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Drop Foot Treatment in New Jersey

The experts at Advanced Foot & Ankle Surgeons based in Cedar Knolls, NJ can examine weakened lower leg muscles for possible drop foot.

What is Drop Foot?

Drop foot (aka foot drop) occurs when an individual loses the ability to lift the front part of their foot, which can result in dragging their toes as they walk. It typically affects only one foot, but it is possible to affect both feet.

A common symptom of multiple sclerosis, drop foot is typically the result of weakened or paralyzed muscles that control the front part of the foot, often due to nerve injury.

Signs & Symptoms

A quick way to test for drop foot: try walking on your heels, if this is difficult the condition may be present. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Inability to point toes toward the body
  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Numbness (on the shin or top of the foot)
  • Loss of function of the foot
  • High-stepping walk

Benefits of Drop Foot Treatment

Since foot drop is a symptom and not a disease, effectively treating it requires addressing the underlying disorder. However, once this occurs you can expect the following benefits:

  • Reduced toe dragging
  • Improved gait, which can lessen awkward hip movements

How is Treatment for Drop Foot Performed?

From exercise to medications, a lightweight foot and ankle brace can be used to treat the condition. The type of brace used depends on the severity of the condition.

  • Some braces hold the foot and ankle in a fixed 90-degree position while others use a spring to allow movement at the ankle and help pull the foot back up during each step. Larger and stronger braces are used when drop foot is coupled with instability in the knee joint.
  • Custom orthotics are worn in conjunction with the braces for additional comfort and support. Patients should wear high-quality walking shoes and may need to buy larger shoes to accommodate the foot, orthotic and brace.
  • Some people with drop foot benefit from physical therapy exercises designed to strengthen the muscles that lift the foot, making it easier to pull the foot up while walking.

In extremely severe cases, surgical repair may include nerve or tendon transfer.

A nerve transfer involves taking a branch from a less important lower leg muscle and connecting it to the muscle that lifts the foot.

A tendon transfer involves taking a tendon that moves the foot inward and connecting it to the top foot so that it now lifts upward.

Preparing for Drop Foot Treatment

How you should prepare for your foot drop treatment depends on two primary factors:

  • The underlying cause of your foot drop.
  • The severity of your foot drop.

Because of its importance, your Advanced Foot & Ankle physician will focus on identifying the root cause first, whether this is due to a neurological condition or something else altogether. From there, your physician will formulate a treatment plan and advise you of any necessary preparations immediately thereafter.

Drop Foot Treatment Recovery

Recovering from your foot drop treatment will depend on your course of treatments. Some of these may be more intensive and require longer recovery times, although your doctor will keep you abreast of what you can expect throughout the process.

A New Generation of Foot & Ankle Specialists

With a focus on restoring mobility to individuals seeking a return to independence, both Dr. Solomon and Dr. Stinson represent a new generation of foot and ankle specialists.

Both of our doctors are board certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and Fellows of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Dr. Mark Solomon serves as the team podiatrist for the New York Jets. Dr. Solomon and Dr. Stinson offer an unsurpassed ability to diagnose and treat sports-related foot and ankle conditions/injuries. In addition, Advanced Foot & Ankle Surgeons has been voted the top podiatrist in Morris County.

How Much Does Drop Foot Treatment Cost?

Advanced Foot & Ankle Surgeons accept Medicare and Atlantic Health System’s local health insurance. We are considered an out-of-network provider with other insurance plans.

Some insurance plans include an out-of-network provision. If your insurance plan has this provision, it is likely to cover a portion of the eligible charges. As a courtesy, our knowledgeable and friendly office staff will submit your claims on your behalf.

If you do not have medical insurance, our knowledgeable and friendly office staff will review the various payment options we offer. We offer CareCredit® financing and accept major credit cards.

It is ultimately the patient’s responsibility to know and understand what services are covered under their individual insurance policy.

We take pride in making your experience as comfortable as possible. Contact us to schedule your initial appointment today!