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Aim: To highlight the functional outcome of surgical management of foot drop in patients with Hansen disease.
Case Presentation: We present three cases of foot drop following Hansen’s disease that were managed surgically by Tibialis posterior transfer. The patients had preoperative physiotherapy for ten days and postoperative physiotherapy for four weeks. Their post-operative periods were uneventful and the corrections were satisfactory.
Discussion: Involvement of common peroneal nerve in Hansen’s disease usually results in paralysis of the anterior tibial and/or peroneal muscles. Hansen’s disease patients with foot-drop walk with a ‘high-stepping gait’, lifting the leg high as if climbing steps even while walking on level ground. When the paralysis has been present for more than six months to one year without recovery, the best option of treatment at this stage is corrective surgery and the main aim of the corrective surgery is to restore active dorsiflexion of the foot so that the gait becomes normal. This is achieved by re-routing the tendon of Tibialis posterior muscle, brings that tendon to lie in front of the ankle and is anchored distally. If the tendo-achillis tendon is found to be tight, it should be lengthened as the first step of the Tibialis posterior transfer operation.
Conclusion: Surgical correction of foot drop usually leads to restoration of active dorsiflexion of the foot thereby preventing development of secondary deformities and ulceration. Our patients were able to dorsiflex their feet after the surgical correction.
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