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[QUOTE=janiee08;4807463]bracer, I think you have a point there about the sciatica nerve. However, I think that a surgeon can hit this nerve (accidently) directly and still cause foot drop and other symptoms like sensitivities, a burning sensation, paresthesia, and even paralysis (temporary or permanently). If I understand you correctly, you're saying that's it's more of an indirect effect. Other nerves that can accidently be hit and then cause foot drop are; peroneal nerve, lumbosacral, and L5 nerve root. Of course, I'm no expert either. Take Care, janiee[/QUOTE]

janie:

I'm hoping it's just a temporary effect, whether it's due to the surgeon's actions during the surgery or a problem with positioning. I read the posts of PT Vegas and wonder just why this problem isn't made more clear prior to fusion surgery. It's a life-changer and could be devastating from a psychological perspective. If all of my doctors are wrong and my foot drop and other nerve issues are permanent, I don't know how I'll handle it. It's hard to think about now and is one of the resons I work so hard at PT and home exercises. I have to do something, even if I know it'll make no difference in how fast the nerve heals.

PTVegas: I admire your positive attitude in the face of such a tough prognosis. It would be difficult for me not to have a great deal of anger. You are a much stronger person than I.

I was under the impression that the Walk Aid was just for stroke victims and others whose foot drop came from spinal cord and brain issues. Maybe they can do some adjusting and provide some nerve stimulation for your situation. Hopefully, this new EMG will provide information that will lead to some diffferent ideas for treatment.
Jeff,

Do you have any movement in your foot at all? Did you say you tested at a 4+ for drop foot?

Phil tested at 1. No dorsiflexion at all. Today, the PT said his muscles still feel strong, so that's a good sign.

We didn't make a mirror box. We saw a video on youtube of a lady using a large mirror to do the exercises and Phil is doing a similar technique. I think we are both a little skeptical about the mirror box, but he mentioned it to the PT and he said it's worth a try and won't do any harm.

Phil's frustration level is extremely high. He would like a more definitive answer as to why he has the drop foot and pain, other than an allergy to the bone growth hormone.

Before surgery, the dr. told Phil he would be out of work for two weeks, "unless he was a baby"...well, now he's at 10 weeks out.

Next week, he is going back to the PCP to discuss other options with him and on the 9th another visit with the surgeon.

Linda
[QUOTE=linjack;4808728]Jeff,

Do you have any movement in your foot at all? Did you say you tested at a 4+ for drop foot?

Phil tested at 1. No dorsiflexion at all. Today, the PT said his muscles still feel strong, so that's a good sign.

We didn't make a mirror box. We saw a video on youtube of a lady using a large mirror to do the exercises and Phil is doing a similar technique. I think we are both a little skeptical about the mirror box, but he mentioned it to the PT and he said it's worth a try and won't do any harm.

Phil's frustration level is extremely high. He would like a more definitive answer as to why he has the drop foot and pain, other than an allergy to the bone growth hormone.

Before surgery, the dr. told Phil he would be out of work for two weeks, "unless he was a baby"...well, now he's at 10 weeks out.

Next week, he is going back to the PCP to discuss other options with him and on the 9th another visit with the surgeon.

Linda[/QUOTE]

Linda:

I do have movement in my left foot and am probably light-years ahead of where Phil is right now. His drop foot is much more severe than mine. I've been classified as 3+, 4, and 4+, depending on who you ask. I imagine 4 is a pretty fair classification. I can walk around the neighborhood for 30 minutes at a time, though my left foot goes slap, slap, slap and I have to concentrate as time goes by to keep it from dragging the ground. I do have some balance problems and stay awat from the street when I'm walking for fear of stumbling over into traffic. I can dorsiflex some, though I'm not sure how to describe that to you. If I am standing, I can raise my left toes off the ground, but not anything behind that. Walking on my toes is tough because I have trouble staying on my big toes (my peroneal nerve is in trouble in both legs, though not severe enough to cause noticeable drop foot in my right foot).

I don't know if Phil's drop foot would be better if he hadn't had the other issue, but he certainly deserves a complete explanation of everything that is going on. I don't always feel like I'm getting a clear story which makes me very frustrated. I can't imagine how aggravated Phil must be when he sees little progress this far along after he was made such lofty promises (that sounds really familiar -- maybe it's a trait common among neurosurgeons).

I'm going to see a neurosurgeon tomorrow. Are there any questions you'd like me to ask? I'll give you a full rundown of what he says. Please let me know how things are going. I truly believe that we're all going to make it through this terrible experience. It's impossible to think otherwise.
[QUOTE=linjack;4809510]Hi,


Jeff -

We had not thought about getting the hospital records, thanks for the suggestion. We will try to get them.

We have been getting the office records for our PCP. When he saw the first set of notes, he called the surgeon while we were sitting there. Told him his notes weren't satisfactory that he needed to do a better job. The last set of notes we received, are exactly the same as the previous ones with one sentence tacked on the bottom of the notes about the supposed BMP allergy.

