It is time those of us with multiple sclerosis salute the quiet, unassuming symptom known as "foot drop." While other higher profile subjects (CSSVI, spasticity & bladder function) steal the MS spotlight, the lowly foot drop awkwardly stumbles along like the shy girl at a middle school dance.
With foot drop, it is difficult to pick up your foot with each step. The foot actually "folds under" and you end up dragging it, scraping the top of your shoes. In fact, that's what makes it so easy to spot a "foot-dropper," as we are the only people to wear out a pair of shoes - ON TOP! From the looks of my shoes, one would assume I walk on my toes more than a ballerina!
Foot drop seems innocent enough, but is actually quite dangerous as it is the leading cause of falls with MS. A simple solution to correct your foot drop may be an AFO (Ankle-Foot Orthosis).
An AFO is a bracing device worn on your lower leg that helps pick-up those lazy, little piggies, improving your gait and decreasing your risk of falling.
Today's AFO's are light and inconspicuous. They can be worn under your pants, to ease any public embarrassment. They even make electronic units that strap around your shin and stimulate the muscles to pick up your foot with each step! Ask your doctor if an AFO would be right for you. (I sound like a pharmaceutical commercial!)
And so we end our MS salute to "foot drop," the silent but dangerous aspect of multiple sclerosis. May your next step be a safe and happy one. But just remember, "foot drop" is only a foot-fall away.
Published On: May 17, 2011