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Foot pain 2 years after rupture at L4/L5

Hi all,

I am wondering if anyone suffers from foot pain (specifically heel and outer ankle pain) after a disc rupture resulting in permanent radiculopathy and numbness along the L5 dermatome.

I've see my physician over and over about this pain, wear orthotics and night splints, and have had multiple site steroid injections in the affected foot with little or no relief. I've seen two specialists (a podiatrist and orthopedic doc), as well. They are all assuming it is plantar fasciitis, but nothing is helping. I'm 32 and in pain all the time. It is misery just to do day to day activities, and I can't work.

Also, that foot and ankle gets incredibly swollen after less than an hour of standing. I think my ankle is weakening, as well, because I've rolled it twice in the last 3 months. I'm scared to put full weight on it...ever.

I'm convinced it isn't run of the mill plantar fasciitis as I'm being told. The pain climbs into my calves all the time. What kind of doc should I see to get a better look at what's going on? Do I need a follow-up MRI? I know my ID is that I'm not giving up, but, 2 years later, I'm really close to hitting that point.


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,342
    edited 06/15/2014 - 3:44 AM
    I would suggest that you revisit a spine surgeon..........http://admin.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/dermatome-map
    The area you describe is exactly where the L5 innervates your foot. It may be just a minor compression, or a bone spur, but it doesn't sound like plantar fascitis to me at all.
    It may be that the nerve is pinched, or compressed again and that is why the pain has returned . I wouldn't allow any more steroid injections into your foot /ankle until you are sure that it is not related to your previous or new spine issues.
  • I had the same type of pain. It started shortly after I hurt my back, but I never put how and two together. I thought I'd pulled my Achilles' tendon or sprained my ankle. I stretched and iced to no avail. I never brought it up to my doctors or PTs bc I honestly didn't think my foot or ankle pain were related to my back. Finally I had an SI joint injection and like magic the pain in my foot and ankle were gone. I finally asked about it and the doc said it sounded like siatica from my s1 nerve. He said sometimes with a SI joint injection some medicine can leave out and hit some other problem spots which is probably what happened.

    Every time my ESIs wear off my foot and ankle pain come back and often that pain is excruciating. I do sometimes get swelling which my pt thinks is due to my gait changing to compensate. I would definitely check in with your spine doc. I thought that because the pain wasn't running down my leg completely that it wasn't siatica, but things aren't always text book

    Good luck!!
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