Our practice does an extensive amount of dropout and muscle weakness surgery. Over the years we have found that the medical knowledge on these topics is lacking the ability to predict which patient would benefit from surgery since our knowledge of the nervous system and brain function is not yet extensive.
Over the past few years we have tested methods to predict which patients benefit and who would not. For example if a patient presents to our office after a car accident with dropfoot ( that is the inability to dorsiflex the foot of bring the toes up to the nose with the ankle) , even if we do a tendon transfer ( that is to move muscles around to provide better function) we cannot tell how that muscle will work. Will the patient be able to now consciously move their foot up and down? Will that deliberate motion work during actual walking since we don't 'deliberately' walk. Walking is an unconscious process - after you decide where you are going.
One predictive technique for drop foot we are testing in the use of brain wave testing to compare before and after signals to see how they correlate with outcomes. Our research will be ultimately presented at the Annual American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery meeting.