Question:I've got a little paralysis from nerve damage after a hip replacement six months ago. It doesn't seem to be getting better. What are my options now?
Treatment may depend on which nerve was affected and whether you are having sensory or motor loss. There may not be much that can be done for the sensory loss. The motor loss (for example, muscle weakness, foot drop) can be helped but not cured.
Medication can be used to help with any pain. Shoe inserts called orthotics may help support the foot and ankle to help you walk better. For severe pain, neurolysis may be considered. In this operation, the nerve is cut or cauterized so that it no longer transmits messages of any kind.
Nerve repair takes a long time. Even though it's been six months you may still see some improvement over the next six months. The average time until complete recovery is anywhere from 14 to 21 months. Some patients don't recover at all. Others gain partial recovery. About one-third of the patients with partial or complete nerve palsy do have complete recovery.Christopher M. Farrell, MD, et al. Motor Nerve Palsy Following Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. December 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 12. Pp. 2619-2625.
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