Treatment of Drop Foot with an AFO
It’s very easy to ignore simple things like being unable to raise or tap your toes because you consider it inconsequential. However, if this problem is left untreated, it can result in serious physical complications, including permanent deformities and restricted gait.
So, if you are unable to lift the front part of your foot, you should see your doctor immediately for a thorough examination and treatment because you could be suffering from foot drop. It’s also important to understand foot drop and how it can be treated with ankle-foot orthoses (AFO).
What’s Foot Drop?
Foot drop refers to a condition in which a patient cannot raise their feet, especially their toes. It occurs when your body’s normal coordination and strength change the tone of muscles in your feet and legs. The lack of muscle strength and coordination makes it difficult to flex your ankles or lift your feet.
Why You Should Treat Foot Drop
When you ignore a foot drop for a long time, muscle strength and coordination loss will result in permanent disability. It will also increase your risk of falling and lack of posture. Without proper foot control, you’ll be forced to adopt compensatory movements like over-flexing your knee or lifting your leg too high at the hip.
This walking pattern is commonly referred to as steppage gait. It can easily lead to flowing compensatory postures, resulting in pain and impairment in other parts of your body. When you scuff your feet along the ground, you will likely sustain serious injuries if you bump against rocks or complex objects. That’s why you should find treatment ASAP.
Treating Foot Drop with AFOs
When you are seeking treatment for your foot drop, pay close attention to your psychological state and your glucose levels, especially if you have diabetes. You also have to boost your immunity with supplements. Before you go for surgery or nerve stimulation, try AFOs.
AFOs are assistive devices designed to cover your foot and ankle so that your foot can be fully supported. They also restrict ankle plantarflexion movement for a consistent hemiparetic foot position. However, the AFOs must allow your ankle some flexibility when loading response on your affected foot so that the energy cost of your hemiparetic gait can be reduced.