Foot drop or drop foot is the term we use to describe a difficulty in lifting the front part of the foot when walking. It might be a feeling of heaviness, the inability to lift one foot as high as the other when walking, or sometimes a literal dragging of one foot. This is almost always just a symptom of a greater problem, so it is important to get to the root cause.
Drop foot is usually quite noticeable to the patient, because something seems out of whack.
One foot may seem to slap against the ground with each step or you might feel the need to raise your thigh higher than normal to properly raise the foot.
You might also experience a discomfort or weakness in that foot.
The causes behind drop foot are quite varied. We sometimes see drop foot in patients with a muscle disorder such as muscular dystrophy or with disorders of the nervous system like multiple schlerosis (MS) or amyotrophic lateral schlerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
It can happen after a stroke, hip or knee replacement surgery or after an injury to the muscles and nerves that control the ankle and toes.
Sometimes it’s even a temporary reaction to sitting with your legs crossed for too long.
If drop foot interferes with your walking or becomes persistent, it’s important to see a podiatrist because it might be the first symptom of a larger problem.
We will conduct a thorough physical exam and might do a Nerve Conduction Velocity Test or Electromyography Test, available for your convenience with Dr. Mark Brooks in our office.
How drop foot is treated depends entirely on the underlying cause. We often use a brace, splint or foot orthotic to give patients a more normal and comfortable gait. There are quite a variety of treatments available, depending on the severity and cause of the problem.
If the drop foot appears to be caused by an issue with the nervous system or in relation to another condition, we will consult with a specialist.
If you are experiencing foot pain, call our office or make an online appointment
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There may be providers, plans and coverage not included on this list. We will help you with navigating the options for coverage and costs. We also accept HSA, Flex accounts, Care Credit and prompt pay pricing for treatment at the clinic and surgical procedures. We do not accept Medicaid plans at this time. Visit our New Patient page for more details.
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