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What Is Foot Drop?

The most common cause of foot drop is injury to the peroneal nerve behind the knee.
. In a small percent of cases, hip replacement surgery may cause foot drop.
Foot drop can severely limit mobility in some people.
Wearing a cast may contribute to the development of foot drop.
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Foot drop, also called drop foot, is a condition in which the muscles in the leg cannot raise the foot at the ankle effectively, causing difficulty when walking. The affected person must lift his or her foot high to allow the toes to clear the ground. When this condition is caused by pressure on the nerves that control the muscles in the leg or a knee injury, it can be temporary. Damage to the nerves, as well as a number of medical disorders, can cause this condition to be permanent, however.

Signs

The most obvious sign of foot drop are toes that point away from the body when the foot is relaxed. The person may have difficulty walking, scuffing his or her toes and tripping over the affected foot frequently. In an attempt to overcome this, he or she may lift the knees higher so there is less chance of stumbling over the toes; this distinctive movement is known as steppage gait. As the person walks, he or she may also slap the foot down with each step.

Some people experience tingling or numbness in the foot and ankle. This may be caused by the particular way of walking, or could be linked to the underlying cause of the condition. The feet and legs may also feel weak. Foot drop can affect both feet, but it is more common to experience it in only one.

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Causes

The most common cause is an injury to the peroneal nerve at the top of the calf behind the knee. This nerve provides sensation and movement to the front and side of the leg, as well as the top of the foot. If it becomes compressed, a condition called peroneal nerve palsy, it may no longer be able to support the tibialis anterior, the muscle which lifts the foot. Damage to the nerve can also be caused by surgery on the knee.

Back problems can also affect the nerves in the legs. Compression of the lower bundle of nerves in the spinal cord, called the cauda equine, can cause this condition, as can damage to the discs that separate the bones of the spine. Because the nerves from the spinal cord pass through the hips and thighs on their way to the feet, damage to those body parts can also cause foot drop. In a small percent of cases, hip replacement surgery may cause temporary or permanent damage to the nerves that serve the legs and feet. Prolonged pressure on the nerves in the legs, which happens to some patients confined to a wheelchair or bed, can also cause problems.

Foot drop can also be caused by disorders that affect the brain and spine, like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease. These disorders often cause problems with movement as well as muscle weakness. Peripheral nerve disorders, like Charcot-Marie Tooth disease, usually involve damage to the nerves in the extremeties — particularly the feet — and can cause numbness, muscle weakness, and balance issues, as well as foot drop. Muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy, can cause progressive weakness, including difficulty walking.

Diagnosis

To diagnose foot drop, a health care professional will take a complete medical history, including information about parents or other family members who may have also experienced foot problems. He or she will evaluate the patient's symptoms, including any numbness and tingling in the leg or foot. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other x-ray tests may be used to see if there are any physical abnormalities that may be pressing on the peroneal nerve or the spinal cord. An electromyogram (EMG) may also be conducted to measure nerve activity to pinpoint the exact area of the damage. If a neuromuscular disorder is suspected, a muscle biopsy and/or MRI of the brain may also be performed.

Risk Factors

There are a few factors that can increase the chances of someone developing foot drop. People who cross their legs at the knee are more likely to have this problem, as are those with an orthopedic cast on the lower leg that stops just below the knee; in both cases, extra pressure is put on the peroneal nerve, which could cause it to become inflamed or compressed. Nerve damage is also a possibility with any surgery on the hip or knee joints.

Neuromuscular disorders are often genetic. If a person has a family member with foot drop that is caused by another disorder, he or she is more likely to develop it as well. The cause of some diseases, like multiple sclerosis, that can cause this condition is not completely understood.

Treatment

Special shoes and straps can be used to mimic the natural ankle motion for patients who have either temporary or permanent foot drop. An ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) is a brace that supports the ankle and holds it and the foot in the correct position. Patients can also benefit from physical therapy; certain exercises, including stretching, help strengthen the leg muscles, prevent stiffness in the heel, and improve gait by preserving the range of motion.

In cases where the foot drop is caused by a problem with the brain or spinal cord, electrical stimulation of the nerve may also help. Special devices can be worn below the knee that sense when the person is taking a step and stimulates the muscle in the leg and foot to lift the toes appropriately. This device does not work for people who have problems with the nerves in the feet.

If the peroneal nerve is injured, patients should seek treatment right away to improve the chances of recovery. When the nerve is compressed, surgery may be possible to relieve the pressure. In some cases, it may even be possible to transfer or graft a nerve from another part of the body to repair the area and allow for better feeling and movement.

It is also possible for a surgeon to fuse the bones in the ankle or foot together so that it is easier for the patient to walk. This typically limits how far the ankle can move, but many patients are able to compensate for this and walk more normally.

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Discuss this Article

anon350718
Post 96

Toxoplasmosis could be the cause of foot drop. You need to see a neuromuscular disease Physician and have a biopsy done. Cysts on bottom of feet should have a biopsy also.

anon344015
Post 95

My brother and I suffer with Muscular Dystrophy (Mayopathy)-footdrop.

My younger brother is 33 years old, and has suffered with Myopathy since he was 12 years old (Muscular Dystrophy).

In my brother's case, gradually the disease is increasing and he is losing his strength. Now he is not able to stand without help from both sides. Until now we have taken the treatment in many hospitals including ayurvedic (Kotekal aryavidhya shala) but there is no result.

About five years ago, my brother was admitted to the "Superspeciality hospital," Whitefield, Bangalore and was treated by Dr.Suresh. He did a muscle biopsy and this was the report.

"Report of histopathological examination:

Nature of Specimen: Received muscle biopsy tissue bit measuring.

Histopathology report: The fascicular architecture of the muscle is effaced by fatty infiltration and fibre dropout. In some of the fascicles the fibres are small suggesting hypoplasia, as these fibres are polygonal and have no nuclear clumps. Occasional regenerating fibres are seen, but no active myophagocytosis. SDH and NADH stains revealed lobulated type I fibresrandomly distributed. In addition a few fibres have vacuoles with central granular material, but no distinct rimming. MGT stain in these fibres showed red granular deposits. MGT revealed more fibres with these features than by SDH/NADH stains. Atpase stains revealed focal type I grouping. There is no interstitial inflammation or vasculitis. The histological features are suggestive of LGMD. However as there is distal muscle pathology, family history and rimmed vacuoles, possibility of familiar inclusion body myositis need to be considered."

Please let me know where can we get the treatment for the above disease. --Raghu

anon282426
Post 94

Here's what worked for me. I've had many motorbike mishaps (race and street), been hit by cars, fallen off roofs and ladders, etc.

Structural Integration, a.k.a., Rolfing and Osteopathy.

