Possible femoral nerve problem draining the strength from my leg

by Graeme
(London, England)

Have the quadriceps and medial hamstrings reflexes been tested?

Have the quadriceps and medial hamstrings reflexes been tested?

For the last 4 weeks I have had a pain in the inner/upper part of my quadriceps. I tried a TENS machine and all it did was numb the leg further. Married to that about 9 weeks ago I was off work with back pain and it looked like a slipped disc in left side of back.

I run marathons and triathlons and it's affecting the strength in my left leg. The energy seems to drain from the left leg and eventually I have had to stop running.

Could this be femoral nerve issues and apart from stretching, what is the prognosis?

Hello Graeme,
Frankly the prognosis is not so good. It started in your back, what we we could call a grade I, but now it's progressed to your leg and even causing a feeling of weakness.

It's progressed quite rapidly, probably because the slipped disc wasn't taken seriously enough in the beginning?

The key questions are:
1. Do you any movements of your spine, bending forwards and backwards and sideways cause any pain in your leg? Do them carefully when testing as it can worsen the condition.

2. Is the femoral nerve stretch test positive? It's not easy to do yourself. Ask your doctor.

3. Has the quadriceps knee jerk been affected?

4. If you prick your leg with a pin is there a difference right and left? More or less sensitive?

5. If you bounce on the naughty leg is it tending to give way? Are steps difficult?

My other thoughts are whether you are faithfully doing back exercises every day? I recommend in bed before arising in the morning.

Beware, you are on thin ice!

Having treated many thousands of similar cases, and in fact had it myself, I know how you are feeling; it hurts and is very disabling.

It's time to have an MRI done of your back. I'm sure you've had an x-ray; what did it show?

Dr B

» Possible femoral nerve problem draining the strength from my leg

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