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  • Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

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    Old 01-20-2019, 02:27 AM   #1
    beel
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    Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    I have had foot drop for > 10 years. There was no significant injury that caused this. At the start I could walk fine, and didn't even notice it. It was only picked up when I mentioned I had some numbness on the outside of my calf. The last few years it has deteriorated markedly - I now have to wear a boot and have recently bought an AFO.
    I have had extensive tests in these last 10 years but nothing has been found except disc issues at L3/L4 which seemed too minor and at L5/S1 for which I had a nerve block. This did not fix the foot drop (but helped with reducing back pain and tingling in the leg).
    Is there anyone who has had long term foot drop who can help me understand what might lie ahead? Is the deterioration in gait a normal part of long term drop foot?
    I have seen neurologists, sports and neuro physios and sports drs. Is there anyone else I should see?
    I am doing physio exercises, open to any suggestions of specific exercises or other things to try.
    I also have an unexplained sural nerve loss in function.
    Thanks for any help, this is very challenging personally as I am young and active.

     
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    Old 01-20-2019, 06:14 AM   #2
    MSNik
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    Re: Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    You mentioned that you have seen neurologists, can I just ask when the last time you had an MRI was or had a full neurological evaluation?

    I have MS- and to see me you would never know that I have a disability; however, when I am exhausted or have done allot of physical exertion, I do sometimes have foot drop. This was not picked up for years- but in a MRI many years ago, the damage from MS started showing up.

    A MRI can change from month to month and if it has been more than a year since you had one, you may want to go see a neurologist for a full neuro exam and ask about having another MRI done.
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    Old 01-20-2019, 07:15 AM   #3
    Snoopy61
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    Re: Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    Hi beel.

    Have you had your disc problems evaluated by a Neurosurgeon? Back problems can certainly cause foot drop, leg tingling, gait problems, numbness and more.

     
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    Old 01-20-2019, 09:57 AM   #4
    Pamelamma
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    Talking Re: Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    I had a similar situation. I developed a severe drop foot after a couple weeks of tingling and a couple of what seemed like electrical strikes in my calf. Then one day I couldn't control my limp foot. It was frightening. Every doctor I saw was insistent that the source of my problem was in my spine, yet no one found anything after MRI, and several electrical tests. I had the good fortune to have a check up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon (I had a knee replacement three years prior). He sent me to a sports medicine surgeon for a consult. Long story short, the problem was a fluid-filled cyst pushing on my paroneal nerve near my knee (this caused the shooting electrical feeling in my calf) to the point that it completely shut down the nerve to my foot. This doctor called it after ONE visit to him. I had had the drop foot for over six months at this point. His solution was to simply drain the cyst and hope for the best that the nerve would come alive again, although the longer it is compressed, the less likely a renewal. A few days later I was scheduled for a CT assisted drainage. Three days later my foot came back to life! This was indeed a happy ending. I suggest that you insist to an orthopedist or neurologist that you have an MRI or CT scan of your entire paroneal nerve pathway to see if anything is compressing it along the way. Don't let these "experts" tell you that the source has to be in your spinal area. Best wishes!!! Pam in Wisconsin.

    Last edited by Pamelamma; 01-20-2019 at 10:03 AM.

     
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    Old 01-20-2019, 05:13 PM   #5
    teteri66
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    Re: Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    Have you had a complete spine examination from either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to the back and neck? Foot drop often stems from a L5 or S1 nerve compression.

    Do you still have any numbness or tingling in your leg or foot?

     
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    Old 01-20-2019, 11:53 PM   #6
    beel
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    Re: Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    Thanks for your response @MSNik - I didn't realise they changed from month to month. I've had MRIs last year and will go for a targeted MRI of the peroneal nerve in a couple of weeks. As I only recently learned you can have general MRIs or more targeted MRIs.

    When you say full neurological evaluation - I've had evaluations by neurologists, physios and Drs recently - they did strength tests, MRIs, conduction tests and reflex tests. I was tested for MS. Are these the neurological evaluations you are mentioning? Thank you!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSNik View Post
    You mentioned that you have seen neurologists, can I just ask when the last time you had an MRI was or had a full neurological evaluation?

    I have MS- and to see me you would never know that I have a disability; however, when I am exhausted or have done allot of physical exertion, I do sometimes have foot drop. This was not picked up for years- but in a MRI many years ago, the damage from MS started showing up.

