Foot Drop brace?

Hi guys

Does anyone have experience with foot drop braces? Do you check wiht your physio first before you get them?


Chui hl

Yes, and unfortunately, most of the wife’s experience was BAD. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel (not a train either).

WARNING: I describe in detail how the wife had foot surgery, so if you don’t like to read that stuff, skip this.

Background: Following Embo #2, she developed a foot drop in her right foot. From what I understand, the brain parts that controlled the right leg and foot were “injured”, whatever that means. Her walk became a noticeable limp. Her right leg swung out to compensate, even after she had a foot brace. IIRC, it was her local neuro who sent her to the brace specialist.

She wore the brace for 10+ years. It was hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and rubbed sores in her calf. It was miserable for her. She had to buy 2 pairs of shoes to get the right one that would fit the brace. Around the house without the brace, she was constantly tripping over the dropped foot.

Aside from the above aggravation, the un-normal gate caused her constant lower back pain. She tried everything, including having her gate checked by high speed video / computer. She did physical therapy, but it was only marginal in it’s help.

Finally, she checked about having surgery to correct the foot drop. I think it was called anterior lateral tendon transfer. Her right foot dropped and twisted outward, so her little toe was lower than the big toe. The surgeon only promised that she’d get to a smaller brace, but said getting to no brace was possible.


The surgeon cut her ankle and top of her foot. He split the tendon that goes down the top of the foot. He shortened it and reattached it near her big toe. The part he split, he attached near the little toe side to bring it back to even.

She was in a cast for 12 weeks, and did physical therapy following. In addition, she hired a knowledgable personal trainer to build up the working muscles to compensate for the non-working ones. She has to consistently work out to keep those muscles built up, but she does not wear a brace and can walk normally barefoot.

I can tell her fatigue factor by how she walks, and occassionally someone who doesn’t know her background will ask about her limp, but many others do not even notice it.

There are some downsides: She cannot extend her right foot, nor lift her toes with her heel on the floor. I doubt she can run. Overall, this surgery was the best ever for her. Had we done it much earlier, I think her walk would be much better. Having waited so long, she now has to really concentrate on walking normally–it’s a constant thing.

Of course your mileage may vary, but if at all possible, I would encourage you to see if you can have similar surgery to correct the drop foot. As I told Chari, the ankle surgery didn’t scare me at all compared to all the BRAIN surgeries!

Hope this helps.
Ron, KS

My daughter’s friend has foot/ankle/gait issues from spinal bifida. Cindy said that Jen really liked the “electronic orthotic” and it improved her gait. She suggested it might be a good try before surgery.

I have no clue what this is… sorry.

Ron, KS

Hi Ron

Thanks for the info, I believe you are referring to Walkaide!

Chui HL

Thanks Jason!

Jason Eppert said:

my physical therapist told me to get one so I went to a company that sold them. they looked at my foot and mad me a brace and then billed my insurance company. it works great but it takes some time getting use to it. I will put a picure of it on my profile so you can see what it looks like. good luck