Back issues causing problems with feet and legs

Posted by charlena @charlena, Sat, May 11 2:22pm

I apologize if this the incorrect forum. My husband has been advised by his orthopedic doctor that his foot problems (muscles, tendons are very weak and his foot turns outward, he walks on the side of his foot) actually stem from back issues and has referred to him to a back specialist. We are wondering if anyone in this group has been told this by their doctor? Thank you for any and all feedback!

I am sure it is possible, but as a back pain sufferer for over 20 years, I have never been told those were possible side effects from my back problems. My right foot does turn out to the right when I walk, but I never attributed that to my back. I have some other health issues that are more likely the cause of that issue. Does he have problems with his back?

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@charlena Have you thought about going to a foot Dr., podiatrist I had a bunion and he did surgery on me

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Thank you for the reply. He has been to an orthopedic doctor who advises foot turning out is due to weak muscles/tendons which, he says, is caused by back issues. He doesn't have bunions. He has a large callus on side of foot due to his walking on the side of the foot.

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He does have deteriorated discs in his back. I, too, am a bit leary of this diagnosis as this same doctor told him back in 2009 that his foot issue was a genetic disorder and could be fixed with surgery and when I said to him, "you don't think this is a genetic issue?" his replied, "oh no". That sent up red flags immediately. My husband has other issues that make surgery somewhat risky & my thought is that this doctor just doesn't want to do surgery on him and is passing him off to another doctor……

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@charlena If your not happy with the Dr you can get a 2nd opinion I had the bunion in no way was I insinuating your husband did but a podiatrist is a foot Dr.

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Well I hope a back doctor can give you some answers. I would bring the foot doctors notes into the back doctor to see what they say about his diagnosis, I wish you the best, still many questions to be answered, get them answered before surgery talk, surgery can help, but you must feel comforable first.

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Thank you for the post. Not looking forward to surgery, but with degenerative discs I don't know what other option there is.

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I will leave you with this, surgery is no fun for your back, I have had 3, but what I want you to know is sometimes a person just needs it. back pain is like no other I have experienced. suffering is not much fun, surgery can help a person feel better, my case was unique, my back just kept getting weaker, hopefully one surgery will do the trick. If that is the route that is decided, let me know and I would be happy to share my lessons learned. take care.

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Hi Charlena. I have severe degenerative disc disease. There are nerves that go down the back into the foot that can cause foot issues due to back problems. I believe the most common is called foot drop often caused by sciatic nerve which extends from back to foot. My Dr. test's for this by pressing on my leg just above the knee while I try to lift my leg up while sitting on the edge of the exam table. It's usually only on one side. I think seeing the back specialist is a good even if just to rule out that it is his back. Good luck.

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@salsa

I am sure it is possible, but as a back pain sufferer for over 20 years, I have never been told those were possible side effects from my back problems. My right foot does turn out to the right when I walk, but I never attributed that to my back. I have some other health issues that are more likely the cause of that issue. Does he have problems with his back?

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salsa – interesting dilemma – where to ascribe the source of pain? I always think of the back as a key culprit, but feet surely come into play. I did a lot of toe dancing as a youngster and recall my arches dropped when I went to College and stopped dancing. Now, at 87yrs, my legs and my left foot give me discomfort – especially at night, and wakes me up. Terrible sleep patterns as a result. also, I walk a lot and suffer at night from cramps and leg/foot pain. I use Losartin , a topical gel – need a doctor's prescription, but it is helpful for body pain. It's used topically. I'm told to drink a lot of water for the cramps, etc. tried a lot of stuff. nothing works. I too have a degenerating spine so that is always suspect. At this point, I m trying physical therapy again. I also wonder about the library of pills – statins, etc. – I take
for high blood pressure, heart stuff, etc. I give up – almost – at trying the find the source of my situation – there are probably many sources all combining to cause pain. Your back pain is a long term one, so it probably is a key reason for side effects.

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