The last time we saw the surgeon, we took a list of questions and tried to get straight answers from him. When we asked him about the foot drop, which he has never acknowledged, he keeps going back to the BMP allergy. Same response when we ask him about the RSD.

The PCP did tell us that if we didn't get satisfactory answers from our visit, then he would recommend a neurosurgeon. So, we'll see what happens next week.

Thank you for your concern.

Hope everything goes well for you today at your appointment.

Linda[/QUOTE]

Linda:
First off, let me reciprocate your kind words by letting you know how much your honesty about your experience has helped me. I remember reading about Phil's foot drop prior to my surgery and thinking how hard that would be to deal with. It never really crossed my mind that I would be in the same boat, albeit to a much smaller degree. When I realized that my left foot was weaker than my right, foot drop was the first thing that popped into my mind. Even though the incompetent PA in my surgeon's group ignored my symptoms, I was able to research and begin to deal with the problem right away. With my anxiety issues, I can't imagine not having you, teri, and the rest of the good people here to help me through my problems.

All right, I talked to the neurologist today. He did a pretty thorough exam and told me, after looking at my records, that he thinks I've already made some progress in regards to my foot drop. Whether thats a result of my nerve regeneration or the PT and exercises I've been doing remains to be seen. To find out and to make sure that there is no nerve root involvement in either of my leg issues (he really doesn't think so, but the first EMG wasn't complete enough to rule out or confirm everthing), he's sending me to the best guy in town at doing EMG/Nerve Conduction. He even called to have me done ASAP, so I'm going in this Monday. After discussing my pain and neuropathy in my right foot, he increased my Lyrica to 400 mg per day and told me to start taking Alpha-Lipoic Acid (600 mg/day). It's an over-the-counter antioxidant that supposedly helps in nerve regeneration. I don't know if it does, but it can't hurt.
He also suggested that I think about wearing an AFO when my leg tires to reduce the possibility of my foot drop causing me to sprain an ankle or fall and break something. Since my neuropathy prevents me from wearing closed-toe shoes or any type of sock for longer than a few minutes, I'm looking for something that will work with a sandal or flip-flop, which is the footwear I'm limited to until this stuff clears up. He said that it is most likely peroneal damage in my right leg, but the EMG he's ordered will make certain.

I asked about the allergic reaction to the BMP, but he said that a reaction like that was very unusual and he wasn't familiar enough with it to provide any off-had information. I will ask my neurosurgeon when I see him, but that won't be for about three weeks. I'm really sorry about that.

Please continue to push for your right to see the records. Hospital records should be easy to get. In Florida, they're a dollar a page, so be sure you're particular in what you request. I faxed in a request last week because I'm curious about the events surrounding my pneumonia and the testing the medical staff did on my legs to evaluate the situation as time went by. I'm not looking for legal reasons, I just want to know what was going on, especailly in the doctor's notes. Some of that stuff, especially right after the surgery and during the pneumonia episode is a bit fuzzy, so I'd like to know what was going on in my life during that time.

I hate to here that the swelling is coming back. If you'll provide as much info as you can about the BMP and the things the doctors have said, I'll do as much investigating as possible. I still have several weeks before school starts, so I still have some extra time and would love to spend some of it finding out things for you. I also have some doctor's whose kids I taught, so I can try those resources, though many of them are on vacation. If you don't feel comfortable discussing that information, I'll certainly understand.

Take care--

Jeff
[QUOTE=PTVEGAS;4812303]If you don't mind me jumping in here,,,I have the first post on this thread....
I also am confused by the symptoms.. I have sever neuropathy on both legs with some on my arms too... i have the drop foot, and the foot and ankle is swollen most of the time, but my neurologist and the other doctors all say that is because of lack of use and edema
I have had two EMG's now and show a very little improvement, but still need to ware a soft brace to keep me from tripping. The left foot does drag so the lift from the brace keeps it up. I am doing PT at home now, and am starting with a formal PT in a week.
The best brace that I found so far is one called X-Strap. It is a soft item that goes around your ankle and attaches to your shoes via a shoe lace. They also have one that you ware barefooted or with socks around the house that is also very good.
My left leg is numb from the knee down to the foot, with a constant squeezing feeling around the calf. I also have pain in my right leg, (which is why i had the surgery in the first place) but now they all seem to feel its from the uneven gate that i have and is putting strain on my left hip and leg.
Anyway, luckily, I can get rid of the pain when I sit or lie down.
That's just some info on my situation for you if it helps. Take a look at the first post in this thread to see exactly what my surgery was and if it is similar to yours.[/QUOTE]

My husband has swelling in the foot and ankle also. The swelling has gone down somewhat after a course of steroids. He is doing PT and exercises and walks and still has pain and a lesser degree of swelling. His surgery was on May 18.

His surgeon recommended compression stockings to help with the edema.

He also has the X-strap brace and uses that occasionally, but he can't wear it for long because it causes pain in his big toe.

Linda





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