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Drop foot: the facts

© bark (Flickr) 40+60 Feet, Euw.
© bark (Flickr)
Features
Causes

When the muscles down the front of the leg get weaken, foot drop occurs. Whether the condition is temporary or permanent depends on the severity of the condition. Drop foot causes can be an array of conditions and illnesses such as parkinsons disease, cerebral palsy, diabetes, stroke, or even simple muscle or nerve injuries.

Characteristics

A person with drop foot will walk differently from people without the condition. They will drag the front of their feet. So, the toes will scuff the ground. To counteract this, people with drop foot syndrome will bend their knees to lift their foot as they take a step. With the unaffected leg, the person may walk slightly on tip toes and raise the thigh excessively in order to compensate for the dragging on the other foot. This creates a very awkward looking walk.

Diagnosis

The disorder can be diagnosed by a psychiatrist. The most common cause of foot drop is not muscle damage or disease but is in fact neurological, with a condition in the spinal cord or brain.
Treatment
Foot drop treatment

The treatment for drop foot depends upon its cause. Again, drop foot is the symptom of another issue. For neurological disorders like a herniated disc, there are both surgical and non-surgical options. You should expect a window of recovery of between 18 months and 2 years as this is a serious condition.

Foot drop brace

Other solutions can be much simpler if the cause is not neurological. Something as simple as foot drop brace around the leg can work after several months and remove the foot nerve pain. This brace will help to prevent further nerve damage in the foot, from walking awkwardly for some time.

Realistically, someone with a condition like this is going to have drop foot develop as the result of a medical injury or disease that they are already being treated for, especially in the case of spinal injuries and such. Getting professional medical advise from qualified doctors is recommended.

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