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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.

Beat Your Pain and Try Physical Therapy for Foot Drop

DJ, drop the beat! On Tuesday, we’re celebrating these entertainers who can turn any event—a wedding, bat mitzvah, or birthday—into a dance party. However, while a beat drop is fun, a foot drop is definitely nothing of the sort. Let’s talk more about when we recommend physical therapy for foot drop.

Foot drop is usually caused by an underlying problem. This condition can damage the peroneal nerve and cause paralysis on the front of the leg, including the toes. It can also create pain and burning on the top of the foot. The nerve below the knee can be damaged by an ankle sprain, fracture, or surgery and injury to the knee.

Once Dr. Powers diagnoses the cause behind your problem, he’ll give you a treatment plan. Your treatment really depends on the underlying problem. This may require physical therapy, but could also include braces, orthotics, and surgery. If surgery is an option, Dr. Powers is highly qualified. In fact, he’s one of the only doctors specially trained and certified in drop foot surgery.

Physical therapy is going to strengthen muscles in the foot and leg and improve flexibility. At Kevin J. Powers, DPM, we can recommend the best physical therapy for your foot drop. This may include electrical stimulation of the nerves when you walk. If physical therapy doesn’t help, know that you’re in good hands when it comes to surgical procedures.

Look no further than Kevin J. Powers, DPM, to get the best physical therapy for foot drop. To make an appointment in our Bloomington, IN, office, call (812) 333-4422. If you can’t make it to Bloomington, Dr. Powers also holds permanent office hours on Friday from 8 AM to 3 PM in Washington, IN, at the Daviess Community Hospital.

Causes of Foot Drop: Why Your Feet Are Flopping

Potential Causes of Foot DropIn just a couple of months we will be thinking about everything Christmas-related. In fact, it won’t be too long before the shelves in stores are stocked with red and green—seems to happen earlier every year! The Christmas season may send shivers down your spine as you anticipate hanging lights and the frustration of what happens when even one section has a problem—one burnt light and they all go out. In a similar way, when a nerve in your body has a problem, the effect can be widespread. This is the case with a condition called foot drop in which a nerve injury affects your ability to move your foot and ankle.

Foot drop is also called peroneal nerve injury. The peroneal nerves branch out from the sciatic nerve and supply sensation to the front and side of your legs and the top of your feet. They also supply the movement necessary to lift your toes and ankle upward—when these nerves are injured, the result is an inability to do exactly that. Further symptoms of a peroneal nerve injury include weakness, pain, numbness on the top of your foot or on your shin, and loss of function. When a patient is unable to lift the front part of the foot, it is common to see a high stepping walk, which is also called steppage gait—this is a natural response during walking. This condition can affect anyone at any age and there are several contributing factors, which include injury to the knee, regularly crossing your legs, joint dislocation or fracture, wearing high boots, having a tight plaster cast on your lower leg, and underlying disease such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Other causes of drop foot include sprained ankle and knee joint replacement.

We have several ways we can treat foot drop so you feel more stable when you walk and have no discomfort in your foot. We may use custom orthotics, foot splints, braces, and physical therapy to maximize your mobility. Contact Kevin J. Powers, DPM for further information or treatment. Dr. Powers is the only foot specialist who has special training and certification to perform drop foot surgery–just see what our patients have to say on our testimonials page. He is also a Fellow of the Association Of Extremity Nerve Surgeons and has had microsurgical training by the Mayo Clinic. You can reach our office in Bloomington, IN, by calling (812) 333-4422 or contact us through our website.

Recovering from Foot Drop: Treatment That Helps

WonderLab in Bloomington, IN is one of the top 25 science centers in the country and will be hosting the Wonder Wonka Food Factory event on August 3, 2014. This day of magical, edible chemistry experiments will give you a behind the scenes look into how some incredible creations are made. While food and feet really have nothing in common, when you have a condition such as foot drop, you need to get behind the scenes to find out what is causing it so you can treat it properly.

Foot drop, also called drop foot, is a condition where the front of the foot cannot be lifted up. It is common to have to drag your foot along the ground when you walk. In some cases it is temporary, but it can also be a permanent disability. An underlying neurological problem, muscle weakness, an anatomical issue, or peripheral nerve problem are the usual causes for this condition.

Foot drop treatment starts with finding the underlying cause. Once that is identified and treated, it is possible that the drop foot can improve and even go away completely. It is when the cause cannot be treated that it may become a permanent condition. If this is the case, our treatment method will be tailored to keep you as comfortable and safe as possible. Foot drop treatment may include a combination of splints, braces, nerve stimulation, and physical therapy to strengthen leg muscles and improve range-of-motion. Orthotics can also help hold the foot in a normal position. If the condition is severe, surgery to fuse bones or transfer functioning tendons can be performed.

If you have the symptoms of foot drop, call Dr. Kevin J. Powers, DPM, at (812) 333-4422, or visit our Bloomington, IN, office. Dr. Kevin Powers is the only foot specialist specially trained to perform a nerve decompression procedure to cure drop foot. He’s been trained at Mayo Clinic and the prestigious Dellon Institute for Peripheral Nerve Surgery in Baltimore, MD.

 

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