This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Numbness and weakness of feet after back surgery.

Subject: Numbness and weakness of feet after back surgery.

Forum: The Neurology and Neurosurgery Forum

I am a 55 year old male who has undergone 2 back surgeries as a
consequence of which both of my feet have been left substantially numb.
My first surgery was in November 1997. It consisted of shaving off the
protruding portion of a herniated disk at L5-S1. When I came out of the
anesthesia, my right foot was numb and has remained so to this day. The
performing surgeon told me that the numbness would go away in some time,
so when a year had gone by and my right foot was still numb, I went back
to him to see what could be done about it.
New MRI and mylogram were done in November 1998 which revealed that the
disk had moved and was now compressing my left sciatic nerve, and it was
the surgeon's opinion was that even though it couldn't be observed in the
MRI, he felt that this was the factor why my right foot was still numb,
so he suggested another surgery to resolve that situation and restore
the sensation to my right foot.
I then went to an independent neurologist and his opinion coincided with
that of the surgeon, so based on the 2 opinions, I consented to the
second operation of L5-S1 which took place on December 21, 1998 (3 months
ago). When I came out of the anesthesia, not only my was right foot
still numb, but my left foot was now also numb and a mirror image of my
right foot, with numbness in exactly the same pattern as my right foot.
Also, the strength of my knees was substantially reduced by this second
operation to the extent that I have difficulty going up steps without
assisting myself up with my hands on the handrail. I also easily loose
my balance, specially laterally and backwards, and cannot walk normally
since I cannot flex my feet.
The numbness is on my 2 smaller toes, the outside of each foot and also
in the heel area. My left foot is somewhat more numb than my right foot.
I have had knowledge that I am diabetic (Type 2) for about 7 years but
ever since, my diabetes has been under very tight control. Nerve
conductivity studies have been performed to determine if I have any
neuropathy associated with my diabetes and all results have been
negative. My glycohemoglobin quarterly tests come in at 6.50 to 6.9 at
the very most.
I have been undergoing physical therapy for the last 4 weeks and the
results have been that I have somewhat more muscle control and am able
to walk a bit closer to normal, but the numbness, lack of balance and
weakness still persist.
I have consulted 2 other doctors besides the surgeon who performed both
operations; an orthopedic surgeon and a neurologist. A new mylogram was
performed last March 8 and it shows a bulge on the left side at L5-S1
which the 3 doctors say it could be either scar tissue or bone, they
don't know at this time and say it can be known in about 2 months
through another mylogram or MRI.
I am desperate and don't know what to do, since none of the 3 doctors I
have consulted in Tampa can tell me with certainty what has happened and
if there is anything that can be done to restore my feet's nerves. I
have to be on my feet extensively in my work since I am a contractor and
have fallen three times in the last few weeks but fortunately have not
injured myself.
It is my understanding that the condition I have is NOT progressive, but
then I would like for you to corroborate or rectify that for me. Can this
condition worsen in the future or not? I have no pain associated with
my present condition, just numbness in the areas I have described, lack
of balance and weakness in my feet and knees. Importantly, my right leg
calf muscle has undergone some atrophy since my first operation back in
November 1997. It now is 2 centimeters less in circunference than my left
calf muscle. Now that both feet are numb, I'm afraid that in time, the
atrophy may also involve my left leg as well.
While researching the internet for spinal related medical centers I ran
across yours and I wonder if there is anything your staff could do for me
and my present condition.
I am willing to go to your center if you believe my nerves can be restored
back to normal. The orthopedic surgeon I have in Tampa told me he would
refer me to any medical facility I wanted to go have my condition
independently examined. I have adequate health insurance which I imagine
would have to pre-approve any treatment or procedure. My insurance is the  
the PPO type, not an HMO.
Please let me know at your convenience what your opinion is of my case,                                                                                                                                    
what in your opinion my prognosis is, and if you believe you can further
assist me in my case. I will more than gladly supply you with whatever
further information you require.
Thank you very much for your time and interest in my case, and for this
wonderful service you provide to the community.
Very truly yours,

Follow Ups:

Re: Numbness and weakness of feet after back surgery. Juan 4/19/1999

Numbness and weakness of feet after back surgery. CCF MD mdf 4/29/1999

Re: Numbness and weakness of feet after back surgery. Janet 5/02/1999

Re: Numbness and weakness of feet after back surgery. Juan Viera 4/05/1999

Re: Numbness and weakness of feet after back surgery. Juan Viera 4/05/1999

Re: Numbness and weakness of feet after back surgery. bob 3/26/1999

Numbness and weakness of feet after back surgery. CCF MD mdf 4/29/1999

Discussion is closed
0 Answers
Page 1 of 1
Request an Appointment
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now