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Can’t Lift Your Toes? Your Spine Could be the Problem

Can’t Lift Your Toes? Your Spine Could be the Problem

Many people don’t realize is that numbness or loss of feeling in your legs, feet, and toes may actually originate with an issue in the spine. How? That’s what we’ll be investigating in this patient education article.

Spinal Nerves

The spine is filled with nerves that send sensory signals to and from the brain throughout the body. When you lift your big toe, your body is sending a signal from your toe, through your spinal nerves, to your brain. Your brain then interprets these signals and sends a signal back to your toe and it lifts. This all happens within a fraction of a second. Sometimes, the nerves in the spine are impacted (perhaps by a bulging disc or a car accident injury) and these sensory signals are disrupted.

Post-op Issues

Loss of sensation or mobility in the extremities (toes, legs, hands, etc.) can also be a consequence of a spinal surgery gone wrong. Many spinal procedures (spinal fusions, artificial disc replacements, and the like) require the surgeon to access areas of the spine that are in close proximity to the spinal nerves. In most modern minimally invasive keyhole procedures, the surgeon maneuvers around the nerves in order to complete the surgery. This can irritate the nerves and result in numbness and loss of sensation in your extremities after surgery. However, as long as the nerves are not damaged, these symptoms will resolve shortly after surgery. On the other hand, if the surgeon accidentally damages the nerves in your spine, it can lead to permanent loss of feeling and paralysis.

The best possible way to avoid spinal nerve related issues is to make sure your surgical procedure is as minimally invasive keyhole as possible. At Inspired Spine, we have developed two leading spine surgery procedures – the Inspired OLLIF for cervical spine procedures, and the Inspired MIS-DTIF for thoracic spinal surgeries. These procedures (though relatively new) are backed by clinical studies that show the corresponding lowered pain levels, and shorter operating times that these surgeries provide. Find out if you are a candidate for Inspired Spine surgery by contacting us today or finding a provider in your area.