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Leg pain, done X-ray, MRI, had physiotherapy for numbness, had surgery for herniated disc causing sciatic pain

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
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I am a 69 year old male, weight 165 pounds. Had back surgery for herniated disk (Bottom disk) causing severe sciatic pain in left leg.

Surgery cleared sciatic pain but left leg from knee down, including foot was numb. Had full movement but poor muscle strength. Had PT, making progress, numbness receeding. Last week on walk had severe pain on top of foot, like a sprained ankle. Took it easy but no improvement. Had X-ray and MRI, both nothing obvious wrong. Today, I'm having what appears to be severe spasmodic pain starting on bottom of foot near toes, progressing up to top of foot. Feels like an electric charge. So bad it takes my breath away. About every one minute but varys from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 8 hours later
Thanks for asking the question.

Numbness post operation usually is called neuropraxia due to handling of nerve roots and spinal cord during surgery. This neuropraxia or temporary numbness lasts for a week or two. So if it has extended beyond 3-6 weeks it needs evaluation with spine at all, less likely, but possible. For that you have to be sure you never had an ankle sprain or any other trauma. It may also interest you to know that some form of neuropathy like in diabetes cause similar symptoms.

Since your xrays and MRI are inconclusive, there is fair chance for recovery without intervention. But if the problem persists, go for the said nerve study. Meanwhile continue physiotherapy and rest. Ask your physician for nerve tonic like pregabalin or methycobal. Avoid activity that aggravate the symptoms.

This should suffice for now and hope that it resolves soon. If you need further assistance I'm available for follow up.

Good day.
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