It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board

  • Foot Drop After Fusion?

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 07-08-2011, 03:40 PM   #16
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,167
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    You definitely have something going on -- just what "it" is hasn't been determined. The CT scan would only pick up a nerve compression. It would not necessarily show nerve damage. The EMG will only show that a nerve is damaged, but again, will not necessarily show how or why...just that a signal isn't getting through to the brain.

    I can remember a couple of surgeries where someone has developed foot drop after surgery, and the surgeon had no idea why it happened. But in those cases, it almost always is a temporary situation.

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 07-08-2011, 03:50 PM   #17
    bracer
    Veteran
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: North Florida
    Posts: 319
    bracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Teri:

    Could there be anything other than foot drop going on? Suppose this was caused by an OR positioning mistake? Am I looking at 18-24 months of hoping that things get better -- all the while watching some more of my active years pass by and my left calf waste away? I'm waiting on the pain and numbness in my back and left leg to get better. I figure that's all part of the process. This foot drop, if that's what it is, was not part of the recovery deal that was mentioned to me. I know there are many who have worse results, but am I headed for another surgery in the hope that this new ailment can be "cured?" This is beginning to look like a dangerous treadmill.

    By the way, my foot drop (for lack of a better term right now) doesn't hurt at all. I've noticed that is not always the case.

    Last edited by bracer; 07-08-2011 at 03:55 PM. Reason: more info

     
    Old 07-08-2011, 04:10 PM   #18
    linjack
    Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Location: Central Florida
    Posts: 68
    linjack HB Userlinjack HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Hi Jeff,

    No, you are not paranoid. My husband's (Phil) foot felt strange right after surgery. He told the surgeon and he just waved it off and told him to give it time.

    I think I mentioned that at his two week check up the dr. told him to walk and after walking around the block his foot started to swell and got very painful. He also has the numbness of his big and second toe. The other three toes have very slight numbness.

    Phil's CT scan was fine and all of his x-rays have been fine. He can't lift his right foot off the floor at all and can just barely move his toes (and I mean just barely!).

    Phil ended up getting an AFO brace for the foot drop. According to the brace specialists they see quite a few foot drop cases after back surgery and most of it is transient.

    Phil wanted me to stress to you, that if you should get swelling and pain in your foot to go the dr. right away. Do not wait.

    Our GP was insistent that Phil get PT right away, but that was because of the RSD.

    Phil's diagnosis is foot drop with RSD. From what we have been told, it's rare to get the RSD along with foot drop.

    Try not to worry too much, Jeff, because most cases are transient.

    Get in touch with us any time.

    Linda

     
    The Following User Says Thank You to linjack For This Useful Post:
    bracer (07-08-2011)
    Old 07-08-2011, 04:28 PM   #19
    bracer
    Veteran
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: North Florida
    Posts: 319
    bracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Linda:

    Please know how much I admire and appreciate the kindness and strength being shown by Phil and yourself during this experience. Your words of support and positive thoughts are a great help. Hopefully, we'll all be fine very soon. I remember when you posted (prior to my surgery) about Phil's foot drop. It seemed like a terrible injustice for someone who had enough issues to deal with already. Ironically, I now find myself in the same predicament, though not nearly to the same degree.

    Are you doing any particular home PT for foot drop that is allowed with the recent back fusion? I hate to think that I could be doing something about this rather than letting my muscles get weaker and weaker.

    Of course, my wife and I are always here to help your family in any way we can. You've already done more than I deserve. I'd be happy to return the favor if the need should arise.

    Jeff

     
    Old 07-08-2011, 06:58 PM   #20
    linjack
    Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Location: Central Florida
    Posts: 68
    linjack HB Userlinjack HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Jeff,

    I'm thankful that we've found each other through this board and we can be of help to each other. It's been a long road and it's been so helpful to share it with others who care.

    Phil has only had two PT sessions. First the therapist had Phil lie down and put a cushion under his legs to get them elevated higher than his hips. He massaged his foot for 20 minutes, using lotion. He would then take Phil's foot and flex it upwards (towards his head) and then pull it down. He probably did that about 15 times. Also, he told him to wiggle his toes. Try to wiggle your toes and pick up your foot throughout the day. Whenever you think of it, try.

