seek treatment with an Orthopaedic Surgeon and we will able to advise you further.
 
Hope it clear some doubts for you.
 
Cheers,

Dr. Henry Chan

0 299 views 0 Doctors agree Tue Mar 27 2018 07:18:22 GMT+0000 (UTC)
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