Old 12-05-2017, 07:55 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default Drop Foot. ALS?

Hi everyone!

Im very new to this and appreciate your time in responding. My mother of 66 has been a very active individual walking for an hour every day. For the past 3 years she has had drop foot which was diagnosed by a Chiropractor but she could still do her normal day to day but with the slight drop of the foot. She has not been back to a doctor since then.

In the last 3 months it has gotten worse making her walking very difficult as she keeps on tripping and falling so she has had to give that up. Around the house the walking is ok but it is evident that she has the drop foot.

Is there a reason for concern that this could be ALS? She has another visit with the Chiropractor who will assess her once again and then decide if she must be referred to a specialist or not.

Do you perhaps have any questions I could ask her or tests she could perform to rule out ALS? Thanking you in advance!
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:38 AM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drop Foot. ALS?

Hello,

I would definitely get your mum in to see a doctor (not a chiropractor), to see what their assessment is and possibly, if necessary, get referred to a neurologist who specializes in neuromuscular issues.

The tests to rule out ALS will need to start with your primary care physician. I am not sure how easy it is to get in to see a good physician where you are, but that is the best place to start. Again, not a chiropractor, but a physician. A chiro does not have the same training and in depth body knowledge that a physician will have.

There are great ideas to bring along to the doc appointment that are in the stickies section (getting a diagnosis) at the top of the page. Write them and bring them with you.

A drop foot that has not gone away in three years but has worsened is concerning, but I cannot say if it sounds like ALS. I would move this along as fast as your health care provider will do it.

Good luck and please keep us posted.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:56 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drop Foot. ALS?

Thank you so so much! Very much appreciated. I will definitely keep you posted.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:05 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drop Foot. ALS?

I agree with the above advice. I also want to add that the list of causes of drop foot is extensive with ALS being just one of many possibilities. Pinched nerve is probably the most common. Ultimately your mom should get an MRI of her lower back, EMG and nerve conduction tests. Starting with the primary care doctor is good, but a neurologist at some point would be best.

Before that next doctor visit, determine if your mom has any of the following other symptoms:
back pain (especially lower back), and whether or not it radiates down the leg; numbness in the feet; symptoms which might indicate a multi-system illness such as fever, weight loss, rashes, joint pains; weakness in other areas; muscle twitches (fasiculations).

Foot drop is managed with AFO braces to prevent falls, and addressing the underlying causes.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:40 AM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drop Foot. ALS?

Thanks for your reply. She doesnt have any of those symptoms you mentioned. She went to the Chiropractor today and he says there is definitely ways to rehabilitate the drop foot.

She told me yesterday that 5 years ago she went to see a Neuro and he did an MRI and electro test for nerves and all came back good but she is determined to get better quality of walking.

She is scheduled to see a specialist next week.
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