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Numbness in leg and foot. Difficult to walk

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I of course have bee diagnosed with DDD. My Dr. a few months ago had me go get a shot in the back and physical therapy. The shot only lasted a few weeks, and I quit physical therapy. Now my back is hurting really bad.

Last weekend I thought I would have to go to the emergency room because I could not walk on my left leg. I used to have a little numbness down my leg and on top of my foot, but now it's my whole foot. I have a hard time going up stairs and putting my shoes on (I did not realize how I flex my feet to get my shoes on now I cannot do that with my left foot)because my left foot is numb. I cannot flex my left toes, and going up stairs I have to concentrate on my left leg, or I will trip going up the stairs. I cannot walk right now (I am only 33 years old). I now walk funny because it's like I have to swing my left leg out because my foot keeps pointing inward (don't really know how to explain that).

Anyway I have a Dr. appt. Monday, and I am hoping he will give me an MRI to see what is up, but I am afraid he will just send me for another shot and more physical therapy. This is really affecting me. I cannot work in my rose garden like I used to because I constantly have to sit down to rest my leg, and I cannot enjoy my life due to this.

Has anyone had such numbness before? If so, what did you Dr. do for you?


  • I'm sorry about that. I did not realize I should have gone to the newbie forum first. Also I may have posted this in the wrong forum because even though I've been diagnosed with DDD, I probably should have posted this in the sciatica(?) forum.

    I also wrote that I could not walk right now. What I meant was I can walk, but not normal like I should be able to.
  • Hey well I hope I got good news. My Dr. wants an MRI done, but says we have to wait for insurance to approve it. I did not know I would have to wait for that. About 10 years ago when I really hurt my back bad, I went to my regular Dr. and he sent me to the hospital that day to get an MRI. I hope insurance will approve it.

    Anyway my Dr. says he will do surgery, but will wait for the MRI to decide on disk replacement or fusion. From what I've been reading on the net, I told him I wanted a disk replacement, he said that he prefers it also, but it depended on how degenerated my back was. He even said that if the MRI showed he could do a disk replacement, that I may wake up with a fusion He said it depended on what it looked like when he got in there. I'm now just wondering how long this process will take to get it done.
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  • I don't want to scare you but I did have the leg numbness and it was not a good outcome for me I ignored it I seen an urgent care Dr. and he wanted an MRI I said wait a few days and it led to emergency surgery. I sorry but your symptoms sound the exact same as mine did.

    I lost use of my right leg I literaly had to drag it along and it was the most pain ever just to sit or stand, getting out of bed was extreme pain.

    I would try to express to you Dr that you need one asap, your right alot of MRI's have to be approved of 1st its the process I go threw now, but if its urgent your insurance will still pay.

    Please let me know what your outcome is, I was only 28 when I experienced your problem.

  • Hey Olivia~

    Hopefully by now you've gotten the OK from your insurance to get the MRI.

    I have had numbness and tingling in my left leg (from hip to toes and even now includes the left groin area including labia) for over a year. In the winter months it naturally gets worse and my left foot kinda drags along moreso than in the summer months when it's warm. My leg often gives out on me without warning and has caused me to fall many times, especially when going up the stairs where my bedroom and bathroom is. Because I often have to be close to the bathroom for other reasons, many times I have to stay in bed because the stairs are just too much for me and I would end up having an accident which would be very embarrassing!

    I know how you feel and I'm so sorry to hear your story. Because I'm single and can't work I don't have insurance other than Medicaid ("welfare" ins.), which doesn't cover much, although I'm thankful for what it does cover as I would really be in trouble without it! My PM Doc has told me that because I've had my problems for so long (due to w/c and SSDI holdups) that likely I have permanent nerve damage and even if I'm able to get surgery some day I will still have some of my problems including the numbness/tingling in my leg. That thought scares me and to be honest it pisses me off because it was out of my hands that it was put off for so long. Thanks to my former employer who didn't want to take care of their own, now the rest of my life will be dealing with these problems and pain. I would HATE to see the same thing happen to you, so please, be an advocate to get the MRI as soon as the insurance covers it and go over the results with your Doc as soon as the results are available. Make sure you get all the info you can about what is going on because surgery is normally a last resort, but in the case of nerve damage, my opinion is that if you can get it taken care of it's worth any potential risks vs. having the damage for the rest of your life.

