+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 40
  1. #1
    rasbury is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    16

    Angry Nerve Damage Causing Foot Drop after Total Hip Replacement

    What is the name of your state? I'm in Kentucky and I am a 44 yr old woman who had a right side total hip replacement on 1/27/05 (was 43 at that time). As a result of the surgery, which caused nerve damage, I now have a condition called foot drop. This causes me to have no control to lift my ankle or toes, which makes walking very difficult, and driving impossible. Also, I suffer from "nerve pain", which is horrible. I constantly ache in my thigh and calf to the point I can't stand to touch the affected areas. I have electrical jolts (best way I can think to describle) in my ankle and foot down to the tips of my toes. This is like being tortured. I can't tell that my condition has improved in the slightest in 3 months.

    My doctor is insistant that I will get over this. His time frame for recovery has went from 6-8 weeks, then 8-12 weeks, then 12-14 MONTHS, then the last tiime I saw him a few days ago, he said it could take up to 2 years. He then told me nerves heal an inch a month. I am quite tall, 5'9", so my legs are approximately 3 ft. long. That's 3 years worth of nerves to heal. I left there very upset and he didn't even charge me for the office visit.

    My question is, "Do I have a med. malpractice suit?" My doctor didn't discuss this risk with me beforehand at all. As a matter of fact, he didn't discuss any risk with me. He just talked like he was the best orthopedic surgeon who walked and I was in good hands. I was well aware of what foot drop was and just how debilitating it is, as my ex-husband has suffered with foot drop since '91 from a serious head injury. I would have never risked this surgery had I known, and especially since (from what I've read on the internet) I was a higher risk because I have had a previous hip surgery.

    I am so much worse off now than I was before my surgery. I'm scared to death this could be permanent.
    Could anyone advise me about this? thx, robin
  2. #2
    ellencee is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    4,334
    You signed a consent for surgery and in doing so, you attested to having received information about the risks of the surgery and consenting to the surgery with understanding of the risks.

    For there to be malpractice, the surgeon must have performed negligently and caused you to suffer damages you would not otherwise have suffered.

    Your medical history is important. At the age of 43, you had already had surgery on that hip and needed additional surgery. That is out of the range of normal health and will impact any claim you may have.

    Because you question the outcome, consult with a medmal attorney in your area. Any action must be brought within a certain timeframe known as the statute of limitations or you will be forever barred from filing suit in this matter.

    In the meantime, wear a high-topped tennis shoe (over the ankle) to hold your foot in place. It will aid in your walking, maybe in your ability to drive, and will aid in preventing any temporary foot drop from becoming permanent.

    EC
  3. #3
    panzertanker is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Subclavian insertion...
    Posts
    2,373
    Quote Originally Posted by ellencee
    You signed a consent for surgery and in doing so, you attested to having received information about the risks of the surgery and consenting to the surgery with understanding of the risks.

    For there to be malpractice, the surgeon must have performed negligently and caused you to suffer damages you would not otherwise have suffered.

    Your medical history is important. At the age of 43, you had already had surgery on that hip and needed additional surgery. That is out of the range of normal health and will impact any claim you may have.

    Because you question the outcome, consult with a medmal attorney in your area. Any action must be brought within a certain timeframe known as the statute of limitations or you will be forever barred from filing suit in this matter.

    In the meantime, wear a high-topped tennis shoe (over the ankle) to hold your foot in place. It will aid in your walking, maybe in your ability to drive, and will aid in preventing any temporary foot drop from becoming permanent.

    EC
    In addition to the good advice ellen gave you, I suggest you continue with physical therapy as well.
    Good Luck.
    I have noticed that even intelligent people ask assinine questions every now and again.
    Disclaimer: I know a few lawyers. None of them is named panzertanker.
  4. #4
    telima is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Chambersburg, PA
    Posts
    5

    Reply

    Hi Robin,
    I am not a Lawyer or a Doctor but I wanted to respond to the issue of pain that you are having. It is my understanding that a drug called Nuerontin is very successful with nerve pain and just in case your Dr. hadn't discussed it with you, I wanted to tell you of it. Also recently I read about certain antioxidents that will help with nerve pain. I can not recall exactly which ones, but I think grapeseed extract was one and mixed with a certain bark people were finding releif with it. If you are interested [url]www.yourvitamins.com[/url] will take questions and try and help you find what you need. One more item that I found when doing research is called "Farabloc", it is sold in Canada and they do ship to the US. Its a particular fabric that is supposed to have results with nerves. If you are interested you can find out more at [url]http://www.farabloc.com/[/url].
    I wish you all the luck and pray you find releif.
    Thinking of you,
    telima
  5. #5
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    17,787
    Nerve damage can take a long time to heal, is a risk of the surgery and you admit you knew how debilitating foot drop can be. You had the surgery/s for a reason and recovery from any surgery can take more than a year, if the condition is permenant, you might consider hand controls for your car. Insofar as the pain, PT is essential to recovery and you may want to consult a neuropsychologist for non medical methods of pain control and nerve reactions.
  6. #6
    rasbury is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    16

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by rmet4nzkx
    Nerve damage can take a long time to heal, is a risk of the surgery and you admit you knew how debilitating foot drop can be. You had the surgery/s for a reason and recovery from any surgery can take more than a year,
    I had my first surgery 20 yrs ago after being hit head-on by a teenage drunk driver. My pelvis was crushed at that time and a surgeon put me back together with plates and screws. I did very well for many years, then started the arthritis pain. That's why I had the hip replacement.
    Yes, I did know how debilitating foot drop is and have known for many years, but I had no idea that foot drop was a risk with this surgery. Now, my doctor tells me the risk is about 2% for total hip replacements, and from what I've read I was a higher risk because of my previous surgery. Was this not worth mention beforehand?
    robin
  7. #7
    ellencee is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    4,334
    So, what did you think the risks of paralysis meant?

