Why Strokes Cause Foot Drop and What to do About it
If you or someone you know has suffered from a stroke, also known as a CVA, you know how devastating it can be. Many stroke patients find they no longer have control over the muscles in their legs and feet while walking. It can cause instability, which can result in falls. It can also cause the foot to drag on the ground while walking, which can promote falls, sores on the foot and embarrassment due to an unnatural gait pattern as well.
When the foot drags on the ground while walking, it is known as “foot drop”. This is one of the most common effects of a stroke. Sometimes it may just be from muscle weakness, and other times it may be from complete paralysis of a group of muscles. The inability to lift the foot encourages patients to lift their knee higher than normal while walking. This helps the foot clear the ground in some cases, but can put extra stress on the knee.
Fortunately, there are options for people suffering foot drop as a result of having a stroke. It is rare that a patient just needs to accept the gait deviation as part of life. AFOs are the most traditional option for supporting the foot. The acronym “AFO” stands for ankle foot orthosis. This is a support for the foot and ankle that is literally only 3/16″ thick or less and it can be the walking aid that you wished for. Its that good. Below you will find a video that we promote that has people give their testimonials about their AFOs. It is a really worthwhile invention and can make all the difference for you while ambulating around your house or in a community setting.
Traditional AFOs are great for people who simply need additional support while walking, but still have the ability to move their foot. They offer side to side support when needed and can also offer extra support and stability to the knee, either directly or indirectly. AFOs do not use any type of electrical impulse and are either made out of plastic or metal. These braces usually fit inside the patients shoe and can be hidden by clothing. We recommend getting an AFO that is custom made because each person’s foot is made uniquely for them. This matters when you get a walking brace, such as an AFO.
**If you want to see the true benefits of an AFO in action, check out the videos on this page : http://rinella-op.com/foot-drop-brace-afo-kafo/