Treatment for foot drop depends on the underlying cause. If the underlying cause is successfully treated, foot drop may improve or even disappear. If the underlying cause can't be treated, foot drop may be permanent.
Specific treatment for foot drop may include:
Nov. 10, 2011
- Braces or splints. A brace on your ankle and foot or splint that fits into your shoe can help hold your foot in a normal position.
- Physical therapy. Exercises that strengthen your leg muscles and help you maintain the range of motion in your knee and ankle may improve gait problems associated with foot drop. Stretching exercises are particularly important to prevent the development of stiffness in the heel.
- Nerve stimulation. Sometimes stimulating the nerve that lifts the foot improves foot drop.
- Surgery. In cases where foot drop is relatively new, nerve surgery may be helpful. If foot drop is long-standing, your doctor may suggest surgery that fuses ankle or foot bones or a procedure that transfers a functioning tendon to a different position.
- Stewart JD. Foot drop: Where, why and what to do? Practical Neurology. 2008;8:158.
- NINDS foot drop information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/foot_drop/foot_drop.htm. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Ropper AH, et al. Disorders of stance and gait. In: Ropper AH, et al. Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=3630849. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Thompson PD. Gait disorders. In: Bradley WG, et al. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7506-7525-3..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-7506-7525-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Sackley C, et al. Rehabilitation interventions for foot drop in neuromuscular disease (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009:CD003908. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Spinner RJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 21, 2011.
- Preventing falls and related fractures. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/bone/Osteoporosis/Fracture/prevent_falls.asp. Accessed Sept. 6. 2011.
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