Foot drop (sometimes called drop foot) is a weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the front part of your foot. It can cause great difficulty in walking and can cause you to drag your foot on the ground or lift your foot higher than usual when you walk.
Foot drop has many potential causes. On some occasions during surgery, such as hip or knee replacements, the nerve that controls the foot can become squashed, causing foot drop to occur.
Foot drop can also be caused naturally by prior medical conditions which can cause nerve-damage or muscle-weakening such as:
- Nerve damage linked to diabetes
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Motor neurone disease
Foot drop can be caused by hip or knee replacements if damage is done to the peroneal nerve during surgery. This is the nerve that controls the leg and foot. This damage can be avoided if the surgeon protects the nerve during the operation.
Recovery from foot drop depends on the cause of foot drop and how long you have had it. A number of measures that can be used to help stabilise your foot and improve walking ability are:
- Physiotherapy – to strengthen your ankle, foot and lower leg muscles
- Wearing an ankle-foot orthosis – to hold your foot in a normal position
- Electrical nerve stimulation – in some cases this can help lift your foot
- Surgery – in severe or long-term cases, an operation to fuse the ankle or foot bones may be possible
In some cases, foot drop can be permanent.
Our team at Taylor&Emmet LLP are committed, friendly and professional Solicitors and we can help in investigating cases where foot-drop has developed due to negligent medical care. Our team can help in pursuing complaints and fair compensation regarding foot-drop on your behalf.
Our client’s foot drop was caused by nerve-damage during hip replacement surgery at Grantham Hospital. As a result of the Hospital’s negligence, our client suffered difficulty walking and became prone to falling over. It also had a direct effect upon her ability to do her job. Our client had to undergo further surgery in order to transfer the tendon and muscle from underneath the foot to the top of the foot, which led to some improvement in her ability to move her foot. We successfully settled our client’s claim for £215,000.