national foot drop awareness day

Published on 22 September 2023 at 16:12

22nd September is foot drop awareness day, so I thought why not talk about how it effects me.

Foot drop for me is an issue caused by MS, the signals aren't being sent down nerves in my leg properly. It effects my right foot, causing my toes to drag across the floor when I walk, rather than lift up like they are supposed to.

After visits to the Physio it was assessed that actually for me the foot drop was dangerous and needed some special help, I was then sent to a unit that handles this type of problem. I was given a FES (functional electrical stimulation) machine, it is a small box that has 2 wires that attaches to 2 sticky pads on my right leg, one of the pads I have to place in exactly the right place, so that it gets the signal to the nerve before the nerve splits. It is a lot easier to do than it sounds haha, to the side of the leg a little lower than the knee is a bony section, that's where the main pad goes with the other a bit lower near the shin bone. I have an insole for my footwear that has a small switch attached to the heel, the switch feels the pressure when my foot is on the floor and also the instant I lift it, that's when the magic happens.

When the switch feels my foot lift, the machine then sends an electrical signal though the wires and into the pads, that reminds the nerves to raise my foot properly. 

As complex as that all sounds it works seriously well, yes I have a small electrical zapping in my leg when I have it attached but it doesn't hurt and it lets me walk safely.

Foot drop has been such a life changing issue, I've had to learn to live alongside it, changing walking habits, as well as using crutches whenever I walk (except indoors when walls or furniture are nearby haha), I lost a hobby due to it being unsafe after the foot drop really took hold (airsoft). Unfortunately I get no rest from it, it is a symptom that is with me all the time, no good days or bad days just the same every day... I find new and inventive ways of handling it because I refuse to be beaten down by anything MS throws at me.

Bit of a different blog this one, I know... hope in some way it helps.

Speak soon 



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