    He also told Phil that walking is good, but since that seemed to be the start of his pain (when we walked around the block) , that it might be better to walk in a pool.

    He also said he might start him on a stationary bike soon. No riding a regular bike because of the possibility of falling.

    Now most of his PT is centered around the RSD. With RSD it's "if you don't use it...you lose it." But I would think the flexing of the foot, pool walking and stationary bike would also help with the foot drop.

    Also, I think if you put a bottle of water on the floor and rolled it with your foot, maybe that might help. I had trouble with a nerve in my foot and I was told to try doing that. I am going to have Phil do that.

    You're fortunate that you don't have swelling in your foot, because that really cuts down on the movement. I have noticed that when Phil's foot is massaged and the swellling goes down somewhat, he has a little more motion in his toes and can move it a little better.

    I almost forgot, the therapist gave him an elastic band, about 3-4 inches wide. He cut long enough so that Phil can lie flat on his back and put the band around his foot and then he lays there and pulls his foot forward. Maybe you can find some kind of band to give that a try.

    Just as a side note, his surgeon never suggested PT at all. We had to insist on it! We haven't been very pleased with his post-surgical care..live and learn.

    I was told to do the foot massage for Phil several times during the day and do the flexion exercises. Maybe your wife can do that for you.

    I'll pass on any other techniques that we might learn!

    Linda

     
    Old 07-08-2011, 09:09 PM   #21
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,167
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Bracer -- I checked my calendar, and you are exactly 3 weeks post surgery. Considering the serious problems you had post surgery, I'd be surprised if one could consider these "normal" weeks...so, may I remind you that you are still VERY early in recovery. Please try not to worry so much. At least give yourself a break until you see your surgeon in a couple days. Then you will know what you are dealing with...or at least your surgeon's opinion of what he thinks is going on.

    I'm willing to bet your issues are being caused by post-surgical inflammation. This would be the most obvious cause, but....it's possible it may have something to do with your positioning on the table during surgery...or ??? Obviously, something is irritating that peroneal nerve causing the symptoms you are experiencing.

    I wouldn't worry so much about the feeling of numbness...it can be a totally separate issue from the drop foot. All my toes are numb and I have some loss of ankle reflexes, etc. and my walking is just fine. (I won't get an "A" on any balance test, thought ).

    Are you talking short walks several times a day? I think the massaging Linda mentioned would be OK for you, and any sort of foot and ankle exercises you can think of, flex and point, circles, that sort of thing should be fine. You can place a lightweight kitchen towel on the floor, or a piece of fabric, and "gather" it up with your toes as another exercise.

    I would caution you against using any piece of exercise equipment like a bike or treadmill unless your surgeon gives you the OK. Some surgeons are very much opposed to an exercise cycle during early recovery. Also, do not go into a pool until given the OK.

    I went with my aunt to PT yesterday and was quizzing one of the therapists about foot drop. And I've been watching how she has been treated ever since her stroke six months ago. Even though the causes for drop foot are different, the results are the same, and treatment is pretty much the same.

    I hope you'll be able to get some satisfactory answers from your surgeon on Monday. Have you written down your list of questions to take with you?

     
    Old 07-09-2011, 12:27 PM   #22
    linjack
    Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Location: Central Florida
    Posts: 68
    linjack HB Userlinjack HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Teri,

    Has your aunt recovered at all from her foot drop?

    Is her PT similiar to my husband's? They are mainly treating him for the RSD.

    I really like the piece fabric exercise. We'll have to incorporate that into Phil's program.

    Linda

     
    Old 07-09-2011, 01:14 PM   #23
    bracer
    Veteran
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: North Florida
    Posts: 319
    bracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Linda and Teri::

    Though the numbness and weakness remain, I still have no swelling. Even though the two cases have significant differences, you've given me some good ideas about things to ask my surgeon and PT about.


