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Foot drop after lower limb surgery

Discussion in 'Post Surgery Information' started by Josephine, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator
    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2007
    The North
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Dropped foot - or foot drop - is what happens when there is nerve damage in the thigh and the patient cannot pull their foot up. This patient has it in his left foot and cannot pull it up same as his right foot


    Causes of foot drop might include:
    • Nerve injury. The most common cause of foot drop is compression of a nerve in your leg that controls the muscles involved in lifting the foot (peroneal nerve). ...
    • Muscle or nerve disorders. ...
    • Brain and spinal cord disorders.
    The peroneal nerve can be damaged by pressure during of after surgery consisting of
    • the surgeon or assistant firmly holding the leg just below the knee on the fibular head
    • the patient lying on the side (in hip surgery)
    • the patient's leg laying too close to the metal rail on the trolley during an extended stay in recovery
    • the patient lying in bed on the side, even sleeping on that side
    • unintentionally applying any other pressure to the area of the fibular head that would compress the common peroneal nerve
    foot drop nerves.jpg
    There is more detailed information in the article from the Mayo Clinic
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  2. 1jt@atime

    1jt@atime Sr Bonesmartie

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    United States United States
    Patient's report:

    I have drop foot as a result of my hip revision surgery in December. Like the picture shows, I cannot lift my foot up as far as the other foot, nor can I move it inward. The bottom of my foot is numb and I get sharp nerve pain. I cannot walk heal to toe and my foot kind of thumps down when I take a step. Like the name implies, my foot drops down.

    The EMG tests that I have had show that the peroneal and sciatic nerves are slowly recovering and the doctor tells me I should have a recovery in 12 -18 months. I am nearing 8 months now and have seen some recovery but still have a long way to go. I read somewhere on the Internet that the chances of this happening with hip replacement is 1% so it should not be something that people worry about. This is a side effect from surgery when the nerves can get damaged. I don't think anyone can tell me exactly went wrong to cause my nerve damage.
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