308 Comments

Alex, luck BIG TIME. We need you healthy, happy and fully functioning.

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As a spine surgeon I would say you did the right thing having a decompression surgery despite the lateness of the surgery, it can still be effective but it may take up a year for the L5 nerve root to come back. If you still have some muscle on the anterior tibialis that's a very good sign for recovery. For now the best course is to be patient and to continue to keep the range of motion of the ankle intact.

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Praying for your recovery!

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Best of luck my friend. Here’s a tip from a surgeon who has had 2 microdiscectomies of his own: if you can afford to do so, don’t let insurance dictate your healthcare decisions, especially the important ones. You earn money for a host of reasons, but preserving your health should be right there at the top. In the grand scheme of things, having to pay $1,500 out of pocket for an MRI because of declined coverage or coverage that is not yet active is foolish if you have foot drop or something else that’s very time-critical. I would spend everything I have to properly diagnose and treat foot drop ASAP. You don’t get a second chance in life at walking. Here’s a second tip: if you’re financially strapped and have an important medical need, talk to your doctor about your predicament. There is nobody I would ever deny care to who is facing serious consequences without surgery. This is the reason I do this for a living - to help people and make a serious difference in their life. The money really is secondary. The profession has been better to me than I deserve in this regard. Imaging centers and doctors like myself will often work with you. There are lots of doctors out there like me who will come in at night or over the weekend or do whatever it is you need for free. In our line of work, we have been blessed beyond belief. The best joy I can have is sharing that blessing with someone in need. So, don’t harm yourself for financial reasons, but instead, look for one of us who really is using our abilities to help others whether we get paid or not.

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Prayers and best wishes. My wife has had a bad back for years - primarily muscular and arthritis, and surgery would not help that. But some years back she developed what sounds like the same problem and had surgery which really helped (I don't recall the timeline). When it's pressing on the nerve root you have to do something.

The bad news is that her neurosurgeon, who was really top notch, had to move out of town (something about a scandal with the nurses - but I digress).

TRUMP 2024 Last chance to save what's left of America.

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Alex, the damage to your nerve root will take weeks to months to heal. Keep going with PT and optimism. I am praying for your full recovery.

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I don’t want to reread the article but didn't you indicated that you didn’t know that "back surgery for foot drop is basically a requirement. And several papers suggest that the surgery is best carried out as soon as possible - within weeks”. Why should you have known that fact? Shouldn’t that have been a fact the doctor informed you about? I’m not a fan of the US healthcare system.

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Thank you for sharing the details of your experience. It can be very helpful to many others going through similar situations to know what to look for. You have a powerful reach and tons of caring fans. Be well.

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One thing I LOVE about you ……you are so real. You are just like the rest of us. Thanks for sharing your story. Sending healing hugs

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Hang in there. You're a good man, doing God's work. Apparently, you're the only man doing God's work in the arena you're participating in, but not to digress. You'll get your foot back.

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L5-S1 for me. Like you, I avoided and avoided and went through hell for a solid year right before I succumbed. I found a good neurosurgeon (after interviewing several). He operated on me for close to three hours and did a fusion. Didn't have any improvement until about six months later. It takes time. Hang in there, Alex, and good luck!

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You are in my prayers, Alex. For healing, for good medical care and most of all, for peace of mind. I don't honestly know if you believe in prayer, but that doesn't matter. What matters is God believes in prayer.

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founding

I've had lower back surgery. Similar to yours. Your nerve to your foot will get better. It just takes a LOOOOONG time! (It took me several months). Good luck.

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Best of luck. Back surgery is no joke and should be entered into with full knowledge of risks, benefits and alternative treatments offered. You did that. Even though results could be better (but not all the time) if a patient agrees early, a patient’s mindset is also worthy of thoughtful contemplation. “When you’re ready, you’ll know” is not necessarily a bad way to look at things. Take the time, do the therapy, ice is your friend, it takes a full year for nerve regeneration. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Or at least in your case, at least you’re off the floor. Regards.

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Best of the very best Luck , Alex! I went through this with a missed diagnosis of a slow rupturing appendix ( which can happen almost symptomless in older people.) You have to be your own advocate. And at no time should anyone ever nod their head in agreement like a bobble doll if you don’t understand or agree with what you’re hearing !!

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I know it’s not the same. But, I suffered from severe facial pain for years. It was misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, mistreated and untreated. I took a lot of pain medication. Finally, in 2018 I found an oral surgeon, who had been a general surgeon, who correctly diagnosed Maxillary Osteomyelitis in the upper right quadrant (infected bone plus significant nerve damage from the multi year infection). It took two surgeries to remove all the infected bone, some bone grafts, 8 weeks on a PIC line and 6 months of oral antibiotics before all traces of the infection too were gone. But 80% of the pain remained, all from damaged nerves. There was no improvement for 24 months. But then I began to notice that I was having a few better hours on some days. And then better days. And then weeks. 6 years later the pain is only 10% of what it used to be and only occurs 3-4 days a month.

Prior to surgery the doctor told me there was no guarantee the pain would ever get better. But if it did, he said, it would happen very slowly and could take as long as 10 years for the nerves to calm down and then fully regenerate.

Have hope.

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