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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board


Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index


[QUOTE=Loisannie;4332557]Hi, thank you for replying. Are you now able to walk normally now without having to THINK about
lifting your foot up? I am at the stage now where my toes and foot lift up just enough to clear the ground, except for my big toe, which still hangs down. I therefore have not worn my 'foot-up'
brace for some time now. If I walk without concentrating, my big toe drags along the ground and I
am in danger of tripping over. I can walk quite well so long as I think about lifting up my foot from
the ground. My consultant said this tendon transfer would lift up my big toe, as well as lifting my
whole foot up more. Because of my recovery so far, (which has taken 5 years), I am not as
desperate for the operation as I would have been if my whole foot still dropped and I still had to
wear my foot brace. It would only be worth it if I could then walk without having to think about
it. Hence my question, are you now able to walk without having to think about lifting your foot up?
My injury was caused by a surgeon cutting my sciatic nerve during a hip operation, and my foot
and leg are still numb which will now be permanent. The more I think about having this operation the
more I go round in circles ! but your comments have been very helpful, thank you.[/QUOTE]

Well it sounds like you still have some nerve left that allows you to walk but your big toe still drops a bit. My peroneal nerve was cut during surgery which left me with total foot drop. I even had reconstructive nerve surgery to see if it would come back but it never did. So to answer your question, yes, I can walk without thinking about lifting my foot at all.

My big toe still dips but my whole foot was "lifted" into a position where it's just about horizontal with the ground. When I lift my foot or toes my motion of lift is around 1" to 1 1/2" inches, which makes all the difference in the world when you need to walk. Like I said in my earlier post, I can walk normal (without thinking of lifting my foot) with shoes on, it's when I'm barefoot is where I still have a little limp because I have no support from a shoe.

My question to you is; is there any hope of your nerve coming back to lift your big toe? If not, then I think I would have the surgery. If there's hope that that nerve might come back then I would talk to a nerve specialist to see what are the "odds" of it coming back. The peroneal nerve has a terrible record of working again once it's been damaged so for me my decision was easy.

I hope this helps you.
[QUOTE=Redfaldo;4333133]Well it sounds like you still have some nerve left that allows you to walk but your big toe still drops a bit. My peroneal nerve was cut during surgery which left me with total foot drop. I even had reconstructive nerve surgery to see if it would come back but it never did. So to answer your question, yes, I can walk without thinking about lifting my foot at all.

My big toe still dips but my whole foot was "lifted" into a position where it's just about horizontal with the ground. When I lift my foot or toes my motion of lift is around 1" to 1 1/2" inches, which makes all the difference in the world when you need to walk. Like I said in my earlier post, I can walk normal (without thinking of lifting my foot) with shoes on, it's when I'm barefoot is where I still have a little limp because I have no support from a shoe.

My question to you is; is there any hope of your nerve coming back to lift your big toe? If not, then I think I would have the surgery. If there's hope that that nerve might come back then I would talk to a nerve specialist to see what are the "odds" of it coming back. The peroneal nerve has a terrible record of working again once it's been damaged so for me my decision was easy.

I hope this helps you.[/QUOTE]
Hi, thanks again for replying. My sciatic nerve was cut three quarters of the way through
originally. I had complete foot drop and numbness to my foot and leg, and I had to wear a
foot brace and use 2 walking sticks. I was then given a nerve graft 9 days later to repair the
sciatic nerve. After thirteen months, my toes, except my big toe, moved up slightly. Three
months or so after that, I could move my ankle slightly from side to side. My ankle was left
with a weakness as well. Now, nearly five years later, I have gained enough strength not to
wear a foot brace and can walk short distances without a walking stick. I still have numbness
in my foot and leg which is now permanent. My surgeon has suggested the tendon transplant
because my big toe is still dropped and will definitely now not recover by itself. This means I
still have to lift my foot up a bit, otherwise my big toe drags on the floor and has occasionally
tripped me up.

I would hope that after the operation i would be able to walk without having to think about
lifting my foot up. If I start to daydream when walking, I am in danger of tripping up.

I have found this site very helpful, but also scary, when reading about the long recovery etc
some people have had. It does appear that most other people have had other things corrected
and not just had a tendon transplant. My surgeon said he would want to transfer the
perenous brevis tendons as first choice, but if that was not possible, he would use the
tibial tendons instead.