These modalities realign the mess we've inflicted on our bodies. Forty years ago walking up and down stairs was one step at a time. Now it's effortless and when I reach the top/bottom, I say 'wow.'

anon281319
Post 93

I had no idea of all the physiological (neural, muscular, etc.) causes of foot drop, but when I was working on my nutrition degree at the University of Idaho, what was discussed was lack of Vitamin B12. I would at least check that out!

If an intrinsic factor in the stomach is not working right, taking oral vitamins will not help, but Vitamin B12 shots or sublingual (under the tongue) might help. I would suggest this especially for people who have no idea what is causing their symptoms. If B12 is lacking (or intrinsic factor) there would also be problems with anemia, I think.

What I wonder now is if the many new meds we are taking are causing B12 deficiency problems. This is just a thought -- I don't really know -- but I wouldn't be surprised if the strong antacid meds so many take may cause problems with intrinsic factor in the stomach and therefore with Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) absorption and utilization. And if you want to be really frightened, foot drop used to be associated with neural damage from syphilis.

These things were discussed in my nutrition classes, but of course nothing was said or known about all the mechanical and neural problems so many discuss here.

jdraffin
Post 92

I had a spinal injury in 1975 that left me with foot drop. The flicking down of the front part of my foot transfers a hefty shockwave back up my achilles tendon. Over time this has grown so painful that I can't walk except with a moonboot with a curved sole. Is this achilles injury tendonosis or tendonitis? Has anyone heard of this before, or had a similar experience?

anon217284
Post 91

Sorry, haven't read the entire dialogue. You need to look for your answers from Dr. Robert Morse.

It comes down to a high fruit, low fat, plant based diet (raw and uncooked). One lady born without L4 and L5 grew a new set and now has L4 and L5. Never underestimate the power of the human body to regenerate itself if you let it.

anon214795
Post 90

I am 27 years old, and have polio. Got operated on left leg in 2011 (operation done for btr load bearing angulation purpose at ankle). Problem I am facing now is very low stamina while walking and standing too. I seek your help. Please explain why is it happening and also cure to improve the same.

Also one more query: why do polio patients place their hand on the knee while walking?

anon188192
Post 89

to post 1: I had spinal fusion in 2000, along with foot drop and no feeling in my right leg from knee to toes. My ankle is coming apart and needs help. new york state comp is trying to kill me. -- b.y.

anon187337
Post 88

@non163907: My cousin suffered from foot drop, but from a result of a stroke.

Anyway, he got a medical device from a company called Bioness. It worked great for him and he's walking much better now. Not sure if they are the only company that offers something like this, but they do have a website. Hope this works for you as well as it did for my cousin.

anon163907
Post 87

I had a hip resurfacing five years ago when I was 44.

I woke to find I had severe foot drop, caused by the operation. I have not recovered. I have no normal feeling or movement in the foot. The surgeon never apologised, just kept saying wait and see. Because I signed the consent form he's covered. My life has changed forever.

anon161729
Post 86

I'm 28 and have lived with an abnormality in my left foot since age of 15. I have it slightly in the right foot however the left foot is more severe. I have clawing of the toes, a bone looks like its sticking up through the top of my foot and I have really high arches. The back of my ankle is all deformed as well. I was a size 5 when I was 14 then I started to notice my foot was shrinking. I am now a size 3.

When walking, I always wear out my shoes on the inside of the foot and can never find shoes to fit me properly. I can't wear heels either, because it is too painful. I tend to dig my toes into the ground when walking, like a claw effect to stop them from sticking up in my shoes. I could actually at one point walk around without my toes. They'd stick up in the air - it looked weird!

I noticed my foot problem at the age of 15, along with an underdeveloped breast on the left hand side. (This was really underdeveloped, not just a slight difference). I had corrective surgery on this when I was 21. When I was 23, I had surgery on my neck to remove a swollen lymph node, and I was diagnosed with toxoplasmosis. I was getting shooting nerve pain all down my left hand side. During surgery, it was noted the spinal accessory nerve was wrapped around the lymph node and was cut, leaving me with severe nerve damage to my neck, shoulder and top arm. It took over a year to recover from this. They just said this was bad luck.

I went to see an orthopedic surgeon when I was 19 about my foot. He told me he could perform surgery to help with my problem of walking over and to help reduce the pain in my thighs and lower limbs when running and walking. At the time, it was too scary to deal with so I did nothing about it.

However, the foot gradually got worse and shrunk to a size 3 and the other one a size 4. So I went back. I was sent for many tests, but the surgeon just said he would perform surgery. He took a ligament from the back of my ankle and attached it to the side. The purpose of this was to bring my foot facing forward as it was slung to the side. He was then going to fuse my ankle bone to my leg joint to cure the foot drop.

He did not perform the surgery all at once. I had the first part last year. He told me to see how I got on.

My foot is now worse off than it was before, as my achilles tendon is over stretching because of the foot drop. Without shoes I can't walk or put my foot flat on the floor. My ankle seizes up when resting and is really painful. Feels like the achilles tendon is going to snap. I tend to walk on my ball of my foot now so I can get around quicker without shoes on. I have to literally drag my foot on the floor otherwise. I also hyper extend my leg to enable me to walk.

I've been attending physio for over a year now with no progress. All they can do is manipulate the tendon to stretch it out. My leg was actually twisting to one side at one point and when I was walking my knee cap was giving way and flicking out as I walked. This is much better than it was but it seems to be returning. I have shoe insoles now to help with walking, but this seems to create more pain.

I have always suffered with lower back pain but put this down to sleeping awkwardly or over stretching myself. I also suffer with terrible stomach pains I generally get bloated about three times a week. Just put this down an allergy or something.

So I went back to see the surgeon. He said it is necessary now for the second part of the surgery but before he does this he has sent me to see a neurologist who in turn is sending me for an MRI scan of the brain and spine. Also for further nerve conduction studies. I hate those tests!

On examination of my foot, breast and left shoulder, talking about my medical history, he has come to the conclusion that all of this is connected and I might have some sort of neurological disorder.

I've been telling them this for years and have asked time and time again if is it is all connected, only to be told that it's not. Now they are telling me it is and it's likely the surgery I've undergone on my ankle has made things worse!

I just wondered if anyone else has had the same sort of problems as me. Either it's connected or I'm just really unlucky that every surgery I've had had gone wrong.

It's all on the left hand side (is left handed too). It all seems too much of a coincidence not to be related? Any response would be greatly appreciated.

