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Three years ago, this gentleman was running to catch a bus. He felt a pop and experienced a burning and tingling sensation in his right thigh. The tingling moved from the thigh up to the buttocks then up to the right shoulders. While the burning sensation went away, the tingling sensation took a while. Month later, he experienced weakness in that thigh and developed the foot drop, slap gait, and steppage gait.
Thorough Structural Analysis, Gonstead Examination, and review of his MRI revealed a Grade 1 Spondylithesis — fracture of the vertebral bone at 4th Lumbar vertebra. Grade 1 – minor forward misalignment. This Grade 1 Spondylithesis while there was minor forward misalignment, there was significant rotation which resulted in nerve interference to the common peroneal nerve and sciatic nerve that resulted in the muscles to malfunction and unable to lift the foot. That malfunction is foot drop. When the foot drops and hits the floor, that’s slap gait while walking. Steppage gait is the result of trying to lift the thigh to clear the toes while walking which he presented from time to time.
1. While we cannot correct the Spondylithesis fracture that only a surgeon can correct, the focus is on correcting the 5th Lumbar vertebra to provide more foundational support to the 4th Lumbar vertebra. In addition, taking the rotation out of the 5th Lumbar also helps take the significant rotation out of the spine which explains his tingling sensation from the low back radiating upwards to the right shoulder. In addition, by correcting the 5L, stabilizing the 4L, it will help reduce the inflammation and physical irritation to the nerves, helping him with the abnormal gait.
2. Core exercises — Since structural integrity is compromised, he needs to strengthen his core to compensate. Co-manage with a specialized physical therapist will be involved.
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Disclaimer: Results are atypical and varies from patient to patient.