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meggy2342000

Skinny Leg

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Hi, i have noticed just lately how much skinnier my leg has become since my below knee amputation. It is quite a lot thinner than my other leg, the only thing that stops it looking odd is the fact that as my first limb is so big for me at the moment i am wearing quite a few socks which pad it out, so under my jeans my legs look the same. Is there anyway of getting the shape back into my thigh. I thought that now i am walking quite a lot the muscle would bulk up but it hasn't.

Will it ever get back to "normal" or anywhere near.

I am doing some excersise even when i don't wear my limb but i must be doing th wrong ones as this doesn't seem to help.

Would an excersise bike help.

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Hi,

Bicycle helps. I built up my thigh with a bicycle. And it was wasted to very thin before my amputation as I was not able to put much weight on it or walk properly with it for couple of years, due to much damaged ankle & lower leg area.

I conciously used my amputated side harder than the sound one; nowadays I use my legs equally. In fact, the thigh on my amputated side may even be stronger than the sound one as I sometimes feel after hard cycling the effect on my sound side but not on the amp side. But thighs on both legs are of the same thickness, perhaps the muscle is tougher on the amp side.

I would recommed a real bike as a stationary bike is boring. There is more pleasure with a real bike and you would not feel that much of forcing yourself to build up your muscles. Improved level of fitness is kind of a by-product with outdoor cycling; you would get fun out of it as well.

Kind regards,

Jukka

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Three words: Passive Excercise Machine. B)

You know those little electrical muscle stimulation thingies with the electrodes, the alcohol-smelling gel and the tickle-shock. They're pretty good at building up some muscle and more importantly, muscle tone in areas that don't get enough activity. All you have to do is pick the right places to stimulate.

One caveat... ask your doc before picking one up and using it. It might work well for some people, not so well for others, and it might have detrimental side-effects for yet others. :)

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Hi all,

I've had the same problem. I'm a RBK since November 2003 and my right leg is smaller than the other one. I'm now going to use an exercise bike to help build up the muscle in the thigh etc.

Apparently its common and normal for this to happen. I thought that I could do a bit on the bike whilst listening to music or watching tv etc. :P

Sue - Cardiff - UK :wacko:

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Hi,

thanks, Jukka, Laura and Sue.

I have been thinking about taking up cycling, it is a long time since i have been on a bike. I am due to get a new limb soon , so i reckon once i am settled with that i will try a bike, i might start with an excersise bike just to get used to the feeling and then progress to a proper bike and the great outdoors. The basic limb i have at the moment doesn`t allow me to ride a bike so i am doing excersises that just concentrate on my thigh but i don`t seem to be getting anywhere, the skinny leg is taking over.

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Hi all,

I had a problem with a normal bike, I couldn't raise the knee / leg up enough and prosthetic leg would dig into the back of the knee. But with the exercise bike - the pedals are lower and more forward so it doesn't happen. So..I have no excuse now - will have to think up something else to get out of the exercise.....! :P

Sue - Cardiff - UK :unsure:

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The prosthesis can be cut lower at the back so it doesn't nip the back of the knee. I love cycling. Don't worry, this cutting back does not affect the stability or the hold on the leg.

The one leg will always stay somewhat 'slimmer' (as i prefer to put it... :D ). The healthy leg does, afterall, take over much more strain and automatically the muscles are used more. Due to the cycling my legs are almost the same size.

I would also suggest a bike and not a stationary one. Especially now in summer...nice to get out and about. The stationary bikes are a a bit tedious and after a while just get soooo boring :o so it will just be standing in the corner gathering dust anyway..... :lol:

Try to walk as much as you can. Swimming is also very good, for the legs and for the back (which also needs to be strengthened) as it takes over alot of the load too, compensating.

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Hi, when I was in rehab, they had me get some of those wrap around weights, that stay on by velcro. When I'd take my limb off and exercise, I'd wrap one around my residual and exercise that way. Because if you don't, I was told, you won't be getting any benefit what so ever, from just lifting your residual. Of course not a heavy one, but enough so that you'll feel the muscle working. Sears, Wal-Mart, most any place carries them. Tho now I just do my leg exercise with my limb on, b/c I feel I get the same effect from that, as I would the weights. Good Luck. ;)

Sheila LBK

Southern Maine USA

Keep Smiling :)

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This reply might not get noticed cuz I am WAY late on it, but here goes anyhoo!

