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Posted in: Back pain, and Surgery.

Post OP PLIF Foot drop

Started by RFLO1 on 01/26/2010 1:38pm

Hello, thanks in advance for your help. I hope everyone is having a good day. I had a PLIF of L4-L5 completed six weeks ago due to severe stenosis. I awoke from surgery with severe numbness in my whole left foot and up part of my lower leg. My left big toe is also numb. I cannot dosiflex my left foot and it is constantly painful and numb. I have recently started having pain in the ankle joint. My low back pain has also gotten worse, maybe due to my limp or steppage gait. My NS rated it at 2/5. My question is should I be having another MRI or EMG to see if there is a problem with the PLIF? I have read that foot drop can become permanent if you wait too long. Thanks for your help!

RFLO1

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Hello,
I saw no one had addressed your problem yet, so wanted to jump in and offer some advice.

Foot drop (aka "drop foot") can be caused by a number of factors - neurological, disease, injuries, and many more. It *may* be considered a serious condition, depending on the cause, so it warrants quick attention, as in "time = nerve", meaning the sooner you act to discover the cause, the higher likelihood you have of *potentially* resolving or managing it. Potentially I say, because sometimes foot drop is a temporary condition, and sometimes it is permanent.

Given your recent back surgery, onset of new symptoms, and your questions, I would definitely recommend that you make a call to your surgeon or physician as soon as possible this week. It's worth a follow-up, and soon ;). Your doc will decide and order which tests are best for evaluating it.

I wish you the best of health.

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