I hoping the tests then send me for come back with some answers so I can finally feel like I'm not going mad. I'm just sick to the teeth of the pain and going around in circles. --Jennifer

anon161402
Post 85

Until I was affected by foot drop, I had never even heard of it. I am 61 years old and four months ago I had a difficult abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery. I had been home from the hospital for about three weeks when I felt my left foot slapping on the floor when i walked. I went to my family doctor and that is when he told me about foot drop. I was told that it could have been caused by my surgery and that it could be permanent or could just be gone one day.

For the last couple of days I have noticed that I no longer have this problem and it seems to have gone as mysteriously as it came.

anon159921
Post 84

I had back surgery in 2007 and after my right ankle was weak. Back still killed me. I had a fusion on my L5 S1 and my L5 joint removed in 2008. I woke up with drop foot and it never came back. I had an EMG done in March of 2009 again and it came back with 60 percent loss on right leg all the way to my back.

Now two days ago, I had another EMG done and my doctor said all and both sides of my back and disc are abnormal. When she put in the needle it made a whole bunch of noise. She said that isn't good. I should have asked, but what does this mean for me?

I was 33 years old when this started. My old doctor didn't put needles in my back when she did my EMG. She only put it in my leg. My new doctor did and said its really abnormal. I will not have surgery again.

Every time I come out worse and more disabled. I wear a leg brace for my drop foot. My left leg is good. I used to be into sports and had a very active life. Now I don't!

anon116176
Post 83

I'm post number 82 on here. I forgot to mention I'm 47 years old and a very busy mother of three. I've never let the back problems slow me down, but now it seems like its hit me all at once. The pain is a burning hot kind of pain, and every now and then feels like a bee sting in one spot. --Tina

anon116175
Post 82

I was diagnosed with lower back problems about four years ago, and since then pain has come and gone, never to severe, but then two days ago, i suddenly could hardly walk for pain in my right leg and into my right foot and toes.

It seems to help when i drag my foot when walking instead of trying to lift it. I also have a cyst on my right kidney so i don't know which could be causing this problem with my leg now. Any help?

anon110623
Post 81

about five months ago, i developed numbness and tingling in my left foot. At first, the MD thought it was diabetic neuropathy, but that turned to be neg. I was sent to neurologist, who did a lot of labs and nerve conduction tests. I developed extreme pain in my foot, so I was sent to a podiatrist and was told it was tendinitis and instructed to wear orthopedic boot.

The pain continued and I had an mri which showed a stress fracture. I was instructed to continue with the boot for four weeks. Then my toes started cramping down and when walking my foot dropped.

I was seen by an ER MD and said could it be nerve impeachment. The MRI of my back showed likely impeachment, so I went to a neurosurgeon, who said that i did not have foot drop and thought i needed to see a foot/ankle specialist.

Meanwhile, it's getting harder and harder to walk. I've seen seven doctors in the last five months.

Does anyone out there have symptoms like me? I am getting desperate.

anon102221
Post 80

I have had foot drop for two years caused by disc problems at L4-L5. My story is much like others here. Here are some things I have learned:

1. If you think you have it, go see your doctor immediately and get a neurologist to confirm where the blockage/impingement is. Don't wait.

2. Try to get in for physical therapy with some type of neuromuscular stimulation. This helps keep the muscles from wasting. Ask for a prescription for a home unit.

3. After wearing a traditional plastic afo brace for 10 days, my chiropractor noticed that I had already lost a significant amount of muscle in the back of my calf. The afo prevents you from using muscles that aren't damaged. My solution was to create my own support with a strap that goes around my leg that has a bungee type cord attached to it. The other end snaps on to my shoelaces.

Don't let the doctor's advice ruin the rest of your leg. Be proactive in finding solutions, even if you have to invent one.

4. Look into taking mega-doses of methylcobalamin (a form of b12). The NIH reports that it can help with nerve damage. I have seen slight improvement (which is better than none).

anon95985
Post 79

i had surgery in july of 09 to my left hip. i woke up in pain and didn't know what happened to me. the doctor told me that i had no nerve damage so how did i get drop foot then? can somebody tell me.

anon91854
Post 78

My name is Marc and I'm worried that I've done irreparable damage to myself. This past Sunday I was taking a shower as usual when I slipped and suddenly fell. I landed very hard on my left hip. I lay on my shower floor for a good ten minutes in writhing pain while water splashed my face. I was moaning and groaning. I may have been knocked out, I don't know. I know I was hurt, bad.

When I came to, I stepped out of the shower and dried off, still in pain. I noticed I could no longer walk without a limp. I was dragging my left foot.

A few days later this problem persisted and I made an appointment with my doctor. He said he had never seen anything quite like this and his best guess was that it was sciatic nerve palsy. He scheduled me for a return visit in three weeks to see if it was healing. He said I shouldn't work out or go to work until I see him again. I'd really appreciate it if anyone has any advice to offer. Thanks a lot, Marc

I'm not sure how to get messages or check back to see if anyone has answers for me. I typed sciatic nerve palsy into the search engine and was re-directed to this site.

Thanks again, Marc

awbrew
Post 77

About four weeks ago, l3-l4 ruptured and traveled down my spine into the l4-l5 region. something as simple as squatting down on my left side to put a tag on a car. L3-L4 jumped out at 3:30 p.m. I waited for about three hours and noticed my foot was dropping and my toes were turning under on my left side enough that I couldn't walk.

So I had a back operation back in 07 and they removed 60 percent of l4-l5 then, and at that time I was told about the foot drop being an emergency. (I didn't have any problems after that surgery).

So, having this insight, I told my wife that I could feel the pinched nerve and the numbness in the leg getting worse as the swelling around the pinched nerve got more inflamed. Numb big toe from the bottom of the left inside of the foot across the top towards my ankle and up my calf like a candy cane twist. it was very cold feeling before the surgery to remove the offending disc L3-l4 in the L4-L5 region.

Now my foot doesn't feel as cold but I have very little ability to lift my foot, but I keep working with it. my toes won't come up at all but I can squeeze my toes down a little, but it gives me a bad cramp in the bottom of my foot if i try to do it a few times repeatedly.

I limp a little know and the foot claps as I walk. I hope it will come around. To those who have back problems (and in some cases herniated discs) it's terrible that you are not taken seriously. and x rays are a joke in both my cases of herniated disc. They can do x rays till you glow and may have in my case (don't own a geiger counter) and it won't show your problem. The only real way in to receive a MRI.

They wanted to send me home and told me that they couldn't keep everyone with back pain. I looked at the doctor and told him that back pain wasn't the reason for the trip, that the drop foot was. he responded it wasn't a drop foot.

It's very interesting that I have the same symptoms now that I did that day upon entering the hospital except they were worse before the surgery. Then when I went back to have the staples removed the PA said that everything I had just told him was classic foot drop. Lucky for me the first doctor who wanted to kick me out, didn't want to put his name on the discharge sheet, and said he was leaving it up to me to stay or go. I told him I had made my choice when I left the house. He said what do you want? It's simple -- just fix me and I'll go home gladly.