    Best of luck to you and please keep us posted on your condition, test results, treatments, or even if you just need to vent, OK? We're all here for you and will help you in any way we can.

    Take care of you...
  • First welcome to spine-health.
    Sorry your having a hard time.

    Yes some insurances can be called the same day and approve.
    They called with my appt time(which was the next day), they called the insurance and boom even though with mine I need 5 days notice.

    Keep pushing the drs.

    I am actually calling mine today. As my legs have been very painul to use while walking. (hips down)It gets worse with each week.
    Now the last week when I go to put my legs up or lay on either side the whole leg goes numb within seconds.
    And I already am scheduled for surgery.
    So it may be pushed up I am not sure.

    Please let us know how you make out!!
    Best of luck to you
    >:D< >:D< >:D<
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  • Good morning everyone

    Olivia, welcome to the forum! :) I had nerve damage in my right leg before surgery so i know some of what you are going thru. I will pray that your ins. goes thru right away. I'm sorry you have suffered so long!! I hope you find some answers in this forum, i know it helped me before i went into surgery. The forum helped me to know just what questions to ask my doctor and there is a link that taught me what my condition is really all about!

    I had a Fusion and a Laminectomy(spelling)?? As it turned out the surgery didn't help enough because i also had a Tumor which was causing the numbness and pain in my right leg,groin and right buttock area! Once the Tumor was removed the pain and numbness was gone! It was a large Tumor, 17 cc, i hope i said that right as well!! Please feel free to ask any questions about my surgery, i will be glad to help!!

    Evelyn :)
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • I had the same as you though in both legs. I had to keep going to the gym as I could walk on the treadmill cause I could hold on. I used to do 5 mins then stop till I got feeling back then another 5 mins then stop etc etc.

    Last may I had L3-4 L4-5 L5-S1 fused and correction to scoliosis that had occured with the bulges, ddd etc

    :O Now- No numbness and I had had that for several years! :O

    I was like Tanya and w/c case and they didn't want to have anything to do with me. Then all of a sudden they said we want you to go back to work! Like I could really do that!
    It was then that they realised how bad it was, I think they were hopingthat the o/s would say I was putting it on.

    Anyway the point of this (it is getting late)is to urge you to get something done ASAP as the sooner you have something done then the better recovery like Tanya said.

    Tanya, I am so sorry you too have had to go through all this. W/c is supposed to be there to help injured workers but I get the feeling that they assume everyone is trying to buck the system. My employer refused my claim and I did have to get a solicitor and go to court. So now I am covered for medical expences (though it is still a battle sometimes).
    Keep hanging in there and get out as much as you can. I know it is not easy as I had the same numbness as you but we have to do it. The more you can ealk either on land or in water the better it is for you.

    Blessings to you both
    Sara O:)
  • O:) You folks just amaze me at your strength and will to keep going despite all your physical setbacks. All of you who responded to Olivia have given me strength as I sit here and get ready to post about my ongoing spine degeneration and stenosis and pain and numbness and muscle tightness and drop foot, etc.

    I need to know HOW you all added behind your signatures the list of your conditions, procedures, surgeries, etc. That would be helpful to me so I wouldn't have to keep repeating it.

    I had a fusion of L4 - S1 in Feb. 2005 with a good outcome for a year or two. Now I have herniation at L3-L4 and compressed nerves that have caused permanent foot drop in left foot. Wear AFO on left leg/foot. Seem to be losing strength in my legs and walking is getting harder. Tightness in hamstrings will not give way and hurts. Perhaps I need a muscle relaxant?? Seeing my Physical Med Dr. on Monday.

    Olivia ....all the best to you as you move forward with your surgery. And thank all the rest of you for being here!!

    Richard J.

    DDD; Lumbar Spinal Stenosis; Osteoarthritis; Foot Drop ; AFO left leg
  • Hi Richard.
    To put in your signature, go to the top of the page and you will see MY Account. Click on that then then on the top laft side you will see view / edit click there and you can add what you need to your signature.
    Hope it works, if not ask one of the mods to help you.
    paulgla who posted above is one of them. If you click on his name you can send him a private message as you can for anyone here.

    I really hope things improve for you soon and you get some help from your Dr.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Oliva, any new word yet?

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