Drop foot syndrome

Drop foot syndrome is a condition that affects the mobility of the foot. People with foot drop are unable to lift the front part of the foot and have trouble in moving normally.

When walking, people with drop foot may tend to drag their toes along the ground (stepping). To overcome this, they use their hip and thigh muscles to lift their leg higher and avoid tripping.

At Laboratoire Orthopédique Jérôme Marier, our orthosists offer solutions to improve the mobility of people suffering from drop foot.


Drop foot syndrome symptoms

The main indicator of drop foot syndrome is weakness or paralysis of the levator muscles of the foot. This can lead to fatigue when walking and a compensatory gait.

Another symptom of foot drop is the development of lower back pain caused by sciatic nerve compression and overcompensation when moving.

Depending on its origin, drop foot can be temporary or permanent.

Drop foot syndrome causes

Drop foot is itself a symptom of a neurological, muscular or anatomical disorder. This condition may occur as a result of a stroke, or it may be caused by one of these conditions:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Spinal canal stenosis
  • Poliomyelitis

Drop foot syndrome can also be caused by direct compression or damage to the peroneal nerve, which is located below the knee.

Treatments for foot drop

Since the causes of drop foot can be quite varied, there are a number of treatment options available to address this condition and lessen its effects.

The most common treatment is probably the use of an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO). This type of orthosis facilitates ankle flexion and maximizes calf muscle movement to optimize mobility for people with foot drop.

At the Laboratoire Orthopédique, we offer the hand-made tibio-pedicus orthosis as well as the XTERN orthosis from Turbomed. The Turbomed XTERN orthosis helps people with foot drop to walk, run and hike completely independently.

In addition, the RAMQ offers an assistance program for devices that replace a physical deficiency. The purchase, replacement and repair costs of this orthosis are covered by the Régie under certain conditions.

It is also recommended that people suffering from foot drop syndrome do physiotherapy exercises. These exercises help strengthen the ankle muscles and stimulate this joint. Wearing orthopedic shoes is also recommended to provide better support for the foot and ankle.

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