Help! I have a foot drop!
If you have a drop foot , you can experience a lot of inconvenience. Logically you want to get rid of that as soon as possible. But where does a drop foot actually come from and what helps and what doesn’t? In this blog we will discuss the cause of a drop foot and the aids that are used with a drop foot and the associated complaints.
What is a foot drop?
The condition foot drop lives up to its name. Weakening or failure of the muscles at the front of the lower leg causes your foot to collapse when it makes contact with your heel on the ground. This ensures that you quickly get stuck behind a step, curb or threshold. The risk of falling is therefore many times greater.
An investigation can determine the exact cause of your drop foot. This is often a combination of a physical and neurological examination. In some cases, a more specific nerve conduction study is needed or an (MRI) scan is made of your lower leg.
Foot drop cause
An investigation can reveal the exact cause of your foot drop. This is often a combination of a physical and neurological examination. In some cases, a more specific nerve conduction study or (MRI) scan is needed.
A drop in the foot is often caused by damage to the nerve in the lower leg (peroneal nerve). This often happens due to trauma, sitting for a long time and often with the legs crossed or sitting in a squatting position for a long time (while working).
Due to an operation, nerve failure or trauma, the foot lift muscles can (temporarily) work less well, or fail completely. As a result, you can lift your foot less well or not at all. This affects your gait, is tiring and can cause you to trip over minor bumps. This is called a drop foot or ‘drop foot’.
Drop foot after a hernia or stenosis
It is possible that your foot drop was caused by a so-called hernia (fracture) or stenosis (narrowing of the spine) in the lumbar spine (lower back). The exiting nerve is damaged, resulting in a neurological phenomenon (foot drop).
Aids (ortheses) for foot drop
A drop foot splint, brace, bandage or EVO is an aid that ensures that your foot does not ‘hang’ during the swing phase of the gait or collapse when the heel bone makes contact with the ground (heel bone landing phase). Drop foot braces and bandages are only used for people with weakened foot lifts and a mild foot drop, the AFOs (ankle foot orthosis), on the other hand, are used more for a heavy foot drop, more serious injuries and combinations with spasticity. Several variants are available; from very simple to advanced.
Some examples are:
- Foot-up drop foot brace
- Boxia drop foot brace
- peroneal spring
- caroli feather
- Various fixation braces (available on referral via Leuk orthopedics)
An example of a very simple but effective drop foot bandage is the Óssur Foot-Up . This is a bandage, suitable for mild foot lifter’s paresis, which can be easily attached between the shoe and the ankle. Unlike other products that have to be placed in the shoe
In addition, a Foot-Up does not have to be measured by an orthopedic technician, but you can easily do this yourself. See the size chart with the product.
Another option is the Boxia drop foot orthosis from Orliman. Just like the Ossur foot-up, you do not need to have this drop foot brace measured by an orthopedic technician, but you can simply measure it yourself using the size chart.
Foot drop exercises
The best way to treat a drop foot is to take the direct pressure off the nerve. Adjusting the posture and changing habits is often enough to better deal with a drop foot. Furthermore, there are various exercises to train control / sensitivity over ankle / foot. Be informed by a physiotherapist from ProBrace . Usually the foot drop recovers within two to three months, but in some cases the foot drop will never go away. In the case of severe weakness or complete paralysis , a combination of physiotherapy with targeted training in combination with a brace / bandage offers the solution.
Driving with a foot drop?
Whether you can drive with a foot drop varies from person to person and depends on many different factors. It will also matter whether it is your left or right foot. When you drive an automatic transmission and you have less power (eg a foot drop) from your left foot. Then it should still be possible to drive responsibly. If you have a switch car or if you have a drop foot on the other side, it is more difficult and the degree of the injury will determine whether it is safe to get into the car.
Running with a drop foot?
Also applies to running with a drop foot; this varies greatly from person to person. Be informed and advised by a physiotherapist, general practitioner, neurologist or a specialist from ProBrace. In principle, you can run with a mild foot drop, but always be careful because of the risk of falling. You are always welcome to visit our office hours at one of our office hours. To make an appointment, please contact us.