Foot drop palsy is a symptom of peroneal and sciatic nerve injury. It shows up in some babies as a weakness in their ankles and an inability to flex their foot or ankle, according to MedlinePlus. Your newborn’s sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in their body. The nerve is responsible for most…
What Causes Foot Drop Palsy?
Foot drop palsy is a serious medical condition that affects some newborns and can stem from a number of causes. In some cases, foot drop palsy can be the result of disorders like spinal muscular atrophy and muscular dystrophy, illnesses like diabetes, or nerve disorders like cerebral palsy.
Foot drop palsy is the result of damage to the peroneal nerve, which can result from injury-related nerve or brain damage. Other common causes of damage to the peroneal nerve that might result in foot drop palsy include trauma or injury to sciatica or knee, fracture of the lower leg, and persistent pressure on the knee.
In newborns, a common cause of foot drop palsy is an injury to the common peroneal nerve during delivery. The peroneal nerve is located in your baby’s lower legs and helps him control the feelings and movements in his legs and feet.
The Common Peroneal Nerve
Your baby’s common peroneal nerve is located on the outside of their fibula (lower leg bone) just underneath their knee. The peroneal nerve is a pressure point that is susceptible to injury in adults and can also be injured in children during the delivery process. Your newborn’s peroneal nerve is an extension of his sciatic nerve and allows movement and sensation to your child’s lower leg, foot, and toes. The sciatic nerve extends from your baby’s lower back through his hips and buttocks and down into each leg.
The Effects of Foot Drop Palsy
Foot drop palsy is a gait abnormality. A diagnosis of foot drop palsy means your child will struggle to control their foot and leg and will be unable to raise the front part of one or both of their feet. It might lead to ongoing tests and procedures for your child.
Living with Foot Drop Palsy
As your child grows and develops, foot drop palsy may make it difficult for your child to keep up with his peers if he does not receive prompt and proper treatment. Because foot drop palsy will make it difficult for your child to lift the front part of their foot, it may cause them to drag their foot on the floor as they walk. This altered gait might then result in the top of their foot slapping the floor as they walk as well as numbness in the top of their feet and toes.
Foot Drop Palsy as a Disability
Foot drop palsy may be a temporary condition or a permanent disability. As a temporary condition, foot drop palsy can improve with proper treatment and intervention. Depending on the severity of your baby’s injury, treatments for foot drop palsy might include anything from physical therapy to surgical intervention.
If causes of foot drop palsy are left undiagnosed or untreated, it might affect your child’s ability to walk with ease. Foot drop palsy can also be a permanent condition that does not respond to treatment and results in a lifelong disability.
The Available Treatments for a Newborn With Foot Drop Palsy
Once a diagnosis of foot drop palsy has been confirmed in your baby, a doctor or specialist will explain the available treatment options. Potential treatments will vary but can include one or more of the following:
- Your newborn may receive special exercises and stretches to help strengthen his lower leg muscles.
- As they grow and develop, your child might wear prescription orthotics, which are lightweight medical devices your child will wear on his ankles and lower legs to help maintain a straight posture.
- If foot drop palsy persists when your child reaches walking age, his doctor may also recommend and prescribe orthotic shoe inserts.
- Some cases of foot drop palsy are treated with electrical nerve stimulation. During this procedure, electrodes will be attached to your baby’s lower leg and send impulses to the muscles and nerves that can help him lift his leg and foot correctly.
The medical team who treats your child will explain his treatment options in greater detail.
Locate a Birth Injury Lawyer in My Area
Understanding what causes foot drop palsy is the first step toward ensuring the best possible outcome for your child in light of their birth injury. A doctor can help you understand how your child’s present and future will be affected by foot drop palsy. An attorney can also help you understand the legal options you and your child may have.
Get the legal help you need. Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation of your case with a lawyer near you today.
In some cases, foot drop palsy can be prevented by members of your child’s health care team. Foot drop palsy, also known as foot drop or drop foot, in newborns can result from a birth injury that caused nerve damage. Cause of Foot Drop Palsy Birth injuries are often the result of physical pressure exerted…