Concerning muscular size

I dont know how much biology, physiology and biochemistry the members here know, but I like to think it is one of my strong points. I will keep this short and sweet, and if anyone would like me to expand on any points, please ask.

There are two 'types' of exercise- aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen).

The dominant theories state that hypertrophy (muscular growth) is a mechanical and chemical reaction to strain placed on the muscle. The strain has to be great enough to cause what has been termed 'micro-trauma' to the muscle. Basically, you make reeaaaalllly tiny little tears in the muscle fibers, and as a reaction the body begins depositing proteins to 'rebuild' the damaged fiber, but it will also 'over react' a little and deposit some extra building material (protein) to try to make sure that the next time it is exposed to that type of strain it will not be as damaged. That is basically how the body 'grows muscle.'

Now, the body doesnt respond with hypertrophy in every case of strain. As stated before, there are two types of exercises and the body responds with hypertrophy to anaerobic exercise only. The difference between the two types is usually stated in time that the task can be continued, for example riding a bike for an hour is an aerobic exercise, where as lifting a weight 8 times for a total time of 1 minute is an anaerobic exercise. The true difference is in the energy pathways the body uses, but I will not bog you down with that fun ;) . Dominant theories believe it is the mechanical loading inherent in anaerobic exercise that causes the micro-trauma (which causes growth). The lighter load, which in turn is sustainable for a longer period, of aerobic exercise does not present a mechanical loading large enough to cause the significant micro-trauma. So, anaerobic exercise is the best to build muscle is pretty much the point. Short, harder bouts of exercise are the best to engage in if the goal is increased muscle size.

I am not saying that you have to lift weights, though. Riding that bike very hard for spurts of 30 seconds with rest periods where you just coast or lazily pedal is also an anaerobic exercise routine.

hope I helped more than confused :lol:

Dan

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Hi Danny

thanks for that, of which I did understand :)

When I was first ill I lost 5 stone in 4 weeks. I was 16 stone to begin with!

Because of this I was put on a high protein diet, so presumably because I was weak and started doing 'exercises' to build up strength, that's why I was put on that diet.

Does this equate with the muscle building?

Best as ever

Steve

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Thanks for that explanation Dan.

I fully understood it, after i had read it thru about 10 times lol!!!! only joking. :)

It does make sense to me and it is basically what i have been doing thanks to some advice from the gym i have joined.

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doggie

concerning a 'high' protein intake, the goal was to build muscle in the end. protein is the only macronutrient that is capable of building muscle- which is itself protein. Protein has a great many other jobs in the body, so when aiming to build muscle, it is usually advised to increase protein intake to ensure the building blocks necessary to build the new tissue.

meggy

it only took you 10 times? it must not be as bad as I thought. That or you are pretty smart ;). I am glad that you have been able to find someone you can speak to in person concerning this type of thing- I can get caught up and lost in details....

anyhoo, glad I could help.

Dan

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Hiya's,

Danny I was very impressed by your post.I think that you did a wonderful job of explaining all that in what was almost an understandable language. :D

I'm going to weigh into this but talk more about what happens AFTER your muscles begin to tone.

Most, maybe 90%, of the clients I see have muscular problems due to poor posture or muscle imbalance. For instance (and please forgive me if I get to technical, I love this stuff), someone who sits on a computer all day is likely to have tight pectoral(chest) muscles, tight upper shoulder muscles, and slack scapula stabilisers ( the one's that hold your shoulder blade down), resulting in shoulder pain, neck pain, and sometimes headaches.

We have other postural dramas due to the way we walk. For instance the firing order of muscles in hip extension is, hamstings, gluteals, opposite side lower back, same side lower back, in that order. Mine is backwards on my right (prosthetic) side, meaning I have an extremely strong left side lower back which is therefore out of balance to my right side resulting in some pain.

What I'm trying to say ( before I get completely carried away), is that we have to be a bit careful that as we excersise our legs that we maintain balance. If our Quads (thigh) muscles are weak then by all means strengthen them, but don't forget your hamstring muscles or your gluteal (bum) muscles. Any imbalances can cause muscular pain.

