Foot Drop. Advice. needed badly please

Hi all.

I was hoping some of you might spare a moment to impart some wisdom.

I was told I had foot drop in my left leg. I was tripping and stumbling a lot, as we do. The splint I was fitted with made it worse and I was wondering if anybody has any tips. It feels as if I just can’t lift my left leg at all, I’m willing my knee to bend and hip to lift and it’s having none of it. I use one or two sticks and a rollator. My confidence had taken a real dive and it’s driving me insane. There’s a major sense of humour failure brewing. To make matters worse I’ve been really sensitive to the recent heat & I go on holiday on Saturday.

Any hints tips advice very gratefully received. It’s so undignified having a tantrum at the age of 43



Hi Dawn

Might be worth seeing if a FES ( Functional Electrical Stimulation) would work for you. If not available through your NHS Orthotics dept it is worth trying your nearest MS Therapy Centre. I trialled a FES via the Therapy Centre near me and when it was proven to help, the physio applied on my behalf for PCT (now CCG funding) which was granted. I have drop foot, though it doesn’t sound as bad as yours, and the FES definitely helps.

Take care


Well done Hilary, I was going to suggest FES too (not that I’ve tried it yet, I’m going to start chasing my neuro rehab appointment as it feels like my right leg is getting heavier by the day at the moment!) so it’s good to hear of some more possibilities.

Dawn, I know exactly how you feel, my husband has spotted that I kind of throw my leg out in front of me. I think the muscles are stiff too as I just can’t seem to bend… As the day goes on it gets worse too. I hope yout holiday goes well.

Sonia x

Hi D I use FES for left leg drop feet It is good & it had solved the problem

Try it!

Sonia I had to buy mine is about nearly £300.00 it was a long Time ago Good luck Rahma x

The fes is a brilliant device and can help build muscle strength, but is only supposed to lift the foot. It sounds like you would benefit from working with a decent physio and get some exercises to strengthen areas of weakness.

I don’t like traditional splints because the muscles get isolated and will simply waste.

Hi Dawn

  1. FES. No doubt about it. Its only two sticks and FES that keep me mobile.

  2. Just to get by for a few days, try swinging the affected leg out to the side and then forward.

  3. In the house, go barefoot. The foot will slide easier over the carpet and be less inclined to drag/catch/trip you up.


i was wsondering if muscles would waste with splint,im getting splint on 18t sweptember,you have gtiven me a question to ask ,ty,can i drive with splint,or is that difficult,i have a manual car

Hi, this is my problem and I dont walk!

If I had known about FES 9 years ago, I would`ve tried it and perhaps not had to go into a wheelchair full time.

Foot drop is again giving me problems. My leg aches like mad, all the way up when sitting or lying down. Hubby has made me some covered hard backed foam wedges to fill the gaps twixt chair and me. They help a bit.

I see a neuro next month and hope she can offer a referral to podiatry and/or physio.

have you seen a physio about your problem?

I did get a splint a long time ago, which also worsened my problem and I didnt use it.

Have you been back to where you got the splint?


Hi I have the same problem on the right leg, I have tried baclofen etc. Last week I had botox and I still havent noticed any difference.

I did try FES for an hour in clinic but it didnt help me much. You sound as if you might have hip flexor weakness. FES wont help that.

Moyna xxx

Hi Dawn I too suffered foot drop last April first thing I had had! It’s awful so I can really sympathise!. Those plastic foot leg thingy are awful I couldn’t use mine I’ve got a fes now but to be honest it is greatly improved still gets tired and can’t go as far as I could but After about 6 weeks I saw a steady improvement get some neuro physio def helps!..I also kept trying to move it every day little by little I couldn’t even move my toes and had carpet burns on the top of my foot!. … I also kept trying to lift my foot I was so determined I would get it to work but its baby steps…I didn’t know what was wrong with me at that stage ! But I can honestly say mine had got loads better I’m left with some residual damage and a bit of a limp especially when tired or stressed! you have rrms hopefully this will pass soon for you and you’ll get back to some normality soon and enjoy your hols!..I also had to use a crutch to begin with as my foot would go over to the side be careful not too injure yourself really hope it improves soon and get in touch if I can help any more …take care Emma x

Thank you all for all the suggestions I`m going to look into fes get a physio referral and in the mean time try swinging my leg to the side a bit, I do the barefoot thing and I think that does help. I was delighted to see the weather is going to be cooler from the weekend, wish me luck people and I’ll post what works.


I use to have bad foot drop and really weak left leg. I used this machine down the gym.
You put your toes on the edge at the bottom of the plate, then straighten legs and tip toe and hold it for 10 secs at a time,
rest and repeat.

The thin muscle at the back of ankle (just above it) will hurt like hell. After two months of doing gym I noticed I tripped up less and realised I have more control over bending left foot and can lift my left leg up with laying flat on back, which I could never do with my neurologist asked me to do this.

You can also use this machine with feet flat in centre of plate and bend and straighten legs, thats great for building thigh muscles up and muscles around knee.

Start with just your body weight if thats easy add some weight, when you find that easy add some more

It really does help if you don’t suffer from spasticity, you kinda have to goto the gym at least twice a week such as monday and friday.

Maybe get a friend to go to the gym with you as you can edge each other on and make it a social thing instead of a chore.

hi dawn

i had an insole made by a podiatrist and that sorted the problem out for me.

carole x

Hi again.

I was talking to someone about walking backwards recently!

i did this when drop foot made it impossible for me to walk normally, without tripping or falling.

As long as I had something or someone to hold on to, backwards walking became the norm for me for a few months!

This is because when walking backwards, you dont have to lift your foot.

Anyome else found this?


Walking backwards?! I will try that later Poll :slight_smile:

I did chase up my physio yesterday and because I’m actually starting to feel pain in my hip, I had a full stretch session last night (well maybe not quite “full” as I felt puffed out and it hurt) BUT I do feel a lot better for it today and I’m walking just a tiny bit easier. O will persevere :wink:

Sonia x

Walking backwards is good. I recommend going downstairs backwards too and holding on to bannisters.

Moyna xxx

I tried walking backwards earlier…crikey! I’d almost forgotten how much ground I could cover with a single pace!

Good call Poll, I will be trying to work out a little warm-up for myself since I can step sideways fairly well :slight_smile:

Thank you

Sonia x

I have foot drop and for the last 5 years have used a SAFO (silicone ankle foot orthotis). It’s a lightweight splint which keep the foot at the correct angle. I rarely stumble these days - this was a regular occurrence pre SAFO. tried the FES but it did nothing for me.