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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 1, 2008
Hi Tanya,

Regarding driving, I've been driving an automatic car with my left foot for about 5 years now and it works fine. It feels a bit weird at first and you have to shuffle over in the seat a bit to get your right foot out of the way but after a while it's just like normal. Plus, if you're not happy with that there is this device you can get that fits over the accelerator to hide it and flips up a new accelerator where the clutch would be on a manual car ie to the left of the brake instead of the right. I probably haven't explained this very well but if you do an online search with key words like modified car disability accelerator etc then something should come up.

Let me know what you think.

Graeme
Re: Input
May 3, 2008
Hi Graeme...

Thanks for all the information about driving with the left foot. I also have an automatic car, but it has a big old console in the middle, and I'm not sure how I could handle this...also, I am such an intense right-handed, right-sided person that right now I just cannot imagine how I will maneuver myself into driving with my left foot :dizzy:...thanks for the encouragement tho, as it shows that when there is a will there is a way.

I've come across another kind of brace in my Internet travels, which may be of interest to you. According to past posters on this site, they are able to drive with the affected dropped foot by using it...it's called a SAFO...the company is Dorset Orthopaedic in England, so it may be of interest to you.

How are you coming along with your cast and healing after the tendon transfer...I hope you are feeling OK and healing well...take care and keep me posted...

Best,
Tanya
Re: Input
May 4, 2008
Hi Tanya

I didnt know whether to laugh or cry when I read about the SAFOs! I have been seeing the same orthotists for 13 years now and not once have they mentioned that these alternatives to AFOs existed. I remember a few years ago when I was so fed up with my splint and the problems they were causing me I asked my orthotist if there was ANYTHING at all I could do like have another operation or alternative splint. The idea of having an AFO like the SAFOs even crossed my mind one day when I was looking at at a sports ankle support. But my doctor just said there was nothing else to do which, in hinsight, p*sses me off no end. I know he goes to, and speaks at, conferences around the world and must have picked up on developing technologies but never thought to suggest it to me. When I found out about tendon transfers - by chance one day when I was surfing online desperately looking for solutions to my drop foot - I asked my orthotist why he had never mentioned it before. His answer was that they had to see how my case would develop and surgery wasnt the answer to everything blah blah blah. It just saddens me that people in the medical profession have it in their hands to make a REAL difference to other people's lives but sometimes choose not to do so. :confused:

On the plus side I am quite excited by the SAFOs so thanks for pointing that out! If my tendon transfer doesnt work out then at least I have another possible fallback option.

Regarding the current situation, my foot is quite sore today. I've been quite active this weekend so maybe I need to rest up a bit. My cast is due to come off a week on Thursday, so we will see then what the future holds. I remember Kippa saying on the old thread how, after 6 weeks, he had made good progress but then had to have the cast on for another 6 weeks so I'm not taking anything for granted. Feel a lot better, though, knowing there are other alternatives out there if this doesnt work. So thanks to you for that. :cool:

How's things with you? What's the next step in your recovery? Are you coping ok? :)
Re: Input
May 4, 2008
Hi Graeme...

You're very welcome...I'm so happy that I could provide you with some useful information :D. The funny thing is that this company is located in England and Americans have to jump through hoops in order to get such a prosthetic...some more news on the brace front for you...I just got a new carbon brace from the Otto Bock Company. It's very light and comfortable, and it's such an improvement from the custom-molded plastic ones. The plastic type was so uncomfortable and was actually turning my foot blue! ..this could be a less expensive (than the SAFO) but comfortable interim solution for you until you are finally walking brace free.
It's funny that you mention being sore, since I've been sore as well for the past day...in my case I think it's weather related...even tho the bone is healed, it still feels odd and painful at times.

As for me, the next step in my recovery is surgery if there is no further improvement, and to tell the truth, I 'm very nervous about it...... Also, I know what you mean about doctors, and I guess they're the same all over...really, how could they know what it's all about, since they don't have to live in your body and know what drop foot feels like...:confused:

Take care and feel better...

