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Should surgery be done for L5 radiculopathy foot drop?

Spine Health | Last Active: May 28 7:05pm | Replies (10)

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Why are the neurosurgeon so ify about it. I have HCC of MS, but foot drop is not because of that. They just keep having me do all the conservative methods. Going on 4 years now, very disappointed.

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Replies to "Why are the neurosurgeon so ify about it. I have HCC of MS, but foot drop..."

Have you attempted being direct? I mean, have you asked them verbatim, except, you know, in your wording, why, after 4 years of conservative treatment, surgery has not been considered? Has foot drop been diagnosed? If so, what type of Physician diagnosed it? I ask that because sometimes, and it certainly is not an excuse, a primary care physician, can overlook handing that diagnosis off to a Neuro and/or orthopedic surgeon. I mean whomever is treating you conservatively has to know that foot drop is permanent, and requires nerve release. Get a second opinion. They are covered.

I cannot possibly answer that question because I am not them, nor do I have the information they have. I encourage you to ask him or her the exact same question. He or she is the only one who can give you the answer you seek.

Hi @rhondavon, a range of treatments is available for radiculopathy. According to this article from the Mayo Clinic Health System:
"Surgery is an excellent treatment for L5 or S1 radiculopathy when other conservative, nonsurgical treatments have not worked. There are generally two reasons for surgery. The first is significant weakness, such as a foot drop. In these cases, the sooner pressure is off the nerve, the more likely you can fully recover. The second more common reason to have surgery is if conservative treatments have failed." Read more here:

- Sciatica and radiculopathy: Peculiar names for shooting back, leg pain https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/sciatica-and-radiculopathy-peculiar-names

Rhonda, I agree with @gilkesl and @marymargaret0501 that need answers from your doctor(s) to your important questions. It appears that conservative treatments have been tried and failed. It may be time to consider surgery. Keep in mind that each person is different. Might there be other health issues that make surgery high risk for you?