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Old 08-07-2008, 01:13 PM   #1
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Post L4-5 Microdiscectomy w/ Foot Drop - How long?

Hi:

I had surgery on L5-S1 ruptures in '94 and '95. Been pretty pain free until about 2006. Leg pain finally sent me to the ER last Tuesday. Lost sensation in my left foot by Thursday morning. I went in to see a surgeon on Monday and had the L4-5 rupture repaired Tuesday morning.

About 18 hours after the surgery, I could move my toes up and down; I could only move them down before the surgery. The leg and back pain vanished!

My foot is still numb. I'm wondering if anyone else has experience with foot drop and how long it will take to get back to 100% Again, I had some initial improvement in the toes only.

Thanks,

rjk

 
Old 08-07-2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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Re: Post L4-5 Microdiscectomy w/ Foot Drop - How long?

I just wanted to welcome you to the board and I am sure someone will be able to answer your question or at least give some suggestions. I had fusion done on my L5/S1 this past March and I still have days that my foot feels like I am dragging it but that is usually when I have overdone it for the day.

I am sure you have been told how long it takes for nerves to regenerate and it does take awhile. After I had surgery on my cervical spine I had a lot of numbness in my arms and hands and the doctor said he wouldn't comment until 18 months. At that time he did an EMG and found out that I had permanent nerve damage and he said it was probably due to the fact that I had waited so long to have my surgery and the nerves had been compressed for a long time.

I am sorry that you have had to go through additional surgery and I pray for a speedy recovery for you.

Take care
Linda

 
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:16 AM   #3
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Re: Post L4-5 Microdiscectomy w/ Foot Drop - How long?

I had discectomy surgery on June 21st @ the l5-s1 level. My sciatica pain is about 85% gone. However, my right foot is still partially numb and I have tightness in my calf. My OS said that it should go away in 6 months or it might be permanent. To get rid of all that pain makes the numbness bearable!

I hope you feel better.

Robin

 
Old 08-09-2008, 05:58 AM   #4
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Re: Post L4-5 Microdiscectomy w/ Foot Drop - How long?

Robin & Linda:

Thank you for your thoughtful responses. Looks like we're all in the same boat.

Keep fighting!!

Linda - did the feeling come back at all? How could you tell?

Robin - have you felt any improvement in the numbness?

I wonder if there is something we should be doing to help the nerves.

My wife is driving me to Toronto for a 2 day training gig I have to do Mon-Tue, so we'll see how I do. I have to do the work as I run my own training business and could not find a replacement. I will not over-do it - I'm committed to that.

Hopefully, being so busy will take my mind off things and help.

Take care,

Ron from Ann Arbor

 
Old 08-09-2008, 06:36 AM   #5
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Re: Post L4-5 Microdiscectomy w/ Foot Drop - How long?

Hello... I have similar story. Disc re-herniation with no pain 7 months ago until finally disc ruptured w/pieces in canal. Emergency surgery days later... by then, I had foot drop & Unable to move toes or foot to any degree. After L-5/S1 fusion-hardware I'm able to move foot & toes.. I have uncomfortable sensations from my Lt-hip down to my toes. I'm 5 weeks post op.. Sensations getting better But I'm not able to move my leg more than 3 inches off the ground... Can you move your leg?? Haven't discussed w/the surgeon yet... But he did say the numbness & tingling in foot were normal & would subside in months to come.
God bless & good luck to all of you. It is a long road for all of us!

Last edited by lovemiamibeach8; 08-09-2008 at 06:38 AM.

 
Old 08-09-2008, 07:37 AM   #6
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Re: Post L4-5 Microdiscectomy w/ Foot Drop - How long?

Ron,

I am from Livonia!

Anyway, I still have the stiffness in my calf and the numbness on the right side of my right foot. I can now walk for around 15 minutes. When I walk, I have to remind myself to pick up my foot, so I don't limp/drag it. I REALLY can tell when I overdo. It is odd that walking for 15 minutes is overdoing... I have to remind myself that it wasn't too long ago my max standing/walking time was 45 seconds.

We all need to take this slow and easy. Good Luck!

Robin

 
Old 08-09-2008, 06:39 PM   #7
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Re: Post L4-5 Microdiscectomy w/ Foot Drop - How long?

Thanks "lovesmiamibeach8" for your encouragement and sharing. My folks have a place in halandale that I love going to.

Robin, I'm actually from South Lyon, but say Ann Arbor as I'm out of MI frequently and that sounds better than Detroit! What a small world!

Have you tried an ankle foot orthotic (afo)? It fits right in my shoe and really helps me walk a lot, lot better. That way, I don't have to worry about dragging the foot.

Take care all & I now say a prayer for this board,

Ron

Last edited by rkolle01; 08-09-2008 at 06:40 PM.

 
Old 08-09-2008, 10:10 PM   #8
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Re: Post L4-5 Microdiscectomy w/ Foot Drop - How long?

Hey Ron I hope everything starts getting better for you soon but I think it just takes us time and patience and I am not a real patient person. There are some days that the numbness in my toes is worse then another day. When I really get tired there are days that I have to use my hands to lift my leg up to maybe get in the car or set in a chair. It is strange how sometimes I don't know it is happening until I start stumbling because my foot didn't step up high enough--does that make sense? I believe it is getting better because I am not stumbling and not stumping my toes as much as I was before. I know by the time I had my surgery the doctor couldn't believe how bad my reflexes had gotten in just a few months. I had put my surgery off for many years. You take care and my prayers are there for you and everyone else also.

Linda

 
Old 10-09-2008, 07:56 AM   #9
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Talking Update

Hi there:

I would say at about week 4, I magically regained feeling in my foot. I mean I stopped using the brace, then even the cane about 4 to 5 days later.

What an awesome feeling to have my foot back again! I can say now that it was scary as hell having it paralyzed.

It has now been 2 months since surgery. Though I still have intermittent back pain, it is not as bad as pre-surgery. My only real problem now is weakness from my backside down. I guess that will just take time.

Thanks for all the support and helpful comments.

 
Old 10-09-2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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Re: Post L4-5 Microdiscectomy w/ Foot Drop - How long?

I know I am coming in late on this thread, but wanted to say how happy I am to hear of your progress! My buttock and right leg are still as numb as they were the day of my discectomy which was one year ago. I am losing hope that the feeling will return.

I am so glad to read a positive outcome!

10sox

 
Old 12-26-2009, 12:27 PM   #11
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New mountains to climb

Hi all:

I'm happy to say that over 16 months later and I'd say that I have about 90-95% strength in my left leg. It is not quite 100%, but I'm miles better than I was last year when I was paralyzed.

Unfortunately, though, the back pain is still here. I ended up taking too many vicodin and was damaging my liver. so, I recently switched to suboxone. So far, it is going OK, but I still have plenty of back (not leg) pain.

Take care,

rk

 
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