Drop foot, also known as foot drop, is a condition that affects the ability to lift the front part of the foot. It can cause difficulty walking, jogging, and various other physical activities. Drop foot can be caused by many different underlying conditions and injuries, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe.
What are the symptoms of Drop Foot?
The most common symptom of drop foot is the inability to lift the front part of the foot. This can cause the toes to drag on the ground while walking, making it difficult to walk normally. Other symptoms of drop foot can include:
Weakness in the ankle or foot
Numbness or tingling in the foot or leg
Pain in the foot or leg
Muscle cramps or spasms in the foot or leg
Difficulty with balance or coordination
Difficulty with stairs or uneven surfaces
Constantly stubbing the toes or tripping over the feet
What causes drop foot?
Nerve damage: Nerve damage, such as in the case of peripheral neuropathy, can cause drop foot. This occurs when the nerves that control the muscles in the foot and leg are damaged.
Muscle or nerve disorders: Certain disorders such as muscular dystrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and multiple sclerosis can cause drop foot.
Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord can cause damage to the nerves that control the muscles in the foot and leg.
Brain injuries: Brain injuries, such as those caused by a stroke or traumatic brain injury, can damage the nerves that control the muscles in the foot and leg.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome: This occurs when the nerve that runs through the ankle becomes compressed or damaged.
What are the treatment options for drop foot?
Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles in the foot and leg, and improve overall flexibility and mobility. Physical therapy can also help to improve balance and coordination.
Braces or orthotics: Braces or orthotics can be used to support the foot and prevent it from dropping. These devices can also help to improve balance and reduce the risk of falling.
Medications: Certain medications, such as nerve pain medications, can help to relieve pain and improve nerve function.
Electrical stimulation: Electrical stimulation, such as a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit, can help to improve muscle function and reduce pain.
Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged nerves, or to correct underlying structural issues.
Drop foot can be a frustrating and challenging condition, but there are treatment options available. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of drop foot, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause of your condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Our team at Total Spine and Orthopedics are experts at diagnosing and treating drop foot and a huge array of other conditions and symptoms. Take the first steps toward taking back your quality of life by filling out the form on this page or calling our patient advocate team at (321) 499-4646