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Foot Drop Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is foot drop?

Also known as drop foot, foot drop is basically the general term used for the problem rising the front part of your foot. In case of having a foot drop, the person suffering from it would drag his or her front part of the foot on the floor when walking. Generally, it is not a disease, but a signal towards an underlying anatomical, muscular or neurological problem. At times, the condition is temporary, however in certain cases, it is permanent. In case of having foot drop, the person would need a brace to wear on the foot and ankle for holding it normally.

What are the symptoms of foot drop?

Clearly, foot drop causes difficulty in raising your front foot’s part, thus may drag while walking. In few instances, top skin on the toes and foot may also feel numb. Moreover, foot drop affects only a single foot in usual cases, however depending upon its causal problem, chances are that it can also affect both your feet.

What causes foot drop?

It is caused due to weakness of muscles or because of muscle paralysis involved in raising your front foot’s part. Furthermore, the causal problem of foot drop tends to differ and can include:

  • Nerve or muscle disorders: different types of muscular dystrophy which triggers progressive muscle weakness can contribute FD. Moreover, other disorders for example polio can also trigger foot drop.
  • Nerve injury: nerve compression of the particular nerve responsible for controlling your muscles which are involved in raising the foot is the common trigger of FD.
  • Spinal cord and brain disorder: Certain disorder which affects the brain or spinal cord for example stroke or multiple sclerosis can also contribute foot drop.

What are the risk factors of foot drop?

Particular activities which compress the nerve responsible for controlling the specific muscles which lift the foot can make you more likely to develop foot drop. Some examples are:

  • Prolonged kneeling.
  • Crossing the legs.
  • Wearing a plaster leg cast.

How is foot drop diagnosed?

Usually, it is diagnosed during a thorough physical exam. The doctor will also ask the patient to walk whilst can check the muscles of the leg for weakness. In certain instances, the doctor can suggest additional tests, such as:

  • Imaging tests: X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI.
  • Nerve tests: Nerve conduction and electromyography.

How is foot drop treated?

The treatment of foot drop tends to depend upon its causal problem. If it is successfully treated, then foot drop tends to improve or can also disappear. However if its underlying cause is incurable or hard to treat, then FD can be permanent. Certain treatment options for FD include:

  • Physical therapy.
  • Splints or braces.
  • Nerve stimulation.
  • Surgery.

Particularly for instances where FD is rather new, then nerve surgery can be greatly helpful. However, in case foot drop is very old, then the doctor can recommend surgery which fuses foot or ankle bones.


By : Natural Health News

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