Foot drop or drop foot is general inability to lift the front part of the foot. Foot drop is not a disease; it is sign of an underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical problem. It can happen to one or both feet at the same time. It occurs due to weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot. Sometimes it’s temporary, but can be permanent also.
Age / Sex of Foot Drop
Foot drop can occur at any age.
It can happen to anyone
• Brain or spine injury.
• Nerve injury.
• Sports injury.
• Multiple sclerosis.
• Cerebral palsy.
• Muscular dystrophy.
• Spinal stenosis.
• Charcot-marie-tooth disease.
• Lyme disease.
• Parkinson’s disease.
• Hip or knee replacement surgery.
• Long hours sitting with cross legs.
• Prolonged kneeling.
• After parturition.
• Excessive weight loss.
• Plaster cast.
• Drugs reaction.
• Damage to the nerves that passes below the knee.
• Foot lifting difficult.
• Dragging the front part of the foot.
• Steppage gait.
• Redness and swelling of the foot.
• Numbness of foot.
• Higher step than normal, when climb stairs.
• Weak leg and foot muscles.
• Foot may be limp.
• Uncontrolled slapping of toes against the ground.
• Swinging hip motion.
• Tingling, numbness and slight pain in the foot.
• Muscular atrophy in the leg.
• Reduced walking speed.
• Reduce quality of life.
• Balancing difficulties.
• Curled toes or corns on the ball of foot.
• Complete case history.
• Physical examination.
• Fasting blood sugar.
• Hemoglobin level.
• Nitrogen and creatinine tests.
• CT scan
• MRI scan
• Electromyography (EMG)
• Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs)/ (Light weight braces).
• Shoe inserts.
• Physical therapy.
• Nerve stimulations.
Prognosis of the foot drop varies with treatment according to the cause and severity level of the symptoms.
• Yoga and meditation helps.
• Physiotherapy to strengthen the foot and lower leg muscles.
• Wearing lower leg brace.
• Physical therapy helps.
• Regular exercises such as Toe grab, Toe curl, Toe flex, foot stretch, calf raise and cycling should be done under guidance and supervision of instructor.
• Always boost patient for doing activities.
• Keep motivating them for their effort in improvement.
• Help them in stretching.
• Keep all floors clear of clutter.
• Mark stairways with fluorescent tape on top and bottom of the step to make it visible at night.
• Avoid use of throw rugs.
• Relocate electrical cords away from walkways.
• Make room and stairways well it.
• Extreme restlessness, anguish and fear especially towards late evening.
• Numbness and tingling, shooting pains and icy coldness of feet.
• Joints feel lame, especially after lying down.
• Skin is dry and hot.
• Unquenchable thirst for long quantities of cold water.
• Trembling, twitching, spasms, weakness, heaviness, uneasiness.
• Swelling of feet.
• Burning pains.
• Peripheral neuritis.
• Paralysis of the lower limbs with atrophy.
• Great weakness of all joints.
• Weariness of hand and feet.
• Itching in feet and legs.
• Oedema in joint after fracture.
• Tearing pains in joints.
• Weak ankles; cannot walk without suffering.
• Slow in learning to walk.
• Restless legs at night.
• Worse in heat bed.
• Better by warmth.
• Legs numb, feels paralyzed.
• Cramps in calf and soles.
• Partial paralysis from over exertion.
• Drags his feet when walking.
• Sensation of sudden loss in power of legs in morning.
• Painless paralysis.
• Twitching of the limbs.
• Numbness jerks as if flexors were overacting.
• Coldness of limbs.
• Ascending sensory and motor paralysis from end of toes.
• Burning in feet.
• Weakness and trembling for every exertion.
• Joints suddenly give way.
• Worse from touch.