A person with foot drop is unable to lift the front a part of his foot (a movement known as dorsiflexion). Each and every person with foot drop attempts to walk, the foot will slap down on the floor. The affected person may try to accommodate the condition by walking on his toes, but he will be in order to walk on his heels (one of the tests a podiatrist uses to diagnose the condition). Foot drop usually only affects one foot, but in certain cases both feet may be rendered immobile.
Foot drop occurs when the muscles below the knee that are responsible for lifting the front primary foot (the anterior tibialis) become abnormally weak as well paralyzed. Foot drop is often the result of a neurological dysfunction, although occasionally it can be linked to muscular dysfunctions at all. It can be caused by nerve damage (either in the central or peripheral nervous system), which paralyzes the muscles inside of the lower leg. This nerve damage can be the results of injury, or surgery (foot drop is a particularly common side effect in hip or knee replacement surgery). You can even give yourself a temporary case of foot drop if you sit with each of your legs crossed for too much.
Various nervous or muscular disorders are also related to foot drop. Multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or stroke can all end result in damage in the nervous or muscular system that produces the condition.
Finally, there are several medications that can sometimes lead to a temporary side effect of foot drop. Your doctor should inform you when taking one of these medical treatments.
In order to treat foot drop, the underlying disorder must be treated and so a proper diagnosis is very all-important. MRI and EMG scans can be very helpful when it comes correctly diagnosing the condition. In the meantime, the symptoms of the condition can be alleviated using custom orthotics that wrap around your ankle and attach to your shoe with a small band. These orthotics will help your weakened muscles 'lift' the ankle. Orthotics made to be worn barefoot or during the night can also be found. Speak with your doctor or podiatrist for more details.
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