DO YOU EXPERIENCE FOOT DROP? HERE’S WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW | Ortho Four States Orthopedic Care Serving the Joplin Region and Entire Four State Area
By Dr. Michael L. Hearndon, D.O., Ortho Four States Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician specializing in Interventional Pain Management
WHAT IS FOOT DROP AND WHAT CAUSES IT?
Foot Drop is exactly what it sounds like. It’s when the forefoot/toes are being dropped when walking. This may happen when a person is tired, or it can be a condition that is present at all times. Foot Drop can be caused by different types of neurological injuries either in the leg or in the back, such as neuropathy nerve trauma or radiculopathy.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO DIAGNOSE?
The dragging of the toes created by Foot Drop increases the risk for tripping and fall-related injury. This can especially become problematic in the elderly or the frail, as falling is the leading cause of injury-related deaths for people 65 and older. Preventing falls is also critical in keeping people out of the hospital or nursing home. To treat Foot Drop, you must first identify the cause of the problem. The onset of Foot Drop can be subtle, frequently tripping or having trouble applying pressure on the car peddles can be a sign. The earlier you diagnose Foot Drop, the better and faster the prognosis for recovery.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Treatments for Foot Drop include physical therapy, interventions, and assistive devices. If someone has persistent Foot Drop that cannot be treated any other way, they may benefit from what is called a leaf spring Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO). An AFO helps keep the toes up while walking to prevent dragging and tripping over them, ensuring the foot and ankle are supported and held in a position that will correct Foot Drop. The leaf spring AFO is a small device and barely if at all noticeable underneath clothing. You can ask your doctor to prescribe an AFO, which can then be fitted for you by an orthotist.
If you suspect you may be experiencing Foot Drop or any other balance-related issues, Ortho Four States offers high-tech and painless testing, diagnosis, and treatment. We have structured our Falling-Risk Assessment and Bone Health Clinic with the goal of preventing fall-related injuries. If it is determined you need an AFO, we can prescribe one for you.
Doctor Michael L. Hearndon offers a hands-on approach to pain relief with a combination of a judicious use of interventional techniques and therapy over pharmacologic treatments. He also utilizes Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy (OMT). Dr. Hearndon also incorporates alternative methods of pain management and teaches patients self-healing techniques through specific training and correction of postures and muscle imbalance. He is one of Ortho Four States 11 Fellowship-Trained and Board-Certified orthopedic physician, on a mission to restore patients’ quality of life.
ON A MISSION TO RESTORE PATIENTS’ QUALITY OF LIFE | Orthopaedic Specialists of the Four States (Ortho Four States)
Welcome to the Four State Area’s largest and most comprehensive neck-to-toe Orthopedic, Spine, Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy, Aquatic Rehabilitation, and Interventional Pain Management care group and facility – serving Joplin and the region with a compassionate patient-first approach to world-class care.
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417.206.7846 Joplin, MO | 620.783.4441 Kansas | 877.783.4441 Arkansas, Oklahoma, Toll Free | www.Ortho4States.com