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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

OK, I understand that the peroneal nerve that has sustained axonal damage heals at a rate of somewhere between 1-5 mm per day, depending on who you happen to be reading or listening to. I also get that the nerve must repair the entire distance between the point of damage (in my case, compression from improper positioning during a 4 hour surgery) to the muscle or muscles that it ennervates (I might be wrong there).

My question starts like this: All my doctors say the recovery will come a little at a time. Is this because there are other nerves or muscles starting to "wake up" as the main nerve is healed? Or does the entire length of the nerve from damaged point down to the end have to heal, then begin to reopen the lines of communication to the muscle(s)? I get the slow regeneration, but why the slow recovery of movement? When an electrical line that has been shut down due to bad wiring is replaced, the electricity doesn't slowly make its way to its destination -- it flows nicely to its destination (yes, I know that a biological life form is different than a man-made object, but humor me a bit with this analogy). So, why does it take a healed nerve so long to begin to move that muscle at full speed? When is my peroneal nerve going to give any power at all to my tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum, peroneus tert, peroneus longus, peroneus brevis and/or extensor hallucis longus?

Of course, I've looked up these muscles to see what they do and where they are, but I can't find what I want to know (there may be a reason for that -- perhaps its not possible to do, but nothing ventured, nothing gained). When it comes down to it, I'm looking for a map of progress as the peroneal nerve is repaired. Does anyone know what will happen first and what I should be looking for? It's been 6 weeks and surely something has healed a little bit by now. Is there anything I can be trying -- lifting this toe or flexing that muscle? Is there such a thing as a "Map of Peroneal Nerve Progress (that helps with depresssion and anxiety as one waits for foot drop to go away)?"

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