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  • Nerve Damage

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    Old 11-29-2001, 07:12 AM   #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date: Nov 2001
    Location: North Augusta, Ontario, Canada
    Posts: 22
    rosiedun HB User
    Nerve Damage

    Hello everyone. Must say first, I have just discovered this website and WOW. What's better than getting some direction, advice, education from other's who have been through the same situations. A doctor who can sit in front of you and tell you certainities to something never personally experienced just doesn't quite carry the same weight.

    Two years ago I standing on a chair at work (probably the only smart thing I did was do it at work), flat on my back onto a cement floor.

    Microdiscectomy on L5-S1 in April of 2000. Returned to work in August. Problems continued. Progressed through the health care system (physio, chiropractor, anti-inflamatories, x-rays, cortisone injections. October 5, 2001 L4-L5 disc herniation (diagnosed later) finally exploded causing severe pain and trip to emergency. Mega drugs (valium and moriphine)prescribed and sent home. Next day left leg went numb, not able to walk. Five days later kidneys quite functioning. Then I was able to convince my doctor that this pain really wasn't in my head, I wasn't drinking alcohol and yes, something was indeed just not right!!!!

    Admitted to hospital next day. CAT Scan, MRI - diagnosis, large herniation at L4-L5, spinal stenosis, compressed nerves. Surgery Oct. 17, 2001 - discectomy and laminectomy. Spinal fluid leak occurred. After two days, sutures added to incisision. Discharged from hosital one week after surgery. When staples removed from incision (sutures remained) spinal fluid leak recurred. Resutured in total three times after, finally blood patch performed November 6 (learned a lot of that procedure quickly). Flat on back until November 19 (don't really understand why). Leak has stopped and life in continuing.

    Problem - nerve damage. I now have "dropped foot syndrome" in my left leg. Numbness from waist down left leg to toes. I have not been able to find out any prognosis. Is it likely to get better? When? How? What can I do to help other than build up the muscles around it? Mobility with walker. Balance issues. Scared of falling and injuring back again.

    Any advice please.

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    Old 11-29-2001, 07:46 AM   #2
    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: Foxboro, MA USA
    Posts: 2
    mommy222000 HB User
    Re: Nerve Damage

    I am sorry to hear all that you have been through. Back pain is the worst. That said, I only know a little about permenant or semi-permenant nerve damage. I know that with drop foot it can improve, but more often than not it does not improve. Have you asked your doctor about PT? I know that it can help, even if it doesn't remedy the problem. Did you kidney function come back post-op?


    Old 11-29-2001, 04:14 PM   #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date: Nov 2001
    Location: North Augusta, Ontario, Canada
    Posts: 22
    rosiedun HB User
    Re: Nerve Damage

    Tx for the reply. Kidneys came back day after surgery. Physio started this week with exercises daily. Goal is to improve other muscle groups to support the muscles that don't work (my diagnosis - haven't got their's yet). Find exercises causing pretty severe cramping ,etc.. However, life goes on!!!!

    Old 11-29-2001, 07:22 PM   #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: Oregon
    Posts: 34
    1stBarbi HB User
    Re: Nerve Damage

    I am so sorry you have been through so much. I had a microdiscectomy on L5-S1 and I had a lot of numbness in my leg. It did slowly get better - but there is one toe I can't feel & I guess I never will. They won't tell you because they don't know. Everyone is different & nerves are tricky things & no two people heal the same. It has been about a year and 1/2 since mine & it has slowly gotten better. For a long time when I shaved my legs I was so scared I was going to cut myself horribly as I couldn't feel a large part of my calf. But it is tolerable now - still not completely back to the way it was but it did get better & I'm sure I have gotten used to it a bit.
    God Bless,

    Old 11-29-2001, 11:04 PM   #5
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: Twin Cities, Minn
    Posts: 28
    FREDO HB User
    Re: Nerve Damage

    Hi Rosie - Welcome to our board; join the Club nobody wants to be a member of!

    I'll answer your Q's as best I can. By the way, if your medical system allows financial redress, you have an excellant case of being mistreated by your docs, not now, but let me know at a later date.

    My qualifiers : Progressive back pain x 2 years, 5 or 6 epidural steroid injections, MRI's, CT Scans, and laminectomy L4-5, PLIF L-5/S-1 Jan 02, 2000. As in now living through failed fusion with rods and screws; painfull Peripheral Neuropathy due to lumbar/cervicle, diabetes (Diet-no drugs-controlled). Recent cervicle CT scan: DDD through-out,numerous bone spurs, bulging disc's at c4-5, c5-6, herniated disc and severe Lt sided foraminal stenosis at c6-7, blah, blah, blah...

    1st - Blood patch should have (normally here) been done within 24 hrs. Only need to lay flat (if using 4 year out-dated dye) for 12 hrs. Surgery should have been done within a week of CT/MRI done within 5 working days after leg probs from fall..

    2d - Majority of your problems seem to be stemming from nerve damage. This was: prior to surgery was probably several sites where nerve compression occurred, due to your writing here your surgeon was a dork so probable further nerve damage from sloppy surgery. During any PT, please ensure inst. do NOT try to get you to practise full ROM exercises, as these could harm nerves further.

    Fusion occurs (usually) substantially during first 12-16 months, and hardens and expands to cover fully interdiscal area for up to a year after that. Nerves heal at a rate of one inch per year, however, first you are dealing mainly with letting the nerves that were compressed, and any that MIGHT have been damaged/stressed during surgery heal and "settle down" from invasive surgery.

    Best PT for restoring mobility is walking, and sit-ups, and butt crunches, hamstring stretching, female push-ups, and amb crunches. You can research, trust me, or ask why later date. For the foot "drop", rest leg across opposite knee, and concentrate on flexing foot in full round rotations, and up/down, side to side motions. Two weeks with no weight bearing on it, then sloooowly add leg preasure with foot flat on floor. Main thing with ALL the above is repetition, do not get to the point you are jerking, or cheating. Repeating the series until you are tired +1; but not till your so sore the next day, you can't do the reps.

    Walking is one of the best strengthening things you can do, wearing brace for foot. I'm sure the PTist will have thier own ideas, the above is tried and proved, among alot of patience where I did my miseries along side them.

    Drugs will also help promote healing, or help stop any further degeneration. Two meds that I am taking I can vouch for, there is a multitude available.

    Paxil 20mg x 1 daily, mild anti-d, and nerve med
    Neurontin 600mg x 3 daily , can slowly move up the dosage to 4000-5500mg daily, whatever you can tolerate. The best for nerve type pain, and promotes healing.
    Muscle relaxer: Skelaxin, Soma, Valium, whatever your doc likes.
    Ibuprofen 800mg x 3 daily, excellant anti-inflam.
    Mega-doses of Vitamins B-6, and B-12 - including shot by doc to bring you up to speed, then tablets therafter to maintain high level. Read-up on this: vitamins in relation to nerves, it will surprise you.

    So enough already, I take all the above. My nerve damage in back and legs is very improved, and I will continue...Nerve probs from neck, dx'd 9 Sept 01, to be addressed after holidays.

    BEST narcotics for pain and nerve damage pain is:
    MSContin - Time Released Morphine
    Methadone - THE BEST!.

    Sooo, to all that read my novel: thanks, and if in spots you disagree, post

    Later <IMG SRC="">
    If I can be of further help, give a shout. Please do that anyway, so we know how you are doing.


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