Functional Decompensation

Hi everyone

I have had rapid worsening of my use of my left leg. My consultant has put this down to ‘functional decompensation’ as the problems are localised only to my left leg. My last MRI in August shows no real change in the past year which is good so he says this would confirm that my MS is not progressing. I just wondered if anyone else had experienced this. Wondering where to go next with this in order to try and improve the use of my leg even if just a little. Thanks xxx

Hi Julie

I assume by functional decompensation the neurologist means the worsening of your left leg is unrelated to direct neurological damage, but possibly that it could be improved by targeted exercise. Do you have a physiotherapist? Good neurological physio could help.

It is of course, possible that the neurologist is wrong (how can that be??!) and that it’s decompensation that’s been caused by old neurological damage. So possibly it won’t improve with physio, but maybe it’s worth a try? Or that the neurologist is right, that it is functional decompensation, but that exercise won’t help.

Why they use terms that don’t really mean anything useful I don’t understand.


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Is your neurologist trying to blind you with science? Even if he’s not he should reserve such terminology for his next conference. I’ve had MS for ten years and I’ve never heard of functional decompensation.

I agree with Sue, your best course would be to ask your GP for a referral for physiotherapy. I have PPMS and I find that it is very helpful, especially when targeted at a particular goal.

Best wishes,


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Thank you for your comments. I spoke with my MS nurse who is referring me for neuro physio.