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Suggest treatment for foot drop after a stroke

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3041 Questions
my balance and gait has been diagon My balance and gait have been diagnosed as "drop foot" and has been a source of trouble just barely able to walk or stand steadily. This has been a problem since a heart attack and left my right side somewhat paralyzed. I have been taking 900 mg of gabapentin daily and walking with a brace. This has been going on for 1 1/2 years and has been modernly successful. Can you suggest medications or neurological treatments that could restore my balance and walking gait?
Posted Wed, 19 Feb 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Control heart function, patience, neurologist's Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query, Foot drop is a common complication of stroke. Treatment and outcome greatly depends on the extent of the stroke and also on the rapidity of institution of treatment. It is very important to have a proper management of your heart condition, in order to prevent any recurrence in the future. A heart attack, stints are all risk factors to develop clots (emboli), that could migrate to the brain, block blood supply leading to a stroke, that could further intensify the gait problems. i suggest you stick and get proper review from your treating cardiologist in that respect. Many treatment options do exist to manage foot drop. Results however may take quite some time before being appreciated, so patience remains the mainstay of treatment. - Gabapentin is an indicated drug, and is a good option for sure. However, in case of any depressive symptoms, special antidepressants like Amitriptilline, called tricyclic anti depressants are also used. - It is important to have a screen for the main vitamin B family in your blood. Some vitamin deficiencies could need to be corrected, by supplementation and could ameliorate symptoms. - Special materials and structures, like the Ankle - Foot - Orthosis, AFO, and artificial framework, put into the lower limb could also be of help. When used properly, function regain and ameliorated gait has been reported in most patients who actually have had to use it. - Electrical stimulation in specific areas of the lower limbs can also be used. However, this consideration is made by your neurologist, after a proper clinical review to decide on its suitability, and specific stimulation frequency. I think preventing having further conditions, that can cause stroke, especially proper control of heart functioning is imperative. You might have to book an appointment with a neurologist for proper review, to evaluate the suitability of suggested treatment measures. Some of these techniques however could require some time to produce appreciable effects, and patience therefore should remain a mainstay in the management process. thanks and kind regards as I wish you the best of health. Please, do feel free asking further questions in case of need. I would be glad making my humble contributions. Dr Bain
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