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Foot drop & paralysed from knee down.

Had herniated disc 4/5 which compressed nerve and left me paralysed from knee down. It is the peroneal nerve that is affected and my muscles have wasted away. My problem is that the leg is rotating outwards or sideways and my physiotherapist says the bones are now twisted because of the muscle wastage. My gait is bad and when I try to walk my good side buttock goes into spasm and pulls me up short.
The knee on the paralysed side is twisting and I have a lot of pain in it. A Dr. said that eventually I will need a knee and a hip replacement. That terrifies me as I absolutely hate surgery. Please - is there anyone out there who is familiar with my above problem who could help me. No one here seems to know what to do and am slowly getting worse.


  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    I share your issue with a herniated L5 nerve root compression and peroneal nerve issues with foot numbness and issues with my left hip, back and lower leg.

    Mine has not progressed as far as yours but i fear that it is a matter of time.

    No one likes surgery ... It would seem that part of the remady might involve fusion surgery or ADR (artificial disk replacement) to the disk between L4 - L5 this would fix the "root" of the problem. A microdiscectomy may be able to accomplish the same.

    Have you seen an orthopedic surgeon (specializing in spine repair) or neurologist (specilizing in spine repair) for your condition(s) and were these options ever discussed?

    I am not a doctor, and my suggestions are just food for thought, additional research,and or conversation items for you and your physician(s)

    Warmest regards and potential relief,

  • I just had both my knees replaced 4 weeks ago and need both my hips replaced next. Both are due to the spine injury.

    Sorry to tell you - but yes our back injurys can create knee and/or hip problems :(

    I will say that the surgery was much worse in my mind then what it is in real life ;)

    It really was not terrible - honestly.

    If you do get it feel free to contact me and I will help you out in any way I can.

    PS: welcome to the forum :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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  • Thankyou for answering. At the time I had a Disectomy and a laminectomy. The Dr said that he used part of the herniated disc to fuse the bones? Does that sound right?
    2 yrs after that I had a tendon transfer.A tendon was taken from my lower leg and split in half. One half went to one side of my foot and the other to the other side. The idea was it would lift my foot and enable it to move again. It lifted okay but it never moved again. I may have to have the toes fused as they drop down and I can trip. HG
  • Thankyou for answering. I had no idea so many things can go wrong. I had a numb toe for 2 years before I had the foot drop. Dr. sent me for every test available for my foot all were normal. No one thought to check my back till it was too late.
    I hate operations because every one I have had has not been particularly successful. Also had enough pain without more from surgery. Thankyou for offer of support.

    Dillwynia: 50% spondylolisthesis, I.D.D, Scoliosis,
    DDD, 7 spinal fractures. 50mg msContin twice a day.
  • Hi

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Is the damage to the peroneal nerve itself, with a compression some place along the line. A emg study should show that perspective. If so a surgeon whom works on trauma to the nerves might be able to work out. Usually you will find them in the plastic surgery field but specialize in nerve trauma. I have a injury to the peroneal nerve, and have seen such a surgeon, and still debate the surgery as some other spine issues need to be addressed. The one thing I can tell you is not to let anything be tight on your leg be it a sock or anything else as it makes the symptoms worse. My symptoms always get worse latter in the day as i get tired.

    Just thought i would stop by and welcome you to spine-health.
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  • Hi and thankyou. the nerve was compressed in the spinal cord, The peroneal nerv e was the one affected, from the sciatic nerve. The nerve is now dead and the paralysis is permanent.In my earlier post I mention the surgery I had by a neurosurgeon. After the tendon transfer done by an orthopaedic surgeon the wound became infected and then I had cellulitis and now lymphoedema on a section of my leg. After 5 years of trying to find out what to do I am finally being treated by a Physiotherapist who has me wearing a compression knee hi stocking and 3 days a week of massaging it. When it starts to heal I should be okay. It's not healing on it's own because the muscles have wasted away and are not compressing my leg to remove the lymph.Yes, thanks for the advice re tight socks/stockings. I have found the best ones to wear are the diabetic ones.I have been told to keep my leg elevated when possible. I am not sure what an EMG study is. I have had an MRI.
    I have been getting newsletters from here for a few years and have learnt quite a bit but up till now not much about my complaint so it's nice to get such a positive response.
  • Unfortunately I see what you are going thru as part of my future. I have a partially paralyzed leg as well and the muscle atrophy after 1 year is pretty bad. If you look at my rt leg and compare it to my left you would never think they were from the same person. My Right foot just started to tilt in causing me to walk on the outside of my foot. I go to physical therapy several times a week but the insurance company will only pay for 4 more. I will be fighting that but most likely I will be forced to pay 100% out of pocket. My therapist is great and has already offered to work over the cost with me so I will not have to forgo treatment. How many years have you been in therapy? was anyone able to fight their insurance company to get more PT paid for?
  • Yes me too. I didn't take opiates until I had had surgery. I am so sorry that I can't help you. Have just found out thaT unlike us in Australia not everyone where you live gets free medical care. I have had PT's since 2005. My brace was also free. I am thinking of you and hoping your Pollies will wake up because that's why you pay Taxes.
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