If your child seems to drag one or both of his or her feet while walking, foot drop may be to blame. Fortunately, with early detection and treatment, foot drop can be successfully treated in most young patients.
Foot drop (also commonly referred to as drop foot) is a relatively common condition that can indicate a potentially underlying muscular or anatomical problem. Specifically, foot drop refers to a condition where a person has difficulty lifting the front portion of one or both feet. And while the condition is usually treatable, early detection is key. For this reason, all parents should be aware of some of the most common early signs of foot drop in children and how to address them.
Early Signs of Foot Drop in Children
The most common symptom that a child is suffering from foot drop is the appearance of one or both feet “dragging” slightly (or very noticeably, in some cases) across the ground while walking. This occurs because the child is unable to lift the front part of the foot. As a result, he or she may also raise the thigh higher while walking, similar to how you would when attempting to walk up a set of stairs. Children with foot drop may also display an uncontrolled “slapping” of the affected foot onto the floor each time they take a step.
For children who are old enough to speak, they may complain of a tingling or numb feeling in the toes or feet.
Treatment Options for Foot Drop
If your child displays any of these symptoms, it is important to have him or her evaluated for foot drop as soon as possible. An in-office evaluation and testing should be able to easily confirm the diagnosis so that treatment options can be explored and implemented right away. The sooner treatment begins, the more likely it is that the foot drop can be completely cured. If left untreated for too long, the condition could unfortunately become permanent.
There are many viable treatment options for foot drop in children, with the least invasive and most favorable including shoe inserts/orthotics and physical therapy. Specifically, customized ankle foot orthotics for foot drop in Arkansas can be worn to support the structures of the feet as needed and help them redevelop their strength and control.
In more severe cases of foot drop that do not respond to non-invasive treatments, a doctor may recommend more involved treatment, such as surgery or electrical stimulation of the peroneal nerve.
In Need of Pediatric Orthotics in Arkansas?
If your child has been diagnosed with foot drop and you wish to explore pediatric prosthetics in Arkansas as a viable treatment option, Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics is here for you. We specialize in the creation of customized pediatric prosthetics for foot drop and many other common childhood conditions and injuries. Schedule your appointment or find out more about our services offered by contacting our office at (501) 683-8889 today.