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L5 S1 microdisectomy. Ankle pain and swelling

Aussie01AAussie01 Posts: 3
I have had lower back pain on and off for the last 10+ years and in August it reached it,s peak. I had a very large protrusion at L5 S1 and a moderate protrusion at L4 L5. I lost strength in my left foot, could not push off on my toes and had developed a limp as a result. After a few weeks, the leg pain got unbearable and I could not walk or move. I was taken to hospital and had a microdisecomy on the L5 S1 disc on august 23rd. This releaved the pain, but still had numbness on the left of my foot and weakness in the ankle which I was told is normal and should go away as the nerves heal. The numbness has slightly abated and I have regained some of the strength in my ankle, I can walk on my toes and also do a few toe lifts on my left foot , lifting my body weight. The more I walk, and if I need to walk fast, my limp worsens. I have also recently started to notice swelling around my left ankle. Should I have concerns about this swelling, what would be casuing this? I will be trying accupuncture to see if that can help me and will probably try physio after that. The weakness in the ankle and loss of balance that this cuses is extremly frustrating.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,699
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    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • StoryoftheGhostSStoryoftheGhost Posts: 23
    edited 01/06/2014 - 4:58 PM
    are you by chance taking Lyrica, or gabapentin? Some medications can cause swelling of the ankles.
    L5-S1 Herniation. 1st MIrcrodiscectomy 11/9/13. 2nd Microdiscectomy 12/19/13
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  • StoryoftheGhost said:
    are you by chance taking Lyrica, or gabapentin? Some medications can cause swelling of the ankles.
    Not taking those meds, and the swelling is only on the left ankle which is still weak and numb.

  • jengerjjenger Posts: 6
    edited 01/09/2014 - 10:13 AM
    My left calf measures about an inch larger than the right. Since I noticed this about 9 weeks after my fusion, my surgeon ordered an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot. It was negative for that. No one has an explanation other than it may be related to muscle weakness that is causing poorer circulation in that lower leg. I do wear a TED hose on that leg that helps. Also walking, stretching, PT exercises I've noticed do help some.

    I have weakness in my left foot--I cannot move my last 3 toes very well, and have weakness trying to go up on my heel/heel walking. I know I have some nerve damage there that has denervated some muscle. Have you had an EMG/NCS? That may tell you more specifically what is going on in those weaker muscles.

    Hang in there!

    PLIF Sept. 2013

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