    You seem to be an intelligent person so you obviously knew and understood the risks of the surgery and made the decision to take those risks in hopes that your hip would stop hurting.

    Now that you find yourself in the 2% of patients who develop foot drop, you think you are somehow wrongly a victim of a known risk of surgery? And you expect to sell that story to a jury and have the surgeon and his insurance company pay you some huge amount of money? Ain't gonna happen.

    EC
  8. #8
    rasbury is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    16

    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by ellencee
    Now that you find yourself in the 2% of patients who develop foot drop, you think you are somehow wrongly a victim of a known risk of surgery? EC
    Known risk to whom? Doctors obviously. I was never informed of this risk. Was it my responsibility to go to med school beforehand so I would understand the risks in detail? I'm not stupid, but I'm not a doctor either. I would think this would have been something worth mentioning before the surgery. Every other person I've talked to who has had a THR has stated their doctor specifically discussed the foot drop risk with them. It was never mentioned to me. Ever. And no, I did not read the paralysis risk paragraph and think, "Gee, I wonder if that means foot drop"--from a hip replacement. I was not aware the nerve that controls the foot practically wraps around the fibular head, which was replaced, so why would I know of the risk unless I was told? I, like most, trusted my doctor.

    I only want the problem fixed as soon as possible. I've found one doctor in Texas who says he may be able to fix the problem thru a process called Nerve Transfer. I am not looking for a pot of gold or easy money. I'm doing just fine financially and I don't condone frivolous lawsuits and I am in favor of tort reform, just to set the record straight. (For the one who seems to be so accusatory).

    I want to know what happened to cause this too. I can't figure out how in the world that large, heavy prothestis was hammered and cemented into my thigh bone thru my little, tiny 5-6 inch incision, and how it could possibly be done without doing damage. I already had two foot long scars on the front and back of my hip since age 24, so I was hardly worried about additional scarring at this stage of the game. Something wrong happened in the OR to cause this.
    Last edited by rasbury; 04-26-2005 at 02:54 PM.
  9. #9
    ellencee is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    4,334
    I sincerely doubt that anything went wrong in the OR and I sincerely doubt you signed a consent to have surgery without having had the risk explained to you or without reading the consent which states that by signing you agree that you have received an explanation of the risks. Your signature is on the consent and you can not hold the MD responsible for not explaining the risks once you have signed an attestment that he did so. It doesn't work that way.

    More likely than not, you are one of the patients who make up the 2% risk factor for foot drop. Risks are not the result of negligence; risks are just that--the chances you take.

    If you had been willing to continue to manage arthritic pain, you wouldn't be in this fix; would you? Now you are considering another surgery? I strongly suggest you forego any additional surgery on the leg and let the nerves heal. Nerve transfer is risky; you may lose the ability to heal from the foot drop if you have this procedure. Then, you will surely have no chance of regaining normal use of your foot.

    You have the chance to recover from foot drop if you will continue with physical therapy and if you will wear high topped tennis shoes.

    As I initially stated, because you are concerned (which means not because I think you have any indication of negligence), consult with a medmal attorney in your area.


    EC
  10. #10
    rasbury is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by ellencee
    I sincerely doubt that anything went wrong in the OR and I sincerely doubt you signed a consent to have surgery without having had the risk explained to you or without reading the consent which states that by signing you agree that you have received an explanation of the risks.

    You have the chance to recover from foot drop if you will continue with physical therapy and if you will wear high topped tennis shoes.
    Your sincere doubts are sincerely wrong. The risk of foot drop was never explained to me. I would have remembered because I did know what foot drop was--as a result of a head injury, not a hip replacement. As a matter of fact, I do distinctly remember sitting in an office the evening before my surgery, and a lady handing me form after form to sign. After handing me one form in particular, which was the form that mentioned paralysis and many other risks in small print, she said, "Honey, if everybody read that form word for word, nobody would have surgery." I did continue to read the very "vague" form however, and I signed it.

    There was one risk my doctor did mention. That it was possible for the new ball to slip out of the joint if I got into a certain position, and then he went on to say "You won't have to worry though, I'm good and it won't happen."

    As for the high top tennis shoes, I've worked with a physical therapist at the hospital and a couple since I've been home. No therapist or doctor has even suggested I wear a high top. As a matter of fact, the therapist at the hospital sent my daughter out to get me a pair of tennis shoes and the only thing she seemed concerned about was good arch support. She seemed quite happy with my low-top ****s.