The only bad thing is it still took them a day and a half to do an emergency surgery that should have happened instantly.

With the foot drop I just hope that they haven't caused me to limp for the rest of my life.

Out of two back operations I talked to the doctor only ten minutes -- five per operation and five of those was being waken up first thing in the morning in the hospital (asleep). Glen B.

anon85963
Post 75

Please tell us foot drop treatments with medicines or physiotherapy exercise. Thanks, Abdul H.

Multan, Pakistan

sandydoharey
Post 74

I lost some part of my tendon in my foot due to a road accident, so i am unable to move up (dorsiflextion) my foot. I am unable to walk properly. can my tendon be repaired? please give me any suggestion.

glassback
Post 72

Hello Elle37: I now have to wear mine all the time as I have no stability in my ankle and my foot wouldn't lift far enough from the floor. As said, I'm now two years down the line and don't see any alternative to wearing the AFO unless there is a solution to replacing the damaged nerve, which is something my orthopaedic consultant is considering. I wish you luck and best wishes. --Glassback.

elle37
Post 71

Thank you glassback for your info. They fitted me for the dynamic afo and I should have it soon. How long do people end up wearing the splint for?

glassback
Post 70

This post is in response to elle37.

I have been suffering foot drop for two years following a disc prolapse. I too was fitted for an Ankle Foot Orthotic (AFO). It basically is a hard plastic mold that runs down the back of your calf and under the foot, in order to (while you're wearing it) place the foot an a dorsiflexed position and basically stop the foot flopping around.

They are horrible, rigid and very uncomfortable and can only be worn with trainers or lace-up shoes of which the choice of ladies lace-up shoes is not fantastic.

I have since been provided a velcro option, which from memory they called a dynamic AFO. This is much more discreet and comfortable and can be worn with most of my existing shoes, but not heels I add as I have now resigned myself to more flat, sensible shoes these days.

I hope this post provides you with some useful information.

elle37
Post 69

Well i got the results of my mri scan and it didn't show up anything. My orthopedic surgeon is having a conference with his other colleagues to discuss my case study and decide what they're going to do next. They're talking about sending me for an mri on my spine now. I'm being fitted for a custom made splint next week. has anyone else worn a splint?

anon78156
Post 68

Is foot drop related to polio, since i was told that i was not given polio drops.

elle37
Post 66

In july 2009 i was practicing for a rock n roll dance demo. there was one continuous move jumping up and landing which we practiced for two hours.

A few hours later, my ankle/foot felt really stiff and i couldn't stand on it. My whole foot was swollen and turned black. At the A&E, they said i had achilles tendon damage but after that healed they discovered i could not dorsiflex my foot.

I have been to two physiotherapists and they couldn't help me. They said i was one for the books.

I have had an emg test and it came back with no nerve or muscle damage. The calf muscle has really wasted, even though i try to walk as much as possible with one crutch. I was sent to a neurologist who said it's definitely not nerve damage. My orthopedic surgeon is baffled. He sent me for an mri scan and I'm awaiting my results.

I just want a diagnosis.

anon72471
Post 64

My sister has a lot of symptoms of foot drop. she walks and all the sudden her feet drop and feel like they weigh 200 pounds and slap against the floor. She has to almost be carried out to the car. She has been to several doctors and had mris and they can find nothing. She has symptoms of ms but she does not have it. can anyone help?

anon70823
Post 63

i had back pain one and half years ago. eight months back suddenly i'm attacked with cauda equina syndrome, then after two days, surgery has done by a neurosurgeon and now my feet are dropped and i have no sensation in my right leg and also i have bladder and bowel problems.

anon67904
Post 62

I am a 55 year old woman. About two weeks ago I got up from sitting at my desk for a long period of time (about four hours) and now I have foot drop. It started at my right knee and I could not lift my leg from the knee down. When I tried to walk I twisted my ankle.

Now I can finally lift my leg from my knee but I have no control over my foot. Yesterday I could move my toes but now today I can't. I have no pain or numbness. I simply cannot control my right foot. I had no prior symptoms. This was just all of a sudden. Can somebody please tell me what is going on? --Winnie

anon65123
Post 61

It was very interesting to read about all the people with foot drop. I am in my thirties and has suffered from foot drop since i was a toddler. After consulting a podiatrist and i now have to wear afos. my condition is bilateral, and although life goes on i must admit i am so depressed, more so now than ever.

the one thing i always dream about is to be able to walk fast and wear sandals.

anon64019
Post 60

All foot drop patients, has your doctor or therapist tried Muscle Stim to contract your peroneal muscles to try and help aid in restoring your dorsiflection, or simply making your foot go up and down?

lewswife
Post 59

To anon63309: My husband's symptoms of foot drop sound just like yours. His pain went away after two weeks, but he still can't lift his foot. After three months in the medical maze, seeing several doctors and three expensive tests later, here is what I believe.

You have to find out where the nerve is compromised in order to know the treatment. My husband's problem is at the knee, and this was determined by a neurologist after an EMG. He will start physical therapy for nerve stimulation with hope of the nerve regenerating and is taking Metanx (a prescription vitamin).

If you cannot see a neurologist, check into an AFO foot brace, because it will support your foot and make walking easier. Also see what you can find out about stretching exercises to keep the muscles in your leg/foot from atrophying due to lack of use.

If your nerve regenerates on its own (a long, slow process) but the muscles have atrophied you won't be able to walk properly.

Please check health resources in your area for affordable care or payment options. Best of luck.

anon63309
Post 58

I am a 44 year old male. About two weeks ago, I woke up and had no feeling in my right foot. Through research, I discovered I have drop foot. I also have painful tingling and burning coupled with a shocking sensation every time my foot is touched.

I have yet to see a doctor due to the fact that I have no insurance. But as of now, I would prefer amputation over the pain and the inability to walk correctly. I work in construction and there's no way I can work with this condition. I guess I need advice as to what I can do. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

anon62848
Post 57

So I had foot drop about nine months ago. I have no idea what happened --just all of a sudden my foot was numb and I could not point my toes upward nor could I bend my foot up. I saw a neurologists and had a few tests done. They said that essentially everything looked ok, and it eventually went away and now my foot is normal.

But I still am nervous. I notice everything now and am so worried about a missed diagnosis or that it will come back. Is there any way of just getting foot drop and having it go away and that is it?

anon59462
Post 56

I went to a family party day after new years and i sat crossed legged for most of the night and when i stood up i realised i could not raise my foot and i fell out of the back door.

