sciatica and swollen toes
I have had three back surgeries in the last 18months. Both anterior and posterior, l4-l5 initially and l3-l4 7 months ago. In the last 6 months I have had severe pain down radiating down my right leg and into my foot. I had this same problem on and off in between the 2nd and 3rd surgery. I recently had an mri to check l5-s1 and I am told that that disc looks fine. In the last few days, the pain in my foot is so severe that I can not walk on it. An x-ray was taken to rule out a foot injury. I was put on lyrica a week ago. Now, my middle three toes are swollen and painful. Could this be from the scar tissue from the surgeries. Any ideas what to do? I am 40 years old and cannot believe that I am still not better and actually worsening. I have been to orthopedic doctors and the last surgery was done by a neurosurgeon. Also, I do have a tear in my SI joint from the initially injury that started all of this. ( I was on my stomach pulling a heavy pump from a tank that slipped and I caught it)
Thanks for your helpRESPONSE
The assumption would be that you are having foot problems as a result of your back problems and subsequent surgery, as there is no history of injury to your foot per se.
The radiating pain down your leg into your foot appears to be sciatica and I would have to assume the pain is a result of the surgery. This happens
quite frequently from the standpoint that I see a lot of patients with foot issues after having back surgery, or for that matter patients who have back issues without having had any surgery.
What happens is nerves that are coming out of the spinal canal are being irritated and this irritation causes the symptoms that you are experiencing.
I certainly cannot speak on the actual surgery itself as I do not treat backs, nor do I operate on them.
There may be scar tissue or even just inflammation from the surgery itself that is causing your symptoms.
I would be curious to know if you had any physical therapy after the surgery and whether or not the Lyrica is helping you.
Speak to your doctors about the possibility of having physical therapy as this can be very beneficial in reducing the sciatica pain as well as reducing some of the scarring (if that is an issue), as well as some of the inflammation that may be present.
Lyrica is not a drug that you want to stay on indefinately so anything else you can do to relieve the pain would be helpful.
The thing about repeated surgeries in the same area of the body whether it is your back or your foot is that after each surgery there is some scarring as this is how the body heals itself, so having additional surgeries in the same area is not always the answer. Speak to your doctors about alternatives that may be available to you in an effort to relieve your back issues and the problems they are causing with your feet.
Marc Mitnick DPMDISCLAIMER