Drop Foot Disease
Foot Disease
   Drop Foot Syndrome | Foot Surgery

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Foot-drop symptom or drop-foot symptom is a rarely-occurring medical condition. This is unlike any other strain or fracture or postural problems that are commonly associated with musculo-skeletal problems. The term 'drop foot' is used because people with this syndrome tend to walk in a peculiar manner that seems as if they are dragging their feet. When the symptoms of this condition become severe, the patient cannot raise his feet in a substantial manner. The problem becomes more obvious when the patient tries to raise the front portion of the upper foot. This is largely regarded as a problem of the neural functioning. This is why patients with a history of paralytic attacks often become victims of drop foot syndrome.

This condition doesn't resolve very easily and needs a dedicated therapeutic period that should be overseen by a qualified specialist. It has been observed that patients with drop foot syndrome need to undergo long sessions of physiotherapy for several months or even years, depending upon the severity of their condition. Physical conditioning is recommended since besides correcting the inherent issue, it is vital to reinstate the mobility of the foot and help the patient in walking properly.

Usually, the entire gait of the patient becomes strange as the other, unaffected foot is used to support the problem posed by the dragging leg-this is why the treatment often includes using braces. Though this doesn't actually cure the condition, it substantially helps to correct the walking style. Sometimes, the use of electrical stimulation is needed to restore the balance of the disturbed neural functions in the leg.

Causes of Drop-foot Syndrome

Drop foot syndrome is attributed to many causes and it is very difficult to define the exact cause, since it is often precipitated by a host of medical conditions. While neuromuscular disorders can be the cause in some patients, drop-foot syndrome is known to be caused by diabetes also. Uncured, deep injuries to the hips and legs can also cause this condition, though such cases are rather rare. Other causes include a severe shock to the brain or spinal region or an internal injury along the nerve routes. In some cases, drug abuse has also been attributed as a possible, contributing factor.

Once the syndrome sets-in, the functioning of many critical nerves that support the movement of the legs, like the sciatic nerve, are severely compromised. Further, some of the nerves along the legs are superficial. This makes them more prone to getting injured, as they are located near to surface, just below the skin. One such nerve is the perneal nerve that is located behind the knee and is among the most commonly-disabled nerves among patients of drop-foot syndrome.
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