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How is nerve stimulation used to treat foot drop?

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Quick Answer

Nerve stimulation works on foot drop patients by triggering muscles involved in lifting the front part of the foot, explains NHS Choices. One electrode patch is put near the nerve controlling the muscle, while another is placed in the center of the muscle. Together they stimulate the muscle to counteract foot drop symptoms.

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Nerve stimulation is recommended on a case-to-case basis for those who suffer from foot drop due to brain or spinal cord damage, according to NHS Choices. For those patients, permanent electrodes are implanted in the patient. A temporary nerve stimulator kit generally includes the two electrodes and a battery pack that is attached to the belt or kept in a pocket. The electric jolt needed to treat drop foot also varies between patients, so the battery pack generally allows each individual to adjust the power as needed.

Other treatments for foot drop include physiotherapy, surgery or a boot that holds the foot in a normal position, notes NHS Choices.

Foot drop, sometimes referred to as drop foot, is a condition in which a patient cannot lift the front section of his foot while walking, Mayo Clinic explains. It is not considered a disease but a sign of some other underlying condition and may be either temporary or permanent.

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