Drop foot, also known as foot drop, is the difficulty or inability to lift the front part of the foot making walking with ease challenging. It is a gait abnormality that causes the front of the foot to drop due to weakness, irritation, damage, or muscle paralysis. It affects an individual’s ability to raise their foot at the ankle, and makes it difficult to point the toes toward the body. Drop foot may occur due to injury to nerves that affect motion of the foot, or paralysis of the muscles in the front portion of the lower leg.
Drop foot may be temporary or permanent, and it can occur in either one or both feet, depending on the severity of the injury or extent of muscle weakness or paralysis.
Causes of Drop Foot
Some causes of drop foot include:
- Nerve damage
- Muscle or spinal cord trauma
- Injury to foot or lower anterior leg
- Complications from surgery
- Lower back conditions
- Stroke or tumor
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Cerebral palsy
- Motor neuron disease
People suffering from drop foot may drag their toes along the ground, or they may bend their knees to lift their feet higher than usual in an attempt to avoid dragging the foot against the ground. Other gaits, such as a wide outward leg swing, tend to indicate a drop foot injury.
It is important to monitor your gait if you believe that you are exhibiting signs of drop foot. Recognizing the symptoms of drop foot will help you determine when to seek medical advice. Here is a list of some of the symptoms that an individual with drop foot may exhibit:
- Tingling or numbness in the foot
- Pain in the foot
- High gait
- Inability to point the toes away from the body
- Wide outward swinging of the legs and hips
- Difficulty lifting the front portion of the foot
- Muscle atrophy
An initial diagnosis may be made during a routine physical examination. If your doctor has indicated that you are showing signs of drop foot, you should have the diagnosis confirmed by a medical professional such as a podiatrist, orthopedic surgeon, chiropractor, neurologist, or neurosurgeon.
If you believe that you have suffered a drop foot injury due to the negligence or carelessness of a medical professional during or after surgery, contact our medical malpractice attorneys to discuss a potential claim. We will walk you through a free initial consultation and investigate the facts of your case. For more information, contact us at 1-800-600-4210 or fill out our consultation form.
The Brown & Brothers Law Firm has medical malpractice attorneys dedicated to helping you manage your potential drop foot case.