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.
No referral needed. Accepting most insurance including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and many Freeman and Mercy directed plans.
417.206.7846 Joplin, MO | 620.783.4441 Kansas | 877.783.4441 | 877.783.4441 Arkansas, Oklahoma, Toll Free. | www.Ortho4States.com
Dr. Michael L. Hearndon is a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor serving Joplin, Missouri, and the entire Four State Area. He specializes and is fellowship-trained in Interventional Pain Management and is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Dr. Hearndon’s approach to pain relief is combined with a judicious use of interventional techniques and therapy over pharmacologic treatments.
As a pain management doctor, Dr. Hearndon also utilizes osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT) and incorporates alternative methods of pain management. He teaches patients self-healing techniques through specific training and correction of postures and muscle imbalance.
Doctor Hearndon serves Joplin, MO, and the entire Four State area of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
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, Joint Replacement and Revision, and Interventional Pain Management care group and facility – serving Joplin and the region with a compassionate patient-first approach to world-class care.