Drop Foot

Overview of Foot Drop

Drop Foot (also called foot drop) is a condition in which an individual cannot lift the front part of his/her foot. As a result, the individual’s toes drag on the ground as (s)he walks. As a preventive measure, people with this condition will lift their knees higher than normal or alter their leg movement – both of which can lead to additional problems.

Depending on the cause and severity, drop foot can either be temporary or permanent. It’s important to recognize that it is not disease; it is a condition that is often the symptom of a greater problem, including:

  • Nerve Damage – This is the most common reason for drop foot. The peroneal nerve, which stretches from behind the knee to the bottom of the shin, suffers damage and the individual loses control over the front of their foot. This is commonly caused from physical injury, diabetes or surgery on lower limbs.
  • Neurological – Sometimes drop foot can be rooted to an issue with the brain. Some examples are stroke, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.
  • Muscle diseases:  The muscles in the forefoot can diminish due to muscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and Polio. The lack of muscle control can result in drop foot.

Because drop foot is a consequence of more complicated health issues, one’s ability to completely overcome this condition is dependent upon whether the root source is treatable or not.

Popular Relief Products for Drop Foot

Although there are no products that can currently “cure” drop foot, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to fortify muscle or surgery to minimize the harm to the nerves or transfer weight to healthier muscles. There are everyday lifestyle changes that are usually recommended, including utilizing a podiatric aid. Orthotic Shop carries some of the best devices for reducing the discomfort and preventing more serious issues from occurring.

  • FootMind Elevate Drop Foot Brace: A lightweight brace such as this one can be worn with almost any shoe or sandal. Attached to the ankle, it uses discrete bands to keep the forefoot elevated to prevent toes from dragging.
  • Smart Step Drop Foot AFO Brace: This brace, worn under your heel and around the back of your ankle and lower leg, helps regulate your foot movements as you walk. It is especially designed to assist with the natural, forward rolling of your foot that normally prevents your foot from striking the ground the same way someone belly flops off of a diving board.
  • Ossur Foot-Up Brace: Enveloping the ankle, this brace can easily be hidden by pants or socks. Similar to the above mentioned product produced by Footmind, this podiatric aid is crafted to subtly pull the front of your foot upward to thwart any inclination to have toes drag.  

Symptoms of Drop Foot

Some of the most common symptoms of drop foot are:

  • Numbness at bottom of the leg and foot.
  • Difficulty walking or pivoting.
  • Toes drag on the ground.
  • Muscles are weak in leg and foot area.


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