Best,
Tanya
Re: Input
May 8, 2008
Hey Tanya

How you keeping? Your new brace sounds good, I will check out that firm if my leg doesnt heal.

So... a week today is D-day when I go back to the hospital to get the cast off. I guess there will be probably be one of 3 possible outcomes: 1, the foot is miraculously all healed and the foot drop is gone (hmmm.. unlikely :D), 2, they say there is improvement but i need to have another cast or 3, they put me in some sort of walking boot. I think the latter is the most likely answer but cant say for sure. I've had to make tentative plans for work and my social life beyond next week but I'm frightened and reluctant to make any concrete arrangements cos I really have no idea what my leg is going to be like. Is kinda weird.

Anyway, hope you're ok and keep your chin up

Graeme
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 15, 2008
Hi Tanya,

Well, not long back from the hospital. It was quite weird, my head is still spinning actually. Saw 2 nurses who, eventually, got my cast off. The consultant wasnt around so I just sat and stared at my foot for 10 mins wondering if it had worked or not. Then the consultant came in, had a quick look at it, got me to hobble around a bit then told me just to go home and see how it goes! Not what I was expecting at all - no cast, no walking boot, no physio - nothing. All he said was to wear my old AFO for a few weeks at night but apart from that to try to walk about without it and see how it goes then go back and see him in 6 weeks. Am still in shock by his response.

Went back and read thru the original Dropped Foot thread and noticed Kippa saying his end result was to have an internal AFO that kept his foot at 90 degrees and I'm wondering if thats what mine is meant to be as it seems to be staying up but I cant move it myself. Have phoned the hospital and am waiting on the consultant phoning me back but communication obviously isnt his strong point.... Will go out for a walk later and see how it goes.

Anyway, how are you? Nerve release surgery seems the way forward, are you going to go ahead with it? Nothing ventured, nothing gained I guess.

Graeme
Re: Input
May 17, 2008
Hi Graeme,

It's sounds as if you've had a rather odd experience with your visit to the hospital...I don't know if there are two or more separate surgeries with tendon transfers or not...one an internal AFO, and another which restores additional function? Do you have any pain or discomfort when you try to walk...it sounds like you're doing OK, but the lack of contact with your consultant would leave me feeling a little bewildered. As for phoning your doctor, remember that the squeaky wheel gets the most oil...just keep calling until you talk to him...

I'm also puzzled about wearing your old AFO at night...I have to wear one at night as well in order to keep my Achilles tendons from shortening and pointing my foot down permanently, but I wear a nighttime version that is a lot more comfortable than the one I wear during the day...took me a while to find just the right one, since I can get neuropathic pain if the night brace isn't just perfect...I refer to my foot as the "royal foot" because it can be that sensitive :eek:. I use the Healwell Cub Resting Comfort Slipper in the event you're interested in this.

As for myself, I have decided to go ahead with the surgery, since I've also been told that it's not prudent to wait too long to do this. Although I am not looking forward to more surgery, it does seem like this is what I have to do if I want to take care of my foot drop...my physiotherapist has even mentioned that it seems as if something is trapped in my leg and preventing my foot from moving normally. Right now I'm starting all the preliminary paperwork and testing that comes with any surgery in the US...
Please let me know how you are managing with your "new" foot and if you've finally managed to speak with your consultant. I hope that you walk and feel better and better every day...

Best,
Tanya
Re: Input
May 19, 2008
Hi Tanya

Well, it's been a strange few days. After my last message the consultant amazingly did phone back although he wasnt exactly full of information. Asked him about movement in my foot/ankle and he said it might come with time, might not. Would know better in a few weeks, he said. He also changed his mind on me not wearing the AFO during the day, said I should wear it when out and about for a few weeks and at night too. Went back to work today, was quite uncomfortable walking about, hope it gets better with time. Unfortunately my car seems to be playing up too (in sympathy, ha! :D) so I might get more walking than I anticipated until I get it fixed.

