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Foot Drop

timmyfootttimmyfoot Posts: 4
edited 06/27/2015 - 5:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All,

Im just new to this site and would like to introduce myself and my new friend Limpy.... :)

5 weeks ago i under went surgery for a herniated L5/S1 disc and a budging L4/L5 disc. my story goes like this... i was at the gym and felt a pop / pain in my lower back while lifting a weight. i thought id just pulled a muscle however as the week went on i developed sciatica down my left leg which was very painful!!!! i went to my chiro and he said i have a disc issue :( i saw him for a few days however 6 days after the first sign of the injury i woke up on a sunday morning and fell over because i couldnt support my weight on my left foot, as it had stopped working. i went to the hospital that afternoon and they did an MIR straight away. They found a herniated L5/S1 disc which was compressing on the nerve causing the drop foot. They said we need to operate straight away, so the next morning i was on the operating table getting fixed up. They did a laminectamy and repaired the discs. i woke up with no pain which was AMAZING!!!! however the foot drop remained. i only had foot drop for approx 24-36 hours and the doctors said that the use of my foot may or may not come back....

Its been 5 weeks now and i still dont have movement of my foot! i am at the gym almost every day strengthening my leg and calf muscles, i climb up and down stairs each day with the aid of my AFO and do lots of stretchers. ive felt my other muscles getting stronger and compensating for my drop foot. im 33 and have always been really active. i will do whatever it takes to get my foot back!! at the moment i can push downwardly with my foot and toes strongly, however can only slightly lift my big toe upward and cant lift my foot at all.

Has anyone ever recovered from foot drop due to a L5 nerve compression?? any help would be amazing!! :)




  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 06/27/2015 - 5:35 AM
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I'm just a little over 4 weeks since having an L4, L5, and S1 ALIF with PLIF surgery and I can walk on my toes just fine but cannot walk on my heels yet. I still cannot walk heel to toe with my left foot. (Slight case of foot drop) I have noticed some improvement since the surgery but it's a long road to a full recovery and I knew that going into it. I can control my left foot for very short distances, such as walking from one room to the next in the house, but generally when I walk, my left foot flops down to the toe.

    As I'm sure you've been told, the toe raise is directly related to the L5 nerve root. When the nerves are damaged/compressed, it could take months and possibly even a few years for them to heal. Whether or not they will heal back 100% nobody knows and everyone heals differently. I wish you the best of luck and just remember that recovery is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes time.

    I wish you the best of luck with your recovery and hope all goes well.
    Sept 11, 2009 L4/L5 Microdiscectomy
    April 12, 2013 C6/C7 ACDF
    May 27, 2015 L4/L5 ALIF with PLIF
    Too many cervical and lumbar injections to list, including RF Ablation C3-C6 on the right and left.
  • Thanks for your helpful thoughts Pooterosa!! it is a marathon that im running and i just need to remember that. i wish you all the best with your recovery too and hope that one day we both may be able to run a real marathon :)

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