"Foot Drop" in a 15 years old female


Q: My doctors have diagnosed me with drop foot, but they do not know the cause. I have had an EMG, x-rays of my lower spine, pelvis, leg, foot, knee, and abdomen. I am going for a spinal MRI next week. My doctors have said a nerve in my knee that carries into my spine is not functioning properly or well at all. I am just worried they are not telling me everything because I am only 15 years old. I have done some research, (looking through books) and found that things like this can be caused by a tumor. I was wondering if it was possible for me to have a malignant tumor that would cause my nerve damage in my leg causing he drop foot. I'm scared.


A:    Foot drop is caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles below the knee involved in lifting the front part of the foot. An injury to the muscles that control the ankle and toes can cause foot drop. Sometimes nerve damage, from an injury to the nerves in the lower spine or leg to the long-term nerve damage of diabetes (neuropathy) may be causes of foot drop. Pressure to the nerve on the outside of the shinbone just below the knee (peroneal or fibular nerve), as you might experience if you sit with your legs crossed for too long, can trigger temporary foot drop. Also, many types of muscular dystrophy, an inherited disease that causes progressive muscle weakness, may contribute to foot drop. Compartment syndrome, a condition characterized by the compression of nerves and blood vessels within an enclosed space, may have the same effect. Treatment for foot drop depends on the underlying cause. If the underlying cause is successfully treated, foot drop may improve or even disappear. The treatment modalities include: braces or splints, physical therapy, nerve stimulation and surgery for most severe cases.  If the underlying cause can't be treated, foot drop may be permanent.  I suggest you wait on the results of the incoming MRI and do not jump to conclusions not just yet.

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