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New member new surgery

MontereyMMonterey Posts: 2
edited 11/17/2014 - 8:03 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey folks, 40 year old male went through l4-5 discectomy 10 days ago. Before surgery I had terrible back pain, but no sciatic pain. Neurosurgeon says extruded disc was enormous " bigger than my thumb". My back hardly hurts any more but I have hip and calf pain. My biggest problem is I can not move my foot up at all. I believe this is called dorsi flexion. I can not stand on my heel. I have seen no info on this anywhere. I met with neuro last week he seemed very conserved, gave me steroids and said nothing more about it. Does anyone have any ideas? I would take this dead foot over the previous back pain I had.(not that I have a choice). I'm just wondering what the odds of it coming back are?

Thanks, Reed


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • whackedbackwwhackedback Posts: 42
    edited 11/18/2014 - 10:24 AM

    I'm having a laminectomy at L4 and L5 to try and correct this problem with my left foot on 11/25. If you google "dermatome map" it will show you what skin is attached to which nerve. L4 and L5 both control the movement of your anterior tibialis muscle.

    Surfing a lot of sites on the web, I get a feeling that 33-50% of patients seem to get movement back. But I have to take the source with a grain of salt. A lot of people don't get on the web to praise something, just to complain about it. My neurosurgeon thinks I will get movement back.

    Make sure you see someone about it quickly. My doctor told me to have surgery within 3 months. But, I advise you to see your NS about more conservative treatment first. Oral steroids are a first step. Epidural Steroid injections are the next phase. They are trying to reduce the swelling at L4/5 for you. Once the swelling is gone, you may be able to have movement again.

    Also, for a temporary measure, your doctor could write you a prescription for an AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis) which is a brace to help prevent the foot drop while you undergo treatment.

    Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

  • My foot was 100% pre surgery, now my dorsi flexion is 0%. I can move my toes and foot down but not up.
  • The last weekend of August, I was sitting on the couch reading a book, and all of a sudden, I felt as if I had been shot in the lower back. I honestly felt that I understood what a 10/10 pain level was when it happened. The op of my foot is numb, and I get shooting pain down my leg sometimes.

    Mont, based on your evidence, something is blocking your nerves at L4 and L5. I'm surprised that your NS doesn't ask for another MRI to see what is going on. If they do, make sure you have an MRI with and without contrast (gadolinium) so they can see the scar tissue better.

    It's your back, you need to just tell the doctor your concerns. If they can't offer a good explanation, I would seek other counsel.

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