I can probably help with the diagnosis and point to treatment but there is a problem with pro bono work in surgery. For a deserving individual, I will sometimes work for free and pay the salary of my physicians assistant and my own nurses on my dime. However, when someone undergoes surgery- the individuals and corporations involved are not just my responsibility. The hospital charges for the operating room use (somewhere about $100.00/ minute- they have to pay nurses, supplies, equipment, electricity, drugs and even mortgage on the space). The anesthesiologist has to get paid, the spinal cord monitoring company and the cell saver representative have payment requirements. Finally, the spinal companies would need to donate up to $20,000.00 in free implants to see a pro bono surgery come to fruition. It can be done but getting everyone and not just me on board takes an act of God sometimes.
In regards to your sister, her inability to feel her feet may not be directly related to her back. Compression of the spinal nerves normally does not cause bilateral numbness of the feet (although that can rarely happen). Typically, peripheral neuropathy causes bilateral numbness of the feet and that is sickness of the nerves in the legs and not of the back. Bluish feet are not related to the spine but to blood circulation problems from the arteries or the veins. She may need to see a neurologist for an EMG of her legs to determine the source of the numbness.
Let me know what goes on.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.