anyone got any ideas what this all means and is permanent drop foot a common risk ?

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ambrdylz
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 11/26/2010 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
i dont know if this is the right place to put this but here goes 2 yrs ago i fell from a balcony pive just got hold of the medical notes from my surgery ect, i have no idea what they mean if anybody here has had something similar and can shed some light id be so greatful the notes say i suffered a traumatic T12 anterior wedge compression fracture with interspinous ligament damage. i then underwent stabilisation surgery with a transpedicular screw. post operatively i had a new onset on bilateral leg eakness ( this was the most pain ive ever felt in my life and ive had a baby!! nothing could touch my legs it felt like they were bein shredded to peices if i had a sheet over them the dr called it hyper sensitivity???). Greater on the right then the left with reduced sensation principally on the right foot (after a few days in recovery i soon realised i couldnt feel my right side at all from foot to bum over the last two yrs it has got better i can now just not feel from foot to shin. i do how ever still have drop foot which means i cant lift my right foot at all i trip over it constantly, i have to wear a brace when i go out and walk with a crutch to help with the hip pain that comes with lifting my foot so as not to trip), Post operative MRI scan showed T2 high signals changes within the cord of the T12 level. Sorry to go on but i really need to find out what all this means. After this type of surgery would foot drop be a typical post operative problem. i still suffer with chronic pain, i dont go out because of the pain im 22 and this has basically stopped my life. i cant seem to get any relevant answers from dr they just skim over the subject. time keeping i suppose? if anyone could help id be ever so greatful
Thanks

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 11/26/2010 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I looked up your diagnosis and found some information.
From the article it said your fracture has a possiblility of becoming unstable. This could get serious. Don't let him gloss over you. If he still glosses, you need to find a new doctor.
Joy

Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 11/26/2010 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
This does sound serious to me and I think I would seek additional medical care...perhaps another specialist or two. You should not have these problems as a normal part of surgery.

I wish you all the best.
Retired Mom

ambrdylz
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 11/27/2010 6:05 AM (GMT -6)   
thanx for the replies guys :) my condition is stable now ijust hav chronic pain and foot drop ive been tryoing to find out if foot drop is a common risk with this type of surgery and if i can make a claim for medical negligence my surgeon and many other speacialists ive seen have never given me an answer they just kind of skim over the subject without actually giving an answer obviously this has all had a major affect on mine and my familys day to day life im sure loads of people can understand this all i realy want is some answers. hope this 2day finds u as apin free as possible

solar powered
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 11/28/2010 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. From what I've read at several good medical websites, it sounds like trauma to the lumber and/or sacral spine(nerves) could cause foot drop. I suppose depending on what they did in surgery (as in a possible mistake?) that it could be a result or from the original injury. Ouch, that sounded like quite the fall. Does the brace you wear hold your foot in a neutral position like if you were standing or does it allow your foot to drop when you lift your leg? Have you been to physical therapy to help strengthen the right muscles? If you are getting that much pain from the foot drop and walking funny to accommodate it, I think it really needs to be addressed further. The more normal gait that you can achieve, I would think the less pain you will have. There has to be something more that they should be able to do for this but then again, I'm not a doctor. You may never learn for sure how the foot drop happened but I do wish you the very best of luck in finding the best way to manage it so you can get back out into life. Take care, Lee
Attitude is everything.

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 11/28/2010 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ambrlyz,
Since your injury was at T-12, everything below that level is also impacted to some degree. Do you see anything about post op CES or Cauda Equina Syndrome or Conus Medullaris? After back surgery, there is a risk of injury in the post op period, due to swelling, bleeding and other complications.
Injury to the T-12 could result in injury if there is any of the spinal nerves near the Conus or the Cauda Equina, which may play a part in your foot drop. You don't say if it is a partial foot drop, or complete- ie no sensation or ability to pick up and hold your foot or press down with it and hold it in those positions.
Only your surgeon or maybe another doctor might tell you, such as I had when faced with similar post op complications- I woke up with no sensation below my hips, and later learned that I developed a post op Cauda Equina injury that is now permanent in my case.
You may have to find a malpractice attorney who specializes in spinal cord injury and have them evaluate your medical records to see if they can confirm or disprove anything from the records.
I'm sorry that you are dealing with this.
Regards,
Sandi

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3695
   Posted 11/28/2010 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   
ambrdylz  well you are not alone, I have extreme weakness in both my legs and feet and I have a very hard time picking up my right foot and it often drags a bit. I have been told it could be from my L-4/5 disk or possibly nerve damage done in my neck. I also have a herniated and torn disk at T-12, So there are allot of different things that could be causing the problems with my weakness in my legs and feet and my screwed up reflexes.  I guess it really doesn't matter, as every one has a different oppinion as to what is causing it. But no one has ever mentioned a fix!  I must admit it sounds like you have it much worse than I do as I can walk pretty good but use a cain. Have you had any EMG studies  or nerve conduction studies done? if so what have they shown?  I do wish I could be of more help to you!!
 
