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Posted in: Back pain, and Surgery.

Post OP PLIF Foot drop

Started by RFLO1 on 01/26/2010 12:38pm

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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I am experiencing the same...had a l4 l5 plif 2 months ago, like you woke up both feet completely numb and drop foot in both..pre op I was never told this was a possibility...had to research my symptoms in the hospital because my surgeons were baffled...havent healed much with the numbness and drop foot since surgery and my surgeon don't know if it's permanent or what...i guess just take it one day at a time.

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