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Left foot pain

IthicaIIthica Posts: 18
edited 04/08/2015 - 8:10 PM in Chronic Pain
Hello -
I had been experiencing neck and back pain for over 15 years mostly due to HS & College sports (wrestling). I had numerous MRI throughout the years that showed mild budges, degenerative disks, etc. It wasn't until the last 6 mos that I started experiencing severe left foot pain and some mild numbness of the left arm and occasional balance problems. I repeated cervical & lumbar MRIs . I had what the report termed C3-C7 central cord flattening and C5-C7 myelomalacia . The lumbar MRI showed disk bulges L4-S1 and degeneration at all levels with schmorl nodes.
I underwent ACDF C%-C& fusion that my neurologist said was critical to prevent progression of symptoms (left arm numbness) however he did say he did not believe my neck was the cause of my foot pain (burning, electric shocks, pins & needles). He said he was not sure the cause of the foot pain but could be coming from back - however he said my back MRI was not that impressive only showed diffuse buldges L4 through S1 with narrowing of facet joints most pronounced L5-S1 on the left but in his opinion not terrible. I underwent the ACDF because he said it was dangerous not to Recovery from ACDF is progressing well and expect PT in another 4 weeks. But I still have the severe left foot pain. Dr. does not seem concerned. In his words that can be dealt with in the future if needed however he has not explained how/when.

My question... has anyone had foot pain stemming from the Cervical issues that required ACDF? Is it too early in the recovery process to know anything more at this point? Has anyone had similair foot issues and had successful alternative treatments (ie injections or lumbar surgery)? Any suggestions at this point greatly appreciated. I am on Neurontin that has done little to nothing as far as I can tell, was taking Cymbalta with no real relief but elevated Liver enzymes has me tapering off that medication anyway. Otherwise Valium for spasms related to ACDF surgery and tylenol within limits given liver enzymes. Cannot take NSAIDS this early from surgery Thanks in advance.

Thank You


  • Just an add on. This is the latest in 15 years of pain and I have been so down these last few days I have considered asking my wife for a divorce just to save her the latest burden of many years she has "put up with me". I do not want to put her down in any way although this will definitely sound this way to many,..but she has no concept of chronic pain and has frequently said I have a low pain tolerance. I have lost connection with my 10 year old daughter; We use to go on frequent walks together but my activity level is so very low at this point. I am very seriously considering divorce or separation - they would seem much happier and I am not sure I could get much lower. I truly feel they would be better off without my burden.
    Thank You
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    .....as well as physically after all you have been through.
    It sounds like you're pretty frustrated with lack of healing and doc not understanding your pain at this point.

    Like you said, you are feeling down, so this is not good time for important decisions.
    Has your wife told you she wants a divorce? I think most here would agree that our loved ones and friends do not understand our chronic pain. That is why we meet here at SH site....to share with people who truly understand and are living the life of chronic pain, also. ( there is "spoon theory" and "letter to normals" you may find useful)

    For our loved ones, often times they don't know what to do to help us. You said you're feeling a distance from your young daughter as you bonded over more physical activities. now you are limited in that way...but not limited in being her dad and staying interested in who she is!

    For example, she may be interested in drawing and you could ask her for a picture so you can have it in the room you spend most of time. Heck, I would even frame it! ......as a surprise back at her!.........

    Maybe you and your daughter can think of idea.....simple is best.....that you two could do to surprise (and bond with) your wife.......like if weather nice, to pick flowers...tell stories.

    Then maybe you and wife plan little something for your daughter.
    And wife and daughter surprise you...little something like.......box of cookies! Or for you to say when someone holds your hand to look at their eyes and tell whomever...do you know how happy this makes me? And it puts smile on my face for all day!

    I would keep those little ways of bonding unrelated to my pain ..unrelated to my condition.
    And If things are small and realistic...that communication can go on a while!

    Of course I wrote too much......but please, be slow about any divorce talk. Divorce is an awful pain too.

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • My husband told me all most your word verbatim. He really hurt us. We have two children. I had no concept of chronic pain other than I believed he hurt. He stayed in bed most of the early years of our children's lives. We love him deeply. It hurt my heart to hear him say divorce. Especially knowing he was going to be alone. He was very bed ridden. My tears and reminding him of our 20 year marriage for better or worse, sickness or health. No-one could take better care of him than me and his kids.
    He finally got a morphine pump implanted. He has been able to set in the family room with us. He laughs again. He has failed back syndrome. DDD , nerve damage from scare tissue. Can't have anymore surgery because he grows excessive scar tissue. He still hurts but he has gotten better. Since I finally stayed on doctors and he did every test they ask of him. He took every oral meds. I told his last doctor I would end up losing my husband because the oral meds just weren't doing it. Then he received the pain pump. It took about two years of tinkering with how much of this and that. But he actually gets less medication this way.
    I have no desire to interfere in your personal business. But for me and our two kids the divorce talk was hurtful. My husband knows now that we or I would leave if I was wanting to. I hope the very best for you.
  • my wife was the first to bring up divorce. She has suggested I see a lawyer as she has already. My wife wants to talk Friday night while my daughter is away, she has not told me the subject so I should not jump to conclusions.

