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I'm thankful that we've found each other through this board and we can be of help to each other. It's been a long road and it's been so helpful to share it with others who care.

Phil has only had two PT sessions. First the therapist had Phil lie down and put a cushion under his legs to get them elevated higher than his hips. He massaged his foot for 20 minutes, using lotion. He would then take Phil's foot and flex it upwards (towards his head) and then pull it down. He probably did that about 15 times. Also, he told him to wiggle his toes. Try to wiggle your toes and pick up your foot throughout the day. Whenever you think of it, try.

He also told Phil that walking is good, but since that seemed to be the start of his pain (when we walked around the block) , that it might be better to walk in a pool.

He also said he might start him on a stationary bike soon. No riding a regular bike because of the possibility of falling.

Now most of his PT is centered around the RSD. With RSD it's "if you don't use lose it." But I would think the flexing of the foot, pool walking and stationary bike would also help with the foot drop.

Also, I think if you put a bottle of water on the floor and rolled it with your foot, maybe that might help. I had trouble with a nerve in my foot and I was told to try doing that. I am going to have Phil do that.

You're fortunate that you don't have swelling in your foot, because that really cuts down on the movement. I have noticed that when Phil's foot is massaged and the swellling goes down somewhat, he has a little more motion in his toes and can move it a little better.

I almost forgot, the therapist gave him an elastic band, about 3-4 inches wide. He cut long enough so that Phil can lie flat on his back and put the band around his foot and then he lays there and pulls his foot forward. Maybe you can find some kind of band to give that a try.

Just as a side note, his surgeon never suggested PT at all. We had to insist on it! We haven't been very pleased with his post-surgical and learn.

I was told to do the foot massage for Phil several times during the day and do the flexion exercises. Maybe your wife can do that for you.

I'll pass on any other techniques that we might learn!

Bracer -- I checked my calendar, and you are exactly 3 weeks post surgery. Considering the serious problems you had post surgery, I'd be surprised if one could consider these "normal", may I remind you that you are still VERY early in recovery. Please try not to worry so much. At least give yourself a break until you see your surgeon in a couple days. Then you will know what you are dealing with...or at least your surgeon's opinion of what he thinks is going on.

I'm willing to bet your issues are being caused by post-surgical inflammation. This would be the most obvious cause,'s possible it may have something to do with your positioning on the table during surgery...or ??? Obviously, something is irritating that peroneal nerve causing the symptoms you are experiencing.

I wouldn't worry so much about the feeling of can be a totally separate issue from the drop foot. All my toes are numb and I have some loss of ankle reflexes, etc. and my walking is just fine. (I won't get an "A" on any balance test, thought ;)).

Are you talking short walks several times a day? I think the massaging Linda mentioned would be OK for you, and any sort of foot and ankle exercises you can think of, flex and point, circles, that sort of thing should be fine. You can place a lightweight kitchen towel on the floor, or a piece of fabric, and "gather" it up with your toes as another exercise.

I would caution you against using any piece of exercise equipment like a bike or treadmill unless your surgeon gives you the OK. Some surgeons are very much opposed to an exercise cycle during early recovery. Also, do not go into a pool until given the OK.

I went with my aunt to PT yesterday and was quizzing one of the therapists about foot drop. And I've been watching how she has been treated ever since her stroke six months ago. Even though the causes for drop foot are different, the results are the same, and treatment is pretty much the same.

I hope you'll be able to get some satisfactory answers from your surgeon on Monday. Have you written down your list of questions to take with you?
Linda and Teri::

Though the numbness and weakness remain, I still have no swelling. Even though the two cases have significant differences, you've given me some good ideas about things to ask my surgeon and PT about.

I hope you're are right and this doesn't turn out to be a case of permanent foot drop. I guess it matches the symptms of foot drop so well that it's hard for me to see any other diagnosis. The way my GP and PT hem-hawed around when I asked them about it has only fed my suspicions. If some of the numbness and/or pain I've had in either of my legs since my hospital stay would get better, I might be a bit more optimisitc. Aside from being able to walk a little bit further without becoming as fatigued, nothing has changed since the day I came home. I have more numbness below my knees than I have proper sensation. That doesn't seem right, yet I was sent home and told that things were looking good.

I know it's a weekly process, so I don't look for daily improvement. But something would be nice. You're right, it's only been 19 days since my surgery on June 21. I do need to relax and hope for the best. I'll find out some on Monday when I speak with my surgeon for the first time since before I was discharged. And I really hope to get some good news on Wednesday when I have my EMG (DO they tell you the results then or make you wait until the next appointment opens up -- which is usually at least two weeks?) I'm frustrated, but if won't go down without a fight. I'm walking several times a day (short distances, like you folks have said) and am faithfully dong the exercises suggested here and assigned by my PT.

Having been stung by an unsuccessful back surgery the last time, it's just not hard to see it happening all over again: Lots of promises, but worse off than before. As you know, I really struggled with this decision. The idea that I made a mistake, one that may cost me physical abilities that I did have even after the last failure, is almost too much to take.

As for questions: Yes, I have plenty, but which would you consider the most important? I'm going to ask about reasons and time frames, but will probably get answers that are rather indefinite in nature. I really want to know what I should and shouldn't be doing for foot drop and spinal fusion. Are there some exercises that are good for one but bad for the other? Should I get in the pool? Should I depend on my PT for exercises or should my surgeon be the one making the decisions?
As much as I hope to be the loser of that bet, the doctor who performed my EMG didn't seem nearly as optimistic about my recovery. I go back on Wednesday to get the full report from my neurosurgeon. Hopefully, the guy who performed the EMG didn't want to discuss things until he evaluated the data and he will have come to a positive conclusion, but I don't have nearly the confidence I did just a few days ago.

I'm still doing my walking and foot exercises at home and have had two aquatherapy sessions. When (I'm still not wanting to think "if') the feeling returns, I want those muscles to be as strong as possible. I hate to think about some of them wasting away due to nerve damage.

How are things going for your husband? Is the swelling any better?

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