Foot Drop refers to the inability to dorsiflex (lift) the toes or foot. Foot drop, also known as drop-foot, can be a temporary or permanent condition. The condition can be dependent upon the extent of paralysis or muscle weakness that is present. Occurring in either one foot or both feet, foot drop can have many causes such as common fibular nerve damage, sciatic nerve damage, paralysis of muscles in the anterior portion of the lower legs, abnormal anatomy, muscle or spinal cord trauma, toxins or disease.
Foot Drop is a medical term for difficulty lifting the foot at the ankle. This is a condition caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles involved in flexing the ankle and toes, which causes a person to drag the toe of the shoe on the ground or slap the foot on the floor while walking. Foot Drop is a neuromuscular disorder and can be a symptom of nerve compression or a low back injury such as disc herniation or as a result of Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s Disease.
Foot drop is the inability to bend the ankle ‘up” to avoid tripping when walking. It is caused by weakness or poor function of the muscles in the front of the leg (anterior compartment muscles). It is caused by direct injury to the muscle/tendon or nerve to those same muscles. Without treatment,patients with a drop foot will walk with a “high steppage gait” (similar to the way a horse walks) or tripping. Most people with foot drop can be treated to return to a functional gait, although it is uncommon that the ankle can ever return to “perfectly normal”.
Symptoms: Drop foot can be caused by weakness of the muscles controlling dorsiflexion of the foot (tibialis anterior, extensor hallucis longus, and extensor digitorum longus) or injury to the nerves controlling the muscles. Foot Drop Splint itself is not a disease, but a symptom of another underlying cause. This condition is associated with a wide variety of diseases and disorders, including cerebrovascular accident or stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, spinal stenosis, disc herniation, multiple sclerosis, poliomyelitis, diabetes mellitus, or direct injury to the peroneal nerve.
Treatment: Physiotherapists can help both temporary and permanent foot drop. The treatment used will depend on the underlying cause. If the cause can be diagnosed and is successfully treated, Foot Drop may improve or even disappear. Foot drop condition may improve on its own within 6 weeks. It may take longer for a serious injury to heal. It may need any of the following:
Ankle Brace: It may be given an ankle brace to help retrain the leg to lift foot. It is made of hard plastic and holds the foot in place. Ankle braces may help prevent from falling.
Pain Medicine: It may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before take the medicine.
Functional Electrical Stimulation: This procedure gives nerves and muscles small electric shocks as walk. This may help muscles remember to lift foot when walk.
Surgery: Surgery may be done when the nerve damage in the leg is severe.
Foot Drop Splint Right/Left Applications
- Prevention and correction of foot drop.
- Peripheral nerve paralysis.
- Nerve/Muscle damage.
- Ankle or Plantar flexion contracture.
- Functional Alignment of the foot.
- Post operative care.
- Burn patients.
Foot Drop Splint Right/Left Features
- Effective foot lift.
- Strong leaf spring action.
- Thin walled, worn in a shoe.
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