    Also I have an appt Monday with a spine institute that frequently advertises on TV. I sent them my lumbar spine MRI and they said they could treat this. I am skeptical of any practice that runs TV commercials 10 times a day, but I thought a free consultation could not hurt at this point. I will not jump to any decisions.

    I told my doctor I sometimes take 100 yes 100 imodium when the pain is at it's worse and I can not get out of bed. He said immodium is actually a opiate derivative (similar in structure to fentynal) but cannot get you high. I know taking 100 of anything cannot be good for you but I am desperate. He said oral narcotics are very hard to get these days and was surprised I have not considered heroin as a cheap alternative, I never have and by the grace of god or whomever, I hope I never will. I had been an cymbalta but my liver enzymes raised, My Psych doctor has suggested Methadone maintenance for pain control. I told him absolutely not. I heard the horror stories ..BUT. this was before the latest news from my wife. I feel like I need to be active again to save things.

    Again I had ACDF March 9 with a reputable hospital. So I am seeing a neurosurgeons. But fixing my neck has not helped my foot or back. He said I will pr need other surgeries in the future but my neck was at a dangerous point so that was done first, buy I feel like my back issues/pain are moving slowly and my life is spiraling quickly. I have an appt in 1 mos with the doc that did my surgery to discuss next steps which sounds like PT for my neck,

    Sorry I have mentioned the foot pain but I also have very bad low back pain that does not radiate, unless this is the cause of the foot as well, sorry i skipped around. A little out of sorts right now.
    Thank You
  • thnx in advance
    Thank You
  • Sorry for all you are going through. I have had back issues on and off for 40 years. I am 59. The last started and has continued with horrific pain in my left foot between the ankle bone and arch. Nobody knew what it was. Fast forward 10 years this has now revealed itself to be spondylethis (sp) caused by a fracture at L5 S1the pain is pretty unforgiving and I can barely walk now. I am awaiting a spinal fusion have been for 10 months. Things don't work fast in UK unless you can pay. What I am getting at, pain in the foot does not seem to get picked up as coming from spine injury as much as it should. Hope you get some help soon.
  • I had spinal cord compression from my C5/C6 disc that was herniated and pushing at my spinal cord and the nerves. I was also diagnosed with myelopathy. The thing with myelopathy and the spinal cord compression, it does affect your whole body. Not just your neck. Your reflexes and nerves are all compromised when your spinal cord is affected, I had multiple signs with clumsiness from the walking, toes/feet going numb, pain. I also had exaggerated reflexes in my knees. It may be the source or it might not be but to totally disregard this possibility is not acceptable. It is not known how my issue started or when. I had no actual injury to cause this. The thing that I have learned by research is that with myelopathy that there is no guarantee that the pain will go away after surgery. For at least a while you are only going to be as good as you were before surgery. My Neurosurgeon told me that all the surgery was going to do is to keep it from getting worse.
    It saddens me that you and your wife are considering divorce. I understand that a life of pain is hard on the relationship. But when you said your vows " for better or worse, in sickness and in health" this is a time when you and your wife need to come together the most. I know it is frustrating for both of you because you can't fix your pain. Maybe some counseling is what you both need. That might help both of you understand your situation from another point of view. Pain is a sickness that affects the physical and the mental wellbeing of the person and the ones closest to them. I'm not judging you or trying to tell you what to do,
    Tracie C
  • My doc mentions methadone too. It's hard when you come from the "Just say no!" era. I associate methadone with heroin addiction & I bet many do. I'm concerned of the stigma attached...as if Oxycodone wasn't bad enough!! I've also heard heroin addicts say that methadone is even harder to quit than heroin but I'm not sure if that's true or not. I've quit all my meds on a couple of occasions & other than PAIN I've found it very easy to titrate down. That was things like fentanyl & oxy though.

    I've watched lectures etc on youtube by the 'top experts on pain management' & they've said that methadone is their favorite narcotic pain management med. Apparently it's effective for structural AND nerve pain, unlike other narcotics. To be honest I find that narcotics do help reduce my nerve pain but that could be in my head. I've heard they don't from many sources.

    We promise, "in sickness & in health". Chronic pain is incredibly hard on a marriage. I never believed that anything could come between us. My husband compares my pain to "The other man". You're right, this is the time couples should be pulling together. The problem is I need, I need help, I need support, I need love, I need, need, need. I'm exhausted & it's very hard to find even more spoons to fight for my marriage. Like many, when I fall into that dark place I feel like a burden who isn't deserving. I know that's not true but I feel it!
    Whatever it takes I will fight! I will fight for my marriage, my family & my health. Chronic pain has robbed me of so much over the years. I'm not going to let it take more.
    Ithica. I know how draining everything is. I know how hard it is. We're planning on couples therapy. Please fight for your family. We do have some control over this. We might not be able to climb mountains but there's still a hell of a lot we have to give. Don't surrender. It's far from inevitable that chronic pain will take everything we hold dear in this world.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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