View Full Version : don't want to use an afo but i need to stop this foot drop!
11-10-2005, 11:07 AM
Hello everyone, i've now been walking like everywhere with my walker without any braces, but the problem is, when i walk with the walker, if the material i'm walking on isn't smooth, my leg won't drag through nicely, it will catch and requires me to lift up with my upper body, which isn't so bad but i get tired after awhile of that. I don't want to wear an AFO because it won't allow weight baring through my bad leg, it will also promote hyperextension of my knee. Is there some sort of device that will keep my toe up but will also allow it to bare weight through it and flex while i walk, because the ankle can hold my weight fine, its just the dragging of the foot that is a problem!! any ideas would be great!!@ :D
11-10-2005, 12:04 PM
SCI Nurse had a posting on this under another topic... here is the info she provided.
Just as a clarification. Foot drop technically is the inability to dorsiflex the foot (bring the foot up toward the shin). With walking, this can cause the toe to drag, catching and throwing off balance. It also can cause you to have to hike your hip to avoid this catching, which can result in hip and low back pain.
Treatment for this includes the use of AFOs or other ankle supports and, if possible, muscle strengthening and FES for a few. Stretching does not help treat or prevent drop foot, but can help to prevent the development of a contracture due to this condition.
A plantarflexion contracture (where the foot is pointed downward) is the more correct term for a contracture caused by foot drop where you cannot get the ankle to neutral or beyond (it should go to at least 20-30 degrees of dorsiflexion).
AFOs provide the most support and help to protect the ankle and make walking more efficient. There are alternatives for some such as straping systems such as Dr. Young posted above, or commercially available ones like these:
It would be best to work with a knowledgeable PT in selecting a product that will meet your needs.
For a inexpensive comfortable foot drop brace go to www.alimed.com and do a search for Freedom Footdrop Brace. Even though I walk with an AFO, there was a time that all I wore was this brace. It does not provide as much lateral stability as an AFO but is so much more comfortable and allows more range of motion in your gait pattern. I still use this brace while exercising and on occasion when I gait train.
Hope this helps.
11-10-2005, 06:16 PM
Thanks alot guys!! i'll check them out!!