Over one million Americans currently live in nursing homes. As a result, excellent elderly care is a priority in this country. This significant population of elderly patients deserves the best physical therapy options possible, especially for those who suffer from one of the most common and debilitating complications from stroke, foot drop.

Foot drop is a condition that causes weakness or paralysis of the muscles involved in lifting the front part of the foot and control of the ankle joint.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of foot drop but there are other potential causes, including:

  • Nerve injury – The most common cause of foot drop is compression of a peroneal nerve, which is the nerve in the leg that controls the muscles involved in lifting the foot. This nerve can also be injured during hip or knee replacement surgery, which may cause foot drop.<
  • Nerve root injury – Also known as a pinched nerve, this injury in the spine can also cause foot drop.
  • Diabetes – are more susceptible to nerve disorders, which are associated with foot drop.<
  • Muscle or nerve disorders – Disorders such as polio or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease can contribute to foot drop symptoms.
  • Brain and spinal cord disorders – Disorders that affect the spinal cord or brain, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, or stroke, may cause foot drop.

Because the foot muscles don’t function properly, elderly patients who suffer from foot drop have a greater chance of injuring themselves. Often, injuries from falls result in the need for physical therapy to rehabilitate the injury.


Another cause of foot drop that affects elderly patients are degenerative disorders. Degenerative nerve disorders affect many of the body’s activities, such as balance, movement, talking, breathing, and heart function.

Degenerative disorders include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Motor neuron diseases
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Spinal muscular atrophy

As a result, foot drop may occur in elderly patients who have a degenerative disorder. The loss of balance and movement is also a common shared complication of foot drop. Those that have degenerative nerve disorders often receive the same physical therapy that is recommended for foot drop. This is why therapists and care providers, especially those who work in nursing homes or retirement homes, want the best physical therapy options to treat their elderly patients who have foot drop.


Therapists and care providers alike will embrace NextStep Robotics’ modern solution for elderly patients with foot drop. Our device is a perfect physical therapy tool that can be used in nursing homes and retirement homes. This revolutionary device, which is attached to the lower leg and foot, analyzes each step for toe angle and makes corrective adjustments for subsequent steps.

As the elderly patient’s foot muscles get stronger, the NextStep Robotics device assists less. Also, this device is easy to use, so physical therapists and care providers in nursing homes and retirement homes are available to other elderly patients that have more severe conditions. Through the use of the NextStep Robotics device, elderly patients are able to regain the mobility that they may have lost as a result of foot drop. Additionally, our device allows for both treadmill based or overground walking.


Therapists and care providers have a modern device from NextStep Robotics that can give foot drop patients the mobility that they deserve. Contact NextStep Robotics today to discover more about how our innovative technology can change how physical therapy is used for elderly care in nursing homes. Simply complete our secure online form for more information about how our NextStep Robotics device can help therapists and care providers give the best elderly care possible.