It is uncommon but not impossible that opposite site symptoms occur. Positioning during surgery could have put pressure on opposite side ankle nerves which could leave a numb heel temporarily. It is possible that a small fragment of disc migrated to the opposite side or even a seroma (collection of fluid) is causing some compression. You could ask for some oral steroid which can take down symptoms faster that just “Father Time”. If symptoms don’t resolve in 5-7 days, you could also ask for a new MRI.
Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I will reach out to my doctor this week to inquire about the steroid.
I saw that you didn’t mention reherniation as a possible cause of my odd symptoms. Do you think that’s less probable than other causes? For obvious reasons, that is my biggest fear. My surgeon told me, however, that in his experience a third herniation is “extremely rare.” Also, the pain sensations I’m feeling are nowhere near as constant or severe as presurgery (they feel like residual pains).
One data point that I forgot to mention (although I don’t know if it’s important), my surgeon said following this second surgery I only have about 30% of my disc left. Could loss of height be triggering bilateral symptoms?
Lastly, I’ve read some accounts from others that they’ve had poor outcomes following revision surgery due to scar tissue (epidural fibrosis). My surgeon said this was why my herniation, though small, was likely so painful–because my nerve was adhered and got pinned by the extrusion. Is this a real concern and is there anything I can do to mitigate the chance of it? I inquired on my follow up and my surgeon said epidural fibrosis is a normal occurrence and does not cause pain.
Thank you again for your insight!