    I hope you're are right and this doesn't turn out to be a case of permanent foot drop. I guess it matches the symptms of foot drop so well that it's hard for me to see any other diagnosis. The way my GP and PT hem-hawed around when I asked them about it has only fed my suspicions. If some of the numbness and/or pain I've had in either of my legs since my hospital stay would get better, I might be a bit more optimisitc. Aside from being able to walk a little bit further without becoming as fatigued, nothing has changed since the day I came home. I have more numbness below my knees than I have proper sensation. That doesn't seem right, yet I was sent home and told that things were looking good.

    I know it's a weekly process, so I don't look for daily improvement. But something would be nice. You're right, it's only been 19 days since my surgery on June 21. I do need to relax and hope for the best. I'll find out some on Monday when I speak with my surgeon for the first time since before I was discharged. And I really hope to get some good news on Wednesday when I have my EMG (DO they tell you the results then or make you wait until the next appointment opens up -- which is usually at least two weeks?) I'm frustrated, but if won't go down without a fight. I'm walking several times a day (short distances, like you folks have said) and am faithfully dong the exercises suggested here and assigned by my PT.

    Having been stung by an unsuccessful back surgery the last time, it's just not hard to see it happening all over again: Lots of promises, but worse off than before. As you know, I really struggled with this decision. The idea that I made a mistake, one that may cost me physical abilities that I did have even after the last failure, is almost too much to take.

    As for questions: Yes, I have plenty, but which would you consider the most important? I'm going to ask about reasons and time frames, but will probably get answers that are rather indefinite in nature. I really want to know what I should and shouldn't be doing for foot drop and spinal fusion. Are there some exercises that are good for one but bad for the other? Should I get in the pool? Should I depend on my PT for exercises or should my surgeon be the one making the decisions?

    Last edited by bracer; 07-09-2011 at 03:09 PM. Reason: add extra

     
    Old 07-09-2011, 03:01 PM   #24
    linjack
    Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Location: Central Florida
    Posts: 68
    linjack HB Userlinjack HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Jeff,

    Phil's surgeon has never mentioned having an EMG, so I don't know how long you have to wait for the results.

    None of the medical professionals that we have seen can tell us if Phil's foot drop is permanent or how long it will last if it's transient. Phil did ask the surgeon about the odds of recovery from foot drop and he said recovery rates are 85-90%, but no time frame. Phil was encouraged by that.

    Also when he went to PT, which he has only done twice, the therapist told him that he didn't have any atrophy of his muscles. I thought that was a good sign, considering his surgery was in May. He can push down with his foot, but cannot lift it up.

    Wait to see what your surgeon says about using a stationary bike or a pool. Phil's said he could use both two weeks after surgery, but every dr. is different as Teri mentioned.

    Make sure you get your questions answered on Monday to your satisfaction. It is really difficult to get a straight answer from Phil's surgeon.

    Try to take it easy today and tomorrow!

    Linda

     
    Old 07-10-2011, 07:01 PM   #25
    bracer
    Veteran
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: North Florida
    Posts: 319
    bracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    'Twas the night before the appointment, blah, blah, blah... And I hope I can get some sleep. It's not the EMG testing, but it is my first meeting with the surgeon since the hospital, so maybe some good news will come of it. I've been working hard on my daily PT and have managed to increase the space I can lift my left toes off the ground, so I hope that's a good thing. My surgeon has never personally seen the symptoms anyway, so maybe this won't be foot drop (or a serious version, anyway -- is there such a thing as a non-serious version?) and some hard work and a couple of months will rid me of this malady. Thanks to all for your words of support and I hope to have some good news tomorrow afternoon!

    Jeff

    Last edited by bracer; 07-11-2011 at 09:24 AM.

     
    Old 07-11-2011, 05:51 PM   #26
    bracer
    Veteran
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: North Florida
    Posts: 319
    bracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    So I head to the surgeon today, prepared for the worst. Fortunately, that's not what happened. He said on a scale of 1-5, my foot drop was a 4+. He said that we'll still go through with Wednesday's EMG, but he said that within a few weeks, my foot should be completely normal. Though he can't say with certainty what caused it (at least until after the EMG), he can say that based upon the results of his exam, it's not anything permanent. I don't need any kind of support or brace. We'll do some minor work during a month or so of physical therapy sessions, but even that was my choice and will not involve any back work.

