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Spine and Back Health

Can Spine Injury Affect Knees?

08/25/2009

Question:

Is there any specific nerve in the spine, if injured, that would affect the knee function (specifically causing inability to squat down and get up, but still be able to walk). And if the nerve roots of sacroiliac 1 and sacroiliac 2 (S1,& S2), are severely denervated, would this affect the knees?

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. There really are no specific spinal nerve root levels that supply the knee itself. The knee joint is innervated (supplied by nerves) by branches from several different spinal root levels. There could be a number of different reasons why you would have problems with deep knee bending. Do you also have trouble going up stairs? The S1 and S2 nerve roots primarily supply the hamstrings, calves (gastrocnemius and soleus muscles), some of the toe muscles, but really shouldn?t directly have much to do with the knees. Naturally, any time someone has problems with their back or legs they might start to have problems with their knees and/or hips just because their body mechanics are 'off-kilter', but there shouldn't be any more direct effect than this. I hope this helps.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University