What is Dropfoot?
Dropfoot occurs when there is weakness in the muscles in the front of the lower leg making it difficult to pick up the foot during gait. The person tends to lift the knee higher to compensate, otherwise the top of the foot will drag the ground. Having a dropfoot can increase the risk of tripping or falling. Dropfoot can occur on one or both sides.
Causes of Dropfoot
- Common Peroneal Nerve Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Compressed Spinal Nerve
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Charcot Marie Tooth
X-rays will be taken. In addition two tests that examine the nerves of the lower leg and the associated muscles called a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and electromyogram (EMG) are often ordered.
Several different kinds of custom Leg Braces called ankle foot orthotics (AFO) are available and can effectively support the foot during gait. They can effectively increase mobility and decrease fall risk. Physical therapy can be helpful as well for strengthening other muscle groups that will allow you to better compensate for the weaker ones.
When bracing does not provide adequate relief, surgery can be considered. The type of procedure and recovery time largely depend on the cause of drop foot and any associated deformities. Tendon transfers play a large role in drop foot correction but sometimes joint fusions are necessary.
Click below for more information on tendon transfers.
If you are suffering from a dropfoot we encourage you to make an appointment for an evaluation today.
We are your Seattle area Ankle Specialists; we treat the full spectrum of ankle conditions simple to complex. Whether you are in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Bothell, Arlington, Mount Vernon, or Whidbey Island call us today to make an appointment and we can educate you on ankle and foot problems and better yet find solutions!
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