Treatment for foot drop
Typical causes of foot drop are direct compression of the peroneal nerve, side effects of diabetes or chemotherapy, a pinched nerve in the lower back, stroke or multiple sclerosis. Foot drop can be temporary or permanent, depending on its origin. Foot drop increases the risk of falling, limits endurance and walking speed. Some people develop strategies such as raising their leg higher, making “half circles” with the leg. Retraining of the back flexors is often possible. Neuro-Concept combines exercises with functional electrical stimulation protocols to improve results.
Muscle electrical stimulation devices act by sending electrical current to the dorsal flexor muscles of our ankle, allowing for a more fluid and complete movement when walking. The stimulators from the manufacturer Oddstock or the Bioness are an example of this. You can try it at the Neuro-Concept centre, rent or buy it.
Strengthening and proprioception exercises can help improve the functioning of our ankle muscles, with or without an electric muscle stimulator to facilitate movement. This is what sometimes makes it possible to go from a static and somewhat restrictive solution to a more dynamic solution allowing more freedom of movement.
As with all strengthening, adapted equipment and good advice will help you to improve your condition. For example, when sensitivity is reached, the use of movement feedback devices can assist in therapy. The G-eo System and the Kinesim are technologies present at the Neuro-Concept centre that provide feedback on ankle movements.
Finally, an orthosis can also be used to support the patient’s foot while walking. There are different types of orthoses. Some are static, such as the pre-molded orthosis or the molded, fixed or articulated orthosis, or dynamic with a spring principle, which limits other ankle movements less. Some are paid for by Quebec health insurance when prescribed by a specialist (e.g., a physiatrist). We can help you obtain an appointment with a Médicus specialist through one of our physiotherapists. Then an orthotist will take the measurements or make the necessary casts to offer you the best solution. This meeting can be done at the Neuro-Concept centre in the presence of one of our physiotherapists who will have evaluated your needs.
Call us for more information, our physiotherapists will be at your disposal.