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Old 05-10-2018, 08:20 AM   #1
Mark F
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Join Date: May 2018
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Looking for answers

New member here. I'm a 63 year old male. I am 6'3" and weigh 210 pounds. In early 2012 I started experiencing numbness in my right big toe. Over the next 6 months it started to manifest itself in both big toes. Between 2012 and 2014 I saw three different Neurologists and had the standard EMG and ultrasound tests on both of my legs. All three diagnosed me with Diabetic Neuropathy. All three prescribed Metformin and Gabapentin. The last one prescribed Metanx, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and L-Arginine. The Gabapentin helps some but the others did nothing for me. So after 8 months I stopped taking everything except Gabapentin. Over the next few years the numbness spread and I also started experiencing a variety of sensations from cold to tingling to burning. Today the sensations are in both feet from my arch forward. My family doctor has never believed that I have Diabetes and that is why I stopped the Metformin. I also saw an Endocrinologist and she said I didn't have Diabetes. My glucose fluctuates between 100 and 120. My A1C is always somewhere between 6.0 and 6.6. The Metformin never affected my glucose level. During that time, I also went on a low carb diet. All this time, my symptoms just kept getting worse. I've seen acupuncturists, Chiropractors and Physical Therapists. Nothing helped. I have also had lower back pain for years, and a few years ago started experiencing classic Sciatica down my right leg. In Feb 2017 I had laser surgery between L5 and S1. It seemed to help for a couple of months, but the shooting pain and weakness feeling has come back. The surgeon said it was because I now had scar tissue putting pressure on the nerve. I mention this because sometimes I think the sensations in the right foot is connected somehow to the sciatica. Then yesterday, for the first time, I felt weakness in my left leg and extreme numbness in my left foot. It lasted all day but was gone this morning. I am at my wits end. Some days are worse than others. Some days are almost unbearable. I can't sit for long. Lying down exacerbates the sensations in my feet. I go barefooted because I can't stand to have socks and/or shoes on. I also have Hypothyroidism, arrhythmia, and very dry skin. I sometimes wonder if they aren't all connected and maybe I have some autoimmune condition. I welcome any and all suggestions/comments.

 
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:45 AM   #2
teteri66
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Re: Looking for answers

Welcome to the board. First I am not a fan of laser spine surgery as the results are seldom long-lasting. When did you have a MRI? Have you seen either a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon? If not, you may want to do so. This would help to rule in or out spinal nerve compression as a cause of the issues with your feet.

I had a similar situation back around 2000 where I first noticed some cramping in my middle toes. This was slowly followed by tingling, then some numbness. I was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy (but no EMG was done) as these symptoms were occurring in both feet. (Had it been just one foot, I think the doctor might have suspected a back problem.).

2005 brought sciatic pain. 2008 brought a fusion surgery at L4-5 for spondylolisthesis. This is a situation where one vertebra slips over the top of the adjacent vertebra and can result in instability. Symptoms are often found in both legs or feet as opposed to left or right leg or foot only. It was only at this point that an EMG was done and showed I did not have neuropathy. The symptoms in my feet were all coming from the spinal nerve compression.

If I were in your position, I would consult with a different spine surgeon to see if there is some spinal nerve compression. It is important that a new pair of eyes take a look at your situation.

 
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:54 AM   #3
Mark F
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Georgia
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Re: Looking for answers

Thank you for your insight. I had my last MRI in May 2017. The doctor who did my laser surgery was a Neurosurgeon at an Orthopaedic facility. About 3 months after the surgery, I started complaining of pain again, and he ordered the MRI in May 2017. Based on that MRI, he said I had extensive scar tissue where he had operated and I also had what he called "Facets Syndrome", and he wanted to operate again. I declined and haven't seen him since. I agree that I need a new set of eyes.

 
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