    I was cleared to start bending occasionally to tie my shoes and put on socks (though my nerve pain prevents me from wearing anything but sandals right now). I can even get in a pool during PT. I was told not to do anything repetitive when it comes to bending and turning (lift nothing more than 15 lbs. for several more weeks though), but let my body be my guide in determining what is too little or too much activity.

    Good news so far, then. I guess the next few days or weeks could bring some surprises, but I'll worry about that if it happens. In the meantime, I'll worry a little bit less and sleep a little bit better tonight. I hope the same for all of you.

    I did forget to have him take off the steri-strips. Of the twelve or so I had, there are about 7 left. Do you think it's safe to take them off on my own?

     
    Old 07-11-2011, 06:53 PM   #27
    linjack
    Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Location: Central Florida
    Posts: 68
    linjack HB Userlinjack HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Jeff,

    What kind of dance lessons are you going to be taking?

    Glad to hear the news was good.

    Linda

     
    Old 07-15-2011, 10:25 AM   #28
    bracer
    Veteran
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: North Florida
    Posts: 319
    bracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB Userbracer HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    As much as I hope to be the loser of that bet, the doctor who performed my EMG didn't seem nearly as optimistic about my recovery. I go back on Wednesday to get the full report from my neurosurgeon. Hopefully, the guy who performed the EMG didn't want to discuss things until he evaluated the data and he will have come to a positive conclusion, but I don't have nearly the confidence I did just a few days ago.

    I'm still doing my walking and foot exercises at home and have had two aquatherapy sessions. When (I'm still not wanting to think "if') the feeling returns, I want those muscles to be as strong as possible. I hate to think about some of them wasting away due to nerve damage.

    How are things going for your husband? Is the swelling any better?

     
    Old 07-15-2011, 03:12 PM   #29
    linjack
    Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Location: Central Florida
    Posts: 68
    linjack HB Userlinjack HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Try not to worry too much until you see the neurosurgeon, much easier said than done.

    The swelling in Phil's foot had gone way down, but the past couple of days it has started to increase again. He's on steroids, but as the dosage decreases the swelling increases.

    Went to our GP yesterday and he called the surgeon while we were there. He told the surgeon that more tests needed to be done. GP believes it is RSD.

    So, the surgeon jumped right on it and Phil had an MRI last night. Went to surgeon today and he said the MRI doesn't show any problems.

    Surgeon still believes Phil is allergic to the bone growth hormone and that is causing the pain in his foot and the foot drop. He said he has telephone conferences with doctors all over the nation and the allergy is the conclusion. He has only seen three cases like this. 90% chance of complete recovery.

    Now the surgeon is also calling it RSD, two weeks ago, he said it was a cousin of RSD.

    I have been researching bone growth hormone allergies, but can't find any info.

    I think my husband is in for a lengthy recovery.

    On the positive side, his back feels fine.

    Keep in touch.

    Linda

     
    Old 07-15-2011, 06:53 PM   #30
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,167
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Foot Drop After Fusion?

    Do they want to operate and remove the BMP or whatever product was used?

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    Back Pain and Drop Foot (Long Post) dionnfr Back Problems 3 07-08-2010 04:50 AM
    foot drop after L4-S1 fusion wxKathy2 Back Problems 5 08-11-2009 11:35 PM
    Peroneal nerve lower leg/foot damage after lumbar fusion? wxKathy2 Back Problems 4 08-04-2009 02:54 AM
    info on "drop foot" kvn60640 Back Problems 56 03-14-2007 07:59 AM
    Any Info On Drop Foot mdp3 Back Problems 1 06-02-2005 12:13 PM
    Info Needed On Foot Drop.... MarianJ Back Problems 12 08-16-2004 07:41 PM
    foot drop from two ruptured discs, how long can I wait ... Tung-Sol Back Problems 16 07-06-2003 08:50 AM
    Please help MRI results. I have Foot drop LLP Back Problems 5 05-01-2002 12:42 PM




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is Off
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:42 PM.





    2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!