I do wish you well!
 
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 11/29/2010 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   

 

   Hello ambrdlyz!

        I'm a wondering if you suffered any of the foot drop problems after your fall and before your surgery. I shudder at the thought of a fall like that. It pains me just to think about it shakehead   Did you suffer any foot drop before your surgery then?

    I had a nerve cut in the front side when I had my fusion 10 months ago, and now suffer numness as well as pain in the groin area and upper leg. It's a strange feeling, but I guess I can live with it. I'm not sure I have any legal recorse, and I was thinking it was a chance that it could happen as well. My scar is about 8" long, running from my belly button down to the groin.

   Hope you get to feeling better soon.

    SE wink


spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 11/29/2010 1:00 PM (GMT -6)   
i have neuropathy(numbness,tingiling,pain) in my right foot and about halfway to my knee as a after effect of l4-s1 posterior interbody fusion with titanium instrumentation. when i woke up from anesthesia i thought my leg and foot were numb because the compression stockings cut the circulation off, but later it did not go away. it was real bad, pins and needles and shooting pain. i asked my surgeon and he just shook his head like it was a normal side effect and if it was not better in 18 months what you got is what you get. it is better but it still hurts on top of my back pain and bothers my sleep. i take lyrica 150mg twice a day. i also tried cymbalta but had to discontinue due to rash. it is a bad pain that opiates don't seem to hit that is pretty normal.
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: OxyContin 80mg q8hrs. , MSIR 30mg prn qid,vistaril50mg prn nausea, Lyrica 150mg 2x,Adderall 20mgs 1x A.M. 10mg PM prn, Soma 350 mg 3X, Relafen 1000mg 1x, lorazepam 1mg bid prn, Supplements: CO-Q10 100mg, Vitamin D 2000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, GABA 750mg,

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 11/29/2010 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
 
    That is not a fun feeling. It dosn't bother me sitting down or walking, but in the shower to scrub it hurts, and I grit my teeth to get through it. It all seems to be surface pain. Maybe it will go away after a while....who knows sad   If I'm not think about it, I tend to lift my leg up funny when I walk. Kinda of a step up walking. However, if I realize it, I can correct it easily, and walk normally. Must be a mental thing smilewinkgrin
    SE wink

ambrdylz
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 11/29/2010 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
hi all and thanx for your input :-)  . i fell from a ground floor balcony onto flat concrete it was just my back that was the problem i could move and feel both legs and feet normally just couldnt move my body because of my back i waited 4 days before having the surgery and it was as i came round from the op that i felt the pain in my legs i couldnt stop screaming my mum and the nurses were all in tears i think we were all in shock i couldnt have a sheet over my legs or have any thing touching them, it felt like my skin was being torn off, i was took for a scan straigt away which showed the screws to be in where they should be and not touching anything they shouldnt. the surgeon told me there was a nerve that had been twitching and he mustve had squashed it i was told my legs should be back to normal within a few days. 3 days later the hypersensitivity had calmed down (that was why my legs hd hurt so much the nerve damage made them hypersensitive) but it was then i realised i couldnt feel most of my lower body and couldnt move my right foot at all over the last 2 yrs some sensation has come back i can feel most of my left leg and to around my shin on my right leg i can move my right foot down but cant lift it my left foot is normal except its quite sensitive to hot and cold. my leg brace is basically an elastic strap that goes around the middle of my right foot and another that goes on my ankle it keeps pretty much hold it nuetral but its not brilliantly supprtive. ive tried others but have had some pretty serious come backs from then like ulcers and blisters. no1 has ever mentioned a fix to me either altho i have found a tendon transfer u can hav but it takes a long time to recover. thanks again for ur replies and hope this message finds u as comftable as possible x

