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How possible is a dropped foot with lumbar disc herniation?

scaredofsurgerysscaredofsurgery Posts: 20
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello all...Is it possible to get a dropped foot as a result from a Lumbar Disc herniation? I was thinking of going to a podiatrist to get a brace to help prevent it from happening. Does anyone think its a good idea to wear a brace? I am going to get the MicroD in a couple months. Just curious to know everyones thoughts....Thank you.


  • Since dropped foot is a result of spinal nerve damage, how would a brace prevent it? I know it helps people who already have nerve damage walk, but I can't see how it would help if you didn't.

    I would think that your surgeon would be the best person to tell you how much risk there is of further or more permanent nerve damage, especially to motor nerves.
  • Hello Scared...Yes it can happen from a disc in the lumbar area!! Before my fusion I could not lift my right foot!! That was the ONLY thing that my multi-level fusion actually fixed!!

    Are you having this problem now?? Does your Dr say that it is from your herniation??

    You can PM me if you have any other questions about this or anything!!

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  • Hello there...yes, drop foot can happen with lumbar herniation. I lost my ankle reflex but am proud to say that while I don't know if it's returned, I'm actually able to walk on my tip toe AND push up on my tip toe so I rebuilt strength from mild foot drop.

    Ask your doctor about the back brace.
    I don't think it will hurt. What it might do is remind you to have good body mechanics and limit bending, twisting, lifting.
  • Podiatrists work on feet, I assume he was discussing an ankle brace.

  • As happyHBmom said, yes, you can get dropped foot, but that would be from a damaged nerve. Not really anything wearing a brace now could do to help prevent the possibility of this.

    I have nerve damage in my left leg that goes from butt to outer three toes and the outside of the leg all the way down.

    My left leg is much weaker than my right and atrophied a bit, and have had some problems with my foot from this same damaged nerve. I can move the outer three toes very slowly as compared to those on my right foot, and my left leg, foot, and ankle strength have never returned to near the strength of my right, regardless of exercise.

    Doctor told me that damaged nerves can sometimes regenerate, slowly, but for me that coin came up tails.

    I walk pretty good, but have to pay attention to it, or I can easily stumble because of the way my left foot now works slowly.

    I still have some pain issues along that path in my leg too; it can be quite painful, but feels weird with the numbness I have there when the pain shoots through that semi-numb area.

    Best wishes to you, but if you have a disk pooching out and mashing a nerve, there's no real way to know what your long-term issues may be, if any.

    If you are having dropped foot now, it's a possibility that it'll continue after the disk is cut back. But then again, you may be one of the fortunate ones who's damaged nerves regenerate really well.
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  • Thank God I havnet dropped the foot yet. However, my doctor says that the longer I wait to have the MicroD done, the worse it could get. He cant say what the future holds with this. I can walk well, but still have pain throughout the day. The pain is mainly in my leg and goes all the way to my toes. My herniation is at L5-S1. I do the physical therapy exercises I was taught every day. The one thing I dont understand is why I feel whoozy alot. Almost like the feeling of passing out. I get this ALOT when I go into a store. I cant figure it out. Does anyone here ever have this feeling, whether at home or out in public?

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