The effects of foot drop palsy on the body will vary greatly from one child to the next. In many cases, the severity of the dysfunction and its contributing causes will play a significant role in the long and short-term effects it has on your child’s body.
As the name indicates, foot drop palsy will affect your child’s legs, feet, and ankles. That means it will affect the way your child moves their body, particularly when they walk. Some symptoms you might notice in your child during infancy and as he grows to include the following:
- Your child may exhibit poor reflexes—particularly the Moro reflex, where a newborn is startled and does not display the expected reaction of flinging their arms open and drawing their legs up.
- One of the most obvious effects of foot drop palsy on the body is that a child will not be able to raise the top of one or both of his feet. Foot drop palsy can be a temporary condition or a permanent disorder.
- The effects of foot drop palsy on the body might cause your baby to develop an odd gait once he does begin to walk. Foot drop palsy might cause your child to drag their foot when they walk, which can lead to numbness in their foot or toes.
- If a birth injury caused foot drop due to nerve damage, your son or daughter might have numbness or feel a tingling sensation on the top of their foot or in their leg, ankle, or shin.
- Your child might also develop a condition called steppage gait. You will know your child is walking with a steppage gait because it is a distinct way of moving. Your child will lift his leg higher than normal to keep his toes from dragging on the floor or tripping himself.
- Your child might experience a loss of muscle mass because their nerves lack the ability to stimulate their muscles.
Living with the effects of foot drop palsy on the body might also mean living with certain pain and discomfort. Your child’s pain will be carefully managed with over-the-counter pain medicines. Prescription pain relievers will be prescribed as needed for severe pain.
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The Effects of Foot Drop Palsy on a Newborn
When your child’s doctor reaches a diagnosis of foot drop palsy, he will consult with other physicians and specialists who will help your child recover from a temporary case of foot drop palsy. If your child’s diagnosis leads to a prognosis of permanent foot drop palsy, specialists will help your child discover ways to live with this dysfunction and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
One of the therapeutic services your baby’s doctor might offer is physical therapy. A physical therapist will help your child by introducing them to exercises that will help your baby gain, regain, or maintain muscle strength.
Your doctor might suggest orthopedic devices that will increase your child’s ability to walk and might help prevent additional damage. Orthopedic devices might include braces, splints, custom shoe inserts, specialized shoes, and other pieces of assistive medical equipment.
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The Treatment Options for a Child With Foot Drop Palsy
In addition to noninvasive therapeutic services like physical and occupational therapy and assistive devices, there are additional services that might help foot drop palsy improve or even completely heal. Other treatment options will address the underlying cause of your baby’s injury. Once the original birth injury is treated, the foot drop palsy might disappear on its own.
Sometimes nerve stimulation can help your son or daughter gain the ability to lift their foot. Several surgeries might also provide relief for your child. In one surgical procedure, doctors will attempt to repair your baby’s damaged nerve. In another surgery, doctors might transfer a tendon from one of your child’s healthy limbs to the affected limb in an effort to restore and improve normal function.
If the underlying cause cannot be treated, your baby’s case of foot drop palsy might be a permanent disability. If your child’s case of foot drop palsy is permanent, doctors may perform a type of surgery that fuses their foot and ankle bones.
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Get Birth Injury Lawsuit Assistance Today
The effects of foot drop palsy on the body are high on the list of concerns you have for your son or daughter following a confirmed diagnosis. Your doctor will help you understand the best course of treatment for your child.
When you learn that a birth injury can cause foot drop palsy, it can leave you frustrated and angry. A lawyer near you can explain your legal choices and help you determine the steps you can take toward financial recovery. Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to speak with an attorney about potential financial compensation for your child’s medical condition.