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What is the cause and treatment for foot drop?

Answered by
Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 11273 Questions

Posted on Fri, 8 Aug 2014 in Back Pain
Question: What is foot drop, what causes it, how can it be treated, a person with foot drop can thy walk safely?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Details below.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting your query.
Foot drop is caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot. This causes an inability to lift the front part of the foot.
It can be caused by nerve injury by direct trauma to the leg or foot or brain or spinal cord problems or muscle related disorders diabetes stroke polio or muscular dystrophy.
The person can walk safely with the help of lightweight braces. They're used to support the leg.
Physical therapy is used to strengthen foot and leg muscles. It may improve a person's ability to walk. In some cases, electronic devices that stimulate the leg nerves during walking may be appropriate.

Surgery may be needed to repair or decompress a damaged nerve. In cases where foot drop is permanent, surgery to fuse the foot and ankle joint or to transfer tendons from stronger muscles may help improve gait and stability.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Praveen Tayal 31 hours later
So is it possible for her case that since she had a ventricular shunt in the brain and was told by husband that doctors informed them that shunt has leak and needs repair has correlation with the foot drop.
Her Primary doctor also ordered podiatry and podiatry ordered orthotics shoes. What does orthotics has to do with foot drops.

Also can foot drops make you have leg cramps and have stiff legs. She complains of leg cramps and stiff leg and primary doctor ordered the podiatry and over the counter medication. Please help me understand
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Braces are better.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing again.
The surgery in the brain can cause a foot drop. Orthotics give support to the foot and help the patient in walking normally. Using a brace is a better option.
Leg cramps and stiffness can happen due to irregular nerve activity. Regular physiotherapy can help in nerve regeneration. Podiatrist can help in maintaining the leg in functional position till the recovery is complete.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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