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Foot drop recovery.

First time post. I've had microdissection on my L5 July 20th. Woke up with foot drop.. Numbness and no dorsiflexion in my right foot June 30th. 20 days the nerve was compressed. I'm at home now doing toe raises and walking with an AFO brace. Since I had a normal life prior to this I'd like to do anything to get back my foot motor function. Any and all comments /advice appreciated. I had to fight to get the operation. .but don't have much post op direction and feel little improvement.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 07/25/2014 - 10:51 PM
  • There is by far a wealth of knowledge here! Just wanted to check in and suggest to other foot drop sufferers to video your pre op foot. Post op foot. And so on. The changes for me are so minute... But they are happening! This past week I can wiggle and press my foot all the way down like my left. Now I'm working on the pulling up. I can do this very slightly.... And now make a circle with my ankle and foot. My calf and toes are numb. I can also spread my toes. I'm working on getting my heel first to walk. I can't stand my AFO... So am walking without it in a good shoe. But only because I've been working to get the toe up. I've only tripped a few times today. I'm stretching simply and walking with a cane. My surgery pain and exhaustion are mostly gone. I find if I stand or sit for long periods it's exhausting. Every day is getting better post operation.
  • Debbied67DDebbied67 Posts: 100
    edited 08/05/2014 - 11:35 PM
    Hi I've had foot drop for nearly 4 weeks had an mri scan which showed L5 root entrapment with marked foot drop 1/5,,,,, seen a physiotherapist consultant she said my foot drop won't go without surgery and referred me to a spinal surgeon still waiting for an appointment,,, don't get that much pain in my back unless I do abit to much,, I get twinges still shooting down my leg,, can't lift foot or move from side to side can move 3 toes abit can't bend them, leg is weak,, just wondering if any one can tell me what to expect,, many thanks,,,, like to add I had back ache for 4 days,, then started with pains in buttock leg and foot on the 4th day resulting in foot drop,,

    It is a forum violation to duplicate posts, Post edited by Liz spine-health moderator

  • Good idea taking a video never thought of that,, I've had foot drop for 4 weeks now due to L5 root entrapment,,, waiting to see a spinal surgeon,, I only have few shooting pains down leg nothing like before,still get backache only if I do to much,, but foot drop is still the same, seen a physiotherapist consultant she said I need surgery otherwise my foot will be permanent,,, don't seem be rushing with my appointment though,, said something about 7 weeks it has be sorted,,, but already 4 and still waiting for an appointment for the spinal surgeon,, just worried in case it's going to be left permanent ,,,
  • Where are you located? I'm in Toronto Ontario. I had a heck of a time getting seen. Do not wait for a referral to call you. Get back in and get yourself seen!
  • I'm in England,, going to ring spinal unit to see what's happening,, messages you,, thanks
  • Big toe over second toe is stronger to grip and cross over. First time today!
  • Ohhhhh that's good news happy for you,,, I'm still waiting made quite a few phones call were my referral had been sent to they hadn't recieved it,,, so had to ring the consultant to resend it it they recieved it on Thursday last week what a joke,,,, so hopefully will get an appointment soon gonna ring again Friday if not recieved anything and I'm not gonna be happy I'm glad I don't get bad pain,,, but still can't lift my foot no improvement,,,,, I hope yours recovers soon bet your happy
  • Spiny_MaloneSSpiny_Malone Posts: 225
    edited 08/13/2014 - 6:34 AM
    But it will happen for you too. Taking notes of any and all progression gives you what you need to get through the recovery... Staying upbeat and all that nonsense! Lol! Let's both post here our successes... So others can read of real foot drop recovery.
  • Hi finely got my appointment it's this Saturday at least I've not got long to wait,,,, let you know the outcome,,,,,,
  • Debbied67DDebbied67 Posts: 100
    edited 08/18/2014 - 6:17 AM
    Duplicate posting is not permitted on Spine Health. See the original post in this thread found below.
    5.11 You agree not to make duplicate threads.

