Having drop foot may increase your risk of tripping and falling in everyday situations that you otherwise hadn’t encountered beforehand. If you’ve been recently diagnosed with drop foot, there are some precautions you can consider taking to help ensure a safer walking environment in your house.
Here are some suggestions for at-home safety tips:
Open up spaces and create wide walking paths from one room to the next. If you have kids or pets that often leave toys on the ground, take special care to make sure the main area you’ll be walking in is clear of clutter.
Avoid the use of throw rugs.
Throw rugs, and even some runners, may be made from material that can bunch up easily or have corners that bend up causing potential trip hazards. Whenever possible, avoid using them or secure them to the floor with adhesive strips to keep the material flat.
Move electrical cords away from walkways.
Just as with the above suggestions, it’s important to clear walkways of any potential things that your foot could catch on when walking. Electrical cords should be kept away from your walking path or very safely secured as to not pose a risk.
Make sure rooms and stairways are well-lit.
We’ve all gotten up at night and thought we didn’t need a light on to make our way to the bathroom, etc, but perhaps have misjudged and bumped into a wall! It happens! For those with Drop Foot, it’s especially important to have spaces be well-lit to avoid tripping and falling. If you’re traveling or staying in any unfamiliar place, consider bringing a flashlight with you for extra safety when walking both indoors and outdoors.
Place fluorescent tape on the top and bottom steps of stairways.
This is a great method for helping to judge where stairs are located, the height of them, and when they end. Using fluorescent tape or some kind of other reflective system will provide you with better peace of mind when navigating flights of stairs.
Here at Insightful Products, we have devised a drop foot splint called the Tri-Ped Night Walker. It’s designed to be used around the house or at night when you would rather not wear shoes.
Ian Engelman, M.S., owner of Insightful Products, is a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist who created the Step-Smart Brace for Drop Foot. Like many other AFO’s, that brace is designed to be worn with a shoe. After several years, he began getting feedback from his patients about their desire for a brace they could wear inside their homes without footwear.
The Tri-Ped Night Walker for drop foot allows the user to easily put it on and take it off simply by sliding their foot in. You can wear it indoors barefooted or with a sock. Many users find it especially helpful to keep by their bedside for nighttime use.
This splint keeps the foot in a dorsiflexed position to give the user clearance at swing phase while still being flexible enough to allow plantarflexion. It’s a great solution that helps many people with drop foot to ambulate more safely in their homes.
You can learn more about the Tri-Ped Night Walker at Tri-Ped Night Walker – Insightful Products – Drop Foot, and Foot or Ankle braces.