I have had this same inability to raise my right foot. now it is six days later and now i am rather worried. i am off to the ER tomorrow to get it checked out!

lewswife
Post 55

As many of you have stated, you have had no injury, but just developed foot drop. This happened to my husband in the middle of October. He has had a myelogram, CT scan and EMG.

The neurosurgeon he was referred to says they show nothing and he should see a neurologist. I have spent hours researching and am now wondering if any of the eight meds he takes for his heart condition has caused a toxicity or if he may have a vitamin deficiency. (I did find reference to these being a possibility.)

We will see the cardiologist and neurologist. I ask lots of questions and push to find the reason. They can't effectively treat until they know the cause. I believe the longer it goes untreated the less likely a full recovery becomes.

Be brave, never give up hope and ask lots of questions. --lewswife

anon57032
Post 54

i was watching a competition at my campus on august, and when i came home I had numbness in my right foot. I pretended that I was all right and i went to sleep then, but it became worse and i can't move my feet on dorsiflexion position.

this december i went to a neurologist and they diagnosed me as suffering with drop foot.

my question is, how bad is it? for it had been a concern for about four months. can i get my foot recovered like it was before?

anon56769
Post 53

I had a swine flu vaccine a week ago and have developed foot drop. I just woke up and fell over when i tried to walk. I am getting better, I think, or i have just learned how to walk with it. my doctor is sending me for an MRI but i am sure it's been caused by the swine flu jab.

anon55968
Post 52

to 55418: Your doctor is absolutely wrong. A child should have recovered within an hour. Get to a neurosurgeon immediately. Immediately.

anon55418
Post 51

My son (23 yrs old) woke up yesterday with a sudden onset of drop foot. The doctor said he slept on it wrong and it should be better in 48 hours. Is that true or should I take him somewhere else.

anon55147
Post 50

I am 26 and i developed foot drop when i was 19 years old. I fell down the stairs and landed on my foot the wrong way, trapping my nerve. At the time I did not know how bad i had messed up my leg or foot for that matter.

It wasn't until about a few months later that i realized that i started to walk funny. But at this point I still did not notice that I had no movement in my toes or picking up my foot. It wasn't until I turned 23 years old that my stepmom wondered why i didn't pick up my foot while walking. She talked to a doctor and the doctor did surgery on my leg near my knee and untrapped a pinched nerve.

He said that I had very little blood flow down to my foot and that the meat in my calf had started to turn yellow, instead of being red. After four years of not knowing and not going to the doctor, i have very little use of my foot and toes. Even after the doctor did the surgery, which did not help because it was too late.

The doctor also said he would give me about five more years before i lose total control of walking on my foot. I am 26 years old now and I am walking but not great. I have lived with foot drop for seven years now. So please don't wait to get it checked out like i did. You don't want it to be too late!

anon53061
Post 49

I had severe sciatica three yrs ago and after six months of trying everything from traditional meds, therapy, acupuncture. the epidural steroid injections are what worked for me.

However, two and half years later, I have sciatica again and this time it's affecting my foot, where i can say i have foot drop. I have seen a specialist and am hoping they can resolve this. The only thing i can recommend is don't waste time, and if one doctor doesn't convince you with his opinion, go find alternatives.

With nerves you have to move rapidly, as this can determine how much improvement you can achieve. I Have another MRI tomorrow and already have an ESI scheduled for next week. If i don't see significant results within two weeks, I will go for surgery if needed. I refuse to not be able to walk properly at 35 when I have always lived an active lifestyle.

It's your life so you have to find what works for you, even if you have to go around the country seeing doctors. --Alice

anon52508
Post 48

To 52002: You might want to do some research referring to foot drop following an epidural. While it is rare, it does happen. Do read them all. Informative, and hopeful, actually.

anon52471
Post 47

To 5202, victim of epidural leading to foot drop. I am no physician, but it appears that whoever did the epidural accidentally severed, or damaged, the specific nerve that comes from L4 or L5 to feed the calf nerves that enable one to lift the foot. Drop foot is a serious condition that warrants further consultation with another physician, preferably a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon.

As I've said, general practitioners are valuable in only recommending these specialists. And neurologists, while they can measure nerve output, have value only in recommending you to a good surgeon.

Act asap, because every day you wait, the muscle lifting the foot grows weaker, and there is always a chance that the damaged nerves can grow back, but only if you continue therapy and have hope, do exercises, always try to lift your foot, get a good afo (a simple plastic one will do-- not those expensive contraptions with straps and plastic fittings, etc.) and don't give up hope, but be pushy and assertive in going after help. Whatever you do, don't resign yourself to the belief that the condition will be something to bear the rest of your life.

anon52002
Post 46

I'm 35 amd went to have my baby and had a epidural and now I'm in a wheelchair. the mri and they said they could not find anything wrong, so why do i have a foot drop.

anon50442
Post 45

I am 50339, and I need to correct a couple of things as well as give encouragement and support to the rest of you. First, my foot drop developed in 2007, and only about six months later, continuing to try to lift my foot as advised, I recovered almost completely in late winter, 2008 -- with the exception of my big toe. Like many of you, I've lost most of my feeling in the tops of my toes, but I never lost the ability to push down before my foot regained enough lifting strength to not walk with an afo. The pain has gone away, except for tenderness when I touch the muscles in the front calf. The pain vanished immediately after the surgeon opened the nearly closed nerve opening for L4, not L3. When I asked him why L5 was not the problem, he responded with "This is not a science, Bill." I guess that's why they call their work "a practice!" He is a great surgeon who's worked on me before -- always successfully. If you have any feeling in your toes or legs below the knee I encourage you to see a specialist and a surgeon, and ask for an exam that checks out the possible issue of spinal stenosis, which I have-- normal for a 68 year male. A GP is utterly useless and a neurologist, probably, as well. Get to a surgeon right away. Nerves can, in fact, grow back, but not all of them. And, if there is one available to you, contact a physiatrist -- a new field of medicine, but one badly missing until now. 39927 is right about not giving up if you have any feeling. And to 21193, your Mom may be right and the docs wrong. They're not scientists.

anon50339
Post 44

I developed foot drop in 2006. After two physicians and one neurosurgeon (who prescribed much needed pain prescriptions before operating on L3 and L4 to alleviate a pinched never)--informed me I'd never recover, I visited a physiatrist, who told me to always try lifting my foot so that my brain would not forget how to. In late winter of 2008, I regained use of my foot! The neurosurgeon said he'd never heard of it, even though two doctors already had told me it was possible. I was lucky, I guess.