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 11/29/2010 2:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Amberdylz,
There are other foot drop braces that you might find more comfortable or appealing , I have what is called an afo- ankle-foot orthotic, which was custom made for my total foot drop. It goes under the sole of the foot, behind the ankle and keeps my foot in neutral but allows me not to trip over my feet quite so much. My insurance covered having it made.
It does sound like you are getting some function of the nerves back, which is a good thing and may take more time, although, even with a partial foot drop. you may never recover full ability to raise and hold your foot in neutral.
With an injury like yours, it can take some time to see how the nerves will recover, if they will at all. Spinal nerves don't regenerate, however, peripheral nerves sometimes do, and that's why most doctors take a wait and see approach, although if you are interested in persuing a malpractice case, you may want to consult an attorney now before the statute of limitations expires.
You are really lucky that you have recovered as well as it sounds like you did, that injury could have been devastating.
I'm glad that you are doing so well.
Sandi

ambrdylz
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 11/29/2010 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks that was good to read and yes i am very lucky i got a breif glimpse of how much worse it could have been and that was enough for me ive got to wait for the hospital to release my file before i can start to see an attorney, theyr taking theyre time about it though. hope ur well and thankyou for the reply

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 11/29/2010 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Your welcome Ambrdylz,
If you do contact an attorney, they can push the hospital to release all of your medical records to him and to you. I went through a similar problem trying to get the hospital records of my back surgery, although my surgeon did give me the operative report, that didn't tell the whole story, so when you do get the records, make sure that nursing notes, status updates, tests, results, labs , etc are all included and any consults with other doctors they may have brought in. In reading your original post again, it sounds like there was some damage remaining even after the decompression, which may have been a result of your initial injury.
Does your surgeon refuse to discuss the findings with you? I demanded to know all of the outcomes, both positive and negative and then came home and started searching the internet to find out more.
I hope that you continue to find new improvements each day, and that sooner , rather than later you get the answers you need. Sometimes I think doctors are doing what they think will protect us, but it doesn't help us when we know there is more, and they just aren't telling us.
I hope that is not the case for you........
I am doing as well as I can now, I use a wheelchair much of the time, and now with the weather getting colder, it is really playing with my stamina and pain levels but it is what it is and I have to deal with it one way or another.
Take good care of yourself and keep looking for and demanding those answers, it is your life and you are the one who has to live with it.
Sandi

ambrdylz
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 11/30/2010 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
i think the surgeon that done this to me did have my best intrests in mind because my little boy was only 1 and 1/2 i needed to get back to normal asap. but i think if he spotted a twitching nerve and it was likely he would hit it he shouldve stopped as itobviously wasnt safe it could have been so much worse and im s thankful that its not but if someone had told me 3 yrs ago id have to deal with all this i would never have thought it would happen to me but i spose u dont do u?
the surgeon has definatly kept things from me i look foward to reading my file if i ever receive it i tried ringing the hospital today was told someone would get back to me? i definatly agree with spinal soldier im yet to find the right meds that work for me my pm has put me on some new bit i get them tomorrow so will probly be asking about what others experiences hav been on them once i find out what there called that is. thanks again everyone for ur responses hope ur all well as can be and speak to you soon :)

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 11/30/2010 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
 
     We never quite know what to expect with a surgery like this, and they can be complicated being a spinal injury.
 
        Mine was my first major surgery, and I would not want another one anytime soon. However, I do feel like that I'm better than before the surgery. As many have said, it should be a last resort, but in your case it looks like you did not have a choice in the matter since you had a bad accident and needed corrective surgery right away.
       Was this your first major surgery? If so, it can be quite a shock, and to wake up in that kind of pain is something else!
    Ones mind can wonder, what the outcome will be, since it takes so long to heal. I do believe that I'm still in the healing process, but I know that it takes a very long time. We just don't expect it to take that long.
      I wanted to add that a persons work activitys can slow down the healing process, as Straydog has suggested to me several times. She is right! What might been 12 months of healing can turn into 18 months or more, if you dont allow yourself time to heal properly. However; with employment being tight, and some of the work leave rules only go so far for a person, so in the end you have to do what you have to do. It is a choice that only you can make. Spinal surgerys seem to take much more time than companys will allow for a person to be off without loosing their job. Its a tuff call! I know there will be some who will say what a foolish thing to take a chance on, but again it is a personal choice that sadly is governed by finances at times. I have 33yrs in with my company, and still have a few more years to go, and I chose not to throw away that chance. Was it a wise one?....I may never really know, but I dont think I did my body any favors in doing so. Again a tuff call to make.
    
      SE wink

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 11/30/2010 1:04:59 PM (GMT-7)

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