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loss of balance

in August 2103 I had a microdiscectomy on a severe bulge on disc L5 S1. I had lost all strength through left leg, severe burning leg pain and unable to lift heel on left foot. Surgery was successful and the pain was greatly reduced and after a few weeks I was walking normally again. 2 1/2 years later, apart from a couple of minor pain flare ups all is going very well, except I still have numbness all through the left side of my left foot and into my heel as well. The surgeon has told me that any numbness after the 12 month point was "mine to keep" and that seams to be accurate at this stage. My biggest issue though is ever since the surgery I have had a severe loss of balance. Immediately after the surgery I noticed it at its worst when taking a shower and washing my hair. When I would close my eyes I would nearly fall, almost like vertigo symptoms. It has gotten a bit less but it is still there. Prior to surgery I was an avid surfer but now fall as soon as I pop to my feet. The other day I was at a science exhibit with my daughter where they had a balance beam. Just standing still on the balance beam was next to impossible! Sometimes when just walking I stagger and I think people must think that I am some drunk guy walking along. Is my balance problem something that is common from my disc problem. Could it be a result from the numbness in my foot not sending the right signals to my brain? any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated as my lack of balance is very frustrating.


  • Jill55JJill55 Posts: 101
    edited 12/19/2015 - 9:58 PM
    Hi Aussie01, I had a S1 L5 fusion April this year. Balance issues and leg weakness have been a problem for me for years. I haven't been able to get any answers so far. My neurosurgeon has referred me back to neurology. I too have problems washing my hair in the shower loosing my balance putting my hands above my head. I also spend a fair amount of time explaining I've had back surgery and that I'm not drunk usually at a checkout or counter, I suddenly fly backwards. I have tried physio but I have a problem with doing it as it wipes me out and stops me doing anything else for the rest of the day.I am in a terrible state trying to get up from the floor or as this week a low bench at my grandsons Carol service. I have a 4 month old grandson and I am terrified when I have to pick him up to nurse him in case I fall. I have read loads of other threads with people having the same problems but noone seems to know why. I also have no reflexes in lower limbs,can't walk on tip toe or my heels. But strangely enough virtually no pain from my back or sciatica just pain in my foot mostly at night.
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