Foot Drop

Hello, I am newbie to My Stroke Guide. I had two strokes in June 2019, and I am desperate to know whether anyone has ever fully recovered from 'foot drop', aka foot paralysis? I wish it would get better so much, I am calling her 'sleeping beauty' in the interim. I I am ashamed of how much I took for granted before these dreadful strokes. Every day I get up and try to face the world fighting, but my heart always sinks when I start thinking about my foot. Please can anyone advise or relate? Thanks so much, Siobhan xxx

Hi Siobhan


I am 3 years post stroke and also have drop foot, I use an fes machine (functional electronic stimulation) from Oddstock Medical, which enables me to walk with a stick. It's hard to explain how it works but you can look it up online. Luckily my GP referred  me to the National Hospital at Queens Square, London, who supplied  my machine. (you can buy one  privately  on line, not all GPs will fund this). I also use an AFO sometimes (artificial  foot orthotic) which holds your foot in the correct position. I have heard of people whose foot drop correct itself, but so far mine has shown no sign of improvement. I hope this is useful. Please feel free to message me, if you have any questions.



Hi Siobhan, Yes, I have recovered from foot drop. It took three years. I was also on an FES machine, which helped a great deal, but gave me an allergic skin reaction to the pads. Then, one day, the foot lifted by itself and after waiting a year, the rehab centre discharged me and took the machine back. Not every authority funds this service, but mine did. I think it helps to walk a little each day, but recovery is not guaranteed. I feel very lucky indeed. My walking varies and I have good days and bad days. I go to three exercise classes a week and these have really helped me improve my strength and balance.

Hi Susan, I too am a patient at Queens Square for FES. I am hopefully trialing a new wireless cuff soon. I have an AFO too but do you know what it feels truly fab to talk to a survivor who is experiencing what I am, Susan thanks so much. Mine is showing no sign of improvement either 9 months on. I am worried it might end up being a 'for life' situation, I am writing about it at thanks so so much for responding xxx

OMG John Jeff this is the first time I have been given hope! And what I love is the fact that one day it just happened! If you wouldn't mind, could you go into a little bit more detail, was it just literally one day, not over a period of time was your foot numb, mine is, and I can't move my toes?? This is great news! I  walk loads with the FES but and the AFO which I find easier. I am hopefully trialling a wireless cuff called the Bioness L300 Go which the NHS Physio (Queens Square) are introducing but you I will have to pay about £4k for, but I am desperate to start being able to wear slippers again and this apparently allows it. I am so happy you responded and I know that I maybe wont have the same recovery but this is a genunine revelation to me and I am so grateful to you thanks so, so much. I am blogging about my strokes at and your post has just kickstarted my desire to post my next blog thanks yay!! :-) xxx

Yes, Siobhan, it was over a period of time. I left hospital able to walk a little with a frame, but also needed a wheelchair. Physio encourage me not to use the frame indoors, but to 'furniture walk' using furniture and walls to steady myself. When I was brave enough to walk outside, I walked as far as next door, then added a house a day until I got down the street and back.

All this time, my fior dragged, but I had ongoing physio once a week. Then I had my FES appointment and the machine helped enormously. Then I began watching how other people walked and tried to correct my own. I still do this. Then one wonderful day, I realised the foot was lifting, not perfectly, but enough to give me hope. If you google whether drop foot can be cured, the answer is yes, usually after two years. Mine came in three.

I still work at improving my walking, especially the rhythm, as my walking is still lacking fluidity. My mantra is 'never give up'. However, I won't be running a marathon any time soon!

PS I did get movement back in my toes after a few weeks, but they had pins and needles for several weeks.

Hi Siobhan


Your welcome, glad I could help. How exciting  that you are trying out a new wireless cuff !!!  I'm also desperate  to wear slippers  again, my favourite  footwear  before  my stroke? My next appointment  at Queens  Square  is in April, so I'm hoping I can try it out too?

 Good luck, hope it goes well. Let me know how you get on with it.

