Postpartum Lumbosacral Plexopathy on a Beautiful October Day

This is “Nerve Damage from Childbirth’s” first blog post by a mom who suffered from lumbosacral plexopathy. Feel free to leave a positive or helpful comment below. A big thank you to Anne G. for sharing her story. If you would like to share your applicable story or have an idea for another blog post, please email

On a beautiful sunny day in October, I walked very pregnant into the hospital after being diagnosed with preeclempsia. I remember vividly that I wore a pair of brown flip-flops, thinking they’d be easy to slip on and off throughout my stay. My son was born the next day. But long after the epideral wore off, my right leg and foot were still numb. A neurologist at the hospital where I delivered said that my nerves had been compressed at the level of my right knee because of the stirrups used during labor.

Over the long week I stayed at the hospital, the staff appeared unfamiliar and uncomfortable with my condition. I was confined to bed—and learned later that I should have been up moving and doing physical therapy immediately. I was told I might not walk again—no more flip-flops for me. The whole experience was incredibly upsetting as it was not how my husband and I pictured the post-delivery experience and the first few months with our baby.

Several days later I was discharged, carried out by my husband because I had foot drop. The correct diagnosis took several days. I underwent a full body exam and a painful nerve conduction study (EMG) by another neurologist, not affiliated with the hospital. Finally I was diagnosed with postpartum lumbosacral plexopathy—my baby’s head had compressed the nerves in my pelvis (L4, L5, S1).

Of course, every woman experiences a challenging time after birth. And every woman should receive the help she needs. Although rare, any numbness of the legs and/or feet should be promptly addressed. Some patients could be among the 1% of new mothers who suffer from a complication, and I was one of those unlucky few.

There needs to be more awareness of this condition and other neurological disorders that can occur as a result of childbirth. The reality is that this condition should have been diagnosed earlier and correctly, as the prognosis is usually good.

Fortunately I’m almost 100% recovered. My nerves have regrown. I can walk (though no stilettos, thanks). More important, I can carry and even run after my baby, who’s grown into a beautiful, healthy toddler.

7 thoughts on “Postpartum Lumbosacral Plexopathy on a Beautiful October Day

  1. When did you fully recover? How many weeks did it take? How soon after the hospital did you start Physical Therapy?


    1. I believe I started driving after three months and I returned to work after four months. The physical therapist came to see me towards the end of my stay in the hospital and then I had in home visits 2-3 times a week, along with a nurse, for about two months. Then I started out patient therapy – which was hard because I couldn’t drive and had to walk there!


  2. Thank you for starting this!! I have the same diagnosis and was searching and searching for anything on the web that sounded similar to my diagnosis.


    1. I’m glad my story can help others not feel so alone. It’s such a rare condition. We got to stick together!


  3. Hi, I had my daughter through a c section and I am still left with the plexopathy 17months on. The neurologists and doctors have said they don’t think I’m going to recover ever again.

    So glad you’ve kind of recovered and gone back to work. I can’t stand on my right leg for too long and am in constant pain on the foot. It’s numb and burns and in pain 24/7. I wish I could go back to work and live a normal life again but this condition is holding me back. The nerve pain tablets they’ve given me puts me to sleep so I’m avoiding that now.

    I just feel so disheartend by all of this and there should be more awareness of Postpartum lumbosacral plexopathy. I just feel so lost at the moment.


  4. So glad to have found this. None of my doctors or nurses had ever seen a case like mine. After 9 months of physical therapy I am almost back to normal but I am scared about my next birth as I still want to have another baby.


  5. Hi!
    I am diagnosed with it today.. I delivered 4 weeks back did physiotherapy 1-2 times a week but with c section I am waiting for aggressive exercise after 2 weeks.. thank you for sharing I am getting hope that it can recover.. same thing happened with me I was not able to walk and my husband was taking care of me and my baby..
    This lost gave me courage to fight it and I hope I get success.


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