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Old 09-28-2012, 08:00 AM   #16
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Re: foot drop?

Hi: I am fairly new myself and have peroneal nerve damage which gives me a totally numb and useless left foot along with drop foot. I was just fitted for a brace which I am not happy with and will attempt to get something alittle more functional for me. I know that diabetics do have a greater chance of developing nerve damage (drop foot) .. I do not have diabetes. I am sure once you see your neurologist he will probably want to do nerve conduction studies to determine the degree of your neuropathy. I would think he would give you a script for a brace to keep that foot up so you don't trip and fall (which I did of course breaking a bone in my foot). If you are having pain with your neuropathy (which I am) you should get some medication for that .. I take Gabapentin which helps quite a bit with the stabbing pain in the foot. I wish you luck. This is no fun - especially for us "seniors".. I am assuming you are a senior but apologize if I am wrong. Let us know how you make ouit .. we can all compare notes and hopefully make this a more tolerable time in our lives....


UOTE=mosesthecat;5063278]Still fairly new to this site and having some trouble navigating myself around, but I would like to talk to others with drop foot. I was recently diagnosed with neuropathy (March 2012) and have had diabetes for 40 years. Due to both conditions the drop foot started about a month ago. I will see a neurologist this coming Monday 10/1/12, but would like to hear from others as to what has helped them with this condition; ie sugery, brace, drugs, etc. Thank you![/QUOTE]

 
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:11 PM   #17
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Re: foot drop?

Thanks for your reply, LucyBee. The doctors started me on Gabapentin, but it did not give me any relief so now I am on Nucynta. It is ok. I'm 50, but don't consider myself a senior. Still feel like I'm 30. Ha. I've read a lot about these braces for drop foot, but I've also read about surgeries that can be done. Do you know anything about the surgeries? I have not read anything good about the braces. I'm getting use to the pain, but falling down and not being able to walk is really depressing. I live alone so it makes things a bit more difficult. Also, do you know anything about Spinal Cord Stimulation? My doctor wants to see if it will help with the neuropathy pain. It's something they put in your back that triggers the nerves. Anything you can share on either would be helpful. Thank you.

 
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:18 PM   #18
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Re: foot drop?

When i started on Gabapentiin he put me on a low dose which did nothing. After doing my research I insisted he increase the dosage so now I'm on 40 mg twice a day and sometimes 3 x daily but usually just morning and right before bed and it helps. I also take Lortab. I have not heard of surgery for this but I am going to my neurologist next week and intend to ask him .. not that I relish the idea of any surgery. I never heard of the spinal cord stim but I went through 26 treatments of spinal decompression where the spine is stretched to ease the bulging disk off the offending nerve. That helped me but now the issue is the peroneal nerve which is causing the nerve damage and drop foot. I don't like the foot brace but have no choice. I've already fallen once and broke a bone in my foot which is healed now but continues to swell ... Always something !! So be careful if you're not using a brace or cane.. Before the brace I even tried to invent something to hold up the foot .. I used an ace bandage and wrapped it under my foot a few times and then around my ankle... LOL... It sort of worked but then just about cut off the circulation in my leg and foot.... Keep us posted on what you learn...

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Originally Posted by mosesthecat View Post
Thanks for your reply, LucyBee. The doctors started me on Gabapentin, but it did not give me any relief so now I am on Nucynta. It is ok. I'm 50, but don't consider myself a senior. Still feel like I'm 30. Ha. I've read a lot about these braces for drop foot, but I've also read about surgeries that can be done. Do you know anything about the surgeries? I have not read anything good about the braces. I'm getting use to the pain, but falling down and not being able to walk is really depressing. I live alone so it makes things a bit more difficult. Also, do you know anything about Spinal Cord Stimulation? My doctor wants to see if it will help with the neuropathy pain. It's something they put in your back that triggers the nerves. Anything you can share on either would be helpful. Thank you.

 
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:20 PM   #19
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Re: foot drop?