When I first had my accident I had a special night AFO to wear, sounds similar to what you described. It was like a small blue cradle with padding in it, was quite comfortable! But dont have that any more so just stuck with the old plastic thing, urggh.

It sounds like there is real hope for you with this surgery. Why are you reluctant? Just fed up with it all? I hope it all works out for you, keep me posted.

Graeme
Re: Input
May 20, 2008
Hi Graeme,

I'm happy to hear that you've finally heard from your consultant and that you're back to work so soon after your surgery. I'm not surprised to hear that you're uncomfortable walking about so soon and am confident that you can only get better with time...but don't overdue the walking thing, even if your car is acting up right now. Isn't it something with cars...they always pick the most inconvenient times to break down--sort of like people, I guess :D.

As for myself, I know that there is real hope for me with the nerve surgery, but my past surgery for a broken femur bone has kind of altered my view of all surgeries in general, since is was a very painful experience...I've had surgeries before, but nothing prepared me for this. I know that I'm not being logical , but that last surgery was a humdinger :rolleyes: Also, you are very perceptive...I am kind of fed up with it all. You know, I used to think that doctors could fix just about anything, but I've grown up along the way...

By the way, I made an inquiry to the Dorset Orthopaedic Company near you, and they were very responsive. In addition to sending me all kinds of information, they also sent me a list of orthotists in the US who can make the cast for such a SAFO, and interestingly one of them is right down the block from where I live!. I hope I don't need it, but it feels good to have an alternative in the event that the surgical treatments don't work... Also, I have some information that may be of interest to you, but I keep forgetting to tell you about it. Of course, I hope your surgery works 100% and you can throw your old plastic AFO away, but there may be another answer for you if you should ever need it in the future. Have you ever heard of Bioness? It's blue tooth technology and it sends electrical impulses to the foot via blue tooth technology. I've seen people using it and it is truly amazing. The patients I've spoken to say they can achieve normal balancing and walking gait on straight as well as uneven surfaces, and there is no AFO or SAFO involved. Just use any search engine to look it up if you should ever need it...But I hope you don't...Unfortunately, I can't use it as far as I know because my problem is further down on the knee...this only works when the nerve dysfunction is higher up...

I'll know more about the surgery and the details by the end of the week and will keep you posted, In the meantime, please let me know how you are doing walking about and all...and feel better and better everyday!

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
May 26, 2008
Hi Tanya

How's things? Are you all set for Thursday? What exactly will they do? And what happens after? I want to wish you all the very best of luck. I'm sure it will all go well. Please come on here and tell us as soon as you can. :)

My situation is improving gradually day by day. I'm walking pretty well without my AFO when I have my trainers (sneakers in American!) on which is great. I'm going somewhere sunny and warm for a few days later in the week with work and it will be fantastic to walk about in shorts without the AFO on. I know it sounds pretty vain but I'm sure you know what I mean! With other shoes, like the ones I wear to work, it's a bit harder, even with the AFO on, so it's still taking time. No sign of any movement coming back to my ankle but that was always only going to be a bonus I reckon. All being well I'm hoping to go back swimming again next week, try to get some exercise. Hopefully not scare too many kids with my scars. :D

Anyway, good luck again and post when you get the chance. Always better to be proactive than die wondering.....

Talk soon
Graeme
Re: Input
May 30, 2008
Hi Everybody,

Just wanted you to know that I'm still in one piece and the surgery was really nothing...I have a small scar on the side of my leg...no big deal. According to my doctor I had a very tight nerve entrapment and without surgery I would have remained the way I was or eventually even lost function...Well, I didn't dance off the operating table as I was hoping, but I kind of knew that wouldn't happen...but the awful pain in my knee seems to be gone and about 40% of the pain in ankle is also gone...as far as I'm concerned the surgery was already worth doing...

