Surgery helps get Gwinnett County woman back on her feet - KMSP-TV

FOX Medical Team

Surgery helps get Gwinnett County woman back on her feet

Posted: Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -


Clair Rawlings, 68, has missed walking more than anything. Six years ago, after abdominal surgery, the Grayson mother of four and grandmother of seven was given a nausea medication that she believes triggered something strange.

Within a month, her right foot began to curve downward and inward, becoming locked at a 90-degree angle, leaving Claire - who loves to shop - struggling just to stand up.

"I mean, I just didn't know if I was going to be able to walk again, or walk right again," Rawlings said.

At Resurgens Orthopedics, foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Erroll Bailey believes the medication tripped a switch in an area of Claire's brain that controls her movement, so her brain began signaling to her lower leg and foot muscles to contract. They call this "focal dystonia."

"And it's characterized by massive, involuntary muscle contractions," Bailey said.

Claire and her husband Greg spent years going to doctors and specialists, using BOTOX and other treatments, to try to relax her foot muscles, but nothing worked.  After five years, they found Dr. Bailey, who believed he could surgically relax Claire's foot. But it was complicated because her tendons, joints and bones were locked into a painful curve.

"He told me later that he had never had to work this hard on a single extremity before," Rawlings said.

Bailey explained, "You have to tighten what's loose and loosen what's tight to try to get back to where she is flat on the floor so that she can walk."

Bailey was able to get Claire's foot back to a normal position. A year later, Claire's still getting back on her feet. She believes she'll one day walk again without anyone helping her.

The day that she does, she says, "I'm going to thank the Lord, and the first thing I'm going to do is get out there and drive my car and go to the mall."

  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • Sandy Springs woman struggles with Alzheimer's diagnosis at 55

    Sandy Springs woman struggles with Alzheimer's diagnosis at 55

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:48:17 GMT
    The Alzheimer’s Association estimates about 200,000 Americans are living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosed before their 65th birthday.
    The Alzheimer’s Association estimates about 200,000 Americans are living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosed before their 65th birthday.
  • FOX Medical Team

    5 fat-burning foods you should try

    5 fat-burning foods you should try

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:19 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:19:49 GMT
    Tired of working out with no payoff, or counting calories and still not losing weight? Healthy chef Nancy Waldeck at the Family Wellness Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital pulled together five fat-burning foods you need to discover!
    Tired of working out with no payoff, or counting calories and still not losing weight? Healthy chef Nancy Waldeck at the Family Wellness Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital pulled together five fat-burning foods you need to discover!
  • Patients urged to 'partner' with caregivers & doctor

    Patients urged to 'partner' with caregivers & doctor

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:59:23 GMT
    One woman teamed up with her doctors and got some answers to her health problems.
    One woman teamed up with her doctors and got some answers to her health problems.
  • CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL HEROESMore>>

  • Hospital Heroes

    Hospital Heroes

    Children's Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across the United States and Canada.  Click here for more on our local heroes!
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices