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Severe Foot Drop Helped in Gray, ME.

What is foot drop?

Foot drop is typically nerve problem that leads to paralysis of the shin muscle (Tibialis Anterior). Aside from a few, but generally rare neurodegenerative diseases, foot drop most commonly stems from a low back injury. The nerve that controls the muscle responsible for foot and ankle dorsiflexion (flexing upwards) is not functioning and is no longer able to transmit adequate nerve signal to the muscle. In turn, that muscle becomes paralytic and loses its ability to contract and raise your foot while walking.

Relation to the Spine

Typically, however certainly not always, foot drop is a symptom that arises from a very chronic or old spinal injury. Oftentimes foot drop will not present itself until 10, 15 or even 20 years after the original low back injury occurred. When a spinal joint gets injured it stops moving and functioning as it should. We know that movement is a requirement for the spine to heal from anything because there is no direct blood supply to it.  As a result of an undiagnosed and unaddressed spinal injury, the spinal disc thins and degenerates and ultimately puts unwanted chemical (inflammatory) and mechanical stress on the spinal nerve that exits the spine thru that joint. Due to this, the nerve itself becomes inflamed and depending on how much time passes, it will begin to die off and stop functioning.  

Case Examples

Both of these cases presented in our office in Gray, ME with severe foot drop that started within the past 6-8 weeks. Both of these cases exemplify severe L5 disc degeneration, as one has no disc left at all indicating that a spine problem has been present for at least 15 years even though the symptom of foot drop recently started. 

Severe L5 disc degeneration
Example 2

Sever L5 disc degeneration w/ L5 Spondylolisthesis
Example 1


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