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Health & Medical UnderGround >> accupuncture w. e-stim?


3/21/09 3:43 PM
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Jove
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Member Since: 9/17/03
Posts: 220
 
22 moths ago my peroneal nerve was avulsed off from the sciatic nerve; had nerve graft repair- unsuccessful; persistant drop foot. 3 weeks ago had posterior tibial tendon transfer to correct drop foot. Now I can dorsiflex the foot up just a tiny bit, a fraction of an inch.
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The Physical Therapist was trying to do some electrical - stimulation of the post. tibial muscle. But it seems that muscle is buried so deep in the calf (it is like in between the two bones, I think) that it was impossible to find the right spot to place the electrodes. She tried several different spots and cranked it up as high as I could stand, but no luck.
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I am wondering if e-stim is really that important to help the muscle function- since after all, I can make it twitch on my own witout any e-stim? What benefits would e-stim provide, if it could be applied?
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If e-stim is really helpful, then- I am wondering if accupuncture needles inserted into the appropriate spots, with the e-stim applied to the accupuncture needles, could help deliver the e-stim to the post. tibial muscle (which seems to be too deep to reach/isolate thru the skin surface electrodes)?
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Months ago, I did have accupuncture e-stim to try to help my nerve regenerate, but it did not help - however, I am wondering if it might be worth a try to reach and isolate the post. tibial muscle? Is this a wild /crazy idea, or worth bringing it up to my Dr. and/or PT to see what they think?
3/31/09 1:18 AM
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JasonE
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Member Since: 12/28/07
Posts: 168
E-stim and acupuncture can both be helpful, but I am not personally familiar with the success rates for combining acupuncture with e-stim. However, you may be able to do a lot on your own.

In fact, I recommend it.

Your nervous system is adaptable and very good at forming new pathways for controlling motor functions. This neuroplasticity is what enables us to learn new skills, and dorsiflexing your foot in a different way is a good skill to develop. A few years back I trained a gentleman who had gone through the exact same procedure for similar reasons.

Your body has been effectively rewired by surgery. The potential for dorsiflexion function is there, but the "software" - the neuro-connections necessary for you to dorsiflex effectively - hasn't been rewritten to reflect the surgical changes. E-stim provides direct stimulation of the nervous system and can trigger an adaptive response, but you will still need to start working with the movement on your own.

I have seen good success with simple joint mobility drills involving ankle movements (dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, inversion, eversion, circumduction) and targeted stretching. If you can, hook up with a certified Active Isolated Stretching practitioner. It's very good for retraining movement patterns post-injury - I know quadriplegics that have regained the ability to walk via their use of AIS. I would be surprised if you didn't see some good improvement with regular practice of relevant AIS stretching and strengthening protocols.

Good luck!
Jason Erickson
www.CSTMinnesota.com
3/31/09 10:43 PM
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Jove
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Member Since: 9/17/03
Posts: 221
Thanks JasonE, your posts are always the best!

I am seeing some progress now, even without electro-stim. Today the last staples & stitches came out, and I am now allowed to start weight-bearing a bit. Doc seemed pleased with the progress...as am I.

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