Foot drop/drop foot

I was diagnosed with this about a month ago. I have had two MRI’s and have no compression either behind my knee or in my spine (although I do have a bulging disk). I follow Dr. B’s diet and am at a low weight. My A1C is 6.3 … up from 5.8 a year ago (with no explanations.) I’m pretty scared. Can my type 2 diabetes cause this?

Thanks for any light you can shed on this!

I replied to this elsewhere, but I’ll repeat what I wrote for the benefit of others reading. This sounds like piriformis syndrome. A very good new book called Sciatica Solutions by Loren Fishman discusses it in detail. Dr. Bernstein explains that this problem which involves a tendon/muscle combo squeezing the sciatic nerve is common among people with diabetes.

Here’s where Bernstein discusses it.

Fishman also says that disc rupture may have something to do with poor blood supply to the disc and I’m wondering if that may be why I have so much of it. I had undiagnosed high blood sugars for decades before Bernstein made me realize I needed to do something about them, but the disc problems run down the same side of my family that carries the hard-to-diagnose diabetes gene.

Thanks, Jenny! You are such a dear!!! I’m sure I have had diabetes for about a decade before being diagnosed. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was diabetes related at all …

I have had drop foot for almost 5 yrs. I had a herniated disc. After that was repaired, I still had the drop foot. An ENG test was done on the nerves in my leg and lower back. MRI’s revealed nothing because it was a nerve problem. I was diagnosed with radiculopathy. If I were you, I’d see a neurologist.

i had an acute right foot drop for about 2 months. it was due to nerve compression of most likely the sciatic nerve. i’d been lying immobile for an extended period of time and the nerve compressed. i had to see a neurologist and go through all sorts of test like an MRI scan and a nerve conduction (EMG) test. it turned out that in my case the big nerves connected to the spine were fine, and my spine was not the cause of the problem. one of the nerves in my lower leg (from knee down) was compressed. it actually has resolved over time. i saw an orthopaedic doctor too and he prescribed me vitamin B tablets. vitamin B is what our nerves need to stay healthy and function well. I’m fully recovered except for the fact that there has been some muscle wastage on my right leg and it is very slightly weaker than the left. a neurologist who specialises in muscle weaknesses, like mine, can help you. if it is recovering, he might refer you to physiotherapy so as to rehabilitate the leg a bit.

There is no compression either in my spine or in my knee … I do have a bulging disk but was told it’s not compression the nerves in my spine. Needless to say, I am very worried. Can diabetes just CAUSE this? Could some sort of virus?

what tests have you been for? a nerve conduction test might be useful. what it does is to send small electric currents through you to test if the nerves can respond. in my case, the nerve could respond to the electricity - i could see my ankle jerking upwards. if the nerve is completely damaged, then it would not respond to the electricity at all. there may be nerve damage and not nerve compression. that means that the nerve may be dead. but i am just doing guess work here.

anyway from what i know, i don’t know if diabetes can cause a foot drop, but i do know that having the condition can slow down the recovery time quite a bit. i was fortunate that i recovered quickly, perhaps due to the fact that i did my own physiotherapy (i walked on an elliptical machine daily and did strengthening exercises once i could flex it) and that i am young. those worked in my favour where diabetes did not. i wish you all the best, because i know it is a horrid condition to have.

Yes … I had a EMG and there is never damage, not total, but it’s definitely damaged. There is tingling down the side of my leg and my left big toe is pretty darned worthless in terms of reflexes. I am going to PT three times a week and there is some SLIGHT improvement. I also have tingling in other parts of my body … this is what caused me to go to the doctor’s to begin with. The foot drop surprised me. I do not have lupus, RA and tested negatively for Lyme’s disease.

Have you tried massage therapy? I have a deep tissue massage every other week. Sure makes a difference. I’ve walked with an AFO brace for the past 4 years. I get around really well with it but it is an eye-sore.

I have a friend with drop foot. She got it from having a mild case of West Nile Virus. I get the feeling it can be very tough to diagnose what is causing drop foot. But, I’ve heard that it can reverse, if it is due to a virus. It may just take time.