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How PhysioFunction can help with Foot drop

Treatment for foot drop depends on the cause. If the cause is successfully treated, foot drop might improve or even disappear. If the cause can't be treated, foot drop can be permanent. There are a number of treatment options available at Physiofunction including simple exercises that can be performed at home or devices such as Functional Electrical Stimulators (FES) or specialist AFOs.

We can provide:

  • 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. PhysioFunction are able to assess for a wide range of splints including the Turbomed.
  • Physiotherapy. Exercises that strengthen your leg muscles and help you maintain the range of motion in your knee and ankle might improve gait problems associated with foot drop. Stretching exercises are particularly important to prevent the stiffness in the heel.
  • FES. Stimulates the nerves and activates weakened muscles to provide an aid to walking which assists with recovery and independent mobility. Our specialist trained physiotherapists can assess you for FES suitability using the Bioness Go. The use of FES may assist in day-to-day activities which otherwise may not be possible.

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) can help with foot drop by stimulating nerves to activate muscles so that the foot lifts up at the ankle. Not only does FES reduce trips and falls, it can also make walking faster and less effortful. Over time the muscles can even relearn how to lift the foot without the stimulator. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has declared FES as a safe and effective treatment for drop foot.

Causes of Foot drop

Foot Drop or Drop Foot is the inability to lift the foot and toes properly when walking. It can lead to trips and falls, and a loss of confidence when walking. 

Foot drop is a sign of an underlying problem rather than a condition itself.

Most commonly, it is seen individuals following a Stroke or Head Injury, or who have a Neurological condition such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, or Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It can also be caused by local nerve damage in the lower leg, a muscle or nerve disorder or occur as a complication of diabetes.

  • Nerve injury - The most common cause of foot drop is compression of a nerve in your leg that controls the muscles involved in lifting the foot (peroneal nerve). This nerve can also be injured during hip or knee replacement surgery, which may cause foot drop.
  • Nerve root injury "pinched nerve" in the spine can also cause foot drop. People who have diabetes are more susceptible to nerve disorders, which are associated with foot drop.
  • Muscle or nerve disorders - Various forms of muscular dystrophy, an inherited disease that causes progressive muscle weakness, can contribute to foot drop. So can other disorders, such as polio or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
  • Brain and spinal cord conditions - Conditions that affect the spinal cord or brain, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis or stroke.

We currently accept the following Private Medical Insurance