Loss of control over leg while running and footdrop

Hopefully someone can help me! I've been having this problem off and on for quite a while and it was a nuisance but manageable but just recently it has got considerably worse it even happens just walking.

About 2-3 miles into a run I feel like I'm losing control over my left leg, and if I try to run through it, my foot eventually starts audibly "slapping" the ground, and my leg seems to swing outward. It's incredibly frustrating, because it forces me to walk, even though the rest of my body could go on for much longer. I usually walk for a minute or two, then start running again (only to repeat the process).



  • sounds like you need to see someone about this as to me it sounds like a nerve issue.....

    get to your GP
  • Absolutely agree with the other two responses, I'm a physiotherapist and alittle bit worried about that, definately sounds like a nerve problem but to what extent and why needs looking into asap......I wouldn't do anymore running until you've seen someone just to be on safe side really.  Hope you get sorted soon.
  • TomSTomS ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the replies, I shall make the appointment tomorrow, better dust off my bike and get my swimming goggles out then!
  • TomSTomS ✭✭✭
    Diclofenic 1 three times a day and got a hospital appointment in a couple of weeks, I suppose I will have to give Edinburgh a miss
  • Hope its nothing serious and gets sorted soon x
  • Worth seeing a McTimoney chiropractor ...
  • TomSTomS ✭✭✭

    Sophie thanks for the suggestion but I have seen a chiropractor, sent me for an xray I have a slight curve of the lower spine but no compression, had treatment for a couple of months 2 - 3 times a week - still no significant change.

    I have regularly seen a physio at work (she is very good too) apart from treating pulls and strains due to the way the problem changes my gait she is at a loss as there is nothing she can pin point as everything pretty much moves as it should.  So I am going down the NHS route hopefully to get an MRI, my physio said this might not show anything but could rule out serious stuff, said it could be neurological.

  • Could be a bulging disc in you lower back. If this irritates the nerve root, you can get the kind of issues you are having. X-ray would not show this . MRI is the way to go. 

  • hi

    i have gone through similar problems recently  i had an mri scan and seen a neurologist turned out i have a prolapsed disc which i have just heard they can operate on and my legs should return to normal. I agree with everyone else get to the doctors it needs sorting and more importantly for your peace of mind. Lets us know how you get on .

    Good luck Sue Bridgman 

  • TomSTomS ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the replies, I will keep this thread updated with my progress,  my biggest worry is that the mri shows nothing, not sure what happens then, the symptoms seem to be getting worse the last couple of months.

  • Tom,

    Try not to get to worried about your mri results there are many other tests they can do if they show nothing i am sure everything will be ok, but i know we always fear the worse and all we want to do is get back running, if you need a chat you can e-mail me at /forum/smilies/confused_smiley.gif[/img][email protected]][email protected] school.net as i said on my last posting your symptoms are very much like mine.

    Sue Bridgman

  • All the best Tom and yes, try not to worry yourself too much, most things these days can be fixed!

  • tom,

    sorry it seems they dont like us giving our e-mail adress out to people they seem to have jumbled it up somehow.

    Sue bridgman

  • Sue

     I think you can put you can enable your profile so people can contact you via email - though they won't see your address.. i think anyway. Maybe someone else can confirm this.

  • TomSTomS ✭✭✭
    MRI tomorrow 8:30 - results 14 June
  • good luck..........hope everything is ok........let us know when you get the results x
  • TomSTomS ✭✭✭
    Results of the MRI yesterday not sure if I'm happy or not, some degeneration, nothing too serious, shouldn't really be causing the trouble I'm having. My physio said I should expect that as she thinks it's neuromuscular.  The thing that annoyed me was the person giving me my results (think she was a physio) would have left it there, her advice was just keep doing what I'm doing, ie the cross training, core work, manipulation by my physio and taking tablets! which I have been doing for the last couple of years only to have the symptoms to persist, and recently get worse, how strong does your core and back have to be?.  Really had to push to her to book me in for further tests.  Now I have written it down I know I'm not happy image
  • I dont blame you Id be really cross too!!! That is really disgusting that they weren't going to do anymore tests.............what are you supposed to do carry one taking tablets that dont help for the next 40yrs!!! Im suprised that it was a fizz and not the consultant that gave you the results.  What does your fizz think it is??  What other tests are you going to have?? x
  • TomS

    Good that you have got them to do further tests - terrible that they were going to fob you off - is it NHS?Do you know who is going to be doing these futher tests? A consultant? What kind of consultant?Obviously it depends on what tests they are going to do but given your symptoms my advice is to go straight to a spinal neuro surgeon.

