Foot drop or drop foot is a condition where the muscles on the front of the lower leg are greatly weakended, it is a deficit in turning the ankle and toes upward. Sufferers of drop foot generally lose the ability to pull the toes up while the leg is moving forward, and a simple routine like walking becomes a challenge to people with dropped foot syndrome.
Foot drop is characterized by steppage gait (dropfoot gait). When the person with foot drop walks, the foot slaps down onto the floor. To balance for the toe drop, the patient must raise the thigh excessively, in such a way that it looks as if the patient is walking upstairs.
Drop Foot – Foot Drop – Signs, Symptoms And Treatments
Drop foot (a weakness in ankle dorsiflexion) is however is not a disease but more like a symptom of an underlying problem (could be neurological, muscular or anatomical problem). It may be temporary or permanent, depending on the causes of it. The most common cause for foot drop syndrome is an injury to the peroneal nerve at the top of the calf behind the knee. Other major causes of foot drop also includes multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and muscular dystrophy.
Treatments for drop foot will depends on the underlying cause of the foot dropping. In general, a drop foot orthopedic devices, such as a drop foot brace or ankle foot orthosis (stabilizing orthosis) will be used to stablise the foot and ankle. Gait analysis and training will be incorporated as therapy to get the patient to walk properly. However if the condition is critical, then surgery would be considered.