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  1. #1
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    Rider Down Hernaited Disk--Causing Foot Fall

    Well, I woke up on Monday Morning with a numb left foot and a very sore left arm. At first, I thought I slept on it wrong, but several hours later I still had the problem. Went the to ER and had a CT and MRI. My wife is Active Duty, so I have Air Force provided health care. The ER referred me to a neurologist. I heard from my normal DOC today and she told me that the MRI showed that I have a bulging/herniated l4/l5 disk. She may have said l3/l4, but I think it was l4/l5. I was literally in shock and not that familiar with the back anatomy.
    I have an appointment to go to the Neurologist next week. The herniated disk was really a suprise as I read up on foot drop this week and assumed that I had damged my peroneal nerve on my knee somewhere. I am in the best shape that I have been in for a long time. I went from 6' 205lbs to 165lbs over the last 8 months. Mostly by diet and Yoga. This weight has allowed me to run like I ran in College. I am hoping this is only a minor setback. Does anyone know the seriousness of having foot drop as a sympton of a herniated disk vs the more common shooting leg pain or "sciata". I can still walk pretty good, I just can run or point my toes all the way up. I am not tripping or walk with a severe limp. It is just like more like I slap my left foot when I walk, and I can't really jump off my left foot. Riding a bike feels really weird, cause it is hard to get support of the left foot. Thanks for any help.
    "And I shout that your all fakes and you should have seen the look on your face"

  2. #2
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    Sorry to hear about your injury, that is a tough one. If you can feel the top of your hip bones that is about the level of your lumbar spine at 4-5, this can be a common place for herniation. Fact is majority of people probably have herniated discs in some portion of their back, but when it bulges bad enough on the nerve roots you get tremendous pain. It doesn't sound like you had any tremendous pain prior to that,but the foot drop is a little alarming. My wife herniated a disc at C 6-7 so lots arm pain, she too was in the best shape of her life (did alot of yoga too). She got better but it took about 3 months of no biking and chiropractric care. She got decompression therapy, which basically stretches out your spine with weights and over time allows that disc to slip back into place. She also took supplements to re-hydrate the discs. I would ask the surgeon some precentages of reherniation possibliity if they recommend surgery, but if you are already getting some loss of motor strength you may need to consider surgery. Good luck to you!

  3. #3
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    HNP w/ Footdrop

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpenglow
    Well, I woke up on Monday Morning with a numb left foot and a very sore left arm. At first, I thought I slept on it wrong, but several hours later I still had the problem. Went the to ER and had a CT and MRI. My wife is Active Duty, so I have Air Force provided health care. The ER referred me to a neurologist. I heard from my normal DOC today and she told me that the MRI showed that I have a bulging/herniated l4/l5 disk. She may have said l3/l4, but I think it was l4/l5. I was literally in shock and not that familiar with the back anatomy.
    I have an appointment to go to the Neurologist next week. The herniated disk was really a suprise as I read up on foot drop this week and assumed that I had damged my peroneal nerve on my knee somewhere. I am in the best shape that I have been in for a long time. I went from 6' 205lbs to 165lbs over the last 8 months. Mostly by diet and Yoga. This weight has allowed me to run like I ran in College. I am hoping this is only a minor setback. Does anyone know the seriousness of having foot drop as a sympton of a herniated disk vs the more common shooting leg pain or "sciata". I can still walk pretty good, I just can run or point my toes all the way up. I am not tripping or walk with a severe limp. It is just like more like I slap my left foot when I walk, and I can't really jump off my left foot. Riding a bike feels really weird, cause it is hard to get support of the left foot. Thanks for any help.
    Typically speaking, the literature consistanly states that when there is measurably weakness in the limb ie foot drop, there is likely 80% or more compression through the nerve root. This is rather significant for the simple fact that nerve tissue is living tissue and needs oxygen to survive. If you compress the nerve enough it can be damaged permanently if allowed to go on long enough.
    I am sure that you have been asked and told to monitor your sx's. If you have worsening foot drop/weakness, changes in your bowel or bladder function, numbness in the groin area, or have sx's in both legs you may want to seek medical attention again.

    Good luck
    BoiseBoy

  4. #4
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    What are SXs's

    Quote Originally Posted by BoiseBoy
    Typically speaking, the literature consistanly states that when there is measurably weakness in the limb ie foot drop, there is likely 80% or more compression through the nerve root. This is rather significant for the simple fact that nerve tissue is living tissue and needs oxygen to survive. If you compress the nerve enough it can be damaged permanently if allowed to go on long enough.
    I am sure that you have been asked and told to monitor your sx's. If you have worsening foot drop/weakness, changes in your bowel or bladder function, numbness in the groin area, or have sx's in both legs you may want to seek medical attention again.

