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lumbar disc protrusion and partial foot drop

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
I am 41 years old and I had back pain over the years but nothing to seek medical care for. Last Friday out of nowhere I started having icreased pain in my back and it travelled to my right leg. Saturday morning while driving I had to pull over several times since the pain was so intense (after 3 advils and muscle relaxer that I took). Saturday was a very painful day, I even cried. On Sunday I had very little pain but I noticed that my right foot is weak. This freaked me out more than the pain itself. I went to see a neurologist on Monday and he did a lumbar MRI the same day since I had a partial foot drop. The MRI showed moderate disc protrusion at L4-L5. I was prescribed steroids and a course of physical therapy.
Today I feel almost no pain but my foot is still weak.

A couple of questions - why is the foot weakness still there even after the pain subsided almost completely
Can a moderate disc protrusion cause a foot weakness?
Is it reversible?

Any input is great appreciated


  • Hello - Welcome to the site, sorry for the issues that brought you here!

    Firstly - we are not Dr's, just people who live with these things.

    As time goes on, these things can heal, but if there was a problem or condition or accident that started this, it may come back to hurt you.

    I have a bulging disk that causes pain and some interference in moving my legs, when it gets bad. As time goes on, it pulls back and the symptoms decrease.

    To me - it looks likes the issue is resolving itself on its own, but the Dr can see if things are really stable or not. Has this been part of a recurrent issue for you?

    I do hope your feeling better
  • welcome. you have found a large group of people who are also in pain like you. not that we are experts but we get comfort chatting with others who have similar troubles.
    my understanding about pain is not as great as a drs. a dr told me that the spinal nerves are made up of different strands of nerves. some sense pain, some control muscles, and others sense heat and cold. apparently the irritation to the pain nerves has subsided. obviously the muscle control nerves are still irritated. you have to be patient because it can sometimes take many months for the nerves to quiet down. in the mean time no twisting, bending or lifting. follow your drs orders and dont sit for extended periods of time.
    why not click on faq above and read some info from this site. hope foot comes back....pete
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