Forum

Drop Foot

Can i ask, does any one with drop foot, get any help with this problem.

and if they do what is it

Thanks

Hi Cardo,

Yes I wear a brace on my leg to keep my foot up. Can’t for the life of me think what it is called (though I’m sure I could find out), but it is very effective although it took a bit of getting used to as at first it felt like I was walking on a spring. It does restrict my footwear though but that’s a small price to pay for helping me to walk more easily.

Hilary

Hi there, I think the brace may be called an orthotic device and there is also the FES. I have foot drop but am trying to avoid any of these devices and do exercise that my neurophysio has set me. These may not be enough though and I may need help in the future. ( in fact I probably will ) Teresa xx

I’d like to put in a plug for the FES - I’ve had one for a couple of years - it’s been a big help with foot drop. It also helps to stop muscle wasting, which a brace or foot-up does not do.

Thanks for your advice

How do i get the FES, is it from my GP or MS Nurse ?

I was offered a fes two years ago when visiting my ms physio because the strap-on foot lifter kept working use. They’re expensive and in short supply.

Hi Cardo I had a FES to try out from my Neuro physio, I found it very painful to use as I had to have the signal turned up high to get any result and it felt like I had an electric shock every time it fired. The Physiotherapist said that it doesn’t suit everyone but it’s definitely worth a try. I wear an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO), I’ve used it for 11 years now and I would be lost without it, but Sewingchick is right you do get some muscle wastage in your leg and hip but at least I’m still walking a bit.

Lynne xx

Thanks for this, my MS Nurse has me lined up for physio, i will ask about FES

Hi the type of treatment depends upon the cause of your drop foot. Basically if your peroneal nerve on your shin is weak causing problems lifting your foot then an FES would be really good. Alternatively if your drop foot is caused by spasticity in your calf causing it to be too tight making dorsiflection difficult then the FES wont really work. I have this type and the FES could not lift my foot any higher than I could do myself. The physio said that my peroneal nerve was fine the problem was that my calf was too tight (spastic) . I am really hoping for botox soon as baclofen has not really worked too well.

Moyna x

Thanks for that Moyna because no one ever explained exactly why it wouldn’t work. I have got spasticity in my calf. I used to get Botox in my calf but I stopped because it made my leg too weak to stand for any length of time, I use the spasticity to stand up if you understand what I mean?

Lynne xx

I suffer from drop foot due to spasticity in my calf. It improved a bit after physio, so that it only happened after walking for a couple of minutes. However, I am now going swimming and this has increased the amount of time I can walk without the drop foot quite a bit. I used to use a stick all the time for balance, but can leave it at home now if I am only going to be walking shorter distances. The swimming definately seems to have improved things and moved up a notch from the physio. I also do leg excercises in the water to strengthen my leg muscles. I would definately recommend swimming for anyone if they are able to do it.

Best

Saffie

Saffie, Swimming and yoga are very good for spasticity in your legs. The physio also suggested I massage legs using a foam roller. You can get really good ideas from youtube on good exercises.

Lynne, it is nice to get explanations from the medical profession. My neuro and physio think that botox would work well for me because my weakness is not too bad on right leg (4+). But the doctor he sent me to disagreed saying it wouldnt work, no reason given. I recently found out that budgets only permit him to give it to really bad cases.

Moyna x