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26 months out of surgery and still can't walk on my own

In August 2015 I had surgery for MERSA and a spinal abscess.  I spent 6 months in the hospital followed by 6 months in rehab facility.  I went home but could not afford to continue rehab at home.  I was able to walk using a walker but was very weak.  I had lost 85 pounds after my illness.  My muscles were practically non-existent after surgery.  I began a regular routine of walking daily outside on my 350 foot long concrete driveway.  Some days I would go about 1/8 mile, others about 3/4 mile at best.  I have regained a lot of my former weight and strength but still can't walk without the walker.  I can stand on my own but can't raise my foot to take a step, else I will fall down.  I can not do steps.  I want to start to try to wean myself from the walker but I'm unsure about just how to go about it.  Since coming home I have not seen the upper level of my home.  I live in my basement.  I do hang on to things to move very short distances like from the wheel chair to the toilet without falling.  I'm also able to mount my zero-turn mower and cut the grass since once I'm on the mower I don't need my legs to continue.  I also have a 100 foot long incline between my house and my barn where the mower is stored.  I am able to scale that incline on my own in the wheelchair by going up backwards in my wheelchair using my feet and legs to push myself up the hill.  It seems to be a good exercise to help develop leg muscles in ways I'm not otherwise able to do.  I have a very limited range of motion in my hips and legs.  I also experience very sensitive (mildly painful) muscular feeling and extreme numbness in my feet and legs.  They are always cold too.  The fine motor control in my legs and feet needed to operate a car are just not improving either.  I need to get back on my feet.  I can't get up from the ground on my own.  Where do I go from here?  Any suggestions are welcomed. 



  • hi richs

    welcome to spine-health

    you have certainly had your share of difficulties over the last two years.

    i am not in the us and have physio/pt available without charge here, so i find it hard to think about you being left without any ongoing help with essential exercises to progress you forward.  maybe @memerainbolt  can help give advice on this one.  are there any facilities that provide this essential care for people who cannot afford to pay?

    it is brilliant to read you are going what you can to strengthen yourself, including your legs.

    are you getting follow up appointments with your consultant about your outcome and the numbness.  if your medical team are unaware, this needs to be shared as soon as possible.

    while waiting for my surgery i suffered nerve problems, so suffered terribly from freezing cold legs and had to sit with blankets over my legs when the sun was shining!  since my tlif l4-s1 this seems to have improved.  the weather isn't really cold here yet, so i am keeping my fingers crossed this will not be start happening again in the winter months.  i found the cold problem was awful when sitting.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information.  there is lots of material to research that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health



    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
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