A curated post derived from an earlier foot drop article entitle Equinovarus Spascticity. Where I looked, very briefly, at what my experience of foot drop or drop foot meant.
Foot Drop is a Symptom
First of all, foot drop is not a specific condition or disease. This is an inability to lift the front part of the foot. And, may be a weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot.
A WebMD article suggests that this could be a brain or spinal cord disorder.
Because multiple sclerosis is a disease that attacks parts of the brain that control motor function. This impairment of muscle control shows that foot drop can be a fault of the central nervous system. Rather than damage to the peripheral nervous system.
Consequently, one of the visible signs of multiple sclerosis is a high-stepping gait. This is where the individual lifts there feet awkwardly high to avoid dragging their feet on the ground.
However, there are many other conditions that can exhibit this trait.
Because possible causes are peripheral nerve damage, perhaps a sporing injury. The peripheral nerve damage is likely to be to the peroneal nerve, a branch of the sciatic nerve.
Furthermore, the nerve damage may not arise from just a physical injury. The following are all possible causes:
- sports injury
- hip or knee replacement surgery
- spending long hours sitting cross-legged or squatting
- time spent in a leg cast
Also, neurological conditions can give rise to drop foot. This, of course, is the form I am familiar with.
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- cerebral palsy
- Charcot-Marie tooth disease
Another possible cause might be a muscular condition. Since they cause the muscles to progressively weaken or deteriorate.
- muscular dystrophy
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
As a patient with multiple sclerosis, I count myself lucky. When I see how fortunate I am in comparison with other diseases. My motor control has worsened over the years. While I still experience foot drop on the days I can walk. It is a lesser consideration when I am in a wheelchair if I go outdoors.
The spinal cord is considered part of the central nervous system. And spinal cord damage can cause a multitude of problems, including drop foot. The web site: Spine Health offers some explanation of how a lumbar herniated disc might cause these symptoms.
My earlier post referred to foot drop as equinovarus spasticity. But, my current research reveals this to be completely wrong. Spastic Equinovarus is a horrible foot deformity often associated with:
- cerebral palsy
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- residual clubfoot deformity
- tibial deficiency (hemimelia)
The web site Ortho Bullets offers a very detailed explanation of Equinovarus Foot along with some unsettling photographs.
Foot Drop Treatment
While drop foot is usually a symptom. Any effective treatment will address the cause. However, in some cases the use of braces, splints or other orthotics may be of help.
If the patient struggles with walking, functional electrical stimulus (FES) of the peroneal muscle can help reduce the symptoms of foot drop.
This Health Line post tells of orthotic treatment options which may be of relevance.
However, as my drop foot is a symptom of multiple sclerosis, I treat this with diet. I consider diet to be my route to mastering multiple sclerosis. This may sound radical. But, feeding my mitochondria shed a whole new outlook on my view of food.
Foot Drop Summation
I am conscious that I am straying from the central theme of this post. However, many health issues are far from simple. Also, the more complex the symptom, the more research is needed.
Finally, I alluded, earlier, to my life in a wheelchair. This is a statement used with a little literary licence. I am not wheelchair-bound but, I do rely on it for trips outwith my home.
I shall wrap up the writing of this post, as it is a warm, sunny afternoon. This is a rare occurrence on an Autumn day in Scotland. I shall strap on my video camera carry bag and sally forth with my wheelchair. Video Recording is likely to be the subject of a forthcoming blog post.
This is not a promise; it is simply an intention of an MS-addled brain. The best intentions of an MS patient have a tendency to go awry.
In the meantime, please leave a comment. Blogging can be lonely, if nobody is reading your work.
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