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    Old 05-27-2004, 07:23 PM   #1
    katenyc5
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    Foot drop? Need help

    Hi to everyone here. I'm glad to have found this site.

    I had L5/S1 microdiscectomy for herniation back in 10/2000. I got well after that surgery. About 9 months ago, the other side [left side] started really hurting -- on & off. Since then it has progressively gotten worse, and the pain is now constant -- every day, and at times it is excruciating. I've had a few MRI's, and to my surprise, no new herniations are observed. However, in the last 2 weeks, I've noticed that I seem to be slightly dragging my left foot. I noticed it first when I put on a pair of flipflop sandals -- like I had to clutch my toes to hold onto the shoe to lift it. Then I've noticed it in other shoes. My husband said he noticed it once, last week.

    After my last MRI 2 months ago, my orthopedic surgeon said that, if my pain is really bad, I should go for a discogram and then possibly consider fusion or disc replacement. My pain was not as bad 2 months ago as it is now, and of course this issue with my foot is changing things.

    My problem now seems to stem from L4/L5 and L5/S1. This is what my last MRI says:

    L4/L5 - facet hypertrophy, left greater than right with mild flattening of the anterior thecal sac and minimal narrowing of the inferior neural foraminal narrowing, left greater than right.

    L5/S1 - mild facet hypertrophy. Minimal diffuse bulge is noted. Flattening of the anterior thecal sac. Mild to moderate left neural foraminal narrowing. Right hemilaminectomy.

    If anyone could help with any advice, I would sure appreciate it. I suspect that I need to speak with my orthopedic surgeon again about all of this, or see someone else. I'm not going to wait long, though, as the issue with my foot is really concerning.

    Thanks.
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    Old 05-27-2004, 10:22 PM   #2
    standingman
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    Re: Foot drop? Need help

    Kate--I'm no doc, but it does sound like a further consultation is in order. Your MRI results don't sound especially severe, but we all know that there can be more going on than an MRI picks up. And if you really have foot drop, that's obviously of concern.

    Rather than a discogram, I wonder if an EMG and perhaps a myelogram make sense. The former would suggest whether there is nerve damage, which is really the ball game here. The latter would pinpoint where and how much nerve root impingement there may be. Disco might also be useful, too, of course, but the other testing may come first.

    In any event, this is obviously a doc decision. Good luck to you!

    Standingman

     
    Old 05-28-2004, 02:11 PM   #3
    kvn60640
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    Re: Foot drop? Need help

    Hey Kate you have to get that foot drop fixed immediately or its irreversible. I had it as well and was told by three neurosurgeons that its imperative to have it fixed immediately. Please dont mess around and let it go on for any period of time. After only five weeks I was told it was probably permanent. Luckily I had surgery after six weeks and I have gotten strength back but I can not stress enough how much of an emergency it is. Dont screw around with this.
    Kevin

     
    Old 05-28-2004, 02:40 PM   #4
    katenyc5
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    Re: Foot drop? Need help

    Kevin,

    What was wrong with your back? I don't even have a disc herniation. Well, my MRI is 2 months old. I called the doc today and he ordered another one. The soonest I can get in in Tuesday. I first noticed this weakness [dragging my foot] about 2-3 weeks ago. How was yours dropped -- partial or not?
    Kate
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    Old 05-28-2004, 03:45 PM   #5
    TAZMZN
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    Re: Foot drop? Need help

    Kate,

    You said you had a prior surgery? I am kinda in your position! I had a surgery in 2000 (Micro-Discetomy) and in late 2003 I had my right leg pain come back, this time way worse! I had the mri, no Herniation. I was told that it was SCAR TISSUE from the old surgery... I then had to have another Micro-Discectomy at the L5-S1 level. That worked some what, less pain now. However, I rehernated my L5-S1 and now have to go in to get it fused!

    My point is it might be scar tissue pressing against the nerve! Take the advice of the other postings and go and get your leg nerves checked to find out what nerve it is! If you wait you can have permenant damage! My calf has nerve damage! Its no fun! I have a limp now.

    Take care, good luck!

     
    Old 05-28-2004, 03:47 PM   #6
    dclange
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    Re: Foot drop? Need help

    Kate,
    I think I have the same thing you do. My pain is in left leg, hip,calf, toes, etc. Sometimes pain in my left front groin area. I can't bend my left toe up at all, down is all right. I also have a hard time walking with sandal's on. I can't get in to see a surgeon till June 11th. Here is my MRI report.

    There is a mild levoscolissis of the lumbar spine and there is straightening in the normal lordotic curve of the lumbar spine. There are spurs on the anterior margins of the bodies of L1 and L2 with an attempt at anterior bony bridging. There is a minimal degenerative retrolisthesis of the body of L1 on L2 for a distance of 4mm. I do not see evidence for marrow edema or for a marrow replacing process.

