Foot drop

hello all, I have been given a foot drop splint by physio. it really helps my walking but is rubbing around my ankle making it quite sore. Does anyone else have this problem, or any tips please. Really don’t want to stop using

Hello Ellieoma I have foot drop on my left foot and I have bought or tried various contraptions but all have resulted in them hurting my ankle even thought they were a benefit. So stopped using them as the pain was excessive. Got a Boxia Orliman Medium and a Saebostep if any one wants one both in boxes and free if for your personal use. Bertie

What kind of splint is it Ellieoma? Is it steel or fabric?

I had a Neurodyn fabric / Velcro splint years ago. The first time I used it, I ended up with a red raw spot on my heel that took weeks to heal. It was a bit complicated to put on and ultimately I gave it up as a bad job.

If it’s a steel orthotic with a foot plate that goes in your shoe, I can’t think of anything that might help. Would wearing a thin sock underneath help? Or does it already go over socks?

Have you talked to the hospitals Orthotics department? I assume that’s who provided it. Or your physiotherapist? It might be that your foot is the wrong shape for that particular orthotic. In which case, maybe you could see if a different style would work as well but not rub your foot.

Also, have you looked into FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation)? You could see if your local NHS will pay for it (mine won’t so I’ve had to pay privately). Ask your physiotherapist if you can get it, truly it’s the best solution. Ultimately I’ve got to give mine up as I can’t walk far enough to justify the faffing about putting it on, or the £330 I have to pay them annually.

Give us some more information about your orthotic and maybe someone will have a solution.


Hello Bertie

I’ve got a Boxia and it does the right thing, but the metal hook digs in my foot. I think you probably need to be able to wear shoes that go further up your foot (baseball boots maybe?) for it to work right.

The Saebostep looks great, like a better version of the Boxia. I’d never seen it before your post. So if it’s available, I’d love it.

(Just sent you a PM.)


Thanks everyone, it is a boxing’s and your right Sssue the metal hooks really dig in. I’m going to try and cut them down a bit , maybe that will help. Seeing physio in six weeks so maybe there will be another option. Just so frustrating that it actually works for walking.

The best shoes to wear with a Boxia are apparently HiTops or baseball boots. Which I don’t wear. I’ve got my Boxia on right now and it really does dig in. I can’t think of another solution. I tried turning the hook around, but that just makes it difficult for the elastic to reach it.

Honestly, the best thing for foot drop is the FES. I’m only giving mine up because I just can’t walk enough now to make proper use of it. If you can only walk 3 or 4 metres a couple of times a day, and you’re self funding, it’s just not worth it. (This morning I was having trouble placing the electrodes and got fed up so decided it wasn’t worth the effort!)

But talk to your physiotherapist about whether you could get FES funded by your local NHS. Most Clinical Commissioning Groups (which replaced the old PCTs) do fund FES. But there are a few (like mine - Coastal West Sussex) that won’t.

Or you could try a Foot-up. It depends how bad your foot drop is. Or of course the SaeboStep. Which lovely Bertie is giving to me! I’ll post on here when I know how I get on with it.



So, as promised, here’s my report, so far at least, into the Saebostep.

I think it’s brilliant. Thank you so much Bertie for so kindly donating the kit.

This is the link to the Saebostep for all of you who have foot drop and haven’t seen this solution:

What it does is broadly a similar manual action to the Foot-up or the Boxia, but better. It has a cuff that fixes with both Velcro and a strap around the ankle. It attaches to your shoe to enable the toes to lift and achieve dorsiflexion when walking. The reason it’s better than the Foot-up and Boxia (in my opinion), is that it works via a strong wire that attaches to a lace up shoe on the eyelets using hooks that are screwed into place. There are two hooks rather than just one point of attachment, so the lift is better. Plus, the real innovation is the use of BOA dial technology to adjust the ‘lift’. This (according to Mr Sssue) is the same technology as is used by cyclists, and other sportsmen and women to fit their shoes exactly and securely.

It means that once you have the anklet on and the wires attached to the hooks in your shoes, you can adjust the lift to precisely where you need it. Also, once you are sitting down and no longer want your foot tightly lifted, it’s easy to slacken the wire, and then tighten it again when next needing to walk.

For someone like me, who has found her walking deteriorating over time to being really very limited, it’s perfect. It might even be better for me than FES, purely because it’s so easy and lends itself well to limited walking. I think it would help people who have much better walking capabilities than me, maybe not quite as well as FES, but if self funding FES, it’s a fraction of the price (£126).

So thank you again Bertie, I hadn’t seen the Saebostep before, it’s a brilliant gift. I will make good use of it. I’ve also shown it to my physiotherapist who was hugely impressed. Given that my CCG will not fund FES for foot-drop caused by MS, she will be showing it to her colleagues in the hope that they’ll be able to fund the Saebostep for other people with MS.


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Thanks Sssue , sounds great and I will definitely look at this option. Glad you find this so helpful

Curing footdrop means retraining your brain, wearing some sort of brace won’t do anything, if you want to get better get an exercise bike, the motion of pedalling, concentrating on moving properly and building strength using it for 5 minutes most days does what you need to cure your footdrop to 95%, the will power to do it is up to you.

Wearing some sort of brace or using FES WILL help. It might not cure it but I’m not sure daily cycling will either.

I believe you are wrong. If I could have used an exercise bike when my foot drop began, more than 8 years ago, it would not have helped my foot drop. It might have strengthened my leg muscles a bit. Or it might have utterly fatigued me and made all my symptoms worse.

About 6 months after foot drop began, I had a relapse where I could move nothing below the waist. Neither foot or leg would move even a millimetre and I was hospitalised. The day when I managed to move a toe on my left foot I was delighted - it meant that the steroids were beginning to work. I then spent 6 weeks in a neurological rehabilitation centre.

My foot drop is incurable. I eventually managed to walk a few metres - using a foot up device and a walker - which is all I am capable of now. Without the foot drop, I might have managed to walk a few metres further. But as for cycling, not a chance.

Perhaps you should spend a little more time on this forum before making such sweeping statements. Unless you have a magic wand, in which case you are welcome to cure my foot drop; and while you’re at it, maybe cure my MS too.


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You can give me all the attitude you want, the problems you go on to say are things IN ADDITION to footdrop which WON’T be cured by pedalling, the question was about footdrop, I had my say, it’s up to you what you take out of it. It all depends what level anyone’s individual MS affects them as to what they can or can’t do but ultimately you end up in 1 of 2 camps, either you want and are prepared to help yourself or you don’t, it doesn’t just happen with no effort.

I’ve been exercising and cycling regularly for 5 years now, but the foot drop is still there, worse when I’m tired. I don’t think I can try any harder and I would certainly love to cure it. Instead, I do the best I can.

So foot drop is caused by everyone being lazy, except you. There was I thinking that the nerve conduction between leg and brain had been damaged and any reserve capacity from mirror neurons/plasticity all used up.

Thanks for the tip and peddling jackson pollocks clearly has its place.


I have had foot drop for about 15 years. Quite a few years ago, I did a lot of cycling on a static bike. Whilst this helped me overall, it made absolutely no difference whatsoever to my foot drop. My MS has deteriorated to the point that I can’t even get on the bike any more and even if I could manage to get on, I wouldn’t be able to pedal. Going back to the original poster, I have used a SAFO for 12 years now and it is wonderful. I’ve tried the FES three times now and unfortunately it did nothing for me. You should contact a physio to see what works best for you. I hope you find a solution that works for you. Derek