View Full Version : Damage to Peroneal Nerve and Knees With A Delay In Medical Care

03-03-2009, 12:31 PM
My main character is beaten by a bunch of angry cops - hit in the knees repeatedly with a police baton and then denied medical care for two weeks. She is left with damage to the peroneal nerve in one of her knees, and something called drop foot. This takes place in 1974.

For two weeks she's denied medical care, and she's moved from one city jail to the next, as the cops are trying to hide what they've done to her. With this kind of injury, would she be able to walk at all before getting medical care? I have her getting on and off prison buses with steps. Both knees are described as being grossly swollen and misshapen.

After she is found and receives medical attention, would this be an accurate description of peroneal nerve damage and drop foot: a foot that is twisted outward, so that the foot drags against the floor and makes a shuffling noise when she tries to walk? Would a metal brace be worn permanently? And lastly, would the brace be specific to the foot or would it support the entire leg?

Thanks to anyone who can help.

03-03-2009, 09:35 PM
I've been hit in the common eroneal and been taught to strike others in it. With a good strike, it drops the person. However, it's worth noting that I use *my* knee against the mid outer thigh of the person I'm hitting. Again, I do not hit the person in the knee--I hit my knee against the person. And they drop like a sack o' taters. And if I do it too much I ruin their CPN and the person has a drop foot that will take mucho phys therapy/rehab to recover.

In '74, cops were not taught the CPN kick.

Yours is a big enough city to have quite a few jails, so it's odd for the cops to be moving her for two weeks. Police do not have custody of a person for two weeks...Corrections does.

It's likely that your char doesn't have a full medical grasp of what's happened to her--most people do not actually appreciate the physiology behnd their illnesses and injuries, so it certainly suffices to say someone was assaulted and has swollen knees and is nearly incapacitated, limping about painfully for weeks and never truly recovers from the injuries.

03-03-2009, 09:43 PM
I had "drop foot" in 1985 due to a herniated disc and it required a lumbar laminectomy and months of healing before I could walk properly again.
"Drop foot" is a classic sign of spinal injury.

You might discover your MC also has a spinal injury due to the beating.

03-03-2009, 11:12 PM
Thank you for the informative and very helpful replies!

My MC's arrested on a bogus warrant - a no-bail warrant that lists her as a parole violator with a long criminal history. The local cops and a friend or two inside the CDC (the state corrections) are in on the scam. Based on your suggestions, I may cut the missing time down to a few days, rather than two weeks. Without giving the plot away -the police have reason to be angry, even though they're taking it out on the wrong person.