First time poster here but I have read about every post that relates to this story that I have seen. In May 2010 I was awakened at night as my left foot was dropping and right after that I had huge pain on the shin bone. I went to work for a week because I was doing the dumb man thing. Went to family doctor after 9 days of pain and he immediatly sent me to emergency at the hospital. 2 hours later I had a microlaminectomy on L3-L4 and 3 days later went home.That looked after the pain in the leg but still had foot drop. As I was doing physio and working on strenght I noticed pain coming in my hips and in both quad muscles. The surgeon told me from the CT scan I had spinal stenosis and he would order a MRI> There was a long wait and I had that in MAR 2011 and finally called into the neuro surgeons office AUG 2011 and booked for surgery OCT 1 2011. That surgery involved microlaminectomy on L1-L2, L2-L3, a revision on L3-L4, the same for L4-L5, and in L5-S1 he did Bilateral lamicrolaminectomy, mircodiscetomy, and a forumnotomy(sorry for the spelling Now all the pain in my legs and hips are gone, my butt is pain free and the only problem I am having is the lower part of my legs ankles and feet have now strenght. Foot drop on left foot is still there and a little bit of right foot drop. I have been told if the nerves are just compressed before as in spinal stenosis they should all come back in time. I heard it is 1 mm a day, but I read a post earlier that said 1 mm a week. I am hoping they will come back. Whats my chances? thanks for taking your time to read this..
When dealing with nerves, there are no hard and fast rules, and no way to predict when or even if there will be recovery. All doctors are doing is giving you a time frame based on generalized experiences of other patients.
In general, the longer a nerve is compressed, the longer it will take to regenerate. In the case of drop foot, where there is a sudden nerve injury, it is difficult to predict when or if it will recover.
In your case, I would be concerned about having bone removed from so many adjacent segments -- the laminectomies from L1 to L5. I would think this could result in some instability, without any fusion, and instability often results in nerve compression. Did you develop the right foot drop after this surgery?
The general rule for rate of recovery is 1 mm per day...but doctors also usually say that if a nerve has not recovered in 12-18 months' time, the damage should be considered permanent...but again, these are generalizations. I know from personal experience it is possible to still have some nerve recovery going on after the 18 month mark.
Welcome to the board. I hope you will post often with comments and/or questions, and will enjoy becoming a part of our little community.
Thanks for replying to my questions. The right foot drop which is only slight came after the surgery. I also forgot to mention in the above post my first message is I had total right knee joint replacement in May 2011 and it went 100%. Not one problem. On my left foot I can lift or tilt the foot up and defy gravity and the surgeon is saying it should come along. But I am just wondering about the time... I have read alot of your helpful comments and posts on this site and I really appriciate your help. Thankyou and I will keep you posted on my recovery.
I am 11 months from the last 2 surgerys and I feel some nerve recovery in both legs. On the left leg I now have circulation and normal body heat right to the toes and sole of my foot. Before it was stoned cold. I also have strenght and muscel building up in my calf and shin when they were completely not working. On the right leg I am almost to being normal. My biggest concern is that my legs still won.t stablize and hold me in a standing position they just keep buckling. But I am patient I guess and hope they keep getting stronger. Thanks in advance to any replies or encouragement.
Hello, good to hear you are doing better: I could hear you being very upset when you posted first time. Now is more optimistic and I hope your hard work will continue bringing you great results.
I didn't have dropped foot before my spinal surgeries but same day after first surgery, nurses and doctors tried to move my right foot with no results. My surgeon told me that usually dropped foot gets better during first 3 month after surgery. It was 6 month after surgery when finally I went for second opinion and DR told me that by this time the damage is permanent. If damage is not permanent, you can see improvement during first 3 month; if it didn't happen, it means nothing good can be expected. He was right, now is 6 years after my first surgery, my food still in same position.
If you get some results, this is a good sign. It takes very long time for nerves to recover, it can take up to 2 years, but at least if you see some improvement, you are in a good place.!!
Thanks very much for getting back to me so fast teterii. When I said my legs buckle I meant after they get a little tired from walking or climbing stairs I don.t have enough strenght in the quad muscles and knee muscles to stand and hold my legs locked. I do use a cane when out and about but around home I am hoofing it about without one. I know I have to give it more time and the important thing is I have no pain atall Just little strengh in the left ankle and shin but I have enough to lift my bare foot and walk so thats good. Thanks
Hi thanks for the encouragement but thats no very good you getting the footdrop after the surgery. I am sorry to hear about it. I guess no matter how bad problems are there is allways a poor person that will be in worst shape.. sorry But thanks for the reply.
you absolutely right: always worse somewhere else, so I make the best I can with what I got. And quiet honestly, complication as droop foot is mild to other complications I inherited, so...
I always love to hear about success stories, love to hear that someone is improving, love to hear how a strong person, as yourself, working so hard to achieve better results instead of becoming a couch potatoes and crying "why me?".
Keep going, very proud of you, you will be OK no matter what, I know that!!!
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Many people are unable to keep in any sort of decent shape once they develop issues with the spine. This leads to overall physical deterioration as well as atrophied muscles, non-stretchy ligaments and tendons, etc. It can take quite a while to build the muscles back up.
Have you been working with a physical therapist to increase the strength overall, and in your legs in particular? If you don't have severe nerve damage, you should be able to develop more strength that will allow you to walk better.
I spent about 9 months of 2011 with an aunt who had a stroke that left her right side paralyzed. It was amazing what she was able to recover by very diligent, hard work. She still has a bit of foot drop left, but only uses a cane when she leaves her house.
If you are able, I would recommend finding a set of simple exercises that will build strength in your legs and do them every day. Also, try to take several short walks each day. You don't want to tire yourself...but every bit of walking you can do will be of benefit. If you have a pool near you, walking in water is even better.
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A quick update on my recovery. Things are going really well but it is very slow.. The left foot is actually getting stronger and I am walking around the house sometimes without the AFO on. I go for a walk everyday about 1.5km and it is getting easier to do that. The indurance is not very strong though, but I think that will inprove. I get some pain in the right glut muscle and along down in the front of the right thigh sometimes but that goes away. I still have to use a cane but not as much as even 3 months ago. I am improving but very slow. I guess I am very lucky to be getting this much improvements. I am working very hard at strengthing the core muscles and I also purchased a treadmill that I use everyday. It all helps and I am incouraged.