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Diagnosing and Dealing with Foot Drop Condition

By: Al Ahumada   
Date Added : July 20, 2011 Views : 291

Foot drop is basically the tendency of the foot to drop when an attempt is made to lift it. It is as if the earth is a magnet holding tight whenever one tries to take a step. Usually, there is some problem with the central nervous system that is affecting the peroneal nerve’s ability to function properly, i.e., to lift the foot when an effort is made to do so. People with foot drop tend to walk less because it is such a chore, which causes leg muscles to weaken. The underlying cause of foot drop may be a muscle problem or sciatic nerve problem. However, it is more likely the result of stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), brain trauma, or spinal cord injury. Drop foot, as it is also called, is the effect of partial paralysis of the lower leg. Footdrop is not a disease in itself. It may also be symptomatic of some neurodegenerative disorder such as cerebral palsy, polio, muscular dystrophy, or peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes. The cause of foot drop must be diagnosed in order to determine what therapy is the best choice. Not all therapies will be effective for foot drop conditions caused by different underlying disorders.

The diagnosis to discover if someone has foot drop could be done in several ways. A medical diagnosis could be initiated by a physiatrist, a spine surgeon, or a neurosurgeon. The first clue could be that a person with foot drop would have difficulty walking in high heels. Diagnostic tests might include an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), MRN (magnetic resonance neurography), or EMG (electromyogram). These tests would assess the area surrounding the muscle, the peroneal nerve, and how much electrical conduction is getting through.

Apart from that, one can tell if he or she has foot drop by looking at their symptoms, the most prominent being a high steppage gait. This is characterized by raising the thigh in a high exaggerated manner as if climbing a staircase, when only a step is being taken. High steppage gait is an effort to overcome foot dragging or uncontrolled foot slapping on the ground. Other symptoms of footdrop include difficulty in some of the activities that need the front of the foot. Sometimes compensation is attempted through exaggerated swinging of the hips. There may also be a tingling sensation or occasionally pain in the foot or numbness. Noting all the symptoms experienced to present to the examining physician or therapist will help them make a correct diagnosis.

There are some ways to treat foot drop and also to control or manage it. They vary from physical therapy to medical devices to surgery. The NESS L300 Foot Drop System, which is designed by Bioness, is a breakthrough technology that has given individuals suffering from foot drop new hope. It’s non-invasive (meaning it is not implanted) technology that seems to lighten the foot, making it easy to lift. This system has been cleared for use by the FDA, is CE-marked for the EU, and is endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association. Many people have shared their success stories at Bioness.com on how they have been able to regain function and mobility, increase stability, and reclaim their independence.

The NESS L300 Foot Drop System is an award-wining medical device that makes it possible for individuals to walk on carpet or grass steadily at a faster speed. This is mainly because it functions using low-level electric stimulation to enable the muscle to lift the foot more easily. This is one of the most effective foot drop solutions available.

Al Ahumada is a writer and blogger whose focus is on foot drop (aka drop foot) healthcare issues, including the physical therapy, occupational therapy, and home rehabilitation needs of people who suffer with foot drop caused by central nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and incomplete (not total) spinal cord injury. He has a special interest in advanced neuromodulation te

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