Foot drop is a term used to describe difficulty when raising the front foot. While walking and foot drop is present, you may find yourself dragging your foot and toes in the ground. Generally, foot drop is not a disease in itself but rather one of the signs of present muscular, anatomical or neurological problems.
Consult a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Joseph Stuto is a podiatrist who specializes in foot care and treating foot disorders.
This condition may be temporary or permanent depending on the cause. Diseases that may cause foot drop includes but not limited to:
a. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, affects 1 out of 2,500 people and is currently incurable. This disease is characterized by progressive muscle tissue loss and also the loss of touch sensations on different body parts.
b. Polio, caused by poliovirus where a person experience fever, vomiting, diarrhea, legs and arm pain and neck stiffness. Muscle weakness is also evident on polio patients that leads to difficulty in moving.
c. Muscular dystrophy, group of muscular diseases that is characterized by continuous muscle weakness particularly the skeletal muscles which may lead to poor balance, frequent falls, muscle spasms and even respiratory difficulty.
d. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig's disease or Charcot disease, this is usually characterized by muscle stiffness and twitching which slowly worsens because of muscle wasting.
e. Multiple sclerosis, the demyelination of the myelin sheaths which is characterized by a wide range of signs and symptoms that affects the neurological, motor, sensory, autonomic and visual functions of the person affected.
f. Cerebrovascular accident, brain attack or most commonly known as stroke, occurs when the cells die due to lack of blood flow to the brain. This is usually characterized by difficulty speaking, understanding and moving.
g. Pinched nerve, a nerve root injury of the spine. The person feels pain, numbness or an uncomfortable sensation.
h. Diabetes, this occurs when there is an increase level of blood sugar. People having diabetes are more prone to nerve disorders.
**Aside from these diseases, hip or knee replacement surgery can also cause foot drop.
It is important for you to know the underlying reason of the foot drop so that proper treatment can be given to the main cause and correct the foot drop condition in the process if it is just a temporary condition.