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Numbness and S1 Nerve in Exterior Part of My Left Foot

Golfer GuyGGolfer Guy Posts: 9
Hello. I am newbie on this board. I wasn't sure where I should post. I am seeking some feedback from others.

I am 7 months post op L5-S1 microdicectomy surgery. I have no radiating pain. I am not on any pain meds. I still have post op left foot issues. I have numbness on the exterior of my left foot. I have this knot feeling in the middle left foot exterior (S1). The numbness and knot feeling have been there pre and post surgery. The longer it goes I feel like it will be permanent.

I am able to walk fine. I walk 2-3 miles day. I have completed multiple PT sessions. I work out 45+ minutes a day doing core exercises. I have regained a lot of strength back in my leg, calf, and foot. I am able to do toe raises and walk on my heels fine.

I have told the surgeon, his nurse, my pcp, about the continued numbness and knot. They do not seem concerned.

Does anyone think I should have a another MRI done ? I had an MRI done prior to surgery. How about a post op EMG ? Does anyone think I should see another neurosurgeon or spine surgeon (second opinion) for their feedback ?

I am at my wits end about the numbness and knot.

I look forward to hearing your feedback.


Golfer Guy



  • hi Golfer Guy,
    I too have the numb foot due to S1. I have pain at the same time too. They seem not concerned because they really don't know what to say to you. It is anyones guess if this will come back and when. Nerves grow back so slowly. I don't have the push off ability so you are fortunate. I would make sure your back has not herniated again and that the S1 is compressed. I had EMG's done and they don't tell much except that yes, what you thought wasn't working. These are only my opinions from what I have gone through. Keep getting your strength back and hopefully soon you will have the numbness and knot gone. I wish the same for me!!!!
  • Golfer Guy,
    I also have this pain in my right outter foot and toe. I had L5-S1 laminectomy done last May. If I were you, I'd have another MRI done just to make sure. Then you could have piece of mind that it's not another disc issue.


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  • I noticed that you had scar tissue removal on the L5-S1 nerve roots. How did that work out? Did they go in specifically for that? My doctor mentioned wrapping my S1 nerve root to prevent scar from attaching to it. I also have scar tissue. I'm not sure if I dare have it done or not. What did your doctor do for you? Did the scar tissue removal cause permanent nerve damage?

  • The MRI according to the radiologist showed a piece of something(disk he said) still compressing my S1 nerve root. My surgeon said no way did he leave any disk in there since he had view from both the front and the back. But I felt my S1 nerve root pull in my hip and so he went in and found both L5 and S1 nerve roots scarred down. He freed them and wrapped them and then the hope and praying begins. I did lose more of my foot after that surgery and only time will tell what will come back. It has been a year since that surgery and two since the first surgery when I lost the outer part of my foot and my feeling for my bladder and bowel. But my hip moves without that pulling and that is wonderful. I think it was worth it for me cause of my hip, but not sure it was worth losing more of my foot. Tough choice you have. I guess it depends on how bad you are and if you are willing to take a risk of being worse. I feel my nerves will come back but maybe that is wishful thinking. It is just taking a long time.
  • Julie,
    Wow, you're the first one that I know who has had that wrap. What did your doctor wrap your nerves with? Was is Duragen or fat graft? That's odd how something showed up on your MRI and the doc said "No way," to a piece of disc. I had the EXACT same experience. My MRI said, "there's an abnormal signal on the S1 nerve root." But then the final note said that there was no disc,just scar tissue. And my surgeon was also sure that it wasn't disc. I hope when I see my surgeon again, he will still consider doing the wrap. He mentioned that if I still had pain this coming summer that maybe he would have to do that. I know it's a risk, but I'll tell ya what... the constant pain in the outside of my foot drives me nuts. Did your hip/foot hurt with every little bitty movement? As soon as I get out of bed, sure enough, there is comes. The only time I'm good is when I'm perfectly still. And exercises do not help get rid of the pain - just being still does. I need to work just like everyone else, so just laying like a board for the rest of my life isn't an option.

    Did your doctor do any kind of "special surgery" when he wrapped your nerves? Like microscopic or something? Or did he just go in and do the regular laminectomy?

    Thank you for your information. It has given me insight into what I would like done.

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  • I can't remember exactly what he used but I know he used my fat and a gel or foam. I had to laugh at your description of laying like a board. I know that well. lol. My foot has never stopped hurting or being numb. But my hip was a different story. When I moved it hurt. Even rolling in bed made my hip inside pull. The pulling is hard to describe, but inside of my hip to my back I just felt like I had ligaments being stretched in the wrong direction and this was the nerve roots scarred down wrong. My surgeon just went in my back at the same scar for the fourth time. No special or tiny surgery and did the regular laminectomy thing again. One thing is my surgeon did this for me because he believed that I knew my body. The first time he came into my room he looked at me and said well you were right. That was all I needed to hear. Unfortunately, as of yet my foot hasn't come back yet, but who knows, there is still time.
    I hope you and your surgeon can agree on what needs done. I will be interested in hearing.
  • Julie,
    Thank you for the positive words. I do have a good repore (I know that's not spelled right) with my neurosurgeon. The only thing is... he doesn't spend time explaining things to me. He's always in a hurry. But, when I had my laminectomy in May, the thing he said to me is, "Well, you've had this pain before and you know your own body." (Sound familiar?) He told me he "may" have to wrap the nerve if it doesn't get better in another 6 months. I hope that means he "WILL" wrap the nerve if I ask him. I feel that the more I visit him, the crazier he will think I am. That worries me some.

    Other than the foot pain/numbness you have, how else do you feel? I mean, in your back, in your hip? Has that improved I hope? If so, it sounds like that was something you needed to have end. It would drive me crazy to feel the nerve pull all around my hip and back. The foot and leg pain is bad enough. So, I guess the wrap worked for you then??

    My appointment is the 30th - can't wait (sad, huh?).

  • Well, tomorrow I am going to see my Primary Care Family doctor and see if we will support a new MRI to give me peace of mind.

  • I'm sorry I can't relate to the knot thing in your foot. I just have flat out numbness laterally (probably 40% or more) and constant 24/7 burning pain from my hip to my toes. Occasionally lightning strike pain will fly out my toes from my hip. Not fun.

    Do you think you have real knot or is it your perception that there is a knot?

    I know this is so frustrating but since you are presenting as - no pain meds, still active, still exercising and working out, etc., they will likely not want to mess with what is working. Further procedures could damage the nerves and take from your life you have now to the life I have, which I describe below.

    I wish we could "plug" our doctors, even temporarily, into a machine so that they feel this nerve pain. I think unless the doctor personally has nerve pain, they have NO IDEA what it feels like. Meds don't do much, and I guess our descriptions don't do much either. Frustrating!!

    I just had my permanent SCS (spinal cord stimulator) implanted 2 weeks ago, and so far, it is working great. All pain is not gone, but it is a huge improvement in quality of living. The SCS simply blocks the pain signals and I buzz instead of burning.

    But, I've done everything surgically possible and we are positive I have permanent S1 nerve damage in both legs.

    Prior to the SCS, I had to stay in a recliner 23 hours a day as any movement cause major pain. Now, I can go where I want for however long I want. It's crazy. My problem now? Convincing my brain that it is OK after 3 years of shutting my life down to guard against pain. I'm sure with time I will get used to "not needing the anxiety" anymore. lol Didn't expect this side effect!!

    Oh, and I have a long road to get back in shape, to get my stamina built back up. I wear out very quickly, but I expected that after 3 years of basically little activity.

    Good luck with your appointment tomorrow!

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