  • TomSTomS ✭✭✭

    Yes it's the NHS,  I am being referred to my local hospital (Stepping Hill in Stockport) I believe they have a specialist spinal unit there.  Not sure who I'm going to see, I was just relieved that they are sending me for further tests at least I am still in the system and there is still light at the end of the tunnel however dim

    I was surprised that it was the same person who referred me that went through the results (she was the triage physio) not sure on the level of knowledge she has

  • That sounds good. Keep pushing. Good luck!

  • Hi Tom

     I had similar problems when I was around 23.  I used to get pain in the buttox, and pins and needles down left and right legs (at different times) as well as power loss.  My GP said it was sciatica and proberly as a result of a trapped nerve.  He buggered off on holiday and a locum stood in for him, and I made an appointmet and saw the locum who was not happy with my GP's thoughts.  In short I had CAT and MRI scans and in the end it turned out to be Ankolosying spondilitus.  So glad to hear that you are pressing home for an acurate diagnosis image.

  • TomSTomS ✭✭✭

    Hello Richard, glad you found out what it was, at least you know, I find that it's the hardest part of it, not knowing what it is. 

    Just back from the Orthopaedic spinal consultant and much as I expected everything works fine, I have (at last) been referred for an EMG (electromyography) which is the track my physio recommended but you have to go right around the houses.  Probably just another long wait again, but I have a good feeling about it this time.

  • TomSTomS ✭✭✭
    Just posting to turn on my email notification for this thread
  • Hi Tom

    Did you ever get sorted with this as I have the same problem.

    After 5 mins running my right foot starts to lose control. Its starts slapping on the group. My big toe cramps and I know I have to stop.

    MRI has revealed nothing and consultant not sure what it is. Has sent me for "proper" physio!! He hasn't discharged me and might do keyhole to check it out if physio doesn't  fix it.

    Its interesting Richard that you got diagnosed with Spondilitis. This runs in the family but I have been told I don't have the heriditary gene which would cause it.


  • TomSTomS ✭✭✭

    Hello Alan,

    No still not right and considerably worse now, NHS for me was not a good route, I've now gone private and have seen a Sports and  Exercise Medicine Doctor which is quite costly but I haven't got a choice as now I can't even walk properly, I did try and get a NHS referral to him as he has a clinic at a local hospital... that was at the beginning of December and I still haven't heard anything!

    SEM Doctor sent me for some vascular tests (££££) and they were clear, then an MRI (££) he has found an inward bulging disc and some labral tears (tears are apparently quite normal) I have seen a Nuerologist through the NHS and he sent me for MRI and missed the disc, he has recommended another Neurologist who specialises in muscle issues and a Physio,

    Although it has been expensive to see him I think it is money well spent as he has taken the time to discuss my case with other Consultants specialising in this field and this has reassured me not to give up.

    Hope you get sorted, it's a long hard road but don't give up

  • I know that this post is from a long time ago, but did you ever figure out what was causing your issue, TomS? I am having the exact same problems and am now going through multiple tests to no avail...
  • I, too, am also curious if you have any developments, Tom? I've been dealing with the same symptoms for the past 10 weeks, except that my foot slaps all the time and my right calf is non-functional. I've had an MRI on my lower back and pelvis, which are normal with typical degeneration for my age (44). I've also had an EMG test, which confirmed the loss of function in the calf, but the doctor also concluded from the EMG that it is not spinal related. My ortho is at a loss and referred me to Physical Medicine rehab, but obviously there is something else that is a problem. I've been researching the internet hoping someone else has been through this and was able to identify and resolve the problem.
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