Drop Foot Specialist

Foot and Ankle Surgery & Lower Extremity Peripheral Nerve Surgeon in Chicago, IL

misc image
Drop Foot services offered in Chicago, IL
If you have trouble lifting the front of your foot when walking, it’s important to visit a foot and ankle specialist. An exam can pinpoint the underlying neurological or muscular problem that’s responsible. At Oexeman Foot and Ankle, PLLC, in Chicago, Illinois, experienced foot and ankle surgeon Stephanie Oexeman, DPM, boasts years of experience diagnosing and treating drop foot in adults and teens. To make an appointment with Dr. Oexeman at her office in Lincoln Park, call or book online today.

Drop Foot Q & A

What is drop foot?

Drop foot is a common condition characterized by difficulty lifting the front of your foot. It isn’t a disease or a disorder; instead, drop foot points to an underlying anatomical, neurological, or muscular problem.

Sometimes, drop foot lasts for a few weeks or months and improves with treatment; other times, symptoms are permanent. Even so, Dr. Oexeman can reduce uncomfortable symptoms and help you feel better.

What are the symptoms of drop foot?

If you have a drop foot, you might drag the front of your foot when walking. You might also use your thighs to help lift your feet, resulting in an abnormal gait. Other less common symptoms of drop foot include numbness in the toes and top of the foot.

What causes drop foot?

Drop foot occurs for various reasons, including:

  • Nerve injuries
  • Pinched nerves
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

You might also experience drop foot after a stroke, a medical emergency that affects blood flow to your brain.

How is drop foot diagnosed?

At Oexeman Foot and Ankle, PLLC, Dr. Oexeman diagnoses drop foot during an in-office visit.

First, she reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including when they started, if they're worse at certain times of the day, and if they affect your ability to work or exercise.

Next, Dr. Oexeman has you take off your shoes and socks to examine your feet and toes. Then, she asks you to walk around the exam room to observe your gait and posture. Dr. Oexeman also tests for numbness in your shins, toes, and the top of your foot.

If these measures don’t provide enough information to make a diagnosis, Dr. Oexeman orders diagnostic imaging, like X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI. These procedures help her identify underlying problems, like a tumor or a cyst pressing on the nerves in your spine. 

How is drop foot treated?

At Oexeman Foot and Ankle, PLLC, Dr. Oexeman treats drop foot using various treatments. Depending on the underlying cause, she might recommend:

  • A brace or a splint
  • Physical therapy
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Surgery

Ultimately, the goal of treatment is to relieve uncomfortable symptoms and improve your mobility.

To learn more about the different treatment options for drop foot, make an appointment at Oexeman Foot and Ankle, PLLC, by calling the office or booking online today.