Regards Sue



Hi Siobhan

Oddstock have a wireless bluetooth  cuff, is this the one you are referring to? If not, who makes it ?


keep the faith and believe in yourself and take no for an answer.  i had stroke 3 months ago and my right side was dead. today am able to walk yes with cane, and i can lift my arm, granted not 100% but am getting there.

you will walk.  and be able to lift your foot.

you will walk.  and be able to lift your foot.

Hello Siobhan,

I am mostly recovered from foot drop and completed my first ever half-marathon on foot last year.

I walk unaided everywhere, on any surface. I am not fully recovered because I cannot sprint.

I can jog along however.

For three days after my stroke, I copied John Wayne in the movie "The Wings of Eagles" and sang I'm gonna move that toe until my affected Big toe moved. The Physios had me standing unaided three weeks later and I exercised and started walking unaided again in Hospital in three more months.

Hi Sue, sorry I have been really rubbish at responding, I didn't get my trial of the cuff but this is the model Bioness L300 Go there's a video on the link here:, it costs quite a lot, I think £4,500 but the NHS are allowing patients to try it during a session and then provide ongoing physio if we purchase, but sadly my next appointment has been cancelled til at least July! I hope you are well! And that the lockdown isn't too bad, I guess for us we have had different lockdowns! I was on one for 9 weeks last year! Stay strong and safe xxx

Hi, sorry to hear your  appointment  was cancelled,  just waiting to hear the same about mine !!. I also have a botox appointment in June, which is already 4 months overdue, so god knows when that will be.

Yes, this lock down is a piece of cake compared to the 5 months I spent in hospital after my stroke, so I'm not complaining  (thanks for putting that into perspective). We are also lucky to have a garden to sit in when the weather is good . Stay safe

Regards Sue

I am 4 years post stroke and unfortunately my foot still doesnt respond. I tried an AFO originally, but in the end just decided to try to cope without. My arm/hand has improved slightly so there is some improvememt to be had even after 4 years. 

Hi Eurocracy67, thank you so much for this response, it's so kind of you, I can't move my toes at all no matter how hard I try! Thanks for the "The Wings of Eagles" clip, it was really nice of you, can I just ask how long ago you had your stroke and how long it took before you were able to jog? I was told I'd probably never jog again, and it makes me so sad when people say this kind of thing to me it's hard enough! Thanks for responding to me. Take care, Siobhan x

Hi Siobhan,

i have got an appointment for an FES at queen square in september, i have no movement in my left leg from the knee down  will this be a problem when using the FES? 



Hi Siobhan,


I had my Stroke in August 2010 and managed to move my affected big toe 4-5 days after my Stroke, singing I'm gonna move that toe the whole time. I was walking unaided after three months, usually being chased by Nurses and Physios, if only because I would sneak out of the ward in the early hours of the morning to practice my walking and use any stairs I could find.

After being discharged and with six months in the gym on treadmills, cross-trainers and doing weights, I found I could jog awkwardly the length of a football field. Nine years later, I still couldn't sprint but did complete the half marathon after 8 months of training for it. The thirteen mile race had a four and a half hour cut-off but I completed it in four hours and 21 minutes. I still do 10K's (just over six miles) every two months now.

I consider myself very lucky but a lot of hard work got me this far. The Physios refused to let me use an AFO, walking frame or stick because they felt I would recover better without any aids.

Finally, as for predictions - I was told I might never be able to walk and my affected hand would be useless for the rest of my life, which I would have to spend in a nursing home (at 43 years of age!). I walked and while my arm is still a little crooked, It lifts weights and can do almost everything. I think there's an element of people not wanting to give you false hope in the early days but take any "nevers" with a pinch of salt. If you're prepared to do the work, you can jog again :-)

Take care and prove me right!


Hi . I had my stroke in march 2019 at 29 years old . I had no feeling or movement for 7/8 months , with physio 6 x a week I went from afo to foot up . Thinking more of lifting my leg as didnt have control in my foot . Then dec 18th I took the foot up off .it was a struggle being outside more so with shoes on but I would say practise as much as you can . I remember weeks of trying to move my foot , crying, anger, frustration but just keep going with it . Every little thing is a milestone xxx

John Wayne - brilliant - I will use that x