Drop foot syndrome is also referred to as foot drop. Drop foot is a condition where the foot is not able to be pointed upward or side-to-side. According to the Mayo Clinic: "Foot drop is caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles below the knee involved in lifting the front part of the foot." Drop foot often causes sufferers to have a high-stepping walk. The causes of drop foot can vary, which can make finding a cure difficult.
Splints and Braces
Braces and splints are often the first devices used to try and cure drop foot. The braces and splints often fit inside the shoe and help the ankle by keeping it in a fixed position.
Physiotherapy is another common way to help cure drop foot. Physiotherapy not only helps strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle, but also helps with joint flexibility.
Stimulating the nerves can help cure drop foot. Electronic stimulation is used on the peroneal nerve, the nerve that helps lift the foot. Simulators can be battery operated and placed inside or outside the leg, just below the knee.
Drop foot can be caused by a herniated disk in the back that is pinching a nerve that helps control the foot. If this is the case, surgery or a discectomy can be preformed to help alleviate the pressure on the nerves.
Diagnosing the Cause
The cause of drop foot can often be found by a physical exam given by a doctor. Other ways to find the cause of drop foot include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or electromyography (EMG).