Foot drop or commonly called drop foot is the weakening of the muscles that permits flex in your ankle and toes. This in turn makes you drag your front foot while walking. Usually a test is made to check for foot drop. If you suspect foot drop try walking on your heels. If waling on the heels is difficult, then foot drop might be present. Consult a podiatrist for accurate foot drop diagnosis. Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller are Podiatrists who specialize in foot care and treating foot disorders.
Remember that foot drop is not a disease but a symptom of another medical condition which affects the muscles and nerves. It is important to identify possible causes of the foot drop so proper treatments can be administered.
Common Causes of foot drop:
- Lower back problems
- Parkinson's disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Foot or lower leg injury
- Diseases of the motor neurons
- Peroneal nerve damage brought by childbirth, excessive weight loss, hip or knee replacement surgery
Signs and symptoms of foot drop:
- Hip swinging outside
- Foot flop
- Decreasing muscle mass in the legs
- Muscle weakness
- Slight pain in the affected foot
- Tingling and numbness of the foot
- Difficulty using the front foot
- Steppage gait - this is the main sign of a foot drop. A person with a steppage gait walks while dragging his foot and toes.
Tests and diagnosis for foot drop:
- Physical test. Your doctor will ask you to walk and check for your gait. He may also check you for muscle weakness of the affected leg.
- Imaging tests. Imaging tests are usually done if there are suspected growth of cyst or tumor that presses on the nerve of the knee or spine. An overgrowth of bone may also be detected through imaging tests. These tests include x-rays, ultrasounds, computerized tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging.
- Nerve tests. Nerve tests are good in detecting the area of the affected nerve that causes the foot drop. Electro-diagnostic studies such as electromyography is uses to identify possible nerve damage.
The Texas Foot Specialists located in Sugar Land, Pasadena and Houston we specialize in helping people suffering from foot drop and other foot injuries. To schedule an appointment call Sugar Land (281) 242-4448, Pasadena (281) 991-0600 and Houston (713) 664-6677.