    And I will contact a malpractice attorney. thanks.
    Last edited by rasbury; 04-26-2005 at 05:49 PM.
  11. #11
    ellencee is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    4,334
    Physical therapist should know about high topped tennis shoes and so should physicians; every nurse knows. Arch support isn't going to keep your ankle in place; think about it.

    EC
  12. #12
    rasbury is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by ellencee
    If you had been willing to continue to manage arthritic pain, you wouldn't be in this fix; would you?
    EC
    No, I wouldn't. I'd only be considered a junkee drugseeker by people like you.
  13. #13
    deedeeo is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2

    I have drop foot too.....

    Quote Originally Posted by rasbury
    No, I wouldn't. I'd only be considered a junkee drugseeker by people like you.
    Just found this site while I was looking for something else and happened upon this forum. I was curious about this particular posting as I also suffer from foot drop due to a total hip replacement. Drugs are NOT the answer for the pain, physical therapy is. I was on lots of pain meds, neurontin, anti depressants and sleeping pills as my pain interupted my sleep most all of the time. It has been 4 years since my injury and the nerve damage has not healed. They do tell you in the beginning that it MAY heal on its own but such is not always the case. I did file a lawsuit and ended up with a settlement. The doctor's insurance company settled out of court. My lawyers were trying to show that there was a breach in the standard of care. The scaitic is a large nerve and it would be hard to not isolate it to prevent damage. I have learned alot through this whole ordeal and just wanted to share with others that until it happens to you, you have no idea what it is like. No amount of money can bring back what you have lost and the stress you go through.I just wanted to let people know that I wear a brace on my right leg that goes almost all the way up to my knee. I am able to drive with the use of an assistive foot pedal that allows me to drive with my left foot. I was able to get this through social security, so contact the local social security to find out if they have this available. I was offered the tendon transfer but my new ortho doctor just told me to keep wearing the brace and I am in no hurry to go under the knife again. The tendon surgery, from what I was told, just tightens the lower tendon in your leg so your foot will not move at all. Like in a pemanant L position. My right hip replacement was the only surgery I have ever had, and had I not had it I do believe that I would be much more crippled with my arthritis. There was nothing more they could do for my arthritic hip as it was bone against bone, so whoever the person was who said that if you could have controlled your arthritic pain you wouldn't be in the situation you are in really doesn't know what they are talking about. Just wanted you to know there are others out there who feel your pain, literaly. Keep the faith.
  14. #14
    footdrop is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1

    Wink Foot Drop

    Im From Ky. This Has Happened To My Husband Also,his Hip Replacement Was May 3rd,would Like To Talk To You In Private. Your Not A Junkie, Your Sciatic Nerve Was Stretched To Far Im Sure I Spelled That Wrong. His Pain Is Unreal.we Are Scared Also.we Are Trying To Find A Relief For The Pain But Havent So Far.they Said Two Months His Feeling Might Come Back And The Pain Should Stop.another Dr Said A Year. We Are Doing Therapy.he Has Avascular Nerciousis Thining Of The Artiers Around The Hips .his Bone Was Dead,the Other Side Is The Same Way.that Hip Will Be Replaced In Two Years.maby After This I Dont Know. You Go In To Fix One Problem And Come Out With Another. We Know How You Feel.maby We Can Help Each Other.
  15. #15
    kathrynne is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    132
    Quote Originally Posted by footdrop
    Im From Ky. This Has Happened To My Husband Also,his Hip Replacement Was May 3rd,would Like To Talk To You In Private. Your Not A Junkie, Your Sciatic Nerve Was Stretched To Far Im Sure I Spelled That Wrong. His Pain Is Unreal.we Are Scared Also.we Are Trying To Find A Relief For The Pain But Havent So Far.they Said Two Months His Feeling Might Come Back And The Pain Should Stop.another Dr Said A Year. We Are Doing Therapy.he Has Avascular Nerciousis Thining Of The Artiers Around The Hips .his Bone Was Dead,the Other Side Is The Same Way.that Hip Will Be Replaced In Two Years.maby After This I Dont Know. You Go In To Fix One Problem And Come Out With Another. We Know How You Feel.maby We Can Help Each Other.
    You could save yourself a LOT of trouble typing if you recognized that you don't have to CAPITALIZE every word. Really! In fact, that makes your post a pain to read.

Similar Threads

  1. Drop foot, Following Hip Replacement
    By mamajoyc in forum Medical and Health Care Malpractice
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-20-2008, 09:52 PM
  2. Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Paralysis after Total Thyroidectomy
    By peteysmom in forum Medical and Health Care Malpractice
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-11-2008, 06:01 AM
  3. Work injury requiring total knee replacement
    By rgko4 in forum Workplace Injuries & Worker’s Compensation
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-13-2005, 06:49 PM
  4. Total Hip Replacement
    By Vitthal in forum Auto Accidents and Vehicle Claims
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-10-2004, 07:28 PM
  5. Epidural =pinched nerve in leg=foot drop
    By Zena in forum Auto Accidents and Vehicle Claims
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-26-2000, 06:17 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.