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Old 07-14-2008, 08:01 PM   #1
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Redfaldo HB User
Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

I have drop foot in my left foot and my surgeon has recommended tendon transfer surgery, has anybody gone through this surgery? if so, would you recommend it? I was told that I was a good candidate for it and that I have a 95% chance of getting me out of the brace I currently wear for walking.

This encourages me but I would like to know what to expect, any info will be appreciated .

Thanks

 
Old 07-15-2008, 02:00 PM   #2
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Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

I'm confusing this with something else...sorry!

Last edited by sunny77; 07-15-2008 at 07:24 PM.

 
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:59 PM   #3
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Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

Redfaldo: I had a disc herniation in 11/05 which caused a complete left foot drop. I had back surgery in 1/06 hoping to correct the heriation and foot drop. The herniation was fixed but not the foot drop. I then had a nerve release sugery in my left knee to try and fix the foot drop. It did not help. In 1/07 I had a tendon transfer surgery on my left foot at the HSS. I then had a revision of the surgery in 11/07 (the screw in the foot did not dissolve and the tendon became loose so the dr tightened the tendon and placed a new screw in the foot). I still wear a brace. I can walk without the brace but I walk a LOT better with it. I also now can walk some distance with shoes. I could not do this one year ago. My recovery has been VERY slow compared with my surgeon's other patients. Would I do it again? I am not sure but probably yes. This has been a tough road for me. That being said, the surgery has been very successful for many. I certainly don't think the surgery physically has any negatives...maybe some emotional negatives but that always will happen with very complex surgeries.

Feel free to post here with more specific questions.

Sunny....a tendon transfer done because of a drop foot doesnt have anything to do with a flat foot as far as I know.

 
Old 07-16-2008, 07:10 PM   #4
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Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

Thanks flip for responding to my thread I really appreciate it, quick question, did you lose any ability to push down with your foot? Right now I can push my foot down and I can turn it in okay, my concern is that I'll lose my ability to push my foot down. I know they'll take the tendon that turns my foot in and I'm willing to lose that for the sake of walking without a brace. But I really hope I don't lose the ability to push down with my foot, any insight on this?

 
Old 07-16-2008, 08:42 PM   #5
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flip71 HB User
Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

[QUOTE=Redfaldo;3650643]Thanks flip for responding to my thread I really appreciate it, quick question, did you lose any ability to push down with your foot? Right now I can push my foot down and I can turn it in okay, my concern is that I'll lose my ability to push my foot down. I know they'll take the tendon that turns my foot in and I'm willing to lose that for the sake of walking without a brace. But I really hope I don't lose the ability to push down with my foot, any insight on this?[/QUOTE]

That is one thing that has stayed the same...my ability to push down with my foot is almost the same, if not exactly the same as before. I have lost a lot of the ability to move my foot outwards but then again, why do you really need to do that anyway?

 
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:29 PM   #6
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Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

[QUOTE=flip71;3650794]That is one thing that has stayed the same...my ability to push down with my foot is almost the same, if not exactly the same as before.[/QUOTE]

Good, I was worried that I would lose that in the transfer, I'm glad to hear I should be able to keep that function.

[QUOTE]I have lost a lot of the ability to move my foot outwards but then again, why do you really need to do that anyway? [/QUOTE]

I currently can't move my foot outwards and the tendon they're going to take is the one that pulls my foot in so I'm sure it will feel a bit unstable at first, but I'm sure I'll get used to it .

Thanks again flip!

Last edited by Redfaldo; 07-17-2008 at 08:30 PM.

 
Old 07-18-2008, 09:28 AM   #7
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flip71 HB User
Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

[QUOTE=Redfaldo;3652395]



I currently can't move my foot outwards and the tendon they're going to take is the one that pulls my foot in so I'm sure it will feel a bit unstable at first, but I'm sure I'll get used to it .

Thanks again flip![/QUOTE]

They only take the posterior tib as far as I know. Also, my surgeon advised me that they would only do this surgery if the strength of the tib was about 4 out of 5 as it drops one full point in strength after the surgery. To be honest, I don't think my foot was at 4 when they did the surgery but I am still glad it was done in some respects as it doesn't flap when I walk anymore.

Remember....ask your surgeon LOTS of questions!

Last edited by flip71; 07-18-2008 at 09:29 AM.

 
Old 09-22-2010, 02:01 AM   #8
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Loisannie HB User
Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

Hi, Did you have this surgery in the end? I am at the moment trying to decide whether to
have this surgery for my drop foot and I cant seem to find anyone who has had the same type
of surgery.

I would be grateful for any comments you have to make.

Thank you

 
Old 09-23-2010, 09:21 AM   #9
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Redfaldo HB User
Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

[QUOTE=Loisannie;4331574]Hi, Did you have this surgery in the end? I am at the moment trying to decide whether to
have this surgery for my drop foot and I cant seem to find anyone who has had the same type
of surgery.

I would be grateful for any comments you have to make.

Thank you[/QUOTE]

Yes I did have the surgery and it was a great decision. I still have a slight limp when I walk barefoot but when I have shoes on I walk normal. This got me out of a brace and I know longer have back problems because of my gate being off.

There is a period of time after the surgery where your foot is weak from being in a cast so it takes some time to get your foot mobile again. Also, your brain needs time to redirect the signal of lifting the foot. It was funny at first, I was trying to lift my foot and it wouldn't move, then the doctor said think about turning your foot to the left, when I did that my foot went up!

This surgery really put me back into my normal life, I'm so grateful for the surgeon and all the doctors who are talented enough to do this type of surgery.

 
Old 09-23-2010, 11:09 AM   #10
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Loisannie HB User
Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

[QUOTE=Redfaldo;4332489]Yes I did have the surgery and it was a great decision. I still have a slight limp when I walk barefoot but when I have shoes on I walk normal. This got me out of a brace and I know longer have back problems because of my gate being off.

There is a period of time after the surgery where your foot is weak from being in a cast so it takes some time to get your foot mobile again. Also, your brain needs time to redirect the signal of lifting the foot. It was funny at first, I was trying to lift my foot and it wouldn't move, then the doctor said think about turning your foot to the left, when I did that my foot went up!

This surgery really put me back into my normal life, I'm so grateful for the surgeon and all the doctors who are talented enough to do this type of surgery.[/QUOTE]
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.

 
Old 09-23-2010, 11:17 AM   #11
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Loisannie HB User
Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

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 !

Your comments have been very helpful in helping me to make a
decision. Thank you.

 
Old 09-24-2010, 09:01 AM   #12
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Redfaldo HB User
Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

[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.

 
Old 09-24-2010, 01:52 PM   #13
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Location: Hertfordshire
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Loisannie HB User
Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

[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.

 
Old 09-24-2010, 01:58 PM   #14
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Location: Hertfordshire
Posts: 16
Loisannie HB User
Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

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.

 
Old 10-24-2010, 10:41 AM   #15
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distantwings HB User
Re: Tendon transfer surgery for drop foot, anybody have it done?

Pleae let me hae some advice/hope for drop foot! Mine is NEW after a hematoma into my thigh ~ just September 2010. What is the best IMMEIDATE treatment you have found other than a reguime of PT and possibly an AFO to not stumble?

 
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