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Public Service Announcement - Careful crossing your legs!



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About 6 months ago, I started randomly tripping/falling. I've had knee surgery several times (including total knee replacement) so I really assumed it was related to previous injuries. The falls were being caused by a condition called "foot drop" and I was referred for a nerve conduction study (interesting experience!) to see if the nerve was damaged beyond repair. If you aren't familiar with drop foot, it's basically where your ankle/toes are always pointed down and sometimes drag.

The first question the doctor asked me was "Have you recently lost a lot of weight" - First thoughts... RUDE... I figured it was because of my loose skin (which even I don't think is too horrible). When I responded with "YEP, 100lbs" - His next question "Have you been crossing your legs a lot?" - Me: YUP, it's awesome... haven't been able to do that comfortably since I was a little one!" - Doc: "Well, here's your problem: peroneal nerve dysfunction." He then proceeded to let me know that he sees quite a few WLS patients with this issue and wishes that this was something more widely known. Apparently there is a "fat pocket" that protects this nerve. When we lose weight quickly (vs gradually), in some it goes away completely and leaves that nerve more "exposed" to damage.

Looks like I'm going to be a lucky one and it's not too far gone to resolve with some physical therapy and some electrical stimulation. So, if you notice that you start to feel some numbness in the top of your foot and have a difficult time raising your ankle and toes after sitting for a bit with your legs crossed, just be aware that it *could* lead to something more serious.

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I have numbness on the top of my thigh. I need to look into this. I’m glad you posted.

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interesting. I had peroneal nerve damage three or four years ago, and the whole lower half of my left leg was numb for about eight months. I attributed it to a sprained ankle - but maybe it was coincidence?? At any rate, the feeling eventually came back, but it took about eight months.

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:) I just thought it was ironic that one of the reasons I had the surgery was to be able to walk more comfortably!

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Wow, wow, wow! I have noticed changes in my gait as well as foot dropping. It has intensified over the last weeks.

I am seeing a chiropractor and it is helping. He is also having me work on stretching my hips. But this is exactly it. And yes, I've been crossing my legs too much. I am now really working on not doing it. Although I don't fit the definition of really skinny as I encountered in the articles I read, I have lost a disproportionate amount of weight from my legs since surgery which may have impacted the fat pocket that @MandoGetsSleevedreferred to.

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I’ve made a physical therapy appointment. My problem is in a different part of the leg. Sounds like if you don’t treat the problem, it can lead to permanent damage.

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This is fascinating but also a terrible thing you are experiencing @MandoGetsSleeved. Who’d have thought that could be a side effect of weight loss.

God yeah, being able to cross your legs is super awesome. I even do the more extreme twist the ankle behind the crossed leg thing. Think I’ll be more careful about crossing my legs in the future.

Edited by Arabesque

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Good to know. Thanks for the heads up.

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