What is Foot Drop?

What is Foot Drop?
In Multiple Sclerosis foot drop (or
drop foot) is exactly what the name implies; The front of your foot
drops as you take a step causing your toes to drag across the floor
which of course can cause you to trip.

What causes Foot Drop?
Basically what happens in MS is a
partial paralysis of the muscle that lifts the front of the foot up
(tibialis anterior) which inhibits your ability to lift the front of
your foot up (dorsiflex) as you are taking a step. This can be the
result of a damaged Peroneal nerve or some sort of lesion
interrupting the signals sent to it from the brain (as MS does).
Foot Drop Complications
Well for one, the obvious, it can cause
you to trip and even injure yourself upon falling. Over time
(depending on how long this issue lasts for you) foot drop can impair
your gait (the movement of your walking) by causing you to compensate
for your foot drop by (for example) lifting your knee higher to avoid
dragging your toes across the floor or even causing you to swing your
leg out with each step rather then swinging it strait forward. For a
while, when I had foot drop, it started causing joint paint in my hip
because of my impaired gate, I was putting pressure on my leg in a
way that I should not have been.
How to Treat Foot Drop
A simple solution is an ankle foot
orthosis (AFO) [more simply known as a foot brace] which can be worn
to help keep the toes lifted. This simply goes around your foot and
ankle under your shoe and pants (if you really want to hide it) and
is what I used for foot drop. They also can put a rubber fitting on the bottom of your shoe so that when it does drop down it will slide across the floor rather then grip the floor which also can cause you to trip… Some people say physical therapy can
help strengthen your ability to take a proper step which I totally
agree with as I did much physical therapy and it definitely helped!
For foot drop that persists there are small electronic devices that
strap to your leg an deliver a small electrical signal (using AA batteries and two small electrodes) to your muscle
to help stimulate it as you walk helping you lift your foot.

8 Responses to What is Foot Drop?

  1. Larry says:

    Thanks Matt!

  2. Frances says:

    Thanks, Matt. Man that is one very swish-looking AFO 🙂

    Where can I get oe of there though

    "For foot drop that persists there are small electronic devices that strap to your leg an deliver a small electrical signal (using AA batteries and two small electrodes) to your muscle to help stimulate it as you walk helping you lift your foot."

  3. Matt Allen G says:

    Check this: http://www.walkaide.com/en-US/Pages/default.aspx and the AFO, IDK who made that, some other country, it was new at the time.

  4. LadyAtLarge says:

    I hate my AFO with the heat of a thousand suns, I have the kind that's molded all around 3/4 of the back and sides of my leg up to the knee.

    But I hate falling on my face just a wee bit more. So yeah. AFO.

    I tell myself I would like it more if it looked like the one you have in the picture up there, and it was less like wearing a giant walking boot, but I'm not sure that's really true at all. Hmm. Do you like yours? Or is it a necessary evil sort of thing?

  5. Matt Allen G says:

    I have not had to wear it in almost a year, it was not bad though, didn't even notice it! I wish I knew the maker, I would have a link for them!

  6. kevin says:

    I had to have one of my head a few years back and I had to be on serious Xanax and I still FREAKED OUT. I'm glad yours wasn't bad at all. I think I could handle only being in halfway. As long as it was my bottom half.

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