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L5-S1 Radiculopathy...


rpowell01

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I am curioius about something that is bothering me. I do have L5-S1 radiculopathy caused by OA. Yes I am one of those ppl who the VA has cursed to die on some waiting list on seeing a surgeon. So next week I am going to a private surgeon's office and if he says surgery should have been done or I need it then I am going to do my best to force the VA to pay for the surgery. I want my quality of life back but the VA is hampering this.

My question is for those who have or had L5-S1 radiculopathy in both legs, feet and toes. I have the normal pain and numbness and the ice cold feet. But what is bothering me is if anyone of you who had these issues also caused the feet and toes to turn purple/blue when the ice cold comes on? It comes and goes with the ice cold feeling. My feet use to turn red with the ice cold but now they turn purple/blue.

Good news is the VA lied to me when they said there is no surgery. How is that good news? Well my brother in law just had surgery last week for L5-S1 radiculopathy caused by OA which in turned caused his L5 joint to become week and it fractured. The surgeon told him that they see this all the time with OA patients. Bad news is the VA didn't add the post views of my last TWO MRIs, this is the view of the BACK of the spine where they could see if there is a fracture.

Anyway I am going to pray and hope the surgeon can get me back on track.

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Sorry to hear of your troubles. bud. I was supposed to have back surgery last year, well the VA waited so long I ended up with a hole in my spine the size of a half dollar, caused by the spine and neck working against each other. VA Chiro Doc just told me to go home and hope for the best, WTH! I just had a C&P for this on Tuesday, as the VA denied my bone issues before do to them IDIOTS ordering X-Rays instead of MRIs. Earlier this year finally got MRIs, and R Shoulder, Both Knees, Back and Neck are shot. God Bless you bud, and good luck.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Hey Rpowell,

I am SC for lumbar and bilateral radiculopathy into both legs, but also had similar issues you describe. I recommend definitely getting your feet/toes checked out. If you have diabetes, get them checked out as soon as possible. It could be one thing, two things, or multiple things. The last thing you want is for this to advance to the point where you risk losing your toes or feet.

I'll share my experience with it, but yours might not be the same as mine. I am not a medical expert, but toes turning purple/blue sounds to me like a potential neurological or circulatory issue, or both.

My wife has worked in surgery for years and said I needed to get it checked out. She told me to go see one of her favorite non-VA orthopedic surgeon with whom she worked with for years. A round of blood work came back normal, which ruled out diabetes. Arterial ultrasound ensured that my blood flow to/from my feet was normal. Then came the fun. First, an EMG which hurt like hell. Results were off by a bit, but it also differed when I sat up or laid on my back (if they don't check both ways, they are not doing it right). Then came a pressure sensitivity test, luckily covered by my private insurance. It found that I had lost 60% of my ability to sense touch in both legs/ankles/feet. The diagnosis was a combination of lumbar sciatica and nerve compression at several locations. Surgery was performed to relieve pressure on the nerves and remove scar tissue. I was out of work for several months. Six months later, the other leg was done. Retesting found I now had a 30% deficit on each leg, so I consider it a big success, but the lumbar sciatica is still a major factor, including possible damage over time to the nerves. Compared to the roller coaster of pain and numbness, I am feeling much better, but still have significant problems - although less debilitating.

Good luck with your feet! I hope they can get it sorted out!

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Hmmmm I had an EMG last year and it came back positive for Bilateral L5-S1 radiculopathy. It is also my understanding that blood vessels also route in almost the same paths as the nerves in this area so I am wondering if one of the vessels is getting pinched. Also, in my neck I have the same issues and my pain management neurologist told me about the blood vessels getting pinched. My face would turn pale white but that happened around May 2013 and it was diagnosed that I pinched a blood vessel in my neck. So, I am wondering about the same thing in my feet.

I had a whole heart and circulatory workup back in 2012 and everything was fine. They did EKG and even a 3d CT of my heart and they said everything was fine and clear.

What I have noticed is they turn purple/blue when I sit. If I stand they go back to normal or if I lay down they go back to normal. What I do also know is when I sit for more than 5 minutes my low back's pain level goes up so I have to stand for a minute or two.

I can't wait to see the private surgeon next week because the VA's medical is a joke, well it is at James A. Haley. All they want to do is feed you pills then get you in a catch 22 situation by prescribing the pain killers to you then request that you go through their in patient pain program. If people don't know this program is mainly for people who have been on opiates for awhile and the staff at James Haley is using it to trap people when they prescribe pain killers to veterans.

Forgot to add that I am NOT diabetic so that rules out a reason why.

I need to file for sciatica which I haven't been able to get out of the house to go file it. I guess I need to do it on ebenefits..

Edited by rpowell01
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Definitely sounds like a circulatory problem of some sort. Not sure how they would end up diagnosing that, but I assume that if your heart checked out ok then it must be further down the line. Also, one other thing to think about is lymph vessels, which could also be part of the problem. I had some issues with them being blocked at one point and my limb swelled up like someone injected a bunch of yellowish clear liquid in spots. All better now, body absorbed the excess, but it felt really unsual.

Glad to hear you are not diabetic. That was the first thing that came to my mind. Whatever it is, I hope they figure it out.

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