Those with foot drops are unable to raise their foot when walking, which causes their toes to drag on the ground. This condition often results from weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, typically due to a nerve or brain condition.
Heel/Foot Eversion or Inversion
With heel/foot eversion, the heel or foot collapses inward, and as it worsens, the sole faces further away from the opposite foot.
With heel/foot inversion, the opposite occurs, with the sole turning towards the other foot.
Excessive pronation, also known as overpronation, occurs when the arches of the feet flatten more than they should, putting a strain on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons supporting the arches. It results from an abnormal gait where the foot rolls inward while walking.
Gait instability occurs when someone cannot walk normally, whether because of underlying conditions, injuries, or issues with the feet or legs. It can result from various conditions, such as arthritis, neurological disorders, or even ill-fitting footwear.
Some gait disturbances can include:
– faster and shorter steps
– knees and thighs hitting when walking
– one leg stiff and dragging in a semicircular motion
Forefoot Adduction or Abduction
Forefoot adduction occurs when the front part of the foot, where the toes are, is turned inward toward the other foot. This condition appears at birth but might not present until the child begins walking, leading in with in-toeing. In around 90% of cases, this condition resolves on its own by the time a child turns 4. However, forefoot adduction remains in 10% of cases, requiring a brace to correct foot positioning.
While forefoot adduction results when the forefoot turns inward, with forefoot abduction, the forefoot turns outward or away from the opposite foot. This condition is common in those with flat feet.
Knee hyperextension occurs when the knee joint bends back or straightens too far, which places excessive stress on the knee. While an AFO is intended to brace the ankle, foot, and lower leg, its ability to influence the movement of these body parts can indirectly reduce knee hyperextension.