Avatar universal

Foot drop after back surgery

My friend suffers from Left Foot Drop due to a back surgery of his left L3-L4 and L4-L5 disks.

He has the following history:

• 02/15/2000-CT of Lumbar
• 02/22/2000-EMG:  Positive on lumbar L4-5 root compromise bilaterally.
• 02/25/2000-EVALUATION:  Lower back pain, RIGHT leg pain…CT shows large herniated disc, L4-5, with some stenosis.
• 02/28/2000-SURGERY:  Laminotomy of L4-5

• 4/2000 to 8/2006:  No treatment and essentially no problems until nearing the end of August 2006

• 08/07/2006-MULTIPLE EVALUATIONS:  Low back pain.  (This time it’s his LEFT SIDE)
• 10/16/2006-MRI of Lumbar Spine
• 10/25/2006-EVALUATION:  MRI shows stenosis, L4-5 and L3-4, along with herniated disc, L4-5.  Discussed treatment options for left leg and he was advised to proceed with surgery.

• 11/20/2006-SURGERY:  A left L3-L4 and L4-L5 decompressive lumbar laminectomies with diskectomy on the left side at L3-L4 and on the left side at L4-L5.

• 11/29/2006-EVALUATION:  Doctor who did surgery on 11/20/2006 identifies now that he has partial foot-drop, which is unchanged since discharge.

• 01/12/2007-EVALUATION
• 03/16/2007-EVALUATION

We have been told by family doctors that this happened to my friend because of being positioned wrong or strapped in worng?

He goes into surgery with no foot drop and comes out with left foot drop!  What does that really say?  The surgeon says that this an accepatbale risk of the back surgery and nothing went wrong and that my friend assumed the risk.

My friend is cripled from doing things he use to love and I cannot believe that something like this can just happen...What is the real story?  Can you walk into a back surgery and walk out with foot drop and have it not be essentially anyone's fault?  Can my friend recover from foot drop?  Because the doctor states that this is permanent.
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
I had Lumbar Fusion L4,L5 S1 two years ago , My surgery also resulted in left drop foot which I now wear a brace for the rest of my life to function. The facts are when I went in I didn't have it and now I do. This is 100 percent non reversable once the nerves from the lumbar have been damaged. Along with foot drop comes the great electrical shock pain in my
lower leg and foot. Comes and goes sometimes as often as 8 seconds apart. Mine was caused during surgery as the surgeon lost a cage inside
of me from the back and had to open me up from the front to finish 12 1/2 hour surgery , two days in intensive care and 17 days in the hospital. Now it has turned my life upside down so I can relate to all your pain.
Helpful - 0
I have had Sciatica for 15 yrs. I have overcome it with PT and have been using a inverter bed on and off which really helped. About 4 weeks ago it started and I used the bed but this time it didn't work. After suffering a few days and taking a lot of Tylenols  and experiencing the loss of use of my right leg and foot rendering me unable to walk I went to a surgeon recommended by my son-in-law. They said I had a ruptured disc pressing on my nerves causing the loss of my leg and the drop-foot syndrome. They recommended Surgery and two days later they operated. The operation was successful and all the pain went away but I still have the drop foot. It causes me to stumble and fall. I have fell three times flat on my face. I stumble walking on carpet , sidewalks and hardwood floors. The Dr. gave me a PT prescription which starts this week . I haven't went to anyone because I don't know what to tell them . How do I know if they know what I am talking about? How do I evaluate them? What do I ask for?
Avatar universal
Your case sound very much like what happened to me. I am sitll in disbelive but trying to adjust. Would like ot find out more about similar situations and possible help.
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Neurology Community

Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452915648
Allentown, PA
5265383 tn?1669040108
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease