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Continued numbness in feet.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a laminectomy, decompression, spinal fusion-bone graft on 10/11. Before surgery, I had numbness in both feet with the right foot worser and weakness in that leg. The neurosurgeon said it was partial paralysis. Was and still having cramps in right calf muscle and foot. Now,I still have numbness, weakness, etc. and it seems worse than before surgery. Has anyone else experienced this or have any thoughts?? Thanks


  • I have had a "numbness" in the bottom of my feet for a couple years, and it seems to be getting progressively worse, with weakness in my legs as well. My neurosurgeon diagnosed me with spinal stenosis two years ago, but because I was having NO pain in my back, he refuses to operate. The MRI looks like my sacrum is sitting at a right angle to my lumbar vertebraes, and the L5-S1 disk is shifted about .9mm.... oherwise, my back looks ok except for one disk that appears to be protruding slightly. I have read about Cauda Equina Syndrome, and it appears I may be suffering from that... any others with the same problem? As yet, I have had NO back surgeries.

  • My surgeon and the partner surgeon's at the practice refuse to leave numbness or weakness. Even if you have no back pain, that in itself is enough for them to operate, because it can become permanent if left long enough. I had my fusion Sept 26. Was supposed to be Oct 16, but I reherniated and had numbess and weakness in my right leg/foot, so they sent me for my fusion the day after I saw my surgeon. It's not something to take lightly. Most of my strength was back right after surgery. No more numbness or anything, either. There is a TAD bit less strength in the right foot, but I don't notice it, and it could still go away as the fusion heals
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  • I believe that with Cauda Equina Syndrome, you lose control of your bladder and bowels. It calls for IMMEDIATE surgery! I still have some numbness in my toes, but it is getting better each week. I think a lot of us spineys have that before and after surgery.
  • Welcome! Good to have you here! (Like you just walked into the room, huh!) Or limped, as the case may be!

    Re foot/leg numbness/weakness: that was the primary reason for my fusion, & as Lo said (& my NS also said) , it can lead to loss of function & paralysis if left unattended. The spondy was pusing fwd & taking my disc into the thecal area, ready to rupture. So there was no choice, really.

    Since the fusion, there is much less of the above leg symptoms, but more cramping/muscle jumping etc along w/ some redsidual numb/ting/weak stuff...saw my NS last week for 10 mo check up & he said it could be neves re-generating, or reacting to the neve-root retraction that is necessary during fusion surgery or some peripheral neuropathy (that runs in my family) or a combo of all...

    Sometimes my whole foot & lower leg just feels "cold" or like I'm wearing socks when I'm not & sometimes it's better than b4 but sometimes not...! And after sitting (which is hard to do anyway) my leg is just plain weak...gotta shake it out b4 standing on it...

    Do you have any pain? Since my fusion, there is no actual leg "pain"---just these annoying minor things that could just be part & parcel of the whole fusion procedure. But pain would signal something else going on.

    BAnd as Joy says, if you develop any bowel/bladder function or sensation loss, that's an emergency.

    Call you doc if you have any doubts. At only 2 weeks out, you are still very "fresh"...this stuff takes a LONG time to settle down. Just think of what they all do!! Yikes! :|

    Things should improve It takes time ! Stay in touch!

  • Hi,
    I am not having any pain in back or legs. All the pain I was having before surgery is gone :))) I am still a little sore at the incision site, and if I sit for awhile, I have some minor aches. But I guess since the pain is gone, I want the other gone too. I have the same feeling as if I am wearing socks too. That is wild. People who have never experienced this don't understand. Sometimes I can't tell if my feet are cold, but they feel like ice to touch them. I appreciate everyone's replies and enjoy reading posts. I have gotten a lot of info from this group.
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  • I have numbness and tingling in both my feet and my hands but I also have had a cervical fusion and a PLIF. My feet bother me the most, especially at night...not that it gets any worse mind you but just when I'm laying down in bed I have the constant urge to rub my feet back and forth over the blankets....I think its the numb feeling in my feet making me do it. They also get really cold. My doctor said the numbness and tingling might never go away because of nerve damage. He said my cervical problems were the same as having a spinal cord injury since my spinal cord was pressed to less thn 1/3 of its normal size by bone spurs hence the hand numbness and tingling...its been over a year since that surgery. Its been 4 months since my PLIF and sometimes it feels like my feet are getting worse especially my right one. *shrugs*

    Best Wishes,
    Christina :)
  • I have had a numb and painful foot and numb other places since my first surgery. After the last surgery in January I lost the rest of the foot. A while back a member of SH suggested I had Tarsal Tunnel in my ankle. Well, last week after having an MRI of my foot and ankle a Podiatrist did confirm that I have that as well as totally torn ligaments on the outside of my ankle from an old injury I don't remember. He has changed my medication around and I think is making a brace to compress the enlarged veins, which are pressing on the nerves and therefore the muscles can't work. I hope he is correct, cause as you said Shirley, if you haven't had it you just can't understand. People just have no idea how horrible this is to live with. Keep looking for answers. You are so fresh out of surgery. These nerves have been irritated for a long time. Stay positive and patient for all of this to heal.
  • Thanks for reply. I am not having any of the pain I had before surgery, which is amazing. :) Besides the numbness, etc. I just have some lingering soreness from the actual surgery- more muscle soreness than pain. I guess I just want it to be all better and all gone like the pre-surgery pain. I just have to have patience. I see my neurosurgeon on 11/12 and have lots of questions for him that I have thought of since the surgery.
  • It is early days yet so give it time to heal and repair.
    The longer your had the numbness pre=surgery the longer it will take to repair.
    It has only been a couple of weks and till now you are still recovering from the actual surgery so be patient and try to keep your mind off it.
    It is not uncommon to have worse symptoms after surgery but they usually do go away in time.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I understand you are in the "bruising and swelling" stage - you may have some swelling that is coming out, all normal aftger your surgery that initially aggrivates your symptoms.
    But I am not a MRI machine so can only give an opinion.

    It should peak then settle. If it doesn't or is awful, you should call and ask.

    I too still have leg numbness. I have an awul ICY and then burning feeling through my legs, occasional weakness. I am 5 weeks post revision and 6 months post PLIF. My own post regards the numbness revealed that it seems it can take up to 12 months to recover, then that is likely to be the best you'll get. My physio explained to me that the nerves are the one part of the body that no doctor will "predict" a recovery for...becuase they simply do not know.

    My back pain continues to be my biggest problem. argHH!!

    Anyhow, you are way early days and you'll experience a magnitude of different but subtle symptoms as your back, muscles and nerves all settle down. Good Luck with your recovery. x
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