Sciatic nerve palsy following total hip replacement is a rare but serious complication. The neurological sequelae that follow range from pure sensory loss to combined motor and sensory loss involving most of the lower limb. The loss of nociceptive feedback predisposes patients to accidental damage to the lower limb. We present the case of a lady with sciatic nerve palsy who sustained full-thickness burn injuries to her foot via a hot water bottle. The dilemma between debridement and grafting following a recent history of surgical trauma (ie, total hip replacement) versus secondary healing via dressings and regular review is discussed. Although grafting is the standard treatment in such burns, we recommend secondary healing over grafting provided the burns are not extensive. This enables potential recovery of sensation and reduces operative trauma to the limb which may retard resolution of the neuropraxia.
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