Hi. I'm trying to find out if anyone has experienced what they term drop foot. I had a laminotomy/microdiscectomy for a 15mm herniation of the L5/S1 disc which was crushing my nerve root back on Jan. 26th. Surgery was somewhat successful but now I cant lift my right foot off the ground. I had no problems in the right leg prior to surgery as the pain was isolated to the left side. If anyone has any experience with this please let me know. Im beginning to think this was something that may have been done during surgery but didn't affect me for a while. Thanks for reading this and good luck with your own health. I wish all of us to be pain free once again.
Hi, I have not personally experienced foot drop myself but many on this board have, I have never heard of anyone getting footdrop after surgery though I have been struggling with my own nerve crap since I had my Laminectomy in Dec and I also have nerve related issues with the opposite leg that I did not have prior to surgery, my surgeon just explained that nerves can do things like that when they are healing but if I were you I would talk to your doctor asap if your also experiencing weakness like footdrop, it could just be scar tissue forming but I would get it checked out. Let us know when you find out. Good Luck!
I've experienced bilateral foot drop in the past, though not caused from the back. My problem stemmed from peroneal neuropathy, pressure on the peroneal nerve near the knee area. I had lost an extreme amount of weight (over 100 pounds) and it is believed this is what set the problem off. I was unable to lift my feet, ie. like pressing and releasing a car gas pedal. It came on slowly, however. I felt like I was walking kind of funny, then I started stumbling and falling down. The toes on all of my shoes were scuffed and a real mess. That should have been a clue... All of this started months before the numbness and inability to move my feet.
The only way to diagnose the level of nerve impairment is with an EMG (whether the problem is with the back or somewhere farther down the leg.) I had a surgical release with good results done on both legs. Are your doctor's aware of your foot drop? Since nerves can and will do wierd things after surgery, this might be something they'd wait and watch in your situation. But I'd make sure they knew about the situation and were monitoring it. Please don't wait to discuss this with them. Good luck.
Hi, my name is Evelyn and I also had drop foot. I had surgery on Oct.6 2003 because the compression at L5-S1 was the culprit. After the surgery my drop foot was gone, but I still have some weakness in the leg and foot. If you had no drop foot before the surgery, but do now, you need a second opinion. the damage may have been done during surgery, or you may have a buildup of scar tissue which may be putting pressure on the nerves. I know about scar tissue issues after this kind of surgery, I am dealing with these kinds of problems now. Good luck and I hope you find this info useful.
Hi-My name is Julie and am experiencing drop foot. What I find interesting in the above posts of Kaylbe and jettsmom is that like Kaylbe, I recently lost over 110 lbs on a low carb diet and like jettsmom, I had a a disc removed (over 10 years ago) at L-4, L-5 and am experiencing problems in the opposite leg. I've been researching and have worked myself up into worrying that this may be ALS. I keep postponing going to the doc, hoping it will all just go away. I have an appointment in a few days, but don't look forward to ever having another EMG. Thanks for "listening".
Thanks for taking the time to write you guys. I have an appointment next week with a neurologist to see what to do. I suspect it may be due to scar tissue which is now affecting the peripheral nerve. I wouldnt put off going to the doc if I were you. From what I understand it requires immediate attention. Well, time for muh morphine. Thanks again.
Evelyn, have you doctor told you what would happen if you have a scar tissue? I asked my NS, what would happen if I have scar tissue? He said, "nothing would happen". I said: "don't you have to go in and clean it up?", he said: "nope, you leave it there".. I don't understand it!! I am having an MRI on April 22 just to make sure I am healing right. My NS swears I don't have anymore my nerve pinched and I just have to wait and be patience. Also said that nerves heal really slowly (half to an inch per month).
Kevin, even tho I don't have a drop foot, I have experienced lots of weird changes and different pains after surgery. My hemi/disc was done on the R side (L5-S1) and after surgery, I developed a horrible pain on the left side. I could had swore I either had herniated the left side of the L5 or I had another herniated disc. The pain was like a stabbing and would increase with activity. Also had lots of cramps on left leg all the way down to the toes. I was totally devastated thinking my NS didn't do a good job and should had also done the Left side. Seven months after surgery, the pain went away. I came to find out it was a huge muscle spasm. If I am honest, it is hard to differentiate a herniated disc from a muscle spasm. I also heard that muscle spasms can put pressure on the nerves and cause those things.
There were moments that I wondered if surgery had done the job, cuz my nerves were so ****** off!! but like I said, eventually went away, but it took months and LOTS AND LOTS of prayers.
