foot drop - do I absolutely need surgery?

I am currently avoiding invasive surgery of a very extruded R L4-L5 disc using conservative therapy (ugly MRI, extrusion is size of vertebra and dripping down to touch L5), as I have already had a micro hemi lami at Left L5-S1 procedure (which did work well 12 years ago but was an unpleasant and scary experience). Is there any physical therapy for foot drop if it is due to L5 radiculopathy or is the only cure surgery? I have mild delay of distal motor latency of R peroneal nerve at ankle with minimal reduction in CMAP amplitude of R per. nerve at knee and ankle, F wave repsonse significantly prolonged in R vs. L peroneal nerve, with H relfex normal. I have been disgnosed with right peroneal motor nerve neuropathy, delayed R peroneal F response, increased insertional activity in anterior tibialis, medial gastrocnemius, and R L5-S1 paraspinal muscles, as well as active fibrilation potentials in the extensor digitorum brevis, anterior tibialis, peroneus longus, medial gastrocnemius, biceps fermois, gluteaus medius and maximus and L5-S1 paraspinal muscles.

Important: I can move flex and point my foot up and down, but cannot lift my toes off the ground as much as my good foot (only 1 cm difference) and cannot walk on my ankles (though can walk fine on my tip toes) on land. In the pool I can walk on my ankles in water up to my belly sensoredon. It has been 2 months since this happened (intense athlete, potential overuse, but no accident or specific injury occurred), sciatica was unbearable for about 2 weeks then and is now completely gone with no pain, and I am undergoing message therapy, and stretching and doing range of motion ankle circles in the jacuzzi and pool as well as walking on my ankles. Will physical therapy help me regain complete control of my foot or do I absolutely need surgery? Thank you so much.

Posted By lydia on November 09, 2008 at 15:19:28:

Disclaimer
Knitted ankle support incorporating an anatomically contoured silicone insert lying posterior to the medial and lateral malleolus and over the front of the foot. Used to reduce swelling and soreness.

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