It does sound from what you say that I should go ahead with the surgery ! if I still had complete
foot drop, I would definitely not hesitate, but as I have recovered quite a bit, it makes the
decision harder, because I am not quite so desperate . Apparently tendon transplants should
not be done until there is no hope of recovery, which is normally 5 years after the injury, which
is where I am at now !

Thanks again for your input.
Hi, thanks again for replying. My sciatic nerve was cut three quarters of the way through
originally. I had complete foot drop and numbness to my foot and leg, and I had to wear a
foot brace and use 2 walking sticks. I was then given a nerve graft 9 days later to repair the
sciatic nerve. After thirteen months, my toes, except my big toe, moved up slightly. Three
months or so after that, I could move my ankle slightly from side to side. My ankle was left
with a weakness as well. Now, nearly five years later, I have gained enough strength not to
wear a foot brace and can walk short distances without a walking stick. I still have numbness
in my foot and leg which is now permanent. My surgeon has suggested the tendon transplant
because my big toe is still dropped and will definitely now not recover by itself. This means I
still have to lift my foot up a bit, otherwise my big toe drags on the floor and has occasionally
tripped me up.

I would hope that after the operation i would be able to walk without having to think about
lifting my foot up. If I start to daydream when walking, I am in danger of tripping up.

I have found this site very helpful, but also scary, when reading about the long recovery etc
some people have had. It does appear that most other people have had other things corrected
and not just had a tendon transplant. My surgeon said he would want to transfer the
perenous brevis tendons as first choice, but if that was not possible, he would use the
tibial tendons instead.

It does sound from what you say that I should go ahead with the surgery ! if I still had complete
foot drop, I would definitely not hesitate, but as I have recovered quite a bit, it makes the
decision harder, because I am not quite so desperate . Apparently tendon transplants should
not be done until there is no hope of recovery, which is normally 5 years after the injury, which
is where I am at now !

Thanks again for your input.
Hi , I am really sorry to hear that you have drop foot. I think recovery varies depending upon the
cause. There is more hope of recovery if a nerve is just bruised or damaged. The first 18 months see the most recovery, and five years is the limit. Unfortunately, my sciatic nerve was cut three quarters of the way through, so there was no quick recovery for me. I dont know if your leg and foot are numb, but mine were. I had a nerve graft to mend the sciatic nerve, but it was a good 13 months before my toes moved a little, except for the big toe. A few months after that, I was able to move my ankle. Before that time, I always sat with my feet raised because otherwise my foot goes completely numb if it is down all the time.
Every evening when I was sitting, I used to try and move my toes and also tried to hold my foot towards me. Even if your toes do not move, it is best to keep trying to move them. After five years I
am left with numbness in my foot and my big toe still dragged. When there is no chance of any
more recovery, a tendon transplant can be done to help lift the foot up. Because it was only my
big toe that still dragged, I have just had a tendon 'tie'. The consultant shortened the tendon for
my big toe, and then tied that tendon to the tendon for my other toes, and hopefully all my toes will now
lift up together. This was done only two weeks ago, so i have to wait and see if it was successful.
I really do sympathise with you, no one knows how devastating drop foot is until they have
experienced it. I will always have to wear flat shoes now as well. I wish you well and hope that
you do recover.
Hi Redfaldo

Thanks for your reply. My nerve was also cut three quarters of the way through during
a hip operation, and I had total drop foot, but after about 14 months my toes, except my big toe,
move up slightly just enough to clear the floor to help me walk. My ankle moved a bit about 3 months
after that. My big toe continued to drop.

I have now found an oestopath who is trying some different exercises on my foot which I
hope will help.

Thanks again for your reply and I will still hope that my operation was successful.

Also my foot is still pretty numb,I have altered feeling in it, and the foot will always feel strange.
[QUOTE=distantwings;4632892]Will you please let me know how things are progressing for you and where this surgery (less invasive) was performed?
I hjave searched endlessly; and am very discourage at this point. The swelling and alteration of feeling is depressing me and I am at a loss of where to turn.

Any encouragement or experiences you are having that oulkd be suggestive for me would
be extremely appreciated.[/QUOTE]
Hi Distantwings

I do feel for you, it really is a horrible condition to put up with. My last surgery was at a hospital
in London called Princess Grace. My surgeon is a Peripheral Nerve surgeon called
Professor T Carlstedt. He suggested a 'tendon tie' operation because I didnt fancy the double
tendon transfer he first suggested. My toes lift up just enough to clear the floor,except the big
toe, so he shortened the tendon to the big toe,and then tied that tendon to the tendon that
lifts up the other toes, in the hope that my big toe will now lift up as well.