    There is decreased signal in the intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine at the L1-L2, L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels. There is a loss in height at the L5-S1 level. This change is due to disc desiocation. It is seen on the T2 weighted images.

    At the L1-L2 level, there is a disc protrusion that impresses upon the thecal sac anteriorly more so to the right than the left of midline. There is no foraminal narrowing.

    At the L2-L3 level, there is a disc protrusion centrally and to the right of midline with extradural impression upon the thecal sac and with mild right sided foraminal narrowing.

    At the L3-L4 level, there is a disc bulge centrally and to the right of midline and there is mild right sided foraminal narrowing.

    At the L4-L5 level, there is a large disc extrusion to the left of midline. The extruded disc content does extend inferior to the L4-L5 interspace and it does impress upon the thecal sac to the left of midline and displace the thecal sac to the right. In addition, there are osteoarthritic changes in the apophyseal joints at this level with hypertrophy of the ligamenta flava. There is bilateral lateral recess narrowing as well.

    At the L5-S1 level, there is a disc bulge centrally and to the left of midline with extradural impression upon the thecal sac anteriorly and with no evident foraminal narrowing.

    Kate, does this sound like what you have? This foot drop thing sounds like it could be serious. Guy's, from looking at my MRI report and my symptoms, from your experiences in the past, would you guys grade my back or report? Like on a scale of 1 to 10 are something. Does this look bad or not so bad? I know the pain is bad, I need to do something. Any suggestions on pain killers? Taking Naprosyn now. Thanking you guy's in advance for all your help!

    Dave Lange

     
    Old 05-29-2004, 07:49 PM   #7
    kvn60640
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    Re: Foot drop? Need help

    I can not stress enough to everyone on these boards that foot drop isnt something to fool around with emg's and all this other junk. If you have foot drop you need to either take yourself to your doctor or if you cant get in right away take yourself to an emergency room which you know has a neurosurgeon or ortho on call. Dont waste your time doing anything else. When you get foot drop its an emergency situation. I've experienced it myself and have read too many posts on these boards from people wondering what to do. After only a few weeks with it I was told its probably permanent and would only get worse. Luckily I have recovered well from surgery and have gotten the strength back. Please, if you have foot drop dont mess around with it.

     
    Old 08-07-2004, 11:11 AM   #8
    kennyd
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    Re: Foot drop? Need help

    [QUOTE=katenyc5]Hi to everyone here. I'm glad to have found this site.

    I had L5/S1 microdiscectomy for herniation back in 10/2000. I got well after that surgery. About 9 months ago, the other side [left side] started really hurting -- on & off. Since then it has progressively gotten worse, and the pain is now constant -- every day, and at times it is excruciating. I've had a few MRI's, and to my surprise, no new herniations are observed. However, in the last 2 weeks, I've noticed that I seem to be slightly dragging my left foot. I noticed it first when I put on a pair of flipflop sandals -- like I had to clutch my toes to hold onto the shoe to lift it. Then I've noticed it in other shoes. My husband said he noticed it once, last week.

    After my last MRI 2 months ago, my orthopedic surgeon said that, if my pain is really bad, I should go for a discogram and then possibly consider fusion or disc replacement. My pain was not as bad 2 months ago as it is now, and of course this issue with my foot is changing things.

    My problem now seems to stem from L4/L5 and L5/S1. This is what my last MRI says:

    L4/L5 - facet hypertrophy, left greater than right with mild flattening of the anterior thecal sac and minimal narrowing of the inferior neural foraminal narrowing, left greater than right.

    L5/S1 - mild facet hypertrophy. Minimal diffuse bulge is noted. Flattening of the anterior thecal sac. Mild to moderate left neural foraminal narrowing. Right hemilaminectomy.

    If anyone could help with any advice, I would sure appreciate it. I suspect that I need to speak with my orthopedic surgeon again about all of this, or see someone else. I'm not going to wait long, though, as the issue with my foot is really concerning.

    Thanks.[/QUOTE]

     
    Old 08-07-2004, 11:13 AM   #9
    kennyd
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    Re: Foot drop? Need help

    katy- i suggest you pick up a book by Dr. John Sarno called "Mindbody Prescription." He's in NYC at Howard Rusk Rehab Institute.

     
    Old 08-07-2004, 05:31 PM   #10
    cookie51
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    Re: Foot drop? Need help

    HI,
    I cant believe how many people have foot drop, I got mine in2002, after microdiskotomy, I went to get out of bed and had no feeling in my left leg,well since the surgery I have worn a afo(brace) and in dec. this year I was walking to get my brace in the frontroom, when my foot just bent and I fell and busted up my foot on both sides of my ankle, and now have pins and plates on both sides of my ankle, so if you even think you have drop foot have your dr. make a brace for you. I also have had emgs and they show very bad nerve damage, when I had the emg I did not feel a thing.
    Take care
    cookie

     
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