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Help for my Wife

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
Hello All,

I am trying to find the right forum for this particular problem. My wife is 28 years old and was in a car accident about 8 or 9 years ago that left her with bad nerve damage in her left leg. I am pretty sure that she has sciatic nerve damage (to the point of being severed). This has left her with a condition of "dropped foot syndrome" and she has had a permanent numb (foot and lower leg asleep feeling) all this time. If I even touch her left foot she is in pain for about a minute.
She is under the impression that there is no cure for this..at least in the U.S. I want to find surgery for her that could get her back to a normal life. For 9 years she has not been able to run and has a type of limp due to her nerve issues.
I am wondering if anyone knows anything about something that is at lease a similar condition or knows anyone that might have an answer. I am looking for options to perhaps travel to europe or another country and possibly pay out of pocket to have this surgery.

Thank You!


  • have you seen a reputable neuro surgoen in the uS? i D\dont think you need to travel to europe as we have pretty good doctors here
  • She had her nerve tested a couple of years ago in her leg and after a very painful test they said it was pretty much dead. I don't think she has seen a reputable NS but I will ask her. My question is if there is a fix for a "dead" or severed nerve in the leg. Something like a nerve graph comes to mind but I don't know if it even exists.
  • my advice is to see a NS soon(very soon) who will be able to correctly guide her.
  • First, I think it's wonderful that your wife has someone to help her search for the best treatment outcomes.

    Second, I don't know if there is a "fix" for a severed nerve. I do not know, but I would guess since it's been so long if it really is severed, it's going to stay that way, but just my personal reasoning.

    If the nerve is severed but she still has pain in the foot, surely there is hope that some pain relief can be obtained. Something must still be connected if she feels pain(kind of sounds like RSD symptoms), right? Possibly other nerves are aggravated/damaged. Maybe something like a spinal cord stimulator or medication like Lyrica or Neurontin can take away some of the painful sensations?

    You might not ever fix the limp(if it is from nerve damage and not from pain) and may be looking at how to improve her quality of life. I am not a doctor, but I surely think that SOMEONE here in the States can give you an expert opinion. I do not know where your wife has received treatment or how many opinions she has had, but Spine Health lists many group spine practices by region and of course there's always one of the Mayo groups-maybe they even have a clinical trial going on???

    I hope she finds some relief. Please keep us posted on her options and progress.
  • Depending on which nerves were damaged, they can regenerate at up to 5mm/day, so if she damaged it 8 years ago, I'd imagine if the nerves were going to regenerate, they would already have done so.

    Nerve grafting is done in the states - this site might help you get started:- http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/peripheral-nerve/problems/ngr.html
    However, not to depress you, but the success rate diminishes with time.

    As for the pain, gabapentin (neurontin) and oxycodone are both possibilities and I'm sure her doctor will be able to advise her further.

    Bye, Val

  • As said you need an up to date diagnosis, to see what the underlying cause of these symptoms are, what medication is you wife taking at the moment and who does she trust in assessing her current needs.

    As patients we could not endure our trials without support and encouragement from carers like you, it is frustrating as the carer not to feel able to help and the weight of responsibility is never easy. This was a young age to have restrictions and nine years is a long time. As those years roll on we do become less enthused about a satisfactory outcome and it become our way of life, normal to us.

    The most immediate aspect would be to try and develop a strategy for managing her pain as effectively as possible in collaboration with her doctor. Most if not all of the best research on Pain has come from America and as ernurse said that help will be accessible with the correct support and guidance.

    Write down all your questions and as that NS.

    Take care and as a patient thank you, every carers support means so much…

  • Thanks for the words all. My wife would really like to be able to just go jogging again but she is unable to do this due to the numbness. Her motivation has decreased over time. I convinced her a couple of years ago to go have the nerve tested and she reluctantly went. It was painful enough that she cried and didn't want to deal with it anymore.
    This makes me so mad that she has to live this way. Some bastard was doing 95 MPH in a 55 zone and hit my wife's car. It flipped over and ran into a pole. He then proceeded to get out of the car and scream at her as the life flight helicopter was landing. For something that was his fault and negligence, my wife has to suffer for the rest of her life.
    I am going to try and convince her to have an MRI and see a NS but it will take convincing. I will keep you guys updated.
  • I don't know how it works in the US, but here in the UK we'd sue someone like that for major damages!

    John's right; she is really young to have had something like that happen to her, so I hope she got compensation.

    Bye, Val
  • The other driver didn't have much money at all..not even car insurance.

    What kind of compensation are you referring to? She has a handicap tag for her car but refuses to use it.
  • It's great that you're looking out for your wife. Keep looking for a Neurosurgeon to help her. Her Primary GP Dr. should refer her. I take Cymbalta for my leg sciatica, it seems to help. I hope she finds a a Neuro to help her. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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