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Dachshund 09-24-2011 07:49 AM

Foot drop, nerve pain
I had back fushion which left me with a drop foot and alot of nerve pain. I can not use my right leg. The pain is constant, am taking perocet 4 times aday. At times i get electric shocks that are so awful i don't know what to do. Dr. Told me about tendon transfer. Anybody have that done and what kind of time to recover? Also need a good dr. In northern virginia. Talk to two and both gave different answers. Thanks for listen.. Alice

Gimp123 09-24-2011 08:47 AM

Re: Foot drop, nerve pain
Hi Alice, take a look at previous threads in regards to peroneal nerve or foot drop. I learned that this board is wonderful just for the useful information and the emotional support from others that KNOW what you're experiencing! I currently take 1-2 hydrocodine mainly in the afternoons to "curb" the pain. I'm terrified of becoming an addict but taking the low dosage is justified for curbing the pain. But to get back to your question, please read past posts and after you've done the research, ultimately, it's going to be your decision to make. I've heard the good and the bad about tendon transfers that I'm still waiting for a miracle to happen that I'll wake up without pain and with the ability to walk without thinking of lifting my foot.

take care!

Larry88 09-26-2011 05:26 PM

Re: Foot drop, nerve pain
[QUOTE=Dachshund;4848500]I had back fusion which left me with a drop foot and a lot of nerve pain. I can not use my right leg. The pain is constant, am taking percocet 4 times a day. At times i get electric shocks that are so awful i don't know what to do. Dr. Told me about tendon transfer. Anybody have that done and what kind of time to recover? Also need a good Dr. In northern Virginia. Talk to two and both gave different answers. Thanks for listen.. Alice

hi Alice, I came upon your post by accident. my first time here, I'm usually on the stroke forum. I'm sorry for the pain you go through, I've never had back surgery but my wife has had 9 surgeries on her back, so I have some idea of what you have endured? however, foot drop I've suffered from for years due to having a massive stroke in 1992. I'd tried every kind of splint/brace known to man, with little comfort. some wouldn't fit in my shoe, having to buy 2 different sizes to get one matching pair. then no place to donate the unused shoes. 14 years of buying shoes every 3 months, is a lot of extra shoes! mostly sneakers with Velcro straps, as I'm completely paralyzed on my entire left side. never learned to tie shoes with one hand.

about 4 1/2 years ago, I finally had the tendon transfer surgery, it's actually called S.P.L.A.T.T surgery, I'm not sure what the S.P.L.A. stands for? but the T.T is tendon transfer. the surgery itself is pretty simple, though it requires 18 incisions in your leg/foot, usually one nights stay in hospital, I had to stay 2 nights as I couldn't pass urine due to anesthesia? though simple, it was quite painful due to all the incisions, 1 under each toe, plus the rest. as I understand, they take the achilles tendon, and run it through a hole in your heel after pulling and shortening the tendon to pull your foot up. the first week I had to sleep in the recliner downstairs as I couldn't take the pain to walk upstairs to my bedroom. there are only a handful of doctors in the country who do this surgery? luckily my doctor, Dr, Mary Ann Keenan is one of the two doctors who developed the S.P,L,A,T.T surgery, and she is the head of orthopedics at University Of Pennsylvania Hospital, only about a 45 minute drive from my house, she is said to be the "best" has done hundreds of these surgeries. and there is a hotel connected to the UOP hospital you can stay till surgery is done or companion can stay till released in a day or two, never even have to go outdoors! the Dr.'s office even sets you up with a nurse and physical therapist to follow up with you till you recuperate , they're no longer needed? they come to your house a couple days a week.

to be honest, if I'd known of this surgery before. I'd had it done within 6 months after my stroke the pain was worth it, it pretty much got me out of my wheelchair after 14+ years of being in it. I only wish I'd asked her to lift my foot a few degrees up past neutral, as still if I don't make sure my bad foot is bent pretty good while walking, my foot will still tend to drag a bit.

the two casts of 8 weeks each then the boot you have to wear 6 weeks, were a pain, but necessary I guess? then 4 weeks of intensive physical therapy, and I've been walking unassisted for almost 5 years. the therapist told me my foot/ankle, probably will never get stronger? but, I'm very happy with the results. being totally paralyzed on my left side, my wife has to help me with showers, mostly just drying my feet and putting on my socks. my toes are still a bit tender from the incisions cut under them, but not unbearably so.

I'd recommend this surgery to anyone who has bad foot drop

I hope I've helped you just a bit with this post? it's taken me about 2 hours to type it with one finger on my right hand!

good luck and god bless


j9879 09-26-2011 08:29 PM

Re: Foot drop, nerve pain

You should be aware that if you are trying to fix the pain, a tendon transfer is not going to resolve this issue. That is the #1 question you have to ask yourself. If it is the pain you are trying to fix, you need to seek help from a spinal surgeon or neurologist. There are spinal stimulators that can be implanted to diminished the shooting pain tremendously as well as other modalities to help.