Also Kaylbe is right, tell your doctor, he needs to be aware of that. I always told my doctor, he always told me that it was a muscle spasm and that it would take time. I NERVER believed him cuz I thought he was taking it lightly. He ended up being right.
We'll see what my MRI shows if indeed it is healing ok.
I am feeling okay, still have nerve pain on Right only but a lot less. Still take pain killers every now and then.
I Also Have Foot Drop Due To Back Surgery In 2002, I Did Not Have It Before Surgery But When I Went To Get Out Of The Bed In The Hospital, I Almost Fell To The Floor, I Was So Scared I Thought I Had A Stroke During Surgery, But My Dr. Said It Was Caused By Me Having A Double Nerve Root And It Would Tingle For A Little While And Be Okay. Well Almost 2 Years Later I Sit With My Afo Brace On,also Pins And Plates In My Ankle From A Fall From The Foot Drop. I Too Can Nto Lift Up My Foot, It Kind Of Hangs There, If You Do Have It I Sugest You Wear A Brace, So That Your Ankle Doesnt Give Out Like Mine Did And Caused All These New Problems With Ankle Being Fixed With Pins And Plates. Wish You The Best Of Luck
Hi to all, I just wrote on the other message board regarding dropped foot and all I've been through. To be brief...don't mess around! Go get it looked at immediately and don't stop until you're satisfied. I waited too long...over 5 weeks and now my dropped foot is permanent. I had surgery, but it didn't change anything....but I had to try. I now wear a brace inside my running shoes that goes under my foot and up my leg. NOT FUN! I can no longer wear regular shoes. Best of luck! I've written on three different boards...how do I remember WHERE they are?
My foot drop is from back surgery 2 years ago, like you i wear a afo on my leg, I did not have it on in dec, thats when my foot bent and broke and shattered the bones in my ankle, had surgery, they put pins and plates in it, now I will not even go to anywhere without it on. I am so afraid of getting hurt again, also when my ankle bent and broke, I hit my shoulder, so now I have to have surgery on that because I have tears, so I know how important it is to wear your brace at all times. Best of luck Hope all gies well for you Cookie
Thanks for the input, Cookie. I'm sorry you went through all of that. May I ask you just how bad your dropped foot was? DO YOU LIMP AT ALL WHEN WEARING YOUR BRACE?? That brace only fits into athletic shoes, right? The big question I have is....how badly do you limp without brace andn with it?? I do fear my foot bending under me and I used to trip a lot, but don't seem to anymore when not wearing it in the house a few hours a day. But I think it's because I've learned HOW to walk and gotten used to moving a different way, not because the foot is getting better. I'm 51, how old are you?
Cookie, do you also have problems with your foot while sleeping? I sleep flat on my back and my foot kind of "hangs" in one direction, which leaves it very sore and painful each morning when I awake, although it goes away later. I do wear my brace almost all the time, except when relaxing at home, I leave it off. I've been barefoot my entire life in the house, summer and winter, and HATE wearing these huge athletic shoes and brace. My foot is already a size 11, so now I have to wear larger shoes to accomadate the brace. I hate it, but have to be thankful I can still walk. I just hope the hips/back/knees don't get worse from the change in my walk, but they probably will over time.
Yes my foot does hang to one side when sleeping or if I am on the bed watching tv I take off afo and it does fall to one side. /but please so not walk without it, as what I have been going thru can happen to you. My injury happened so fast in the blink of the eye I was down and broken so fast I did not know what happened my ankle just bent and that was it, so please wear your afo at all times. I know how uncomfortable they are, but believe me better the uncomfort than broken bones, also as a result of the break in my ankle I defeveloped a blood clot in my lung, so now on top of everything I am on coumidin for 6 months. And yes I still have back pain even after back surgery, and I think it is caused form not walking right due to foot drop, I have lower back pain all the time, the more I try to walk the worse my back gets, so I know what you are talking about, I dont even feel like I had surgery, still in pain all the time. Best of luck cookie
Well I just came home from the hosital where I had a laminectomy to try to correct the foot drop on the right side. The foot drop was caused by the L4/L5 pressing on the nerve root. My previous laminectomy/discectomy was on the L5/S1 disc which was pressing on the left side so the drop foot had nothing to do with the previous surgery. It looks like the foot drop is going to be permanent. I waited 3 weeks before I went to the emergency room and after 3 days in the hospital the neurosurgeon sent me home with a script and a note to make a follow up appointment. When I called to make the follow up this guy tells me it would be in my best interest to go to a different hospital. Turns out this clown was afraid to operate because of my previous surgery. So thanks to this idiot another week went by and now the surgery didnt fix my drop foot. I cant for the life of me figure out why this idiot didnt tell me when I was in the hospital that he couldnt operate on me. Instead he kept me there for 3 days running tests on me. Im soooooo ******. Gonna talk to a lawyer about the situation and see if I can sue his monkey ***. The brace I got seems to help with the swing faze of walking but Im concerned about driving now. Do you still drive? Any trouble with it? Let me know please.
