If the toes on one or both of your feet drag on the ground with each step and force you to change the way you walk, foot drop, a common gait abnormality, may be to blame. Don't suffer in silence or wait around to get the care your feet deserve. Here's what you need to know about foot drop, also known as drop foot, including how the skilled podiatrists with Massapequa Podiatry Associates can help provide relief for this frustrating issue.
About Foot Drop
The term “foot drop” describes difficulty lifting the front part of the foot. As a result, the toes and forefoot drop or droop down, dragging on the floor every time you swing the affected foot (or feet) forward to take a step. People often change their gait to compensate—either by raising their thighs really high as if they were climbing stairs (called a steppage gait) or swinging their leg around (known as circumduction)—to help the dropped foot clear the floor. However, this can make the forefoot slap the ground forcefully with each step, causing the skin on the front of the foot and toes to feel tingly or numb, ultimately making walking even more challenging. If you're suffering from drop foot, our seasoned New York podiatrists can help.
People of any age can suffer from drop foot, and this condition can affect one or both feet. It can also be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. Foot drop isn't a disease; rather, it’s a symptom of another health issue.
Common Causes of Foot Drop
- Nerve injuries. Compression of the peroneal nerve in your leg, which controls the muscles that lift the forefoot, is one of the most common causes of foot drop. It can also be caused by a pinched nerve at the base of the spine or nerve injuries related to diabetes complications.
- Brain and spinal cord disorders. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, polio, and other conditions that affect the brain or spinal cord can cause drop foot.
- Muscle or nerve conditions. Inherited disorders that cause progressive muscle weakness, such as certain types of muscular dystrophy, can contribute to foot drop, as can disorders such as spinal muscular atrophy, Parkinson's disease, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
Diagnosing Drop Foot
Podiatrists can often diagnose foot drop after a thorough physical examination that involves watching how you walk, assessing any muscle weakness in the legs, and checking the shins and the tops of the foot and toes for numbness or tingling. Diagnostic tools and tests can help provide more information when needed.
Tests That Can Help Podiatrists Diagnose Foot Drop
- CT scans
- Blood tests
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Nerve conduction studies
How Our Experienced Massapequa Podiatrists Can Help
If you’re tired of dragging your feet, the highly skilled podiatrists at Massapequa Podiatry Associates, Dr. Corey Fox and Dr. Justin LoBello, help patients determine what’s causing their foot drop and find the treatment that can provide the best relief. We offer a wide range of non-surgical and surgical solutions.
Drop Foot Treatment Options
- Lower leg strengthening exercises
- Custom leg or ankle braces or shoe inserts
- Electrical nerve stimulation
With so many treatment choices available, there's no need to put off the care your feet need to get back on track. Our knowledgeable podiatrists will work to identify the intervention that's just right for you, your condition, and your lifestyle.
Schedule an Appointment
Your feet deserve to feel their best, and when you're ready to take the first step toward healthier, happier feet, Massapequa Podiatry Associates is here for you. Complete our online contact form, or call our office at 516-541-9000 (or toll-free at 877-674-7422) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fox or Dr. LoBello for an evaluation of your foot or ankle injury.