Lower back injury, neuropathy

Posted by korgman123 @korgman123, Sep 29, 2021

I fell backwards against the edge of a cement cellar step 2 years ago and injured my lower back. I developed lower back pain from it a year later. Now about 5 months ago , I started having symptoms of neuropathy under my toes, also a bit in my fingers. My podiatrist ID's it as symptomatic sensory peripheral neuropathy. Could this be related to the lower back injury ?

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@korgman123 I think it would be worth your while to have your spine evaluated with some imaging. With a spine injury, it may not seem that bad at first, but the impact can create small cracks in the outer fibrous layer of the spinal discs. Later those cracks can open up and allow the jelly like stuff inside the disc to herniate. Sometime a disc can bulge for years before this happens. I am a spine surgery patient and had a disc with a bulge for about 20 years before it herniated and caused spinal cord compression. It also grew bone spurs alongside the extruded disc material in an attempt to stabilize the spine. When you feel a pain in your feet for example, that pain can be generated by a problem compressing the nerve anywhere along its path from the spine into the foot. Discs can herniate into the foramen which is the space between the vertebrae where the nerve roots exit the spine. Those are mapped and each level correlates to a map on the body surface that is serviced by the nerve. That is called a dermatome map. There can also be arthritic bony growth in the space around the nerve roots that compress the nerves. You did have a back injury and have back and foot pain, so that is enough symptoms to warrant a closer look with a spine specialist. They don't always do surgery. Sometimes they do physical therapy or injections, it all depends on what they find. Only a medical professional can correlate your symptoms to something seen on spine imaging. There are lots of causes for neuropathy other than the spine, but a spine problem needs to be ruled out or found if it exists because of your injury.


Hello @korgman123 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Those unexpected stumbles can sure wreak havoc, can’t they? Hitting the cement step and injuring your lower back can definitely have some long term effects. If there is any spinal compression you can have some sensations of neuropathy. Several years ago I landed on my tailbone in a tobogganing accident. For months after I had tingling in my legs and sometimes fingers. I was referred to a spine therapy center and the situation was corrected. I had minor herniated disc.

Your podiatrist suggested symptomatic sensory peripheral neuropathy. If this is the case you would really want to follow up with this diagnosis with your PCP or osteopathic practitioner to have a second opinion. There can be there are other causes for peripheral neuropathy so it would be in your best interest to find the cause and nip these symptoms.

What lower back pain have to experienced and are you seeing someone for that?

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