Category: Nerves | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 8, 2015
Foot drop refers to a patient’s inability to fully lift the ball of their foot while walking. It is generally the result of nerve damage. In this post, we are going to talk a little bit about foot drop – what it is, when it can result after spine surgery, and how to best treat the condition.
What is Foot Drop?
Foot drop (also referred to as drop foot) is a blanket term used to describe the condition where a patient has trouble lifting their foot completely when walking. With foot drop, the patient does not have full control over the front part of the foot. This causes it to drag, and can possibly result in the patient tripping and falling. Sometimes the foot drop is only temporary, but sometimes it is the result of a more serious underlying condition.
Foot drop can be caused by a few factors, including:
- Nerve injuries in the spine, such as a pinched nerve or spinal cord injury.
- Muscular or neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis.
Treatment options for foot drop vary widely depending on the root cause.
Foot Drop & Spine Surgery
If foot drop is caused by a pinched nerve, a minimally invasive spine surgery can help free up compressed nerves and treat the condition. Alternatively, if minimally invasive spine surgery isn’t the best option, other surgical techniques can be used. If the nerves have sustained permanent damage, foot drop may be permanent. Still, even when foot drop is permanent, there are methods of managing the condition. One example of a treatment is foot braces that can keep the foot from dragging. This can make walking much easier.
If you are experiencing foot drop after your surgery, contact your physician’s office immediately to see if there is an underlying issue. If you have foot drop and you have not had spine surgery, reach out to an experienced spine specialist to see what your options are.