(San Jose, CA, USA)
A heavy object fell on my right foot and the middle toe is bruised and swollen. The foot seemed all right after hurting for a couple of days. Two weeks later, my whole leg suddenly started hurting so much that I could not even turn my body. Went to the doctor and she thought it was sciatica pain caused by my back pain. She gave me some Tramadol for relief but pain never seemed going away. Now the foot is numb and the leg pain comes and goes. It usually comes at night and woke me up in the middle of my sleep. This has been continued for more than a month now. My right middle toe is still bruised and swollen but the pain didn't seem to come from the toe. What can I do?RESPONSE
Obviously, I cannot diagnose your actual problem, but if we work with the diagnosis your doctor gave you of sciatica secondary to lower back issues, then you are going to need to do something about this.
When there is irritation to a major nerve like the sciatic nerve and if this is coming from an issue in your lower back, there is more at stake here then just your pain, even though no one wants to walk around in pain.
Potentially, the bigger issue is permanent nerve damage which can then adversely affect the muscles in the leg, leading to muscle atrophy (wasting of muscle) and leading to the inability to walk.
This can occur in herniations in the lower back. I am not saying you have this, again, because I
am writing from the other side of the internet.
What I am saying is I think your best bet would be to see a neurologist and let he or she determine the extent of damage in your lower back and to your sciatic nerve. You may end up needing nothing more than different medication or perhaps even physical therapy on your back and perhaps your leg, but if indeed there are more serious issues going on, a neurologist is best trained to handle those problems.
I am also guessing it is just coincidental that your leg started to hurt after you dropped a heavy object on your foot. The only correlation I can make is that perhaps due to the pain in the foot, you changed your gait somewhat to keep the foot from hurting as much. This in turn may have aggravated your leg and perhaps even your lower back.
You do not mention what type of treatment, if any, you had for your foot. I think at the very least, if you have dropped a heavy object on your foot, you should at least have an x-ray of the foot as there is a very good chance you may have broken one of the bones in your foot. This is especially true since a month has passed and your toe is still bruised and swollen.
Again, if it turns out there is a connection between the way you are walking and issues with your leg and back, then you will continue to have leg and back issues until you are able to walk normally again.
Marc Mitnick DPMDISCLAIMER