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Re: Input
Apr 30, 2008
Hi gmac1975...

I know that long recoveries such as yours are a real bore, but just realize that you're going in the right direction...it took my broken leg 4 months to heal, and I was told this was really fast...yeah, right...

I'm just curious about the extent of your foot drop, since all these cases are so different...I know you couldn't lift or dorsiflex your foot, but could you press your foot downward or inward? I can do both of these things, but can only lift the foot up about an inch...not enough to walk normally or drive...my right foot is the affected foot as well. Although I may eventually have to have your type of surgery, I've just found out that I'm a candidate for nerve release surgery...we're just waiting to see if I make any more improvement on my own, but I think this is it...:confused:

Hang in there and let me know how you are doing...

Tanya
Re: Input
Apr 30, 2008
Hi Tanya



Thanks for the well wishes. After 13 years, 4 weeks has been nothing! That's how long ago I severed my sciatic nerve, falling thru a plate glass door. A nerve graft was only a partial success at the time hence the drop foot, countless AFOs, foot problems, chiropodists etc. It was all these things that prompted me to search for an alternative and stumbled upon tendon transfer surgery. Just cant believe noone in the NHS (national health service in the UK) thought to mention it to me before, I could have had this done a decade ago..... I'm generally a positive person but last time around I was 90 percent positive, 10 percent negative that everything would heal up. When it didnt happen I was really low, it was a lot to take as an 18 yo kid. Now I'm the opposite, quite cynical that it wont work but secretly hoping it will.

I cant lift my foot at all but can push down a bit, even more so if someone holds it up. So there's a chance it might work. Fingers crossed....

Nerve release surgery is a new one on me, what does it involve? Good luck to you anyway, how you coping with it all? Keep your chin up anyway and keep posting, it's good to hear how others are getting on.

Graeme
Re: Input
May 1, 2008
Hi Gmac1975...Although it took I while to isolate where my problem was coming from...the spine, hip, or knee...in my case, the problem is at the knee and the peroneal nerve. After an injury, if full function is not restored by natural healing after 4-6 months, nerve release surgery is performed in the hope that the nerve is kinked or trapped in scar tissue. The plan of this surgery is to restore normal function...if the nerve is more severely damaged or crushed, then the release surgery will at least permit the nerve to heal as best as it can, although there are no guarantees about full function returning. If you don't perform the surgery and the nerve stays trapped, then you'll stay with dropped foot...
How am I coping with all of this...to tell you the truth, not too well...I live in the country and having to depend on others for driving, etc is really starting to get to me. In the beginning when this whole thing happened, I was more optimistic about a favorable outcome, but as time drags on the reality of my situation is starting to sink in...I guess I'm in a similar place as you...quite cynical that it won't work, but secretly hoping that it will. In the event that no further healing takes place even with the release surgery, the tendon transfer surgery has also been mentioned as one of my options...I was just wondering if your doctors have given you any indication if you'll be able to drive if your surgery is a complete success...as you can see, I have a one-track mind about driving lately because it's something I can't do...:D By the way, I think your surgery is going to work...from reading other message boards, people who have had this surgery seemed to be very pleased, even if the results took quite a while to realize...since you mention the NHS, I assume to live in Great Britain...I live in New York...
Take care ... and keep posting...

Best,
Tanya
Re: Input
May 13, 2008
Hi Graeme,

I can fully understand your feelings of apprehension as the time approaches for your cast to come off...while it would be wonderful if your foot was completely healed and nothing more would be necessary, I think the most likely scenario will be a walking boot for a while...others with your surgery have posted on Health Boards, and it seems that this is just the way it goes...

As for myself, I'm getting nervous...it seems that the docs are as sure as they can be without actually surgically looking at my nerve, that I will benefit from nerve release surgery. If I do nothing, then I will pretty much stay where I am...with surgery there are 4 possible outcomes...I'll be able to move my foot normally right away, I may have to wait a couple of months in order to get more upward movement, it will take a year or two for movement to return, or the nerve has been damaged beyond repair and I will stay like this. As far as I can see, I have to at least give myself the opportunity to heal, so the surgery is a no-brainer.

