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  • Foot Drop Solutions

    Underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical problem.

  • Foot Drop Solutions

    Braces | Splints 

  • Foot Drop Solutions

    Technologies | Bioness L300

    Maximising Independence | Solutions for Foot Drop

    Underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical problem.

    Foot Drop and Walking Problems

    Foot drop, sometimes called drop foot, is a general term for difficulty lifting the front part of the foot. 

    If you have foot drop, the front of your foot might drag on the ground when you walk. This can cause you to raise your thigh when you walk, as though climbing stairs (steppage gait), to help your foot clear the floor. This unusual gait might cause you to slap your foot down onto the floor with each step. 

    Foot drop isn't a disease. Rather, foot drop is a sign of an underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical problem. 

    Foot drop can be temporary or permanent. Depending on the cause, foot drop can affect one or both feet.

    Causes of Foot Drop

    Foot drop is caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles involved in lifting the front part of the foot. 

    • Nerve injury. The most common cause of foot drop is compression of a nerve in your leg that controls the muscles involved in lifting the foot (peroneal nerve). This nerve can also be injured during hip or knee replacement surgery, which may cause foot drop.
    • Nerve root injury "pinched nerve" in the spine can also cause foot drop. People who have diabetes are more susceptible to nerve disorders, which are associated with foot drop.
    • Muscle or nerve disorders. Various forms of muscular dystrophy, an inherited disease that causes progressive muscle weakness, can contribute to foot drop. So can other disorders, such as polio or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
    • Brain and spinal cord conditions. Conditions that affect the spinal cord or brain, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis or stroke.


    How PhysioFunction can help treat Foot Drop

    Treatment for foot drop depends on the cause. If the cause is successfully treated, foot drop might improve or even disappear. If the cause can't be treated, foot drop can be permanent.

    Treatment for foot drop might include:

    • Braces or splints. A brace on your ankle and foot or splint that fits into your shoe can help hold your foot in a normal position. PhysioFunction are able to assess for a wide range of splints including the Turbomed FS3000
    • Physiotherapy. Exercises that strengthen your leg muscles and help you maintain the range of motion in your knee and ankle might improve gait problems associated with foot drop. Stretching exercises are particularly important to prevent the stiffness in the heel.
    • FES. Stimulates the nerves and activates weakened muscles to provide an aid to walking which assists with recovery and independent mobility. Our specialist trained physiotherapists can assess you for FES suitability using the Bioness L300. The use of FES may assist in day-to-day activities which otherwise may not be possible.

    Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) can help with foot drop by stimulating nerves to activate muscles so that the foot lifts up at the ankle. Not only does FES reduce trips and falls, it can also make walking faster and less effortful. Over time the muscles can even relearn how to lift the foot without the stimulator. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has declared FES as a safe and effective treatment for drop foot.

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