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ski accident feb'03

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Old 08-20-2005, 11:01 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5
AbqHags HB User
ski accident feb'03

Interesting stories, glad to see im not alone. Here is mine. At the time, active 35 year old, ski accident feb'03, wrecked both knees and a crown break of the fibula, 80% peroneal nerve damaged. Knee surgery first and cast for the broken fibula. Apr.'03, 1st emg on peroneal, established a base. may'03 2nd emg test - no improvement. Jun'03 visit with neurosurgeon at mayo clinic, exploratory surgery, decision to harvest sural nerve was made same day and grafted into the peroneal. Harvested 74cm and grafted 12cm into peroneal. Took about 1 to 1.5 years for nerve to regenerate thru suture scar tissue. (lots of patience). Nerve is currently at muscle 2.25 years post op. More then likely, nerve has been at muscle for maybe 9-12months. Muscle does not know what to do. Not getting the internal chemicals it needs to fire the muscle. There is slight palpation when i move my foot to the inside. Its not dorsiflexting, but it is something. Mayo clinic is suggesting a tendon transfer, but is giving me a year to try other therapies. Thats what i plan to do. The nerve graft surgery is kind of like the "hail mary" of surgeries. My conversations with drs. indicated its a 1 in 10 success. The peroneal nerve is a funny nerve, it does not like to be grafted.

suggestions, if you have had a nerve graft, let it regenerate, according to the drs., there is not much you can do to speed the regeneration, time takes its place. Secondly, its been 2.5years since the accident, im trying some e-stim and acupunture and riding my bike in hopes to re-educte the muscle or muscles around that particular muscle.

I would appreciate any input anyone can share on possible therapies. Im in the process of finding a new AFO, and may have gotten the line on a new product made out of carbon fiber (extremely light and strong) i hear its pretty nice compared to this cumbersome one i have.

I will be looking at the tendon transfer thing sometime within the next 12 months, but not in a hurry to make that decision just yet. According to my PT's, they believe i have maybe 6-12 months to get this thing re-educated.
If anyone knows anything about the success ratio on the tendon transfer, let me know.

Best of luck to all, i know its a trying yet strange injury. Keep thinking positive.


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Old 08-24-2005, 06:52 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 16
shambles HB User
Re: Peroneal Nerve Damage ~ Dropped Foot!

AbqHags.. I have one of the new fangled carbon fiber foot drop braces.. I LOVE IT!!! GET ONE IF YOU CAN. It is so lightweight, not sure how long it will last though. Its possible I'll be needing a new one before the old one is a year old. It's very similar to the "toe off brace" except it's L shaped and goes straight down the back of my calf and under the heel. It took some getting used to as my old brace was so cumbersome but provide added support. This one doesn't, I feel i've built up my leg muscles.

Does having permanent foot drop make one able to qualify for disability?

Best of luck to you...

Old 08-25-2005, 07:10 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5
AbqHags HB User
Re: Peroneal Nerve Damage ~ Dropped Foot!


Thanks for the input, looked at the otto bock walk on , pretty damn nice, also looking at wrap around with hidden elastic band - pretty interesting. How long have you had the carbonfiber brace? do you workout with it? walk? any type of strenuous activity? if so, how has it faired?

Secondly, with your nerve damage, have you consider the tendon transfer surgery? my ortho here says tendon transfer fail after 5-6 years, recommending a ankle fusion. Just would like to know what the success rate is. Think the doc is putting on the sale job for ankle fusion, but then again, its my first opinion.

Old 08-26-2005, 03:48 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 16
shambles HB User
Re: Peroneal Nerve Damage ~ Dropped Foot!

Hi Abqhags,
I got the brace in April of this year. All I can do is walk and walk very carefully, no sports or anything close. I tore the ACL/LCL/PCL and MCL and didn't have surgery. The brace is looking a bit weak in the heel area, you can see the layers of fiber coming apart. Even so, I would replace it with another of the same. It is so much lighter than the hinged brace I wore for the first year or so.

I did consider the tendon transfer. I had actually planned on having it this past April but when the time came I decided against it. I don't think I want my foot permanently locked at 90 degrees. Ankle fusion is out of the question for me. Im dealing with nerve pain and don't want to add surgical pain to the mix.

Old 03-12-2007, 06:05 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New York, New York
Posts: 64
Lynn1991NY HB User
Re: Peroneal Nerve Damage ~ Dropped Foot!

I am 6 weeks post op tendon transfer. Do not know if the original posters are still following this. if they are, I would love to know what they did such as surgery etc?

Old 04-24-2007, 09:49 PM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5
AbqHags HB User
Re: Peroneal Nerve Damage ~ Dropped Foot!

Lynn1991- Your information is very important to me. One doctor recommended ankle fusion, forget it i said, tendon transfer is my next step. I'm curious to track your progress, i understand physical therapy could be up to 3months. Are you in a walking cast by now???

Old 06-21-2008, 05:32 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Holbrook, NY
Posts: 68
Tanya8 HB UserTanya8 HB User
Re: Peroneal Nerve Damage ~ Dropped Foot! 2

Originally Posted by RebeccaG View Post
I have a couple of things to add and they're actually quite possibly more important than what I stated above. I wound up having a second surgery at the implant site 2 1/2 weeks after the hip replacement because I had a staph infection. I wonder if I might have scar tissue that is impeding the nerve regeneration. I also have a lipoma (sp?) in that area that my OS knew about prior to surgery. I have what looks like a mountain range on my hip now and there is significant pain there. I'm wondering if it's worth it to find a surgeon who will go in surgically to take a look at the nerve itself.

Any suggestions?

Thanks again,
Rebecca in Texas
Hi Rebecca,

Welcome to the website, and I hope that some of the information here will prove helpful to you. I have been dealing with foot drop since November when I had surgery to repair a badly broken leg...I'm not a doctor, but the most important thing for you to find out is where your foot drop is coming from...I think it can come from the spine, hip, or knee and there are specific EMG tests, which will exactly pinpoint the location of your problem...once you know that, your doctors can suggest some strategy for helping you.

I've seen the Dellon Institute on the Internet, and since you're living in Texas, I've also seen Dr. Nath in Dallas, Texas on the Internet as can g oogle him if your interested. I don't have experience with either of them, but they both seem to be very knowledgeable about foot drop. Basically you have to find a neurologist or neurosurgeon who specializes in the peripheral nerves in order to get to the bottom of your problem...from what I understand, plastic surgeons also deal with the peripheral nerves because of their expertise in microsurgery.

As for your AFO, these things are a real pain...I had one and it was torture to wear...I was finally able to graduate to something less restrictive, and it's made by Otto Bock. It worked for me because I had some ankle stability, but I don't know if it would work in your particular case...

I hope you feel better I'm so fond of saying, nerves heal at a glacial pace...very very slowly, so don't be too discouraged...please post if you have any more questions and also let me know how you are doing...

Last edited by Tanya8; 06-21-2008 at 05:40 PM.

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