Of course, like you I would love to walk out of the hospital with a normal foot, but I'll settle for any improvement that I can get. I fully understand your uneasiness about procedures not working, since I am facing the same thing myself. Even though I know it may take a lot of time for me to show improvement, you better believe that I will be really disappointed when I can't move my foot normally soon after the operation...I should and do know better, but that's the truth.

Please let me know how you're doing after your doctor's appointment...I'm sure it will be the walking boot...
Take care and feel better...

Best,
Tanya
Re: Input
May 23, 2008
Hi Graeme...

Guess I do sound like a foot drop salesman, but I happen to go to PT at a famous Ortho / rehab hospital in New York. During my sessions, I'm sort of like a fly on the wall observing all the new latest and greatest things for drop foot, even if they don't apply in my particular case...also, 5 months of nothing to do but heal broken bones, gave me plenty of time to browse the Internet and preserve my sanity at the same time...

In my opinion, the reason you and most people don't hear much about alternatives to our problem is because the medical community doesn't think it's important enough. After all, it's not life-threatening and doesn't even shorten one's life...many neuro specialists are into more profound work, such as strokes or spinal paralysis...guess there's nothing too glamorous about a foot...

Although you haven't noticed any movement yet, I think that it will take time and will take place when the swelling goes down. Also, I'm sorry that all of this information reached you after your surgery, but communicating through a message board is not the most timely way to find things out. As for Bioness, I really am hoping your surgery will work 100%, but if not, then I hope Bioness can help...I just saw someone using it yesterday, and they walked around so effortlessly and normally...this particular patient had a stroke and had drop foot as a result of it. I wish I could use it, but it's not for my case where the problem is at the knee. :(

And....my surgery is scheduled for next Thursday. All the paperwork, tests, and whatever else has been straightened out, and it's coming much sooner than I expected...better this way, since I won't have so much time to think about it...Also, in the end, if this surgery doesn't do what I'd like it to do, there is always the SAFO to fall back on...

Let me know how you're doing and don't try to do too much too soon...feel better...

Tanya
Re: Input
Jun 21, 2008
Hi Graeme,

Thank you for your very kind words...your encouragement and experience in dealing with foot drop have helped me so much in coping with this condition as well...you're actually living the things I still have to do, and your advice has helped me a great deal...

I had my first PT appointment this week, and when I walked in all the therapists just stared at me with their mouths open...I still have dropped foot, of course, but I was walking so much better than before the surgery...for some reason, the trapped nerve causing my foot drop was also stopping my knee from working properly, and this changed immediately after surgery and was noticeable to everyone. I don't know the medical dynamics of this this, or if this is even supposed to happen, but it did happen with me...

The changes in the foot drop since surgery..it's only been 3 weeks...are very subtle, and from what I can see, my progress will be [B]"glacial"[/B] as all nerve recoveries are...I notice I can lift my first 4 toes off the ground now when I'm sitting down...but they are still very weak...and I can turn my foot more to the outside now.

It's wonderful that you're walking so well without the AFO now and you must feel so encouraged about that...orthopedic matters heal and resolve at a glacial pace as well, so perhaps you will regain more movement with increased use and the passage of time. I know what you mean about the other leg acting up too...my left knee started complaining a lot as well when I couldn't use my right leg for so many months. In your case, I would also try to observe if your gait is different now than it was before. In addition to your driving, it may be that you have to adjust to the new and improved you...try and observe yourself in a mirror and see if something looks off compared to before. At PT they put a full length mirror in front of me so I can see how I'm compensating for the healing broken leg and dropped foot. I was tilting a lot to the right when I walked and now I try not to do that. Even slightly improper body mechanics can really cause a lot of trouble in perfectly OK joints...

Let me know how it goes on Thursday, and I'll keep you posted about the ongoing and endless PT...

Best,
Tanya





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