What is Drop Foot?

With Dr. Nick Housley 3rd Feb, 21


What is Drop Foot?

Neural injury and stroke is the leading cause of drop foot that affects dorsiflexion of the ankle. It can cause reduced walking ability in stroke survivors and poor quality of life. However, robotic devices (such as Motus Hand) can help in strengthening the Tibialis Anterior muscle, improving gait velocity, and balance by neural plasticity and relearning motor functions.

How Does The Drop Foot Affect Your Ability To Walk?

There are muscles that keep your toes pointed towards the sky when you have a period where one foot is on the ground and the other foot in the air. It is called single-leg support while you are walking. However, you should be able to contract the Tibialis Anterior muscle on the front of your calves, which is basically your knee to your ankle (i.e., your calf or shank), to be able to walk forward.

Moreover, the drop foot is very much like the drop hand when your hand or wrist has an action to flex down to an extent. Your ankles are very much similar to this. Further, many stroke victims suffer from impairments in the Tibialis Anterior muscle, which means they have trouble lifting their toes to the sky. The consequence of this is that when they try to walk, their toes will just drop, and they will not be able to maintain the pose, which is called dorsiflexion posture.

For instance, imagine a car pedal, and if you are pressing the gas pedal down, that is the motion called plantar flexion, and then when it comes back up, that is called dorsiflexion. So these are the motions that get complicated following a stroke.

How Does Motus Foot Help With Drop Foot?

Motus foot is designed to deal with impairment of the tibialis anterior muscle and complications in plantar flexion and dorsiflexion movements. However, it is actually a rate-limiting step for foot function, just like your drop hand is a rate-limiting step for function with your upper extremities.

In that case, if you have an inability to move your fingers sufficiently, you are going to be really challenged to use your arm in a functional way, just like in drop foot, you are going to be very challenged because your foot is not able to push down sufficiently hard or lift. Therefore, our foot mentor was structured to work with these motions of plantar flexion down and dorsiflexion up in your stroke recovery process.


The drop foot after the stroke makes it difficult to lift the front part of your foot, and as a result, your foot keeps dragging while walking. Drop foot is very common after a stroke, but if it is not treated, it can be permanent. However, the Motus foot can help with your stroke recovery by improving your plantar flexion and dorsiflexion movements.

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