If you want to support your ankle, you may look into a AFO. If you want to regain strength, then a split posterior tibial tendon transfer is a good option. The recovery is typically 6-8 weeks of non-weight bearing then several more weeks of physical therapy to re-train the transferred tendon. If you are looking for a procedure like this, you should contact Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia. They are very good physicians, teach at surrounding residencies and lecture nationally.

Once again, I need to reemphasize the fact that a tendon transfer WILL NOT correct your pain related to the back fusion. If the pain is the main issue, you need to address this first with a neurologist, spinal surgeon or even pain specialist. A tendon transfer for dropfoot is not used to address pain. It is used to address weakness and inability to dorsiflex at the ankle.

Dachshund 09-27-2011 01:20 PM

Re: Foot drop, nerve pain
Hi Larry. Thank you for writing. You sound like a man with a lot of courage. It's nice to hear from people that are going thru the same things I have. Although your problems are so much more than mine. I am going to see my dr. Tomorrow and talk again about the tendon transfer. I am a little afraid of the recuperating time. My husband just over radiation treatments for prostate cancer and I don't want him to take care of me again. The first time was soon after the back surgery, I was in very bad shape, had to go to rehab for 48days. And it was the worst thing I have had to do. The people there were so bad. Please don't ever put anyone in one unless it's all you can do. Sorry,Larry. Got off track. I can now walk with a cane but can't drive. I will pray for you and how about praying for me. Let's talk after I see the dr. Alice

Larry88 09-27-2011 03:21 PM

Re: Foot drop, nerve pain
hi Alice, I'm sorry if my posting caused more fear for you? I hope your husband's radiation treatments did the trick? my father in law had them a few years ago, since then his PS A's have tested low and he is fine. I hear you about him taking care of you after surgery, but honestly it's not that bad. foot drop is no fun in itself! people don't understand why we get so tired? they don't realize whenever we aren't setting down, we are basically standing on one foot at all times. it gets tiring quick. at least now I can balance myself on both feet! my wife has taken care of me for almost 19 years now, now she is in the hospital recovering from stomach surgery, she's had so many stomach surgeries she has to have adhesion's removed every 3-5 years this time they had entangled in her colon, they had to remove 8 inches of her colon. her surgery was on the 12th. of this month, she isn't home yet, I hope she's home by the weekend? she said she feels a little better today. most of her tubes have been removed and she's started on liquids, but hasn't eaten real food since September 11th. she wont be able to take care of me when she does get home, not sure I'll be able to take care of her? I've got a nurse lined up to come take care of her after she's home, plus my daughter is a nurse, she'll come by every day to check on her.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience in rehab for 48 days after back surgery as I said before my wife has had 9 surgeries on her back, so i know somewhat what you're going through. we've been married 31 years, together 34 years, never ever one day has she said she felt good.

my stroke was caused by being crushed in a work construction accident that fractured one vertebra in my back, broke my jaw in 5 places, pushed 20 of my teeth out, caused a complete carotid artery dissection i my right neck, "hence the stroke" I actually had the stroke in the emergency room at the hospital and lapsed into a 9 day coma. which I remember kinda mostly some parts are a bit fuzzy though. when I woke up they asked me if I knew my daughter? I nodded yes and tried to tell her she looked cute but my broken jaws and hurting mouth with only 2 teeth left the words with a hard "T" sound I couldn't say, it came out as she looked cupe, therefore the user name coupe. I spent a total of 3 years in the hospital and or rehab and they treated me very well so I'm sorry about your 48 days of bad! my wife was there every single day as long as she could be. she had to work also, the first 4 1/2 years or so I couldn't even wipe my own butt! I owe her the best care I can provide for her once she does get home, I'll see to it that she gets it! it's not that I have so much courage? it's simply, I'm determined to be my best and do the best I can with the best parts I have left!

of course I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. as prayers are what has kept me alive? my hospital record have me listed as clinically dead for 8 minutes and admitted into the hospital as brain dead.

again I'm sorry if my post scared you on the tendon transfer surgery? it certainly was not my intention!

good luck to you and all and god bless


PS. I do except private messages, though I'm very,very slow to reply. typing is quite hard for me with one finger and concentration. also my attention span can be gone in a flash I get distracted then my thought train is lost!

Flaubert 09-27-2011 08:07 PM

Re: Foot drop, nerve pain
Alice, Larry... Well, I don't have much advice to give, but I wanted to say that I've read your stories and I will be praying for you as well! Thank you for sharing your experiences. And thank the Lord for all his mercies, because He's the one who keeps us going!


Dachshund 10-15-2011 10:40 AM

Re: Foot drop, nerve pain
Hi coupe i am sorry for not writing you but i don't know if i am doing this right (sending a message) if you do get this i thought i would tell you that i am going to go ahead with the tendon transfer. I had a emg and the nerves are not getting any better. The brace hurts so bad and now my toenail is coming off. I am thinking that the tendon transfer at least will get me out of the brace. I hope your wife is doing well. Have a wonderful week end.. Alice

Gimp123 02-11-2012 02:35 PM

Re: Foot drop, nerve pain
Hi, I had 3 sessions of acupuncture and cannot tell you how much it works to relieve that pain! The pain is not as horrible and less frequent flare ups. The pain meds are still necessary but at least I can think straight!

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