Dr.Manjunatha Talks About The Causes, Treatments And Surgical Procedures For Common OrthoPaedic Conditions

What are the causes that lead to knee and foot movement impairment in some patients?

Dysfunction of the peroneal nerve causes loss of movement and sensation in the lower leg, foot and toes. Peroneal nerve is one in the lower part of the limb, located behind the knee that stimulates the muscles controlling the foot and toes. Disturbance in the functioning of the peroneal nerve can be caused at any age. Musculoskeletal conditions pose a serious health challenge to people because of its increasing prevalence and its grave impact on people’s quality of life.

One among the most important causes of leg and foot pain is the damage caused to the peroneal nerve. The damage may be caused due to an injury sustained during a rigorous physical activity or any medical condition. Causative factors of lack of mobility may also include;

* Trauma or injury to the knee (sports activities like playing football)

* Wearing tall boots that come up to the knee regularly

* Injury from being in an awkward position during a surgery, sleep or coma

* Fracture of a bone in the lower leg

* Injury during knee surgeries

Can you please elaborate on some of these cases/ conditions?

Most people sit cross legged at least at some time in the day and the list of consequences of sitting in this manner for prolonged hours include high blood pressure, varicose veins and nerve damage. It is, in fact, true for any position, if you sit in a particular positon for a long period of time your leg can become numb. Sitting cross legged puts pressure on the peroneal nerve on the lateral side of the knee and is often considered to cause nerve damage. Sitting cross legged can cause numbness and temporary paralysis of a few muscles in the leg and foot. Crossing your legs while sitting is like inviting back and neck pain, if not positioned properly. This particular manner of sitting results in rotation of the pelvic bone. What are the treatment options for these cases and what are the most up to date techniques being used, in terms of surgery etc.

What are the treatment options for these cases and what are the most up to date techniques being used, in terms of surgery etc.

In the case of damage to the peroneal nerve, the aim of treatment will be to help the patient regain mobility. The treatments will also include treating conditions that lead to peroneal nerve damage, i.e. people who are extremely thin, people with diabetes and people with certain genetic diseases of the nerve are susceptible to peroneal nerve damage. In such cases, these conditions are also treated.

The mode of treatment for nerve damage depends on the causative factor of the condition. If the cause of nerve damage is compression by sitting cross legged, doctors may advice knee pads that discourage sitting with crossed legs and remind you to be careful when sitting.

Surgery helps in removing tumours in the nerve and also helps in relieving compression. Surgery may be required if no other treatment technique results in improvement in the patient’s case. Physical therapy may be required to help maintain muscle strength and mobility aids may also be required to assist in movements.

Can such conditions be prevented? If so, can you provide some tips?

There are measures that can be undertaken to prevent or delay nerve disorders. An injury cannot be predicted, neither can the severity of the injury. Certain preventive measures can, however, help avoid nerve disorders or even delay any further damage to an existing injury.

* Treating any injury at the earliest is key to preventing any serious damage. The more the injury is sustained the more serious will the consequences be.

* If any form of dressing or cast on the leg causes a feeling of being tight or numb, it needs to be changed.

* Take care of your leg and consult a specialist on having any pain, swelling, infection, injury or any other visible symptoms. Get treatment at the earliest.

* Get appropriate medicated shoes /orthotics if necessary. Special shoes may help reduce any pain during walking or any other activity.

* Be careful when exercising, as certain exercises are not suitable for patients with a nerve condition or any condition with a troubled knee.

Dr.Manjunatha G.S

Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon 

Aster Hospital Mankhool

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