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What is Drop Foot?

Friday, 8 September 2017  |  Paul

Drop foot, sometimes also called 'foot drop' is a deceptively simple name for a very serious health problem that can have a devastating impact on your everyday activities. To put it rather bluntly, it is the inability to lift the front part of the foot, causing the toes to drag on the ground when walking.

How Do I Recognise Drop Foot?

Drop foot is usually easy to recognise. Since muscle weakness would cause the front of the foot to drag on the ground, people suffering from this condition accommodate the toe drop by either:

  • Using a characteristic tiptoe walk on the opposite leg
  • Raising the thigh excessively, as if walking upstairs
  • Swinging the leg outward when walking

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, do not hesitate to visit your GP. The doctor can easily diagnose foot drop with several imaging tests, such as an x-ray, ultrasound scan or computerised tomography (CT) scan. 

What Causes Foot Drop?

What you need to be aware of is that foot drop is not a disease in itself, but usually only a symptom of a much greater problem. The common causes of drop foot can be divided into three categories:

Nerve Injury

Most commonly drop foot is caused by an injury to the peroneal nerve, which can occur due to:

  • Sports injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Hip or knee replacement surgery
  • Spending long hours sitting cross-legged or squatting
  • Childbirth
  • Time spent in a leg cast

Brain or Spinal Disorders

Neurological conditions that can contribute to foot drop include:

  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

Muscle Disorders

Conditions that cause the muscles to progressively deteriorate may have a negative effect on foot drop. They include:

  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease)
  • Polio

Treatment Options

Foot drop does not necessarily need to be permanent, but as with any other condition, it all depends on how early it is diagnosed and how well you manage it. Your treatment options depend on the cause and on how long you've had the condition, and usually include one of the following three solutions.

  • Wearing an Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO): worn on the lower part of the leg to help you lift the foot and take complete control over your foot and ankle.
  • Physiotherapy: guided physical therapy with a trained professional can help you strengthen your foot, ankle and lower leg muscles.
  • Surgery: fusing the ankle or foot bones is the last resort, designed for helping certain severe, long-term cases.

Boxia Drop Foot AFO Brace

Wearing a high-quality AFO brace can help most people suffering from foot drop, and Boxia Drop Foot AFO Brace is certainly one of the best braces you can get. While most AFO braces are designed as plastic splints that extend all the way from your foot to your knee, making them incredibly uncomfortable to wear, the Boxia Drop Foot Brace raises your forefoot in a simple and natural manner.

Find out how exactly this innovative, cleverly designed drop foot brace works and read all about the Boxia Drop Foot AFO Brace on Health and Care.

Drop Foot Brace 

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