Oh, LucyBee you're funny! Thanks for reply. When I started on Gabapentin it was two 100mg tabs taken three times a day. Sounds like my dose was quite higher than yours, but it did not relieve pain. I'm a small thing; 5'1 and 98 pounds so one would think I wouldn't take much. I have a cane, but have found (maybe this will help you) putting an Ace ankle wrap on AND wearing either a pair of lace up boots or Uggs helps wherein I do not need the cane and feel stable, but I'm laced up, or stuffed into the Ugg boot, like a stuffed sausage! I'll see the Neurologist this coming Monday and I would like to be educated before I see him. The research I did on the Spinal Cord Stim is not new, so I'm surprised you haven't heard of it. Just read Lortab is like Hydrocodone, which I was on but not enough relief. Love your invention! Really sorry you broke the bone in your foot - like you really needed that to happen! You're obviously an incredibly strong individual. Wow! I got made when I fell at WalMart. Will let you know about doc visit Monday. Have a nice weekend. Really enjoyed talking to you. Thank you.

 
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:04 AM   #20
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Re: foot drop?

Oh boy, did I say 10 mg of Gabapentin and then 40 mgs of it ??? Senior moment !! Should have typed started on 100 mg which did nothing and now I'm on 400 mg ... Whew..Since I already have my brace I'll stick with it for now since it does work but so uncomfortable. When I saw the neurologist for the first time he was quite upset that nobody ordered a brace for me .. at times I feel so abandoned by these doctors .. seems like I have to ask them for everything instead of them telling me what I need. The brace helps but still walking off kilter which is giving me a backache .. Don't need that since i just went through all those treatments at the chiropractor's ... Let me know what the neurologist says Monday ... By the way, what state do you live in?
Have a good and safe weekend...

 
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:39 AM   #21
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Re: foot drop?

Good morning to Lucy and Moses. Lucy, I think we've replied to each other before. Very sorry to read about the broke foot bone, I constantly worry about falling myself. I've now had drop foot for six months due to hip replacement surgery. I understand greatly about the braces that come almost to the knee and fit into the shoe; torture. Luckily a home health aid told me about a nicer version. Similar to your ace bandage idea. They are on eBay, maybe under AFO foot brace. You can see it there. Soft Velcro band around the ankle, little strap fits under the shoe laces. The two hook together. Man, I was soooo happy to find this thing. Even so, at age 67 having foot drop is horrid stuff. I need to be very stable at this age, and it leaves me very off balance.

I do need to add that at my last dr appt, last week, the drs saw a bit of improvement. Said it could take a year to know anything. Had also been told many folks do not recover from foot drop. Oh, I've gradually had my Gabapentin (mine is generic Neurontin) increased to 900 mgs a day; it's very helpful. I was a bit concerned that was too high. Dr told me dose could go as high as 3,200 a day, but I would never need that amount.

Good day to you both from Kentucky. May we all get well from this wretched problem.

 
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:40 AM   #22
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Re: foot drop?

Good morning to Lucy and Moses. Lucy, I think we've replied to each other before. Very sorry to read about the broke foot bone, I constantly worry about falling myself. I've now had drop foot for six months due to hip replacement surgery. I understand greatly about the braces that come almost to the knee and fit into the shoe; torture. Luckily a home health aid told me about a nicer version. Similar to your ace bandage idea. They are on eBay, maybe under AFO foot brace. You can see it there. Soft Velcro band around the ankle, little strap fits under the shoe laces. The two hook together. Man, I was soooo happy to find this thing. Even so, at age 67 having foot drop is horrid stuff. I need to be very stable at this age, and it leaves me very off balance.

I do need to add that at my last dr appt, last week, the drs saw a bit of improvement. Said it could take a year to know anything. Had also been told many folks do not recover from foot drop. Oh, I've gradually had my Gabapentin (mine is generic Neurontin) increased to 900 mgs a day; it's very helpful. I was a bit concerned that was too high. Dr told me dose could go as high as 3,200 a day, but I would never need that amount.

Good day to you both from Kentucky. May we all get well from this wretched problem.

 
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:42 AM   #23
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Re: foot drop?

Sorry. Don't know why this has been posted twice.

 
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:57 AM   #24
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Re: foot drop?

Hi again Lucy. Darn, I was afraid you would have the same reaction to the metal brace as I did my first one, which was plastic but designed the same way. None of my jeans would have worked with the darn, hurtful thing. I hated it, and it also hurt me as yours does. That's where I was too, gladly willing to pay for something better. Man, those insurance companies make out like bandits. Please let me know how it's going trying to find something better suited. It's one of those cases where we have to take care of ourselves, the medical community can only do so much.

