Peroneal nerve damage (foot drop) associated with hip replacement surgery is a serious disorder suffered by tens of thousands of individuals. The damage usually involves injury to the sciatic nerve arising from a complication occurring during or after hip implant surgery. Like any neurological injury, foot drop can be potentially devastating, requiring nonsurgical orthotics, physical therapy and/or decompression surgery, or other serious complex medical procedure.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, peroneal nerve damage often has minimal potential of recovery even with surgery. Doctors often treat the condition non-surgically using a custom-fitted foot splint (orthotic) allowing the individual to resume nearly normal daily activity. With proper physical therapy, some relief can be found.
Depending on the seriousness of the injury, revision surgery is often recommended immediately or within a few months after the initial hip replacement procedure. Surgical repair often involves nerve grafting, nerve suture, or possible decompression of the nerve at the damaged site. An additional option can include a nerve transfer, where nerve tissue is harvested from a less important lower leg muscle, and relocated at the damaged site to lift the foot.