Herniated Disc - Foot Drop - Dr. Mark?

Firstly thanks to Dr. Mark and all who have posted on this subject, especially CACIMX622. Here's my situation. Mid March of this year I went on a 10 mile run. (12 min miles-SLOW) Felt great but the next day tripped in the yard holding a kids carseat over my head, fell on my lower back, and couldn't get my arms or hands behind me. Two days later major pain, brutal sciatica in my left leg, felt like someone was hitting me in the upper part of my butt with a baseball bat. For the next 6-8 weeks I got no more than 3 hours of sleep at a time if I was lucky. I couldn't sit for more than 5 minutes, I would walk outside at 3am-4am to lessen the pain. Went the route of chiropracter, orthopedist, MRI. 2 herniated discs, L4-L5, L5-S1, and cant walk on my left heel. Orthopedist, 2 orthopedic surgeons, and neurosurgeon all say I need surgery to fix the herniated discs in order to correct the foot drop.

All through this obviously no motocross, not even the sand track, but I was following the forum and doing exactly what Dr. Mark and CACIMX622 recommended. Lots of cardio, walking, inversion table - the whole bit. Anyway, my back pain and sciatica are just about gone, (except when I spend alot of time in the car) but I haven't ridden or jogged yet.

The foot drop is not that big of a deal to me, I have no problem doing the eliptical, biking etc. Question is, the surgeons tell me that foot drop can lead to other problems and the longer I wait, the less benefit I will get from surgery.(classic surgeon's response) Should I stick with the workout routine, or go under the knife? I still don't know if I will be able to ride and would like to wait another 8-12 weeks, but I am not afraid of the blade if it will help. Once again thanks everyone for posting, sorry about the long post. Lets see if Bubba can survive all 12 rounds.

That needs to be operated on.

Dr. Mark

I have been told that a neurosurgeon as opposed to an orthopedic surgeon is the better option for this situation.(Foot drop/discs) Is this correct? Once again thanks for your help. -Bill

Thanks much for the link. With any luck I will be back on the bike in several months.

I don't think it makes any difference whether you are operated on by an orthopaedic guy or a neurosurgical guy.

There are many excellent people in both fields, and unfortunatly too many hacks too.

Learn as much as you can about a guy's results before you get cut on.

I don't think it makes any difference whether you are operated on by an orthopaedic guy or a neurosurgical guy.

There are many excellent people in both fields, and unfortunatly too many hacks too.

Learn as much as you can about a guy's results before you get cut on.

True Dr. Mark. The orthos I work with seem to send these types of injuries to the neuros.

Thanks Dr., thanks MXATC. I am trying to screen the neurosurgeons as well as I can. Thing is, I only want to get cut once. Who knows, if I switch jobs and insurance carriers, that "preexisting condition" phrase may come up if I need a second procedure several years down the road. One surgeon recommended a fusion, the other just wanted to clean up the disc. I'm trying to find a good balance between old surgeon and young surgeon to get someone who is up on new techniques, but is not too "green ". I work in downtown Chicago, and have access to alot of different hospitals, so I have alot of choices.

Thanks again guys, take care, -Bill

Taking out the disk is the only thing that is necessary. A fusion typically makes people worse.

Weederman,

I am coming a bit late to this thread but thought you may find my experiences helpful.

If you find a surgeon you are comfortable with then do not hesitate to have the procedure. Fusion sounds pretty drastic at your stage of the game. As Dr. mark said, the discectomy should be all that's necessary.

I have had herniations at the same levels as you resulting in 2 discectomies over 2 years. After herniating them for the 3rd time I finally had to resort to a fusion. I am still riding, skiing, kiteboarding and mountain biking.

PM me if you have any questions.

-jmcelhone thanks for your insight. Now I just have to find the right surgeon. I may PM you in the next few days. Thanks again.

Hopefully you get the surgery sooner rather than later. I had my L4-L5 operated on back in FEB. 2006 and was able to start slowly riding again in AUGUST 2006. I mean really really take it slow and don't do it unless you're absolutely sure you are ready. Make sure you use a good tight kidney belt / brace when riding EVERY TIME also. SixSixOne has some good ones.

Basically what's happening is there is swollen ruptured material pinching your nerve, causing the foot drop and leg pain. The foot drop should go away about 4 - 6 months after the surgery. If you wait too long to get surgery your foot will always be screwed up.

Figure on about 2 - 4 weeks not being able to go to work. The first week you won't even leave the house.

Let us know what happens.

Hopefully you get the surgery sooner rather than later. I had my L4-L5 operated on back in FEB. 2006 and was able to start slowly riding again in AUGUST 2006. I mean really really take it slow and don't do it unless you're absolutely sure you are ready. Make sure you use a good tight kidney belt / brace when riding EVERY TIME also. SixSixOne has some good ones.

Basically what's happening is there is swollen ruptured material pinching your nerve, causing the foot drop and leg pain. The foot drop should go away about 4 - 6 months after the surgery. If you wait too long to get surgery your foot will always be screwed up.

Figure on about 2 - 4 weeks not being able to go to work. The first week you won't even leave the house.

Let us know what happens.

Thanks for the help. I am going to see one more surgeon this week and then make a decision. Only problem is, I feel a little bit better everyday although I still can't walk on the heel of my left foot, the muscle just doesn't work. I have a week off of work in mid July, so if I'm going to do surgery I have to do it then, as I really can't take much time off work. Thanks again, Bill

I just came across this post & I have had a the same problem was wondering if you have had success. I am 7 months in surgeon don't want to operate? Minimal pain but can't stand on heel.

I am not a spine man, but if I had a HNP and a foot drop, I would have mine operated on inside of one week.

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