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Numbness in foot progressing

To give a brief overview I have been in pain since April--it felt like my hip was out of the socket and the pain was radiating down my leg, sharp left buttock pain and lower back pain/stiffness. In June I went to see doctor who ordered an Xray which didn't reveal anything-- so he suggested PT. After 4 sessions, it was not getting any better and the PT noticed weakness in my left big toe. They ordered an MRI which revealed herniated discs at L2/L3, and bulging disc at L5 which is compressing my S1 nerve. I went to see a spine specialist who suggested we try steroid injections before considering surgery since I just turned 35 and they said I am young for surgery.

1 week ago I woke up with tingly legs and my foot felt asleep. As the morning progress I realized it wasn't going away. It felt like my toes were a little numb. I was going that day for the injection so I told the doctor about it and he said I am starting to get mild drop foot (which I didnt realize or notice) He suggested we see if the injection helps... I got the epidural steroid injection-- was a little sore afterwards but basically I feel very little relief.
Now I am noticing the numbness and tingling has gone from tips of my toes on my left foot up to my ankle now-- so it is clearly getting worse.
They still have me scheduled for another injection in 2 weeks (they said that sometimes the 2nd one can suddenly work--and that it could relieve the numbness feeling) but I called the surgeon today to get in for an appt with him to discuss surgery options because I can tell this is not getting better--its getting worse!
I am scared about surgery and was trying to prolong this as much as I can, especially since I am an elementary teacher and I go back to school next week!!!! I was just trying to hold off until atleast Thanksgiving or hell, even October-- But now with the numbness/tingling I am getting worried. Dr. told me that there is a "4 month window" when dealing with nerves and damage. I wonder what to do and just looking for some advice or wisdom to help me out as I am trying to be very informed.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi
    My numbness started with my big toe also then progressed to foot, ankle, calf and now buttocks
    And also developed foot drop, my foot hangs down a bit and i trip on my toes and have to catch myself from falling down all of the time
    I am having two lamenectomies (decompression surgery) next week and hope this will stop further progression and Godwilling i will have reverse of the nerve damage i have

    Have the surgery ASAP
    I may have waited too long
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