Re: foot drop scared and full of questions
Hi Kelley, I was diagnosed with neuropathy of the deep peroneal nerve and foot drop 18 months ago. My ortho dx the foot drop and sent me to a neurologist who did a nerve conduction study and EMG. I basically have no conduction past the ankle joint. I also had some mild sural nerve involvement.
Okay, the truth is that they do use lots of needles during the nerve conduction study. They are similar to acupuncture needle in that they are very very thin and you really don't feel them. If it freaks you out I suggest you don't watch! I guess I'm freaky the opposite way because I want to watch everything. It's really not a painful test just sort of weird. When they "fire" the nerve your foot jerks around, contracts, and does all these strange things that you are not in control of. I found it to be kind of cool to watch but like I said, I'm weird that way.
Regarding the foot drop, mine resolved with physical therapy. I went to a PT that specializes in feet and she is beyond awesome. I still occasinally get it out of the blue but so far it's just been brief and sporadic.
My ortho basically did the same tests you were describing to diagnose it. I don't think it keeps you from flexing your foot. It's just when you walk the foot doesn't receive the signal properly to raise your foot so it sort of flops. When I would sit on the side of the table the bad foot hangs lower than the other, if that makes sense.
I know every one is different but I hope the fact that my foot drop resolved gives you some hope that you may not have this forever. I recently went back for six weeks of PT because I was feeling more and more weakness. It feels much better now. I never wore the brace because I was walking surprisingly well given the amoiunt of nerve damage the test showed. The neuro said that he was amazed I was walking as well as I was. I do find if I really really focus on my foot coming up it does seem to help.
I was put on Lyrica but it gave me blurred vision. I tried Neurontin and Topamax but had side effects that I couldn't live with. I now take Cymbalta and it has worked better on the nerve pain than anything else I've tried.
oh, another thing: the neuro told me that nerves can heal themselves over time. He said the longer you go without the nerve conducting the less the chance of recovery but it is possible.
Hope this helps and hope I've answered everything. If not, feel free to ask.