Drop foot is a condition that hampers your ability to move around easily due to the inability to lift the front of your foot. To help avoid the complications that can come with drop foot and improve your gait, Daniel Michaels, DPM, MS, DABFAS, at Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute, offers corrective devices to help remedy the problem. If you’re located in Hagerstown or Frederick, Maryland, call or set up an appointment using the online scheduler.
Drop foot is an aptly named condition in which you have little control over lifting the front of your foot. Drop foot isn’t a disease, but a condition in which you’re unable to lift your foot, which can lead to foot drag and an overcorrected gait to avoid dragging the top of your foot across the ground.
Drop foot may affect one or both of your feet, depending upon the cause, and is typically brought about by:
This is the most common cause of drop foot, and it usually involves the peroneal nerve in your leg, which is responsible for lifting your foot. This nerve may be damaged during joint replacement surgery or because of prolonged squatting, which leads to problems controlling your foot. Drop foot can also come from a pinched nerve in your back.
Several disorders involving your nerves and muscles can cause drop foot, including muscular dystrophy, polio, or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
There are a number of conditions that impact your brain or spinal cord in such a way that causes foot drop, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke.
To start, Dr. Michaels assesses your drop foot using nerve conduction studies and advanced imaging to identify the source of the problem. Once he has a clearer picture of the issue, he uses different types of braces that normalize your gait and alleviate any associated pain while he treats the underlying problem. These braces fit into your shoe and help keep your foot lifted, restoring a more normal gait with less stress on your hips.
Dr. Michaels also recommends physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles, which can help you regain a more regular gait while also warding off further progression of the condition.
Ultimately, the treatment for your drop foot depends entirely upon what’s causing the condition, but, rest assured, Dr. Michaels’ first order of business is improving the way you walk with braces so that you’re comfortable right away.
To learn more about your options when it comes to drop foot, call Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.