  • It's late here in Toronto. But yesterday my foot was tired. My back really hurt and I felt the hip socket pain from the top of my nerve.. But my foot felt more alive. When I rubbed my toes together I felt more of each toe. Then my calf would come in and out of numbness. It's strange... and beautiful at the same time. Nerve damage is so scary. I'm hellbent to recover and just moving the toe on it's own is so good to see. I usually vape some medicinal herbs so I can repeat the sequences and listen to music and enjoy the process. Each new thing that recovers is worth the struggle and the tears. I honestly believe if tomorrow's foot can control her big toe... I'm happy. I'm happy for today.
  • That is great news I'm well happy for you,,I'm hoping that the surgeon was wrong in saying my foot is paralysed ,,and hoping after surgery will gradually come back but been 6 weeks already the longer it takes the less chance of recovery,,, I have my pre op assesment on the 2nd sept,, still waiting for date of surgery but he did say in sept so might get it when I go to the assesment,,, not looking forward to be put to sleep never had it before,,,, glad your slowly improving happy for you,,
  • And I'm obsessed with foot drop recovery and hearing real life stories. I was told to have a very conservative recovery expectation. I wasn't given more than 33 percent chance to recover. Some people with foot drop (only those with disc herniation I mean) had various timelines for the compression (some over a year) and full recovery. One case they operated within 24 hours (ideal) but they never recovered. It's a crap shoot. They don't know everything and nerves seem to be one of the last frontiers medically speaking. You could walk off the table. You could walk in 6 months. It's the possibility of not knowing that's so hard. I still don't know what my future holds.. But at least if you have the surgery for this you're doing all you can. Keep your brain positive. If you need a boost.. I'm there. All of the people say it and it's hard but true. The power of a positive mind! (secret: if I wake up between 3 and 5 am... I'm allowed to feel all of the sorries and the poor me's... Then I have to just get on with it.)
  • Debbied67DDebbied67 Posts: 100
    edited 08/22/2014 - 3:00 AM
    Thanks for that,,, all I can do is wait and see what happens,, he said he was being honest with me about my foot being paralysed although I can move 3 toes but been able todo that from the start so there's no change,,, let's hope he's wrong and I hopefully can prove him wrong,,, I try my best to move it so many times but nothing but I'm not gonna stop,,,, thanks again
  • Spiny_MaloneSSpiny_Malone Posts: 225
    edited 08/23/2014 - 10:57 AM
    I'm so tired. This will be my third weekend away from home and I know it's too much. Just the car ride alone my back is twinging... My nerves are still throwing curveballs and the drop foot is hard to walk with. It simply is. I know I've walked alot and some days are harder. I've just had a few hard days in a row. Keep on trucking !
  • Hope your ok and things get better,,,, do you wear an afo for your foot drop,,,got a letter from my surgeon explaining what was said etc in our meeting,,,, said I had a huge extruded disc fragment from L3/ L4,,, trapping the nerve, also I've got multilevel degenerative disc disease has well,,,I've got 0/5 paresis in my ankle, and will be difficult to recovery even with surgery,,and will need strong neurorehabilitation support in the future,, but I'm still hoping he's wrong,, so bored at home can't work or drive,,,still not got a date for surgery all I know it's in September got my pre op on the 2nd sept,,,, hope your days get better,,stay strong
  • Today is certainly better. Instead of walking I hit the pool. It's exhausting but worth it. Heh. The AFO situation for me is laughable. There's an off the shelf product that fits a woman.. or a man. Since I'm a size 11 female (euro 43). The custom department was taking appointments in October from July. I'm walking without it basically. I did make an appointment and if you need an AFO I'd make sure you get it a few weeks post surgery... Heads up from my experience. I'd even go so far as renting the toilet seat riser and tub transfer bench (post surgery aids and have them ready too. Nothing like being high on morphine shopping for mobility aids post surgery and sweating from withdrawal. Or at least line them up and see if they deliver! Glad to hear you're going to get operated on....... I'm here for your recovery....
  • Inspiring material to get you through!
  • Glad you had a better day happy for you,,,the surgeon said I will defiantly need a splint instead of using crutches to get about,,, tryed without them yesterday only walked down the road I was in pain abit in leg but worse in my hip on the leg with no foot drop think its cause I'm lifting leg up higher so I don't trip,,, I don't use them round the house just hold onto things,, they should have given me a splint early on,,, I'm not sure if I get it the splint the day I have my op wil ask when I have my pre op next week,,,so they tell u to have mobility aids not mentioned that,,, after surgery the pysio therapist will see me before going home so might mention it then,, how long was you in hospital for he told me just for 1 day,,,,,, thanks for the information about Beth will look at it after,,,,,hope you have an even better day tomorrow,,,,
  • Spiny_MaloneSSpiny_Malone Posts: 225
    edited 08/26/2014 - 2:27 PM
    Is keeping me going right now.

    Watch with kleenex
  • It didn't lace up. I kind of crammed my toes in and used the handle of my cane to flatten them. Winter is coming in Kanukistan so I need shoes and boots on. It feels so weird and numb and I just want my normal foot back. Enough already!
  • Debbied67DDebbied67 Posts: 100
    edited 08/28/2014 - 12:11 AM
    Got my operation date next week Friday 5th,,,,, that's if my blood results are back from my pre op on Tuesday with it being so close,,, I'm soooooo dreading it and nervous and it's still a week away not sure what I be like day before,,, my foot still the same getting me down now had a child laugh at me the other day at the way I walk but they don't know,,I'm sure he thought I was drunk,,,my 3 yr old granddaughter says I've got a poorly foot that won't wake up she's a cutie,,,,, how's your foot have you had any more improvement,, are you managing to walk ok with no afo does it hurt more,,, my hip starts to ache when I do to much I know when to stop,,,,
  • Yay! You're getting what you need! Until then.. Think about living at home and how it can be made simpler. Ready cooked food in singles. Track pants and heat pads. Move anything you use regularly to a waist height. Get your tv on. Music is good too for wiggling those toes! Make sure it all works and is plugged in.
    Try not to be afraid. The surgery will be fine. You already know the foot is fallen and who knows what will happen when you wake up! Some people have the opposite (foot drop as result of surgery) and at least you're mentally prepared and doing all you can.
    My foot is very happy to plantarflex. The dorsiflexion is where it's looking tired and nonexistent. I see my surgeon post op next week so I'll keep you posted. I just keep walking and stretching with those terabands. Sometimes I play loud music and dance by standing and stretching without lifting my feet.

    I want us both to have full recovery and in a couple of years when it's all blown over I'll get on a plane to the UK and we'll have to hold up our old AFOs in the airport as a sign. Then we'll burn them in the parking lot and cackle. Nobody knows what this is like unless you've been through it. I'm sorry you are.. but you are not alone.
  • I woke up from a deep sleep... Sweating. A dark voice told me "you're never getting better" and that was it. Waking up today..though I'm grateful... I had to shake that off first. I'm not taking any medication. That was horrible. I know I have a needling doubt from time to time.... But this really hurt me and I'm feeling the effects even now.. hours later.
  • Ohhhh how awfull bet that shook u up abit,, hope you have recovered from it now,,how are toy feeling operation wise and how's your foot,,,,
  • I suppose the mental will have to catch up. Don't fool yourself...you have to take note of every positive thing and use that to beat the darkness down with a stick. The day got better as I just walked the dog and fantasised about the bungalows without stairs I could have bought... But wasn't thinking about it at the time. I'm going to make sure I mention it to my doctor. I don't want to get depressed.
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