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New symptoms Foot drop

Just wondering if anyone has any advice, I’ve had ms for 15 years now and have managed really well up to now apart from a few relapses over the years. I went to see my ms nurse last week and she diagnosed me with foot drop.

Anyone with the same and any advice on how best to help it?

Hi,

Yes, left foot has foot drop. Be very careful not to trip.

Did your MS nurse refer you to a phyio as they would give you exercises to do or orthotics department (they make toe off splints etc)? Hope so. If not you should ask. Sooner you start doing physio exercises the better.

Jen

Hello

There are lots of products to help foot drop. As Jen said, you should enlist the help of a physiotherapist who can help you with exercises, refer you to different providers of solutions, and/or get you supplied with devices to help.

The solutions range from fairly basic additions to your shoe: https://www.ossur.com/injury-solutions/products/foot-and-ankle/ankle-foot-orthosis/foot-up or http://www.orliman.com/en/product/calf-support-for-the-boxia-drop-foot-ankle-brace/

Or there are orthotic devices or braces for which you might be referred to your hospitals Orthotics Department.

Or you might be able to get a Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) set up. Have a look at https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/functional-electrical-stimulation-fes The most common is What is FES? | Odstock Medical Ltd (OML) Some areas do not fund FES on the NHS. Where I live (West Sussex Coastal) is such a Trust.

You’ll find that if you continue to walk without an aid with foot-drop, you could end up hurting various muscles as your step pattern is badly aligned. Some people end up ‘hitching’ their hip as they try to pick up the unruly foot, or swinging that leg round in order to avoid stubbing their toes. Either way, you risk hurting your hip.

Best of luck finding the right solution for you.

Sue

Mina,

The advice above is sound and I would echo it. Another comment I would add is, become extra aware of how you are moving and try extra hard to have as good a posture as you can. I have foot drop on the left and after many years of hip hitching (even with FES) my right hip and sacral joint are not overly happy and I have also had sciatic issues on the right. You can also help yourself by “reading” the terrain and picking the best routes. Sounds daft but the camber on the pavements where I live means that there is far less effort when I stumble in a clockwise direction around my village!

Good luck

Mick

Don’t know if this helps, but for my left foot which has a mind of its own, I have a martial arts quite tight, open heeled support which fits over the foot but not over my toes, then up the ankle area. My friend bought it for me and it has been wonderful. It also means I can fit boots over it or sandals. I have had it several years and the elastic is just going so I will replace it soon. I believe it only cost a few pound but to me has been priceless.

I’ve got to a point where I’m swinging my leg round or shuffling instead, the muscles in that leg have already noticeably got a lot skinner and weak.

I must look crazy when I’m walking I’m limping dragging my foot and walking all over the place looking for the flat test ground to walk on. I don’t do cobbles or grass and don’t ever step over the lip of the pavements. God knows what people think but it’s a good job I don’t care lol.

That is a brilliant idea Hebe. One that I’m going to try.

Sue

Hello - see if you can get a Orliman foot drop device. Works really well. A physio referred me to orthotics and I got one, which I used for a couple of years. However, my knee now hyper extends, so I had a cast made of my foot and now wear a customised brace on my lower leg and foot. Rather cumbersome, but at least it restricts the hyper extending. I also have two sticks, which helps my walking. Inside the house I just use one and when needed hold onto furniture. Without the brace my foot just drags and I don’t get very far. As already suggested get a physio appointment and ask for help. It will make a difference.