    Good luck
    I haven't had my Neurologists visit yet. It is supposed to be next week. I had a rectal exam when I went to the ER and it went fine. I am planning to take the most aggressive sourse possible, based on what the neurologists recommends of course. Thanks
    "And I shout that your all fakes and you should have seen the look on your face"

  5. #5
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    Sx's

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpenglow
    I haven't had my Neurologists visit yet. It is supposed to be next week. I had a rectal exam when I went to the ER and it went fine. I am planning to take the most aggressive sourse possible, based on what the neurologists recommends of course. Thanks
    Sorry, symptoms!
    BoiseBoy

  6. #6
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    Doing more reading, I'm not sure if I have foot drop or

    Quote Originally Posted by BoiseBoy
    Typically speaking, the literature consistanly states that when there is measurably weakness in the limb ie foot drop, there is likely 80% or more compression through the nerve root. If you have worsening foot drop/weakness, or have sx's in both legs you may want to seek medical attention again.
    Good luck
    foot weakness. I can move my toes and foot doesn't drag. I just cant bend the toes on my left foot up as much as the right foot, and my shin is kind of weak.

    THe ER docs report said foot weakness. I think I heard one of the other docs mention foot drop and that stuck in my mind. Keep in mind I was in the ER for 12 hours and did the CT at 8pm and the MRI at 11pm. I was kind of groggy. Then today I had an appointment with my normal doc. She got my neuro appointment bumbed up and explained the l4/l5 disc issue. However, she didn't really say if I had foot drop. Is there a difference between drop and weakness?
    "And I shout that your all fakes and you should have seen the look on your face"

  7. #7
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    this is coming from someone with limited training and knowledge (b.s. in sports medicine); the disc problem in the lumber region of your spine should have no effect on the soreness you're experiencing in your arm. when i read your post i kept thinking of your possible sleeping position. drop foot, typically, occurs from many factors one being from an impact to the peroneal nerve at the knee( a kick to outside of knee just below the knee at the top of your shin muscles). i think you should ask the doc if he could mri the affected knee to see if the nerve at the knee has been compressed due to your sleeping position; such as your knee laying on a hard surface for a prolonged period of time( usually happening to those who are severely drunk). at this time i can't recall any good rehabilitive methods or surgical methods to aleviate the symptoms other than prosthetics, so i hope for the best for you and your wife serving our country; so we have the freedoms we have.

  8. #8
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    Here's my take...

    I'm a physical therapist. Assuming your foot issue is coming from your back, there is really no difference between "foot drop" and "foot weakness". By your symptoms (foot slap, can't raise up toes) I would call that foot drop.

    Also assuming that you still have these symptoms, having a motor weakness like yours is somewhat worrisome. Being a therapist, my suggestion would be to go through a course of conservative therapy prior to ANY thought of surgery. Once you go under the knife, you can't go back.

    M

  9. #9
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    alpenglow, call it morbid curiousity, did you get to see the doc yet? if you did what was his diagnosis as to what may be causing your foot drop/weakness?

  10. #10
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    Inversion

    I would purchase and use an inversion table 2x per day. It's kept my 70 yr old mother with severe back arthritis and a herniated disc from quiting her job. Twice a day for 10 minutes, she swears by it. I'm buying one because my lower back is feeling the effects of the MTN'B pounding and theropy and Chiro. doesn't seam to work. If anything IT'S JUST GREAT BODY AND BACK MAINTANANCE FOR A PAIN FREE PHYSICAL LIFE STYLE.

    Do a Google search

    my $.02

    David

  11. #11
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    Sorry to hear about your injury. I have a long history of herniated and ruptured discs. I speak with much experience. Most recently, 2 months ago I severely rupture my L4/5 disc that required surgery. The rupture caused severe nerve damage that resulted in partial paralysis of my right leg. Foot drop, heck my whole leg was dead. The pain was unbearable, no pain med even touched it.

    After surgery the pain was gone, but the nerve damaged remained. After about a month, I was able to xc ski a bit. Every week its improved and now and can ski and keep up with just about anyone. However, I still have foot drop and still cant walk on my right heel. The Dr says it may or may not come back. At this point I think I can deal with it. I have no problem riding my bike or skiing. However, I still cant walk properly. I anticipate a full recovery to Expert level racing, but it will take a many months.

    My advice to you is first get an get an epidural injection, soon. If your Dr is unwilling to give an epidural, find another Dr.. The epidural should reduce the swelling of the disc and take the pressure off the nerve. If you wait to long you risk rupturing the disc and surgery is your only option then. Five years ago I herniated a disc in my neck and had an epidural injection. The relief was instantaneous and has been trouble free for 5 years.

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