anon50111
Post 43

I was recently in a motorbike accident which crushed my right leg. My tibia was smashed and my fibular was broken. My muscles were also badly damaged. The doctors saved my leg but i now have permanent pins and needles in my foot. The doctor said my anterior tibial nerve were lost. I can only slightly lift my foot. Does that mean my peroneal nerve was damaged but not severed? What muscles control the lifting of the foot? I can move my toes but cannot lift them up. Am i going to recover or is this foot drop permanent?

anon50003
Post 42

I am a 59 year old female recovering from L4- L5 spinal fusion. First day they got me out of bed, my right foot wouldn't work, I had foot drop. After eight weeks, I am able to move my big toe, so the neurologist is hopeful for a full recovery. Am waiting on a foot brace now, and praying it works. No physical therapy will help, just patience! Good luck everybody.

anon46318
Post 41

i had laser spine surgery to shrink four herniated disks. after the surgery i had drop foot. i can't walk good and have to wear a brace to walk. i work 12 painful hours a day, and can't afford to sign up for disability because i make too much money. it kills me to keep working, the doctor hit a nerve and caused the drop foot, but it's a side effect that can happen so my life is full of pain, and i have no relief in sight. thanks doc!

anon46062
Post 40

i had a bike accident two weeks ago and i had dislocation on my left hip. this is the second dislocation as i had another one that happened five years ago. the doctor managed to put it in place, but now i couldn't lift my left foot upwards. it also feels numb from my calf to my foot. i just want to know if this is going to be permanent? or it could be cured as time goes by? i would appreciate if someone can answer my queries or even share your experience. regards

anon45810
Post 39

last year my son's left foot kept going out to the side every time he walked. It went away in one week. yesterday it started again do you know what it is? he's 3 now.

Ginanna
Post 38

Hi My sister has been diagnosed with "Transverse Myelitis." Has anyone had any experiences with this?

anon41751
Post 37

when i was two years old i was given an injection for a high fever. My parents tell me that i was paralysed below the waist on the left side, which later resulted only with a foot drop. The doctor convinced my parents that it was polio that caused the paralysis. My parents being just in their 20s believed him. Now at age 52 my foot drop is worse with severe gait problem and the doctors are telling me that it was a nerve damage that has progressively become worse. One neurologist still tells me that it may have been polio and that now i have PPS. I am so frustrated with these contradictions. I have already had tendon transfer at age 40 and was feeling better but everything is getting worse now. Can anyone help?

anon39970
Post 36

my walking is terrible. i'm unsteady and can only walk about 30 yards and that's an effort. i've had an mri and emg and am waiting for the results. i have to use a wheelchair when i go out because i just find walking too hard. don't know if this is foot drop. just know that i'm scared.

anon39927
Post 35

This is to anon39625, yes the fact that you have some movement in your toes is a good indicator that the nerves may not be permanently damaged. When I had my lung surgery and woke up with no feeling in both my legs, I was able to barely move the toes on my right foot which later came back, not 100 percent but I have complete use of that foot. On the other foot, I could not move the toes whatsoever and the feeling has never came back in that leg and that was 8 years ago. The foot that came back took a couple months or so, so it sounds like you have a good chance of having the nerves come back.

anon39625
Post 34

Hi. I am 43 and had a tibia plateau fracture, compartment syndrome. I had plates and screws put in my leg and that is healing much faster then expected, but I still have no feeling in the top of my foot and I can't move my foot up and when I try to move my toes up, the two little ones move a little bit. My Ortho says I have an 80 percent chance of this healing. The accident was 6 weeks ago. Is the fact I can move my toes a little bit a sure sign that my nerve is not severed? I am (was) very active and am going crazy having to walk on crutches. Another month and the leg will be good enough to walk on but I am very worried what I will be left with regarding this foot? I can't stand the thought of having to wear a brace and use a cane. Thanks for any response.

anon39089
Post 33

Hi, my name is Linda. I am 56 and I have foot drop in both feet. I was born with a birth problem: my nerves did not devlop right. I can fall at the drop of a hat. the left foot I really drag and I do have the afo's for both feet. I am still hoping that one day they can come up with something that will help and I will quit falling, I can just be walking along and my foot will catch and down I go. But maybe some day they will find something to help all of us with this problem.

anon36058
Post 32

i have drop foot to both feet and wear splints to help me walk over short distances the drop foot has been caused by *transverse myelitis*-- that is damage to the spinal cord covering. there is very little that can be done in my case but don't give up and always remember that there are always people in a far worse condition than us who have to put up with this-- yours barry

glassback
Post 31

in response to "chesh95" I too have suffered foot drop to my left foot and in July 08 had a discectomy to L4/L5, which was hoped would resolve the foot drop. 12 months on and I'm still suffering so my orthopedic surgeon referred me to nuero for a consult to investigate a tendon transfer and i've now been told that neuro doesn't think my foot drop is related to the disc problem. I, too like you, am confused and not sure where this leaves me. I'm now waiting for the Neuro and Orthopedic docs to discuss my case further.

anon32851
Post 30

About 2 months ago I started going back to the gyn pretty regularly. Then all of a sudden one night I realized that I could not point my toes upwards and the top of my foot was numb. I ignored it for a week or so but then I started looking online. I knew I had foot drop but I had just started a new job and had to wait another week for my insurance to kick in. On the day my insurance started I went to the ER and in fact I did have foot drop but that was all I got for answers.

It has been over 2 weeks now and I do have an appointment to see a neurologist in 2 weeks but in the mean time I am freaking out. Is there anything I should be doing right now not to make my condition worse? And is it very likely that I have MS?

chesh95
Post 29

hi i had a prolapsed disc in the L5 in 2007. it was removed and prior to that i had right foot drop. i have just had a nuro consult and they are saying that this is nothing to do with my back. so i am now confused as i have one department saying one thing and another saying something different.

is there anyone else out there with a similar problem?

anon27305
Post 28

I had cancer in my right leg. They had to do something with the nerve which resulted in me not being able to lift my right foot. I'm 16 next month, but it doesn't really affect me. I still run 100m in 11.46 seconds :}

anon26436
Post 27

you probably had a degree of medullar ischemia or if you underwent spinal implants (transpedicular screws) they may have done small damage to the chord or roots during the correction procedure. it could be that you had a controlled hypotension induced by the anesthesia and a vascular abnormality of the spinal chord or maybe a too brutal correction of the deformity induced medullar damage. were there a wake-up test or evoked potentials?

sincerely, you probably never find out what happened even if it was a medical error or it happened because it happened. the lesion is irreversible and maybe you should consider an ankle arthrodesis

anon26339
Post 26

My left foot sometimes trips me up and slaps on the ground - so much so that I feel much safer walking with a stick now - it also gets worse after about half a mile of walking. It's been like this for about 2 years.

