I just heard back from Mr. Boeree and here are his thoughts.
On the toe feeling and sometimes achy shins: This is likely to be a little bruising / stretching of the L5 nerve roots and should gradually respond to walking and neural stretching exercises that you can do with your physical therapist.
On picking up my kid: It is never really how much you lift, but how you lift it. 10lbs lifted away from your body, especially if off to the side or with a twist, will be far worse than 25lbs lifted close to you and with a fairly straight back. I think you can lift her if you use your legs and keep her close. You will naturally tend to arch your back a little, and off to the opposite side to where you’re holding her, to keep your centre of gravity correct but this should be fine. It may get uncomfortable after a while but just listen to your back.
It is so great that such a busy surgeon takes the time to follow up with his patients’ questions himself.