To date, my big toe is not lifting up yet, I have to see the surgeon in a weeks time so I will
ask him then what he thinks. In the meantime I have found an oestopath who is trying to help
my foot move better.

I dont think the numbess or the way my foot feels willl ever change now, I have to put up
with it. The circulation in my leg is also affected and my leg and foot often feel colder than
my good leg.

It took 14 months after my nerve was cut, before my toes or ankle moved at all, and every day I just kept trying to move my toes. I understand that the optium time for recovery is five years and that
is where I am at now, and that is the time a surgeon will suggest a tendon transfer.

I dont know if this has helped at all, but I do wish you luck in your recovery.
[QUOTE=Gimp123;4778832]I hate to be nosey, but were you able to file a suit against your surgeon? I'm only asking because it's hard to find an attorney who'll accept the challenge. They consider it a "long shot." Mine occurred upon waking up after hip replacement. I do have the notes and the doctor didn't even document it!

How long have you had drop foot? You mentioned that it's getting easier to get around and you said that you were able to exercise?? what do you do? I spent a lot of money on exercise tapes and DVDs and equipment. If you walk, how far can you go or how long? I get tired just grocery shopping! I've always been in shape but this has thrown me for a loop!

I just am relieved to hear that I'm not the only one and take comfort in being able to find some others who are willing to discuss it.

Have a great day![/QUOTE]
HI, The surgeon cut my sciatic nerve three quarters of the way through during what should have
been a hip resurfacement operation, as opposed to a full hip replacement, five years ago now.
He said he had to abandon the operation and would give me a full hip replacement two days later.
In the meantime I found that my leg and foot were still numb and I couldnt move my foot at all.
He said he would investigate the sciatic nerve when he did the hip replacement.After the operation he said the sciatic nerve was damaged and he put me in touch with a nerve surgeon who, five days later took a nerve out of the back of my leg to mend the sciatic nerve with. For 14 months I still couldnt
move my foot at all. Then my toes, except the big toe, moved slightly upward. A couple of months after that, I could move my ankle. My foot lifts upward, but not very much. To date, there will be no more improvement now. My leg and foot are still numb, but not as numb as in the beginning. My circulation is impaired and the foot is colder than my good one. I still have to lift my foot up so as not to trip when I walk, although I have not worn my foot up brace for a long time now. I have to use a walking stick if I want to walk any distance. It always feels an effort to walk, but I dont really feel any discomfort when walking, it is just the effort involved! After six months I did contact a solicitor and after nearly three years, I was offered some compensation, not as much as I had hoped for, but I couldnt risk going to court in case I was offered even less money, then I would have to pay the court costs. It was very difficult to find another surgeon who would say that my surgeon was negligent, which was another reason I didnt risk going to court.

In this country you only have three years in which to go to court after an incident, if you go over the three years it is too late to do anything about it.

I didnt know the nerve could be damaged during a hip operation, but if it is only bruised or stretched, it does recover within a year, but mine was definitely cut through and although I did have a nerve graft, it will never fully recover.

Sorry this is a bit longwinded, and I do wish you luck for the future.
Hi Daniel, As you say, it does help to hear from other people who have also suffered injury after
surgery. My consultant did suggest a double tendon transfer for me, but my ankle is weak because of the sciatic nerve being cut during surgery, and apparently a tendon transfer could make the ankle weaker. Also I think it depends on how much recovery one gets after 4/5 years. My foot and toes (except the big toe) do lift up a bit now and I can move my ankle from side to side. My big toe still hangs down lower than my other toes, so I have to lift my foot up when I walk. I dont wear anything on my ankle now, but have to use a stick if I am going to walk any distance. I cannot stand on one foot and my foot feels very unstable, because it is still numb in places, it feels as though there is a lump under my foot. My circulation in that leg is also impaired. I must admit if I had not had any recovery at all, I think I would have gone ahead with the operation if I was told it would work. I am afraid therefore I am unable to answer your questions, not having gone ahead with the transplant. I know what you are going through, because I had months of indecision as well. I do wish you luck with your decision. Drop foot is an awful thing to have to put up with, as well as other symptoms like numbness and symptoms of nerve damage !! I feel for you.





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