My Peroneal nerve is also involved with my drop foot. Thinking that's the one going down the outside of my calf? Unsure of all the terms. Yes please keep in touch. It helps to compare notes with others going through this awful junk. At times I feel bad complaining when others are going through much worse. I'm covered with blessings in my life and if need be, can live with drop foot. Praying it will get better. I know it can take a long time. A nerve heals at the rate of one inch a month, IF it's going to heal at all.

Last edited by katrae; 10-02-2012 at 06:59 AM.

 
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:54 AM   #25
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Re: foot drop?

Hi Katrae: I checked out eBay and saw the many different styles of the braces. At the present time I am awaiting an exchange on the awful one I have. Medicare is involved witih this so don't know how it'll go if I refuse the new one on order.. I'm willing to give it a try but it will still be very unsightly and uncomfortable I am sure. the company they deal with only uses this ungodly one..

I just take it day by day now .. what else can I do. I go see the neurologist Thursday but don't expect much from him. the Gabapentin helps along with Lortab but I am not a pill taker and hate the thought of long term use on both.

Keep in touch...

 
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:04 AM   #26
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Re: foot drop?

Medicare was involved with my first plastic brace as well. It all got so messed up with the order being forgotten, etc. I told the employee to forget the whole thing. So both my braces came from eBay at a much reduced cost to me. Medicare was going to charge me a co-pay of something like a hundred dollars for the hard plastic version. I paid forty dollars, gladly, off the internet. As I said, it was torture. Should have returned it. By then I didn't care about paying eighty dollars for the soft ankle brace.

Isn't that the truth, "day by day"? Thank goodness for the medication but would love the day to come when I needed none of it. When you're standing, does your foot hang limply? Or can you hold it straight? Are you doing any exercises for the foot? Much of my foot/ankle/calf area are numb. At first I couldn't stand for the area to be touched. Couldn't even use bed covers. At the six month mark this has improved greatly. We can only pray things do improve, no matter how slowly.

 
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:27 AM   #27
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Re: foot drop?

Katrae: I just hope this new brace I'm getting will be better but I seriously doubt it since it's along the same line as the one I have now. Yesterday, after wearing it for a few hours I was in agony with sharp pains in my heel. You see, I have to take out the inner sole of the shoe which does have some support. I am keeping my fingers crossed I don't run into a genuine big deal hassle if I decide to return the new one and request my copay of $138 back!
When I stand with feet flat on the floor I look perfectly normal. When I lift that leg leg my foot hangs. I have no feeling in the foot. I have partial numbness of the ankle and up halfway to my leg just below the knee on the outer side of the leg. My leg and foot are very sensitive to touch - even the bedsheets are aggravating so I have to wear a long support sock to bed each night.
I am going up to Tennessee in November and dread the process of those long walks and waits at the airports. I am so proud at times but I think I'll have to request wheelchair assistance for me and luggage since I'll be traveling alone. Ahhhhh what a pain !!
Let's keep in touch .. sounds like we're in the same boat !! Have a good day .. I'm gonna' try but it's raining cats and dogs outside. Where do you live?
Have a good one !!

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:44 AM   #28
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Re: foot drop?

Hi Lucy. Thanks for all the info on what you are going through. Sure sounds familiar. My numbness is also along the outside of my calf area; heel/ankle are the worst. The inside of my calf feels almost normal; crazy. When I first was recovering from the hip replacement, I couldn't do much with my foot either. Yet I was in so much pain with recovery of the surgery, wasn't sure how much trouble was going on with the foot drop. (Like you, at first, couldn't even stand for a sheet to touch me. Was hugely afraid of anyone bumping me. All this is much improved at the 6 month mark.) At about the 2.5 month after surgery, I had an EMG test. Little needles were put into my foot/ankle/leg. Very uncomfortable. My foot/leg should have been "jumping" when electricity was applied. I know this isn't very medically-correct, but maybe you get my drift. Anyway, my body showed no reaction; very upsetting. The technician said my nerve was affected about the spine area. Really hated to hear this, but he did tell me the nerve had not been severed. I feel it was nothing the surgeon did out of the ordinary. I'd been diagnosed with nerve damage a few years ago from being an active runner for many years.

The next appt. I have will be in late January. That will be the 10 month mark. There is mention of another EMG test at that time. When will you have some answers on why the doctor pinched your nerve behind your knee? So very painful!! Seems your problem started then. I've been told the nerve heals from the top down at one inch a month, if it will heal at all. BTW, I see you are from FL. I'm from KY and 67 years old. Do you mind saying how old you are?