KVN and Cookie,
I'm so sorry to hear about what has happened to both of you. I know what life is like with a dropped foot. It's also upsetting as a woman, to know I will never wear ladies shoes again. All I can wear are these damned athletic shoes, size 12 with the brace, which is especially lovely when dressing up and wanting to look nice. I've lived with the dropped foot for a year now and still get pretty depressed, but my spirit keeps me going. I have to be grateful I can walk and have no pain in my foot or back. KVN, when was your surgery and how soon after surgery did doctor tell you it was a permanent condition? Also, I want to ask Cookie and you both......DO YOU LIMP AT ALL WHEN WEARING YOUR BRACE OR DO YOU WALK NORMALLY? Please let me know, because I have seen people limp terribly even with brace and their leg still lifts up high. Other people seem to walk almost normally with brace and nobody can tell they have a problem unless they see brace through pants. I guess all of us have the L shaped brace. Mine is white, which I hate and I plan to buy a black one soon if they make them. White is more than a little obvious if you ask me. I went through 2 months of therapy (one month BEFORE surgery, when I didn't realize it was a dropped foot...thought it was sciatic nerve...therefore all the exercises I was doing were NOT GOOD for dropped foot and probably made it worse.) Then after surgery, I did another month of therapy to no avail. I do walk at the school track nearby, as it is soft and comfy. I had surgery May 1st last year and within two months, I was told the dropped foot was permanent, even though the doctor/surgeon told me a dropped foot can take up to a year to heal. Somehow he knew right away with me that it wasn't going to get better. Thanks for responding...it does us good to chat I think. Please let me know if you limp even when wearing brace. I saw a man last month who walked WITH a brace the same as I walk WITHOUT mine.
I had my surgery 2 years ago and still have foot drop. I did not know what foot drop was till after surgery(micrdisktomy l4-l5) I went to get out of bed on day 3 and my left foot had no feeling and I feel off to the left. I thought I had a stroke during surgery, as I never knew you could get foot drop after surgery. My dr. said mine was caused from having a double nerve root, and to get to the disk he had to go inbetween the roots, and made it sound like I would have it for a few weeks, and now 2years later here I sit still with it. I wear my afo, and yes you can not wear any shoes that look good, but after not having my brace on and having my ankle bend and brake and crush the both sides of my ankle, I will wear anything that would help prevent that happening again. Now in therepy again like that will help, I dont think so, but will not have any more surgerys, will live with it. I think sometimes we get so desperate for help with pain we have surgerys and then have more problems after them than before. I still have very bad nerve pain, but dont have to much faith in drs. best of luck cookie
i seem to walk fairly normal with the brace on. Its hard to tell though since I cant really watch myself walk. Im going to have physical therapy every day for two months starting in 4 weeks. My surgeon seemed to think right after the surgery that it'll be permanent. I just think its because I had no improvement right after surgery. But who knows for sure. Exercising the foot may work so Imma keep thinking its temporary.
Keep up the positive thinking KVN, because I visited a holistic type doctor just to get another opinion. Although nothing improved, she did say she's seen dropped foot improve AFTER a year, so I still do electrical stimulation and some exercises, but not like I should, since it's been a year for me next week. Don't give up! One man told me all he did was put a ankle weight around the middle of his bad foot (like a belt) and lifted it several times a day while sitting at his desk at work. Just kept his foot flat with the weight across the top of it and did foot lifts, as if tapping his foot. He swears it made his foot a lot better.
Sounds good but since I can't tap muh foot Im not sure that will help. I have a long piece of elastic, knda like a rubber band, that I use to raise the foot the rest of the way that I can't. I do this while standing, sitting or lying down. I also stretch the calf muscle and hamstrings alot. Until I start physical therapy this is all I do. Ive been told that it could take a long time to come back but I shoulda had at least some strength come back right after the surgery. For now, I'm having so much pain around the incision and hip that it keeps my mind off the foot. Yay!!!!!