Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

L5 root entrapment,,, foot drop

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


  • Thanks liz will look at them now
  • Hi Debbie,

    Back in 1989 (I was 12) I had a laminectomy at L2-L4 and the removal of a grape sized benign tumor on my spinal cord. After surgery I had a drop foot. I had no control of my foot. It just kind of flopped around. When I walked my foot would roll to the side and I walked on my ankle/side of my foot. I kept tripping and the side would get raw.

    So in 1991 I had a Posterior tibial tendon transfer. Basically they moved a muscle from my calf and put it around to the front to hopefully correct it. After that surgery I was able to lift my foot up but still couldn't push down or go side to side. And it still would roll. I wore a cast for 8 weeks.

    So in 1992, I had a Triple arthrodesis which is the surgical fusion of 3 joints (talocalcaneal, talonavicular, and calcaneocuboid) in the foot. I wore a cast for 8 weeks. The fusion makes it impossible for my foot to roll. My ankle would break if I stepped wrong on uneven ground. I can only lift my foot up but at least it doesn't roll any more.

    I haven't had any issues since. If you have any questions please feel free to ask :) Take Care
  • I have had identical symptoms since May of this year. I had total lumbar fusion last Dec. The only one that was not fused was L5, S1 because my body had auto-fised or so we thought. Evidently, the hardware and cage have caused that was to herniated. Mylelogram shows very slight herniation but still have back pain, painful to bend, and drop foot. I've been going to PT and have an EMG scheduled on Aug 22. I'm sure not a doc but I believe one always has to try the non surgical route. I was very angry at first because I had just recovered from that awful surgery in Dec and wanted this fixed NOW! I have gained some strength in my foot but it still falls flat. My big toe is numb, also the outside of my leg. I feel that I am headed back to the OR for a final fusion. Just hoping one is easier than 4. Good luck to you, my friend.
    Ellen Arnel
  • Thanks for your replies,,,I'm still waiting see a spinal surgeon has they never recieved my referral letter glad I rang them up to see how long it would take,,, so back to square one again they have recieved it now had to resend it,,,,,been 4 1/2 weeks now with no improvement I can walk on it but still can't lift up or side to side and my foots numb on top also my big toe and second toe can move the others abit but can't bend,, have to use crutches when I'm outside so not to trip already fell and bruised my hand but ok now,,,,what was the recovery like after the laminectomy serenitychic29 not sure what that involves,, they just said I'd need surgery to get my foot back but that was it I assume to take pressure of the nerve, will have see what the spinal surgeon says when I finely get an appointment,,, I don't have backache now unless I do to much, have the odd twinges shoot down my leg but that's it just this foot off my dragging it round,,,,,just worried it's going to be left permanent if left much longer,,,, thanks again to you both
  • bindereabbinderea Posts: 31
    edited 08/09/2014 - 8:01 AM
    I understand your concern about the time issue. I am afraid mine is going to be permanent as well. Doesn't seem right. If we were rich and famous, surgery would have been done yesterday. I had a microdiscectomy a year ago this month. It was,a piece of cake compared to the Dec surgery. Praying for you, my friend.
    Ellen Arnel
  • Was told it had to be sorted within 7 weeks by the physiotherapist consultant,,, she referred me to surgeon but just have to wait been 4 1/2 week since it happened,, will keep you informed has I know anything, thanks
  • Finely got my appointment through to see the spinal surgeon on Saturday,,, let you know the outcome,,,,,,
  • Foot drop
    Seen surgeon not good,, my foot drop is paralysed has been left to long ( 5 weeks 3 days ) if I'd had a scan when it happened like my local hospital said there were doing and sent me straight to surgeon within few days of it happened he would have been able to save it,,,but I had to chase it up seen consultant 2 week later sent me for urgent scan,, waited yet again for a referral letter only to be lost so wasted few weeks,,, any way he wants me to have a microdiscectomy so to relive some pain in my leg,, next month but if he has a cancellation will do it sooner,,, also will have to start using a splint soon
  • Once the compression of the nerve has been relieved, you may still recover function of your foot and sensation. It is not hopeless yet. Yes, nerve compression left too long can result in permanent injury, but the length of time for permanent damage is variable depending on the condition and extent of the damage. Despite MRI's and CT scans, not everything is clearly visible during the images and the truth of the condition may not be known until the actual surgery.
    Don't loose hope, once surgery is completed, keep working at therapy to see what recovery you may wind up with. You may be surprised.
  • I'm hoping he's wrong and I get the feeling back,, thanks for the threads will look now,,, all I can do is wait to have surgery and see what happens, have to wear a splint not sure what they are like but have a rough idea,,, and do my therapy when they show me after surgery,, thanks again
  • I was told the same as you. A surgeon will tell you the most conservative outlook. At least you got seen now by one and will have the surgery. My foot is slow. Very slow to recover but it is. I know how hard this news is as I'm living this too. I'm sending you positive vibes across the pond! You will have the surgery! And then you can focus on making liars out of everyone. PM me if you need. I'll share anything I can with you. Please know not all hope is lost.
  • Just remember, nerves are the slowest thing to recover once surgery is done. You may wake and find that some of the sensation has returned right away or you may not. It can take up to two years but, along the way, you may find improvement in what you are able to feel and do with your foot.
    I have a bilateral total foot drop, and while I wear afo's ( ankle foot orthosis), I have found some improvement over time.....mine was a total foot drop so odds were not in my favor, but as time passed, things improved some.
  • Mago0oMMago0o Posts: 7
    edited 04/28/2015 - 8:55 AM
    Debbie: I know this post is a bit dated but I'm curious to see how you've fared with the foot drop. I'm is a similar boat- compressed nerve at L4/5 and have had foot drop for about 6 weeks now. I finally have an appointment with a neurosurgeon in 2 weeks. I've had 2 epidurals and been doing physical therapy but nothing has helped. I also have numbness/weakness in my hamstring area. Not sure what to think anymore. The ortho doctor downplays the weakness and wants me to continue the therapy and says that "I've got time" before the nerve damage becomes permanent.
  • Debbied67DDebbied67 Posts: 100
    edited 05/03/2015 - 4:02 AM
    hi mago0o my foot drop still hasn't improve ankle wise,, my toes move abitt more but still unable to bend,, are you having surgery for your disc,, I've had foot drop for 10 months now but no better, still on nerve pain meds,,, seen a orthopaedic last week has I've got a really tight tendon also pain within the ankle when weight bearing had X-ray to see if there's any impairment in the joint get results next week,,, have you got an afo to wear,,, I've still got numbness,,,, hope you get some help soon,,,
  • Hi Debbie- I'm scheduled to have a microdiscectomy on the 26th. I also have spondylolisthesis at L4/5 which may or may not be a problem after the surgery which makes it a difficult decision. Messing around with the disc might upset that apple cart. Frankly, I feel like I'm getting some strength back but it could be that the other muscles in my leg are compensating. For me, the "dead" muscle is one on that runs along the outside of my shin. Luckily, I had 2 epidurals which have all but eliminated the pain. The down side is that because of the foot drop, my hip and foot are taking a beating because my gait has changed. I'm not too keen on the surgery but I also don't want to have permanent nerve damage. I've noticed my tendons have really tightened in the past 2 months as well as my hip flexor. I'm trying to stay as limber as possible so recovery is easier. I hope you can get straightened out too!
Sign In or Register to comment.