Last reply 1 week ago
Life with severe foot drop

Hi guys,
As I said in my introduction, passive neurologists and lack of initiative on my part have led me to suffer a severe foot drop (or club foot), which makes me almost drag my right leg. Foot drop has also confused me, because I thought I didn’t have RRMS, but SPMS, but shortened muscles and the lack of an athletic approach to MS have made me pretty sure it’s RRMS. The thing is I’ve started an exercise routine, but I have the feeling is a little too late to improve my foot drop without an operation.
I have a couple of questions: 1. Do you know anybody in my same (or similar) situation? (I started having difficulty in my gait a little less than 4 years ago). Is it possible to improve?
2. Do you know anyone who has been operated from foot drop? Is life afterwards better?(mainly gait). Thanks.

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highlander
1 month ago

@crockett32
I suffer from foot drop.
There are no medical operations that can correct it.
Your nerves are damaged due to MS.
The best person to ask is a nuero physio who can give you exercises to try and help with your gait and balance problems.
Ask your doctor to refer you to one.


murrayearle
1 month ago

@crocket32
I also suffer from foot drop, which as @highlander says, is due to nerve damage (diagnosis ’93, change from RRMS to SPMS about 5 years ago). It has led to some painful – and embarrassing – falls.
Neuro-physio did indeed give me exercises, and then an orthotist created a splint that helped.
May sound extreme, but now I wear a Functional Electrical Stimulation device (that means as I walk, electrodes on my affected leg, activated by a switch in my insole, cause my foot to pull upwards and slightly outwards.


carolelawrence
1 month ago

Hi. I have foot drop in my left leg. I also have lower leg numbness and in foot and also right toes..My right hip is not good either. My gait is very slow short steps and within 5minutes I’m exhausted from just trying to walk. I feel very unsteady so tend to only go out now if I’m with someone…the leg with foot drop is pain because the numbness just fools me and I’m often forgetting to pick foot up it turns into lead weight too…


merfield
1 month ago

Another one with foot drop @crockett32 – sorry, but i haven’t heard of a surgical solution to Footdrop. Please post if you do. xx


crockett32
4 weeks ago

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/foot-drop/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372633
If surgery is not an option, why do I see it in links like this?
Anyway, I have another question: are orthosis supposed to help you walk better ( I mean heel first and the front of the foot)? Because mine is a simple one (with a couple of hooks and a rubber band attached to them from the ankle), but I lift the foot myself, so I barely notice a difference since I can barely set my heel down first, since my foot drop is so severe.


highlander
4 weeks ago

@crockett32
Have a read of this link.
It’s has loads of advice and suggestions.
https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/foot-drop


Anonymous
4 weeks ago

My mother usd to tell me why you drag your feet even before daignosis 2004
Ive been struggling with it almost every year
At this time im ok it gets worse then i feel its not suitable or.currect then keep trying to fix it during the day wothout being hard on it i try to walk normal thats it
Then with time i get better
But still cant go up down stairs like a normal human being and i think its due to balance


crockett32
3 weeks ago

dominics
3 weeks ago

crockett32
2 weeks ago

@dominics I’ve finally watched it and it’s very interesting. He talks about a device similar to what @murrayearle uses.


crockett32
2 weeks ago

@murrayearle Does that device help you walk better? I mean, can you put your heel down first and then the front of the foot? Might consider buying one, even though Dr. Bieber says it doesn’t help everybody…


itsmewithms
2 weeks ago

I have foot drop in my right foot and it is worse when I am fatigued. In the morning it doesn’t seem so bad but the more I am on my feet or moving about the worse it gets through the day. I have maybe a half an hour on my feet before it really troubles me.

I do PT to strengthen my anterior shin muscle…kind of the opposite of strengthening my calf muscle. Kind of like toe pushes instead of calf raises.

In the US they prefer AFOs to the FES devices so I was fitted for one. I tried several as they have different flexibilities, etc. and ended up with a Swedish AFO. You can just search in ebay and see a lot of them pop up for a relatively low investment. Mine was fitted to me (you trim off the extra in front of the toes and she made the velcro strap that goes around the shin wider and more comfortable). I did need to wear a “rocker” shoe and not like a tennis shoe that is designed to “break” near the toes. I use shoes that have a stiff bottom without much give.

It helped quite a bit for awhile. The issue was that over time it worsened and I think the muscle was discouraged from doing anything. I should have immediately started PT to keep it strong if I was using the AFO to offset but wasn’t really aware and didn’t.

Now what I am trying to get approved is the L300 Go FES device. It is thousands of dollars but when I tried it on in a PT session it helped a lot. I found the stimulation shock very tolerable and delivered at the right time as it is triggered by a gyroscope so adjusts to how fast I am walking, etc. There is also a dial to adjust the strength of the stimulus. I could see adjusting this through the day as needed or better or worse days, etc. You can’t do this with a piece of plastic AFO.

But in the US it is quite a feat to get the device approved. I have to battle back the insurance denials and am in that process. Was to the point of needing a letter from my PT guy and then all those services were shut down due to Covid 19. When they come back online I will start to push again, hopefully in time for some walking th is summer.


murrayearle
2 weeks ago

@crockett32 the switch is a pressure-pad stuck to your insole. When your heel touches the ground while walking, the switch is activated, causing your foot / toes to move upwards. That is because there are two electrical pads on the leg, one on nerve (nearer knee) & the other in a muscle (shin). That completes the electrical circuit. So yes, it helps me walk, as part if the nerve / muscle mechanics is performed electronically, correcting my drop-foot.
I hope that helps.


dunners
2 weeks ago

I have a device that is attached to the laces on my shoe, I have a Velcro support around my left ankle and the device (elastic) is attached to that. This helps with my foot drop when I walk by bouncing my foot up using the elastic that is attached to my foot and ankle.
I usually get foot drop in the evening or morning when I’m tired so using the device isn’t very practical for me because it is attached to laces on a shoe. If the device could be attached to pumps or slippers it would benefit me better.
My OT gave me this, if it sounds like it could help ask your OT.


crockett32
2 weeks ago

@dunners Yours sounds a lot like the first one I tried, this https://youtu.be/0zF4qF8uoHQ
But for me it’s not that benefitial, because I can barely raise my foot off the floor and don’t notice a difference when using it. This is why I’m looking for alternatives.


itsmewithms
2 weeks ago

There is a FES described above with a pad in the pad of your shoe to prompt the shock while the L300 Go works off a gyroscope on your shin, the Walkaide worked based on timing but again was sensing from the angle of my shin. If you walked slower or faster it seemed the shock was at the wrong time. It also took a lot longer to adjust to get “right”.

I tried both and the L300 Go worked much better for me but is more than twice as much $ and I don’t have it approved through my insurance yet…in the US they prefer to fund the AFOs


lorag
1 week ago

I have been spms for 9 years and wear a AFO on my right leg. It’s great I can walk a lot better. I had one made for me I had to get some shoes made to fit it.

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