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:32 AM   #29
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Re: foot drop?

HiKatrae:
Wow .. what a day this has been. Had my appt. with the neurologist. Nothing new to report but kind of depressing. He said the brace is doing what it was intended for. he told me to not get depressed (ha) and to start doing exercises on my foot and ankle until I can get referred to a physical therapist. He said it's going to take a long long time for my condition to correct itself and there is a chance it won't get better at all !! He already did the nerve conduction studies and EMG testing a few months back which showed no response at all ... totally dead !! He gave me a new RX for 600 mg of Gabapentin which I will not take since they are like horse pills and I'm happy with the 400 mg in a capsule form. He told me I need to get off the Lortab .. not good for people he says ... Whatever!!
When I was there last month he ordered a ton of lab work. I thought that was pretty unusual and what bearing it would have on nerve damage... Well, in my case anytime anything is done it's like opening up a new can of worms and in this case that's exactly what happened. He told me I tested Positive for Lupus... Great!! he said that didn't mean I actually have Lupus but I need to go see a rheumatologist... It just never seems to end for me. Boo Hoo... Come join my pity party!

I am 68 yrs old .. it just seems like the older you get the more you have to deal with and these are the golden years ???

So, this visit today really didn't do much for me in the way of getting help .. it's just a wait it out situation .. He said I don't need to see a neuro-surgeon. Again he said my problem is from my back... He refuses to believe my problem is from when my primary doctor pinched that nerve in the back of my knee .. Of course all doctors stick together and no way is he going to tell me that it's a possibility the nerve pinching caused my problem.

So, that's where I am right now ..No better no worse but want to get on with my life on 2 stable feet on the ground without a cane or walker or ugly brace on my leg...

He didn't say I needed to have a followup visit so I guess that's it ...

thanks for sharing ...

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:06 PM   #30
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Re: foot drop?

Aww heck, I know the feeling. Two months ago I was told similar, my surgeon said many folks do not heal from drop foot. It was crushing. Now his asst. said she saw a touch of improvement, but I've learned to not get my hopes up. The neurologist I saw a few years back said the same to me, no follow up appt. needed. Not words we want to hear.

My foot exercises mostly consist of ankle rotations, 20 times each direction (I have to rest in-between). I also use something similar to an elastic band around my foot and make it lift up 20 times, this is suppose to help the calf muscle. The third move I do is to tilt my foot to the left 20 times, then right 20 times, and hold it each time for a few seconds. Must say too much of this can cause extra nerve pain. BTW, I take the "horse pills" Gabapentin (Mine is the generic, Neurontin) 600mg, three times a day, lol. They can make me sleepy, but mostly help the tingly/burning/buzzing pain. Oh me, I'm seriously going to miss my Lortabs when they are gone. Trying not to take them daily now, saving what I have left for things like bad days, trips, etc. I'm thinking Florida is also cracking down hard on prescription drugs, but at this age feel we need them badly. Who cares about becoming addicted headed into late 60s/70's???

Meant to say earlier how sorry I am about your brace fitting inside the shoe. It seems you are walking right on top of the hard metal. How will the new one be different? Hopefully some type of cushion. At least it's making it able for you to walk. I think of folks in wheelchairs, they would love to be where we are now.

The most I learned from my EMG was that I "moderately severely" damaged. Sorry, not saying that well. Sounds like we had the same reaction to the test, "no response".

Oh heck, Lupus? Hopefully you'll never show any real signs. I have a friend with this problem and she seems to do fairly well. Really don't know much about it. LOL, yes, I'll Boo Hoo right along, this is a CRAZY time of life. Truly, I hope to pass on within the next ten years. I'm not cut out for the golden years!

Oh man, the doctors do stick together, no doubt about it. Seems way too fishy to me that all this directly started with the hard pinch behind the knee. Why in Hades did he do that, what was he testing for??? At our age the drs need to be extremely gentle. That's what I did my best to impress on my surgeon, THREE, times before the hip replacement. My nerves/body are fragile!

Heavens yes. At this age we need to be stable on our feet most of all. I fell about a week ago for the first time, knew it was coming one of these days. Even had the ankle brace on. Came down hard on one knee, SO afraid I broke something. Thank God I was okay........this time.

 
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