    A MRI can change from month to month and if it has been more than a year since you had one, you may want to go see a neurologist for a full neuro exam and ask about having another MRI done.

     
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    Old 01-20-2019, 11:55 PM   #7
    beel
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    Re: Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    Thank you @Snoopy61
    I have not been evaluated by a neurosurgeon. I will look into this. Would you look for any neurosurgeon or is there a particular field they should specialise in? Thanks!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Snoopy61 View Post
    Hi beel.

    Have you had your disc problems evaluated by a Neurosurgeon? Back problems can certainly cause foot drop, leg tingling, gait problems, numbness and more.

     
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    Old 01-21-2019, 12:00 AM   #8
    beel
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    Re: Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    Thank you Pam! That is so great you recovered and got the right help! I am scheduled for an MRI of the peroneal and sciatic nerve soon. I will check whether a CT scan might also be an option. I have had MRIs of my knee in the past.
    Can I ask what scan actually picked up your cyst? Was it the MRI or the CT?
    Thanks for your help!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pamelamma View Post
    I had a similar situation. I developed a severe drop foot after a couple weeks of tingling and a couple of what seemed like electrical strikes in my calf. Then one day I couldn't control my limp foot. It was frightening. Every doctor I saw was insistent that the source of my problem was in my spine, yet no one found anything after MRI, and several electrical tests. I had the good fortune to have a check up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon (I had a knee replacement three years prior). He sent me to a sports medicine surgeon for a consult. Long story short, the problem was a fluid-filled cyst pushing on my paroneal nerve near my knee (this caused the shooting electrical feeling in my calf) to the point that it completely shut down the nerve to my foot. This doctor called it after ONE visit to him. I had had the drop foot for over six months at this point. His solution was to simply drain the cyst and hope for the best that the nerve would come alive again, although the longer it is compressed, the less likely a renewal. A few days later I was scheduled for a CT assisted drainage. Three days later my foot came back to life! This was indeed a happy ending. I suggest that you insist to an orthopedist or neurologist that you have an MRI or CT scan of your entire paroneal nerve pathway to see if anything is compressing it along the way. Don't let these "experts" tell you that the source has to be in your spinal area. Best wishes!!! Pam in Wisconsin.

     
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    Old 01-21-2019, 12:02 AM   #9
    beel
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    Re: Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    Thank you @teteri66. I have not - I will look into that, thank you for the suggestion. The tingling and back pain has greatly decreased since the nerve block, the numbness remains unchanged.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teteri66 View Post
    Have you had a complete spine examination from either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to the back and neck? Foot drop often stems from a L5 or S1 nerve compression.

    Do you still have any numbness or tingling in your leg or foot?

     
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    Old 01-21-2019, 08:21 AM   #10
    Snoopy61
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    Re: Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beel View Post
    Thank you @Snoopy61
    I have not been evaluated by a neurosurgeon. I will look into this. Would you look for any neurosurgeon or is there a particular field they should specialise in? Thanks!
    A Dr. that does back surgery/orthopedist/neurosurgeon. You may need to get a referral to the current type of surgeon from your Primary Car Physician.

    My husband's surgeon was an Orthopedic Surgeon who was also referred to as a Neurosurgeon. She only did back surgeries. My husband has had two back surgeries, the first one was minimally invasive. The second surgery was much more extensive and included two titanium clips. His surgeon was awesome and really good with him and family as was the facility and staff.

    His symptoms included foot drop, numbness, tingling, loss of mobility, and pain. Although a first impression might be he had MS, he did not, it was his back.

    As someone with Multiple Sclerosis(MS) I know many things can look like MS based on symptoms but there are many things that can cause very similar symptoms. Back problems is one of those other things that can cause Neurological symptoms.

    Best wishes and I hope you find some answers and relief.

     
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    Old 01-21-2019, 09:53 AM   #11
    Pamelamma
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    Re: Foot Drop - Long term, no diagnosis, deterioration - is this to be expected?

    I looked through my records this morning but I am not able to determine if I had an MRI or CT Scan, and I can't remember. But I found that draining the cyst was not CT-assisted, but by using ultrasound. Whatever you end up having, whether it is MRI, CT or ultrasound, make sure it done along the entire pathway from spine to foot. Good luck. I hope you will post what you next find.

     
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