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Radiation induced radiculopathy

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi found this board and just thought I'd connect with others having same
Issues. Benign tumor removed from lumbar spine 20 years ago. Radiation treatment

Diagnosed 2008 but have been fighting to stay upright. Still am! Hard some days but take it a day
at a time. Get a bit down knowing i won't do things I planned but thankful
I managed raising kids while I could still carry them around. All are college
age now. Trying hyperbaric/ and I take pentox. Dont expect much but I can hope.
Anyone else out there?
Sorry abt format, typed on my cell.
Date should say february 2011!

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2011


Have had RIRP (radiation induced radiculo polynuropathy) for 15 years diagnosed for 11 years. This was after cancer treatment and having both radio and chemo treatment in 1981/2. The RIRP was caused by an overdose of radio'. I have tried all sorts of treatments and the conclusion is that there is no medical treatment that will have an affect.

What I do is go to physiotherapy and hydrotherapy twice a week to try and keep the muscles in my legs as strong as possible. Yes it is very difficult as I too was a fit outdoor sort of guy, but now have slowly given up all sport. Still walking with difficulty and the help of two 'foot off' orthotic leg braces.

Have not used any hyperbaric treatment, but have used pentoxifyline with no success, all it did was make my legs swell up. Anything is worth a try in my view!

The reason for the deteriation in your muscles is due to an overdose of radio ie probably a crossing of two radio fields (it is in my case) this it seems causes damage to nerve connections that carry the messages to the muscles and stops them from regenerating properly. It seems this an ongoing process which gradually seems to get worse. The only thing that seems to work is to exercise through physio or hydro as much as possible because this keeps stimulating your nerves and muscles and therefore keeps them as active as poossible. Appologies if you are aware of all this.

Good Luck

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2014

I was treated with radiation for cervical cancer in 1997.  While being treated, I started to experience weakness in my legs.  A few yrs. later, started to see significant difficulty walking (walked like I was drunk) and began have neuropathy "attacks".  It took the drs. until 2013 to finally diagnos me with RIRP.  Am now using a walker and concerned that I will be in a wheelchair before long.  Have you had any luck with any treatments?  I am about to try acupuncture to see if getting better blood flow works.  Am also hoping things improve after this extremely cold, damp winter.

Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2011

Your "story" sounds simliar to someone I found on the acor.org website.  My suggestion is to join that website for LT survivors and my guess is you'll probably get alot of responses. I did when I posted my problems.  It's another amazing support system online and very informative.  I sometimes feel like I'm going to end up in a wheelchair also as to how weak my legs continually get. Treated in 1980 for Hodgkins.  Try that website and see what you advise you might get to help.  Good luck and have a great day.

LeeCo's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2018

You mention a website for long term survivors. I’d like to check it out if you remember the name.

thank you

Anonymous user (not verified)

Hi.  I had aggressive metastatic colon cancer at age 23 (yeah, bummer) but thanks to surgery, radiation and chemo, I survived and am now 63.  Have had some bowel incontinence/IBS for some 20 years, to be expected, but it's not that bad.  However, in the past 3 years, I've developed "drop foot" and it's getting progressively worse.  An MRI showed some 1-2 mm nodules on nerve roots inside my lumbar spine; I refused to have a neurosurgeon poke at them.  I also have osteoarthritis.  Anyway, I'm wondering if the degeneration and nodules in the lumbar area are due to the radiation of my pelvic-up to abdominal aorta-area that I had 40 years ago.  Could just be old age.  Anyway, I'm using an Ossur leaf spring brace over a softer ankle brace and it's pretty comfortable.  Still hike with 2 poles, but it's getting harder.  Can't complain too much, I guess.  I'm still here.  

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