I'm 50 now, but slipped a disc (L5) when I was 38. So far my GP just looks at me and says he has no idea what it is! I think I'll take advice from this site and demand to see a Specialist. Does all this sound familiar - and does anyone think the drop foot could be coming out now - 10 years after my disc problem?

anon24986
Post 25

Here's one that might be of interest...and it's certainly a puzzle for my doctor, neurologist and me.

For some years now and with growing regularity, I have had brief spasms (or convulsions) of what, in symptom terms, might be described as 'footdrop'. By 'regularity' and 'brief', I mean 2 or 3 times a day (late afternoon and evening)and 10 to 15 seconds.

These brief spasms, which tend to run in waves largely down the upper left half of my left foot, are accompanied by an almost complete loss of feeling in most of the side/front of my foot. This loss of feeling is temporary and normality returns almost instantly after each event. There is no pain, though there a distinct feeling of coldness running through my foot and partially up my leg for a few seconds after. Additionally, over this last year or so, I have developed the feeling of a lump behind my middle and fourth toes..there isn't an actual lump but almost certainly a small area within my foot devoid of feeling.

Three other observations: There is no obvious loss of strength in my left leg or foot despite the fact that this event has happened many hundreds of times. Secondly, there may be some relation to sleep - If I sleep well, the onset of these events is pushed back later into the day; poor sleep appears to result in the problem happening earlier. Thirdly, I have no apparent back problems.

Most conceivable tests have been carried out and nothing is obvious - or even hinted at...... and, of course, what I'm describing might just not be footdrop but merely symptoms resembling it

So, there you go. Are there any good detectives amongst the readers? Has anybody come across anything like this before?

anon21193
Post 24

I've had foot drop since september 24. It was weird I walked out of class and all of a sudden I started walking funny. I looked on the internet and found foot drop I was relieved but also really scared. They did numerous tests and found nothing wrong. They think its from crossing my legs or getting out the swimming pool on my leg. I have a brace. As weird as it is I am glad I have foot drop and not anything else. I trip a lot over my shoe and big toe and just my shoe weighs my foot down drastically.

But does anyone know if my strength will totally come back? My physical therapist said probably not but my mom said it will. thanks.

Janval
Post 23

Hi Anon 20492,

We had to change our car to an automatic because my husband had trouble changing gears due to the damage to his left leg, he manages well even with his brace on.

Hope this helps.

pammy66
Post 22

To anon20492, my left leg was the badly damaged one but if the severity were on my right one as it is on my left, I would not be able to drive. I have no function to pull up or push down and besides that, the brace I have to wear would prevent me from pushing down on the pedal. It really depends upon the severity of your nerve damage BUT I have found that I have invented ways to do things to compensate for my disability, just little things, so even if your nerve damage is severe, you still may have enough strength in that foot to drive. Really, only time can tell you what your limitations will be. It's pretty much a waiting game. I hope that helped you!

anon20492
Post 21

Hi All. About 4 weeks ago I was in a car accident and my legs were crushed and trapped for about 30 mins. As a result I have damaged my nerve in my right leg but not severed it. I have to wear a leg brace and I was told it will possibly take 12 months to heal and even then I may never be 100% again. I have no feeling down the outside of my leg and no movement in my ankle and foot.

My big worry is will I ever be able to drive again? Is there anybody who is managing to drive again?

Janval
Post 20

My Husband has a serious back problem, he had a nerve root block injection in June 2008. The worse thing ever it immediately left him with a completely dead left leg and foot. He was rushed into hospital in September where he had his L4/5 disc removed. There is still no feeling in his left leg or foot although the pins and needles have gone. He now has to wear a foot up brace and walk with a stick. The Surgeon has said that it's as good as it's going to get. Life has to go on and he's managing it quite well.

pammy66
Post 19

I have had foot drop since 2001. I had a lung surgery and when I woke up, I could not move my legs, feet or toes. Neurologists started coming in a poking my legs & feet with pins and needles & nothing. They said it may be because of the anesthesia and may go away in a couple days. Well, it didn't. They sent me to a bigger city and a bigger hospital for testing and the neurologist determined that my nerves were crushed during the surgery. They had strapped me down too tightly on the table & caused nerve damage. I went through a year and a half of physical therapy and the right foot came back but there is still some permanent damage there. The left one is never going to come back. I am stuck like this for life. I have a brace I wear all the time and I have to walk with a cane. I have NO function of my foot and toes. They are dead as a doornail. I could step on glass & never know it till I looked down & saw blood. It has been very difficult for me but I am thankful I am still alive because I would have died without the lung surgery.

anon17042
Post 18

hi guys,

i really feel for you- i've had leg and foot problems since the age of about 19 and have no idea what's going on. Being a medical student, I saw a patient with foot drop a fw days ago and his symptoms seem like mine. When I walk, it feels like the foot is all over the place and I have to be very careful (in fact, i've adapted my whole gait) to avoid tripping when I walk. I also tend to walk slower than most people (except really old people) to avoid tripping. Have been to numerous physicians, physios, podiatrists and have juist started seeing a sports doctor. I really thnk something sinister is going on but am confused as to why none of the professionals have spotted it yet. ?? I have never shown signs of the disease that runs in my family- Charcot marie tooth but maybe now at the age of 24 (it's gotten a bit worse each year since 18) it's finally showing up. I hate not knowing waht's going on- i'm glad there's a site like this to vent! all the best to u guys in dealing with this frustrating prohblem.

anon16636
Post 17

My 86 year old mother had surgery for a new knee. It has been about 6 weeks, her knee is healing nicely, but she now has foot drop. The orthopedic surgeon and her family doctor said it is because she had a stroke 15 yeas ago and therefore weakened that side. She did not appear to have this problem until after the surgery. Could the knee surgery of caused this and if so, should she see a neurologist? She is very depressed about this and I don't know how to advise her.

djohn68
Post 16

My name is Daniel Johnson and my story sounds a lot like Meagan Helms and anon7509. I was on vacation for July 4th when running on the beach my knee came out of socket. I went into emergency surgery as I tore all ligaments and tendons on the outside of my right knee. As icing on the cake I also stretched my nerve worse than anyone my surgeon of 22 years has seen. The stretched nerve on the outside of my right knee is what has caused my foot drop. My surgeon, who I see at least once a week, says my nerve was not severed and there is an 85% chance that my ankle will regain its upward motion and the top of my foot and outside part of my leg will regain feeling. So anon7509 this should be good news as your surgeon assured you that your nerve was not severed. Also since you (anon7509) have had initial movement in your foot your percent sounds more like 95-99% chance of full recovery as my doctor told me nerves work on a different time scale.