As for the final return of function, that could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 year, but according to the doc, the nerve looks OK and he's optimistic that I will see improvement over time...but we know how iffy that can be...
Graeme, I hope you are enjoying a few days in the sun, and Andi, I hope your foot gets stronger and stronger with every step...every time the docs change something, it does take quite a while to get used to the new you...

Tanya
Re: Input
Jun 3, 2008
Hi guys

Tanya - first up, that's great news about your operation. The fact that the pain was noticeably down so quickly was a great sign. How's it been the last few days? What's the next step for you?

Andi - what's been happening with you? still not 100 percent happy with it?

I'm doing ok. You guys seemed to both have more dorsiflexion/movement than I did beforehand so maybe that's why I'm easily pleased! Before my op I couldnt lift my ankle at all and could only push down if someone was pressing against my foot with their hand. My ankle is actually now a lot more rigid so I can't really push down at all or turn my ankle to look at the sole of my foot as I used to be able to. Dorsiflexion is still a no-no too.

On the plus side I walked for hours around Prague the other day and then played golf on Sunday, both without the AFO. At the end of both I was really tired and my foot was swollen up but it was just good to be able to do these things without assistance. I reckon my foot is as good as it's ever going to get but I'll find out from the doc in a few weeks. At the moment I'm alternating between wearing the AFO from one day to the next and, in certain shoes, it's certainly easier with than without.

Let me know how you're both getting on.
Graeme
Re: Input
Jun 5, 2008
Hi Graeme...
The past few days have been uneventful, and so far I've noticed that at least I have my knee back...it used to feel as if a tourniquet was around it, and I couldn't take a full stride without something sticking inside my knee. Now it feels normal...my ankle still feels as if someone is grabbing it tightly, but it's not quite as bad as before...as for function, I definitely notice more upward movement in my toes, but it's hard to tell if the ankle can dorsiflex more...

What's next for me...I see the surgeon next week, and I don't know what he'll recommend...basically this is a waiting game as far as I can tell, but there may be more physical therapy to maintain my range of motion. I haven't spoken to him since just before the surgery, so I am anxious to hear for myself what he saw in there...according to my family members, he found a very tight entrapment and is hopeful that function will return eventually...it will take anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 year. I know they did certain testing during the surgery so I'm curious to hear what that showed...

It sounds to me as if you are making wonderful progress...walking around without a brace for hours is unbelievable...I'm sure that eventually you will find the proper shoe combination that will make it possible for you to ditch the ol' AFO permanently...

I'm impressed and so happy for you...

Best,
Tanya
Re: Input
Jun 8, 2008
Hi Tanya

Sounds like you are making great progress, especially if the pain is subsidising so quickly. Is there a real hope that eventually you can get back to how you were before your injury? you must be pleased now you were brave enough to have the surgery - it seems like it was the right thing to do. How you finding the rehab?

As for my situation, I guess I've probably made it sound better than it actually is as, after 13 years, I'd have taken any improvement! It's definitely still easier to walk with than without the AFO but I'm forcing myself to go without it whenever I can. I went for a swim yesterday and the foot seemed to stand up to that ok. And then I went for a night out with friends, going out to a few bars and having to stand for most of the night. After a while my ankle was getting a bit tired and it seemed a bit of an effort to get around but hopefully it was a worthwhile exercise.

Keep me updated on your progress....

