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L5/S1 with just foot pain?

jdcattjjdcatt Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello. I'm on a fact finding mission and would appreciate any feedback anyone can give me. I have bilateral neural foraminal stenosis at L5/S1 which is the result of bilateral pars defect at this level with resulting grade one spondylolisthesis. I've had what I would call a touchy lower back since my late teen years (I'm 39 now) and over the years have learned what not to do to cause it to flair up. It still bothers me some days but it usually doesn't get to bad because I'm careful.

What I'm wondering about though is the pain and the odd sensations I've been getting in my left foot for over a year now. For a few months last year I was being driven nuts by an intense cell phone like vibration in my left foot and lower left leg that would sometimes move up my leg and into the buttock/groin area. It did go away after a few months but ever since I've had a painful foot. It just flat out hurts but it's a kind of pain that is very hard to describe sometimes. Sometimes it feels like I'm walking barefoot on rocks and other times it just flat out feels weird. Like it is swelling but there but when I look at it all I see is my normal looking foot. Other times it feels like there is something wrapped around my foot squeezing my foot so much that it feels like the blood is being cut off from it. But of course my foot looks fine. Then it will just feel like indescribably odd and I can't explain it at all. These feelings sometimes go up the outer side of my leg which I believe is where the S1 dermatome is but I haven't been able to find any info on these odd sensations. The only time I get pins and needles or tingling is when I stand up after I've been sitting in a straight back chair but that's only in my toes on both feet. No numbness just pain and odd feelings. I do loose the coordination in that foot at times but it never lasts very long.

It's very hard to find info where I can read it and say "Yes! That's me!" Can anyone relate?


  • hi there. i'm not sure i can totally relate... but maybe something similar. i've got a herniated disc at l5-s1. problems started 2 years ago, went through PT, meds, 2 surgeries, and its herniated for the 3rd time currently.

    my original symtpoms were tingling and numbness below my knee to the outside edge of my right foot. not much pain though. after the 1st surgery, i had mostly pain running from my backside to the middle of my calf. but no tingling or numbness. (and i herniated the disc a whopping week after my surgery... i had relief for one week.) but anyway... had the second sugery 4 months after the 1st. then i had novocaine like numbness from my butt to my toes in my right leg. (possibly from the surgeon poking around the nerve too much) the numbness eventually faded, but i still had sciatic pain to my knee. its been over a year since that surgery, and my pain has gone up and down, i've been on different meds, etc.

    right now, i've got almost no sciatic pain. (but my current MRI shows a herniation that hasn't changed in 11 months) still have the chronic low back pain, but the last couple of weeks i'm getting this weird sharp pain in the outer edge of my right foot. its like being stabbed, with an almost burning sensation. flares up a bunch of times a day, but no pain in between flares. they can last for a few seconds, or an hour. i know the pain is in line with the S1 nerve root thats being compressed. but can i swtich from classic sciatic pain to just this stabbing pain in my foot? i'm not seeing the doc until jnauary 3rd so i can't get his opinion until then. in the meantime i too am looking for people with similar issues.

    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
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