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Avatar universal

Footdrop

I have leftsided weakness from some sort of neurological event.  I have noticed that I am having some major problems with my left foot.  When I walk my entire foot slams down into the ground.  I find I have to lift my leg kind of from the hip and it is not a smooth motion.  My foot tends to drag against the ground when I walk and my toes catch almost like my toes are dropping first.  

Is there anything that can be done for this????  My neuro said the left sided weakness/footdrop...is most likely caused by the slow brain waves in my right temporal area.  He didn't see anything on the MRI/MRA.  No stroke that he saw.  But he didn't offer anything that could help my bizarre walking.  Is that because there is nothing they can do????  This has been going on since May and not getting any better.  When I walk up stairs my toes tend to catch on each stair and I kind of trip.  Any ideas???
10 Responses
Avatar universal
A footdrop can be caused by a number of things which ranges from a problem with the brain to a bad disc pushing on a spinal root in your lower back to a problem with a group of nerves called a plexus, to the specific nerve that innervates the muscle called the peroneal nerve. Glad the MRI was normal, but I am not convinced that the temporal slowing is the cause of your footdrop. At this point, I would strongly recommend an EMG which can possibly help localize the problem to where it is along the nerve up to the spinal cord. It can also help in some cases with prognosis, meaning there are specific changes within the EMG that can sometimes tell the physician whether or not the strength will come back.  A second opinion at a major academic center by a neuromuscular specialist may be considered too. As for now, there is an ankle-foot orthoses which is a plastic brace that will help keep your foot up so you can walk without tripping. If your doc writes you a prescription for it, it should be covered by your insurance. A medical supply store or physical therapy department should be able to help with the fitting and ordering process. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Footdrop is usually a problem with the peroneal nerve, a branch of the sciatic nerve that travels from the back of your knee down the outside of your leg and across the top of your foot. Among other things, branches of this nerve control the ability to raise your foot (dorsiflexion).

If you have footdrop, you will have to pick up your foot very high to avoid tripping, and it will hit the ground with a distinctive "slapping" sound.

However, you said this came from a "neurological event" (not exactly sure what you mean), so I would suspect that you don't have a problem at the location of the nerve itself. Have you considered getting the segment of spinal cord that communicates with the peroneal nerve checked?
Avatar universal
I have been having bouts of terrible vertigo and sudden onset of leftsided weakness.  They basically thought I had a stroke.  I went for all the tests and they said not a stroke.  They thought maybe a weird migraine phenomenon.  Still happening on a regular basis.  That is what I meant by neurological event:)  Nobody seems to really know what happened.  Thanks for your comments:)
Avatar universal
Have you had a Brain MRI to rule out chiari malformation?
Avatar universal
I had an MRI/MRA to rule out stroke.  I am assuming if they saw anything else they would have told me about it.  I had an EEG that came back abnormal in the right temporal area...my neuro said it was a slow wave.  Other than that my tests came back normal.  I have had the MRI/MRA (took about 15 minutes...no die was injected).  I had the carotid u/s, transcranial doppler, ekg, echocardiogram, and the EEG.  Only the EEG came back abnormal.
Avatar universal
Hi shannara,
I think I've posted to you before, but since I have crs...
I have similar probs, but no dropfoot, although I will have to get rid of a pair of hardsole slippers before I break my neck!   My first abnormal EEG only showed slow waves, but when I was in for a 48hr video EEG that was when they saw spikes and sharp waves. I do have a brain lesion in left side, too.  A couple of drs said stroke and I have, also, been told I have alot of MS symptoms, but current neuro says it isn't in a place where you would think either. Anyway, I think you prob should've had an MRI with contrast. I think it would be good if your neuro didn't want to evaluate this any further, to get a 2nd opinion.  But what do I know, I am only a patient.
Good luck!

BTW, does anybody know what it means when you can't get the finger to nose test right?  I had no probs before and in past 3 visits have messed up.  Yesterday couldn't get it right, don't completely miss however.  Again, it's just my right side.
Avatar universal
Thanks Jan:)  My GP is sending in a referal to see a new neuro.  She said I have enough new symptoms to not put it off any longer.  I'm hoping to get some ideas on how to deal with my footdrop at that time.  I am terrified I am going to fall.  I have an 18 month old baby that likes to be carried so I definately need to be careful!
Avatar universal
I had a foot drop.
I was told for years there was nothing wrong with my back.
The foot drop was from a blown disc that after years ended up closing off the nerve in my spine.I started falling. My foot was flopping and I could not move my toes.The left foot and leg were numb.
I had a spinal fusion L4,L5 . It was a long surgery.
After months of therapy my foot is back and I no longer have a foot drop.
Just my story.
mugs
Avatar universal
There is a newer critieria for diagnosing Chiari 1 malformation. The old criteria is a 3-5 mm tonsillar herniation of the cerebellar tonsils. There is a clinical study written by Dr. T. Milhorat called Chiari 1 Redefined which states that tonsillar herniation is only part of the problem and that this criteria alone may be too restrictive. You can read it at www.wacma.com under the "on-site info" A cine MRI would show if there is any blockage of CSF flow.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, dropfoot was started.
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