G
Re: Input
Jun 10, 2008
Hi Andi...thanks for asking about the operation...really, it was a little nothing thing, and I made more out of it than it was worth...I was walking around right away...as for your surgery, perhaps you just have to give it some more time...as my doctor is so fond of saying, we all heal at different times...which foot is your problem foot...right or left...was just wondering about the driving thing :D...At this point I'm totally obsessed...If I could drive, I would just get in the car and wouldn't stop until I got to California (and I live in New York)....
Re: Input
Jun 13, 2008
Hi Andi - hope you have/had a great holiday. Quite jealous! Let me know how it went without the splint. Quite intrigued that you think you might need a SAFA, do you not feel you can get by without some kind of support? Meeting my consultant in a fortnight so will see what he says (probably not a lot based on previous experience.... :confused:)


Graeme
Re: Input
Jun 14, 2008
Hi Graeme,

Thanks for the updated info about the driving...although we all have foot drop, there are so many versions of the same thing that abilities vary from person to person. From your description of the operation, I didn't think that the driving issue would change for you right away, but lots of exercise and time can make quite a difference. The most important thing is that you're walking so much better now...cars can be modified as necessary, but walking properly is a lot more difficult to accomplish.

On that note, I am walking better too, and I'm really happy about that...my leg was so badly broken that I wasn't sure that I would ever walk again without great pain or a severe limp...at least that is behind me now. And you know, time goes so slowly when you're waiting for something to happen...seems like years since my recent surgery instead of weeks...in any event, I'll let you know how I continue to progress, and I'll keep my fingers crossed for the both of us...I must admit I have seen progress, but the patience thing is difficult for me. BTW, my email notification is messed up too...

Keep in touch and take care...
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
Re: Input
Jun 26, 2008
Hi Tanya

How you getting on? Sounds like you must be doing really well if the doctors are looking at you open-mouthed! Am really pleased for you, it seems to be going a helluva lot better than you had anticipated before. Either that or you were like me and just presumed the worse beforehand! Any updates?

Saw my consultant today, 6 weeks since getting the cast off. As predicted he didnt say very much but confirmed that I wouldnt need my AFO any more as I seem to be walking pretty well without it. My family think this is huge but, although I'm pleased, there's a part of me that was hoping for a bit more. Most of my reasons for not liking the AFO are superficial ones although my chiropodist said my foot had improved so much since I stopped wearing it. Surprisingly, the consultant has now recommended physiotherapy so I have 3 sessions booked up to see if they can get any more dorsiflexion back. No harm in trying I suppose. I asked him why he was sending me for physio now after not recommending it 6 weeks ago and he just mumbled something about "things settling down". Better late than never I s'pose.....

On the flip side, my left knee is now really sore as a result of driving. I am going to take the bus to work tomorrow! I am also looking into getting my car adjusted with the left-sided accelerator. I'll probably need a few lessons too to get used to it. I emailed a few firms tonight who do this modification and it looks like it will be around 400 pounds (roughly $800) so not cheap but hopefully worth it.

Hope all's well with you, keep in touch

Graeme
Re: Input
Jul 31, 2008
Hi Graeme...

Sorry I haven't posted for such a long time, but I've been playing hooky on the computer because it was giving me a lot of trouble and it took a while to straighten it out...Windows XP :eek::eek:...how are your doing...how is your left knee feeling and is the physical therapy helping with the dorsiflexion? As for myself, the therapy has been hard work and the results very modest, but I am making progress....slooooow progress, but it is progress...I was evaluated today, and I now have 20% active dorsiflection and can move my foot up at the ankle 20%...normal dorsiflection is 50% the way the therapists measure these things. ..also, my toes can turn up much better now, and generally the foot and ankle feel stronger than before. I do wish that I had made more progress by now (I'm 9 weeks post op) but this is where I'm at...

I can understand how the other side and knee can get into trouble when things don't work right on one side...because I try to walk without the brace sometimes, and because I guess I start compensating, now my left knee is starting to hurt in sympathy to yours...I know what you mean now. I just cool it and put my brace on and things calm down again. Guess what...I tried driving, and although I'm still getting used to it, it seems that I will be able to drive, even with this strange right foot...but I can't wear any brace when doing this. Fortunately, I never lost the ability to push down with mostly full force, and I have just enough lift in the ankle now to work the accelerator without a problem...As for the car brake, I find it more comfortable to use my left foot for that...it's difficult for me to move my right foot over to the brake, not so much because of the dropped foot, but because my leg muscles are still quite weak and a somewhat painful from the original femur repair surgery in November...it could take a couple of years for this to straighten out...guess I'm just a mess, but at least I'll be a driving mess. I also have to work up some confidence where driving is concerned. I'm kind of timid and a little apprehensive because it's been more than 8 months since I drove the last time.

