What is Foot Drop

Foot drop is a problem in which it is difficult to lift the front part of the foot due to certain problem in that part of the foot. Foot drop is not a disease; it is a sign of some underlying problem like neurological, muscular etc. Foot drop can be temporary and permanent too. It can be unilateral or bilateral. Unilateral is that in which it affects any one foot and bilateral is in which it affects both of the feet. An easy and quick way to test whether you have foot drop or not is to wear heels and then try to walk. If you feel it difficult to walk like this, then foot drop might be present.

Foot drop can be caused due to some muscular problems like multiple sclerosis, polio, certain kind of spinal muscular problems, some injury and some muscle disorders. It can also be a result of nerve damage, diabetes, a stroke or a tumor or sometimes due to alcohol consumption. Foot drop can cause foot numbness, weakness, foot dragging while walking and the inability to life the front part of the foot up. The foot drop can be diagnosed by conducting a complete physical exam of the patient and by observing the visual appearance of the foot and the leg. The techniques like MRI can also help in diagnosing the problem. Certain blood tests for diabetes, toxins and to test the hemoglobin levels can also help in diagnosing the problem and the cause behind it.

Treatment of the foot drop depends on the cause of the problem. Our aim is to eliminate or remove the underlying cause and it would in turn cure the foot drop problem too. The common treatment which is used to cure foot drop is the use of braces in the front part of the foot. Exercise can also be a part of the treatment which would strengthen the muscles of the foot. In case of permanent foot drop, surgery may be required to cure the problem. Physical therapy can also help in curing this problem. As soon as you start feeling this problem in your feet, you should immediately consult your doctor. Do not avoid this problem. It can take a serious turn if left untreated. However, foot drop doe not shorten the life span. It can be a lifelong disability if not taken care of properly. So treatment should be taken on the right time.

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