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When will I recover from a foot drop after hip replacement surgery?

Q: I had total hip joint replacement (right) earlier this year and ended with a foot drop. The doctor says it will become OK but can take up to 12 months. How long will it take? The doctor advised me to take Gabapin 300 mg twice daily. I am taking it for more than 8 months. I have burning sensation in both parts of the foot and it is not in normal working condition. The right toe is not getting upwards. Right side of lower limbs sensation is not normal. If I am hit on any finger on the right side of lower limb, I get an electric shock feeling up to the right toe. I use orthopaedic shoes for walking.

A:Foot drop is an unfortunate complication of total hip arthroplasty and most of the time, it is due to stretching of the sciatic nerve; sometimes it can be due to positioning. Most of the cases are due to neuropraxia or stretching and would resolve/recover with time. However, if it has not resolved for 10 months, I would consider a nerve conduction test to examine the nerve and identify the site of pathology. If the foot drop is permanent, the only option is orthotic and physical therapy. Though nerve exploration is a possibility, results are not predictable. In long standing cases, if the foot has deformity and interferes with gait, then a fusion of the foot is performed.


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