Please don't wait as long as I did to write, and I hope you're feeling much much better...btw, did you ever have your car adjusted with the left-sided accelerator?
Re: Input
Aug 2, 2008
Hi

Elandre - My initial accident was 14 years ago so I can't remember the pain situation in detail, or maybe I've just blotted it out my mind! All I do know is that I was in a lot of pain at the time and was on painkillers and various medications for about 6 months, after which I was fine. The best advice I could give you is to constantly enquire. Over the past 14 years I've seen literally hundreds of medical people, consultants, podiatrists, orthotists etc and noone ever mentioned the possiblity of me having a tendon transfer to ease my situation. I discovered it myself one day while trawling the internet and made some inquiries. When I found out and asked my orthotist why he had never mentioned it he said that surgery wasnt the answer to every solution - ha! But life's too short for recriminations. I just hope others are better informed than I was.
Re: Input
Aug 3, 2008
Hi gmac,

Wow, wouldn't that really be great if I didn't need to post anymore...I'm so happy for you and your AFO-less life...no matter how wonderful an AFO is, I would rather be without mine as well...I'm so glad that you enjoyed your time in Portugal.

I was doing well in therapy as well, but a change in therapists has me thinking about discontinuing it for a while. The "new" therapist wanted to loosen some very tight muscles behind my right knee, and after pressing something quite hard back there, the nerve pain has acted up again...I'm really annoyed about about this, but I can understand how this happened as the muscles and nerves all run together back there ...it seems to be slowly getting better, but if I still have it for another week or so, I'll have to contact my doctor. Really, I was so relaxed with my old therapist and felt that they would all be equally qualified, but this was not the case...just letting you know in case some of the therapy becomes too uncomfortable...

I'm relieved about my being able to drive in spite of my foot, but I definitely want to get a little more practice under my belt before I hit the highways. Right now I'm tooling around on more local roads. I was such a righty, it was almost as if I didn't have a left side at all, so using the left foot for braking is quite new for me. I am really happy tho that I've come this far...do take care, and I'm really [I]chuffed [/I]for you and your wonderful progress...

Best,
Tanya
Re: Input
Aug 15, 2008
Hi Tanya

Hope you're both doing well and making progress. Wee update: had another appointment with the surgeon yesterday. Pretty much closes the book. He asked if I was satisfied with the operation and whether I felt it had been a success. I said I was pretty happy with it, especially not having to wear the AFO. He then made some grandiose, patronising comment like "Shall we just let you get on with your life then?" and that was it. I went back in for a final physio appointment, they told me to keep doing the exercises and see where it goes. So that seems to be it!

Graeme
Re: Input
Aug 16, 2008
Hi gmac

...back to my old self again and the leg is feeling back to normal after the different physical therapist...normal for it, that is...sometimes I think I see more progress and sometime I don't, and at this point it's really hard to tell...thankfully I have my old therapist back, and she sees improvement, so I'm just trying to get back into a normal life now... I hope I get a little more ankle lift back and that I'm able to avoid further surgery... I really admire you for your courage, determination, and success with the tendon transfer surgery. I donít know how much more Iíll continue to improve, but Iíll keep you posted about my progress...it could be another year of wait and seeÖI drove through a winding hilly area with lots of curves and stops and was encouraged by my effort...it's great to get behind the wheel again... I have several doctorsí appointments next month, and I'm curious to hear what they have to say. Right now, I canít really see the forest for the trees anymoreÖI think Iím too close to my own situation...

Take care,
Tanya





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