Meagan you are right this is a nightmare! My knee is healing ahead of schedule but my foot feels half dead. Did you severe your nerve? What do I have to look forward to?

anon15023
Post 15

I was diagnosed with Foot Drop 3 years ago when i was 13 years old and ever since then I've worn a brace around my right ankle. My neurologist assumed that I had gotten it from a normal vaccine that i had a reaction to but now, as my 17th birthday is about to roll around the corner, it's spread into both ankles and knees. It's pretty frustrating, but, i guess it's something that sets me apart from everyone else. My mom has always told me that everything happens for a reason, and even if this seems like a pretty crummy example of that saying... i still believe it. And as for feeling afraid, I think that's out of the question. I mean, this is my senior year and I'm not going to let this get in my way, I'm going to live it up... you should too!

MeaganHelms
Post 14

Well, my name is Meagan and im 17 years old - I have foot drop and it happened because of a knee injury I had last year June 12th 2007 at 10:30pm on vacation and it was a nightmare! But, wow it doesn't feel that long ago! it feels like yesterday! Im not joking anyways, I feel so bad for any one going through this.. :( I had surgery on my knee first and then about 3 months ago I had another surgery for my foot drop and I can now lift my foot up pretty good!! I am so happy! But, I still can't lift my big toe and I still am not walking normal! Im having a lot of ankle pain!!! The Doctor x-rayed it and said it was fine but, I shouldn't be having all this pain! Anyways, I am going to physical therapy now and im hoping for the best! So if there is anyone out there going through the same thing as me?!?!? please let me know because I need someone to talk to about it and I know you're going through a very hard time too..

anon14290
Post 13

I have had left foot drop since polio at age 10-never bothered me, except inability to stand on heel or toe. Now since age 60-i am 67 now-it has become an issue i am worried about falling. I also have spinal stenosis, which my orthopedic doc says may be contributing. Has anyone else had this problem after polio? I have just learned of the brace available. Which one is best?

anon13999
Post 12

any of you who have this problem - go and see your GP NOW and demand to be referred to a consultant neurosurgeon - it needs to be seen to by a specialist. I was fobbed off by my GP when i said i had a sort of limp and now I have seen a neurosurgeon who is operating on me asap - for me its all related to L5 back pain but often GPs aren't specialised enough to deal with it - go and see a specialist!!!

willow123
Post 11

Hello,

I am a 44 year old female who was in a relatively minor car accident 2 years ago. I had back pain for a very long time afterwards but was to hear "its deep muscle trauma". Some problem such as tingles and pain in right foot when walking any length continue. In Feb. I woke one morning to find I had drop foot. I could not control it standing and had very little movement while lying down. Trying to cross my toes was very painful. After about two weeks of it not getting better or going away, I went to my chiropractor. What I wanted to pass along was that after going twice a week for a few weeks and then once a week for a few more weeks and doing daily foot lifting, I am now able to walk with very little tripping and I don't think I am doing the one legged march unless I over do it. That's the good news. Some of you may want to give it a try. I did have a lower back MMR. It seems I have some disc, vertebra, and nerve problems. They also found renal cysts. I now have pins and needles every where all of the time and something like muscle cramps in my back, legs and feet. My family doctor is not good about saying much or quick to see me. I think I need to see a neurologist. But hey, the drop foots "hanging in there" and staying better. Best of luck to all of you.

chotikamas
Post 10

I have felt of numbness at my rt.5th toe for 6 months. A few weeks it was more anesthesia and little pain at lateral site of rt. knee. What is going on?

walker43302
Post 9

About a month ago I had tingling in the back of my left thigh, now four weeks later I have drop foot. I do not recall any accidents or anything and I just learned I am five weeks pregnant so MRI is out of the question... I am really scared. any suggestions? Please help.

anon7509
Post 8

I have foot drop due to knee surgery 3 months ago. I am doing home stretching exercises in an attempt to reduce or bring back to normal prior to the foot drop condition. There was initial improvement but progress seems to have stopped.

I also have nerve pain as a result of the surgery. The surgeon assured me that the peroneal nerve was not severed and the muscles on top of the lower extremity of the leg are working.

I have a leg brace which I wear occasionally but would like to dispense with that need.

What is the prognosis for my foot to come back to normal and not have foot drop? Progress is slow and discouraging!

anon6255
Post 7

Hi I had a knee operation and when i came round i had foot drop. The next day i had compartment syndrome. Is this connected? or was i just unlucky? I was in hospital for a month and i have been in plaster now for 7 weeks and when they take it off my foot still drops! so they put the plaster on for another 4 weeks. Will this work and will i ever be able to use my foot again? At the moment i am in a wheelchair.

anon3527
Post 6

to all above posters... yes you need to see a neurologist. If you don't know one or have to get a referral for your insurance, see your primary care provider as they may be able to help in the diagnosis or to refer you to a neurologist.

Jeannette
Post 5

Hi - I injured myself four weeks ago doing some gardening (54yo woman who thinks she's 25). Resulted in herniated disc in my spine, acute sciatica down my left leg and paralyzed (tingly and numb) left foot. Pain has now resolved after 4 weeks off work, very strong meds and bed rest. Diagnosed with drop foot. The neurosurgeon feels my body is healing itself but can't guarantee the foot will ever recover. I now have a foot brace which makes a huge difference. I can walk almost normally (but still use a stick for safety). I can even drive my manual car. Big worry for a while but now big relief. Even if I have to live with a foot brace at least I now appreciate what mobility I have.

anon1869
Post 3

Having had a bad injury as a child which resulted in a compond fracture and torn tendons just above the knee which resulted in a 'toe drop' condition. Years later an operation was done to transfer a tendon (the one that moves the foot inwards, i.e. towards the other foot.) It proved basically unsuccessful although very little upward movement is possible. Presently a home-made brace is used to imitate the lifting of the foot. However a couple of weeks ago, while swinging a golf club a 'breaking' sensation or 'snapping' sensation was felt in the front of the hip. Followed by pain. Now there are slight feelings of pain in an area along the inside of the calf, in an area along the inside of the thigh and sometimes in the area where the 'breakin' sensation occurred. Also in the moring unpleasant feelings in those areas are felt after resting all night! The original injury was about 50 years ago. Are there going to be problems due to aging and use of a handicapped leg? Can you replease reply asap? Thanks for an urgent immediate reply?

judy1117
Post 2

what type of dr. would a person see if they are suspicious of "drop foot". Would this be a neurologist?

byeager
Post 1

I had spinal fusion surgery in November of 2006 and when I came out of the surgery my right foot and leg was numb and now I have foot drop.

The surgeon did MRI and EMG and they said they could not find anything wrong so why do I have foot drop.

It is very frustrating, any suggestions.

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