Foot drop or drop foot is a condition not too many people are familiar with. However, Annie Lennox’ struggle in recent years with the condition has brought it to the forefront of many people’s minds.
She started to suffer from the symptoms in 2008 and found herself constantly in extreme pain. At one point, she believed she would never be able to walk normally again. Her condition had been caused by a bulged disc, which affected not only her spine, but also her ability to walk.
Fortunately, Lennox is making making progress. She evidently underwent many months of therapy and eventually got her left foot moving again…good news!
She admits she had simply taken her feet for granted, as she was always walking, running and dancing with no problems. As a podiatrist, I see this all the time. People truly do not appreciate their feet until something goes wrong. So…what exactly is drop foot?
What is Foot Drop?
Foot drop is a gait abnormality in which the dropping of the forefoot occurs due to weakness, nerve damage or paralysis of the muscles in the anterior portion of the lower leg. It is usually a symptom of a larger problem, not a disease in itself.
In simpler terms, it’s a difficulty in lifting the front part of the foot when walking. It might be a feeling of heaviness, the inability to lift your foot as high as the other when walking, or it can be a literal dragging of your foot.
Treatment for foot drop depends on what caused it. If the underlying cause is successfully treated, foot drop may improve or even disappear. Sometimes, drop foot is permanent. Treatment for foot drop may include:
- 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 maintain the range of motion in your knee and ankle can help, as well as stretching exercises to prevent stiffness in the heel.
- Nerve stimulation. Sometimes stimulating the nerve that lifts the foot helps improve this condition.
- Surgery. Nerve surgery may be helpful for newer cases of drop foot. If foot drop is long-standing, surgery to fuse ankle or foot bones may be in order or moving a functioning tendon to a different position can help.
We wish Annie Lennox continued health and success as she recovers from drop foot!
If you are looking for a podiatrist or you are experiencing ankle or heel problems, Sarasota or Bradenton is the place to be! Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday, Dr. Zdancewicz, or Dr. Goecker for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in our Bradenton Podiatry office at (941) 753-9599 or our Sarasota Podiatry office at (941) 366-2627.
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Source: Healthy Body Life