Hope I haven't confused anyone :rolleyes::unsure: :P

Cat

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Damn, forgot what I was going to put in that last post.

Always combine excersise with stretching.

If anyone wants a great website for muscles and excersise try,

www.exrx.net

Easily the best example of this stuff I have seen on the Net.

Cat

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Hey Cat, that's just what my chiropractor told me about the computer and why I'm having these problems. I don't sit at it all day, but probably not correctly for the time I am on here. He gets the kinks out for awhile and it feel so good! Then I'm back on the computer and here we go again!! :rolleyes: So now, what I do quite abit myself is, I have a little rice pillow type thingie, you just heat it up in the micro for 1 or 2: minutes, don't wanna get it to hot, I just put it between my shoulders, then my neck for a few minutes before I go to sleep and it does seem to help, at least so that I don't have to run into him once a week. :(

Sheila lbk

Maine USA

Keep Smiling :)

To say I can't is to admit defeat, to say I can is to feel complete.

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Hey Sheila, As long as there are computers and people working on them I will never be out of work :D I use heatbags on people when I'm working and encourage them to use them at home as well. They are really wonderful. Easy to make as well. Just be careful around your neck if you get headaches, as too much heat around there will increase any inflamation and give you a headache. Limit it, as you so rightly said, to a few minutes at a time.

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This is the exercises that they are having me do, on my non-amputated leg. It is already paralized but has some muscle.

lay on your back and lift your leg straight up (not bending) as high as you can. I can only get about 3 inches off the bed....but anything helps. repeat about 15-20 times

lay on your back and slide your leg out (like scissor motion) as far as you can. repeat 15-20 times

This is my fave BUNS OF STEAL :D lay on your stomach and tighten your butt cheeks. This helps build the thigh muscle (and buns). repeat 15-20 times

These are all low impact and a little boring. I do them while watching my soap operas on tv. My physical therapists said that repetition is the key to building stronger muscles.

I did have a skinnier leg as well, no one could tell me why. Then I had the larger leg amputated. I don't know why you leg would be getting skinnier, but hopefully these exercises will help a little.

:rolleyes:

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Hiya's,

Danny I was very impressed by your post.I think that you did a wonderful job of explaining all that in what was almost an understandable language. :D

I'm going to weigh into this but talk more about what happens AFTER your muscles begin to tone.

Most, maybe 90%, of the clients I see have muscular problems due to poor posture or muscle imbalance. For instance (and please forgive me if I get to technical, I love this stuff), someone who sits on a computer all day is likely to have tight pectoral(chest) muscles, tight upper shoulder muscles, and slack scapula stabilisers ( the one's that hold your shoulder blade down), resulting in shoulder pain, neck pain, and sometimes headaches.

We have other postural dramas due to the way we walk. For instance the firing order of muscles in hip extension is, hamstings, gluteals, opposite side lower back, same side lower back, in that order. Mine is backwards on my right (prosthetic) side, meaning I have an extremely strong left side lower back which is therefore out of balance to my right side resulting in some pain.

What I'm trying to say ( before I get completely carried away), is that we have to be a bit careful that as we excersise our legs that we maintain balance. If our Quads (thigh) muscles are weak then by all means strengthen them, but don't forget your hamstring muscles or your gluteal (bum) muscles. Any imbalances can cause muscular pain.

Hope I haven't confused anyone :ph34r::rolleyes: :P

Cat

HAHA! Thanks cat, I appreciate the kind words.

and you are 112% correct about watching out for imbalances. Even in trained athletes imbalances occur and can wreak havoc. Special attention should indeed be paid to balancing muscularity across all joints- even more so when an amputation is involved. Very good points, cat.

dan

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ive had a missing right foot for my whole life and i guess my whole right leg (and bum cheek) is slimmer than my left side- i think its because of the muscles that dont get used because theres nothing there for them to be used on if that makes sense?!

i am also a physio assistant and the quads excercises (i e to build up thigh muscles) that you can do about 10-20 repeats of when u get into bed, and when u wake up in the morning are:

1- a straight leg raise (think this hads been mentioned before- lift your leg up straight without bending knee)

2- squeeze the thigh muscles like you are trying to squash the bed beneath your knee area (put something under your leg to help feel if you are squashing)

hope that helps a teeny weeny bit!

L xxxxx

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