Once again over his mid morning coffee break Mr Barry Francis “the foot Surgeon” is looking and reading a recently published article by Linda Kelsey discusses a condition called dystonia. What she had noticed was that she began to walk in a very odd manner and that her toes were curling underneath her foot in a painful spasm. This was also affecting her right ankle. Within a short while she developed an ungainly limp and had to stop every few paces to relax the foot before she could get going again. She saw various specialists including her GP and a specialist orthopaedic surgeon without any progress. Curiously she found that when she danced things were absolutely fine. She eventually saw a Professor Kailash Bhatia, a neurologist at the Institute of Neurology in London. He is a leading expert in the field of movement disorders. Professor Bhatia confirmed that she had dystonia and explained that dystonia is an abnormal posture of a body part thought to stem from a malfunction of the part of the brain that helps regulate muscle movement.
There are many presentations of dystonia and about 70,000 people in the UK are thought to be affected (the Dystonia Society). The condition is often mistaken for stress or
psychogenic disorder and occasionally is associated with Parkinson’s Disease. This was not however the case with Ms Kelsey. She had various treatments but eventually Professor Bhatia suggested that she should have botox injections. These were administered under electromyography guidance and after two treatments she noted a significant difference. She now finds that she can walk at least two miles without a problem. She has the botox injections every few months and this treatment is available for her on the NHS.