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Bloomington (812) 333-4422
Bedford (812) 277-1000
Washington (812) 254-2911


 

Risk Factors of Foot Drop

Risk Factors for Foot Drop

Sometimes it’s worth taking a risk – having a picnic despite the chance for rain, or heading to the theater opening night in hopes that tickets won’t be sold out. However, there are times when you shouldn’t take chances, and knowing risk factors could help you avoid major problems. This is especially true when it comes to your health, including the health of your feet, and conditions like foot drop.

Are you at risk for foot drop? This condition, also called drop foot, is characterized by an inability to pick up your foot when you step, thus forcing you to drag your toes. The source of the problem can be a nerve or muscular disorder like, polio, ALS, or multiple sclerosis (which is why it’s so important to seek treatment), but it does result from other causes as well. Knowing the risk factors of foot drop, can allow you to watch for symptoms, catch the problem early, and get the prompt treatment you need. Reference this list of risk factors to find out if foot drop could happen to you:

  • Sustaining an injury to your foot affecting nerves
  • Having a condition that causes nerve damage, such as diabetes, or tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Spending extended periods of time in the same position – legs crossed, squatting, or kneeling
  • Wearing a leg cast that encloses the ankle and is up to your knee. This can place pressure on the peroneal nerve.
  • Knowing muscular dystrophy runs in your family
  • Undergoing a knee or hip replacement procedure which can sometimes result in compressed nerves.

If you recognize a risk factor and are concerned about drop foot, come in for an appointment so we can assess your foot and determine if treatment is necessary. You can contact our Bloomington, IN office by dialing (812) 333-442, or you can use our online contact form to reach us. Catch foot drop before it drags you down. If you think you are at risk, call us today!

Why is Your Foot So Weak?

This is the time of year when the evenings are warm but comfortable – perfect for taking a stroll after dinner and enjoying the last of the summer nights. However, if your foot feels weak, even taking a nice walk likely sounds far from pleasant. When you have weakness in your feet, it can interfere with activities you enjoy, as well as everyday life, but determining what’s behind that weak feeling will allow you to address it and get you back to doing the things you love.

Sometimes, when feet feel weak, and especially if this causes you to drag your toes, it is a sign of foot drop — also called drop foot — which is a symptom in and of itself of a muscle or nerve disorder or injury. This can stem from diabetic neuropathy, tarsal tunnel syndrome, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and other disorders or diseases that affect your muscles and nerves. Because there are so many sources of the problem, it is vital to determine the underlying issue in order for the appropriate treatment plan to be put in place.

In addition to treating the source of your weakness, managing drop foot symptoms (like feet that feel weak) may also include supportive orthotics, splints, or braces, strengthening exercises, and nerve stimulation therapy to encourage nerve cell repair and regrowth. If damaged nerves and muscles are not responding to these methods, surgical procedures may also be considered.

If weakness in your feet is stopping you from enjoying summer strolls and other pleasures in life, it’s important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. We will diagnose and treat your problem and help you manage foot drop so you can walk with ease. Dial (812) 333-442 to reach our Bloomington, IN office, and we will be happy to help.

Stop Dragging Your Feet: Treatments for Foot Drop

Treatments for Foot Drop

It won’t be long for before kids head back to school, dragging their feet every step of the way! Sure, they might be reluctant to say goodbye to their care-free summer days, but when your feet are literally dragging, that’s a sign of an underlying issue that can be much more serious than the back-to-school blues.

Difficulty picking up your foot (or both feet) when attempting to walk – a condition known as foot drop or drop foot — is actually a symptom of an underlying problem or injury that has affected muscles or nerves. The foot becomes weakened or paralyzed, making it difficult to move it forward. Dragging your toes, slapping the front of the foot down, and compensating by swinging your leg or raising your knee higher when you step, are all signs of foot drop. If you notice any of these symptoms, a visit with Dr. Kevin Powers is important to determine the exact underlying cause so proper treatment can begin as soon as possible.

Although treatments for foot drop vary depending on the source of the problem, typically it is treated with braces or splints and orthotic shoe inserts to provide support, as well as physical therapy exercises to strengthen muscles and help with range of motion. Nerve stimulation can sometimes help as well, and in some cases, surgery may be needed to address nerve damage or bones and soft tissues not responding to conservative care. Treatment will also entail addressing the underlying cause, so it’s essential to have your feet assessed at the first onset of symptoms.

In other words, if you think you have drop foot, don’t drag your feet to make an appointment! Call right away to get the help you need so you can back-to-school shop without a problem! Contact our Bloomington, IN office by dialing (812) 333-4422 or by using our online contact form.

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