ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
The name of this company is ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
Doors in Series Dimensions 2.png

ADAIN Blog

by Richard Acree of ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC

Aging in Place Home Modifications for Foot Drop After a Stroke

CAPS Logo

CAPS Logo

According to the National Stroke Association, foot drop, sometimes called “drop foot,” is the inability to lift the front part of the foot. While walking, a victim of foot drop will drag their toes along the ground, or bend their knees to lift their foot higher than usual to avoid the dragging. Foot drop may be temporary or permanent, and it can occur in one or both feet. An Aging in Place home modification by a CAPS consultant can make the home safer for the victim of foot drop.

Physical Therapy Image from National Stroke Assc

Physical Therapy Image from National Stroke Assc

Foot drop can result when nerves are damaged during a stroke. The muscles are rarely damaged, but become weak because of lack of use following a stroke. Partial or complete recovery is possible with the help of rehabilitative therapy. Physical therapy is central in strengthening muscles and joints.

Foot drop is a weakness or paralysis that limits your ability to raise the front part of your foot. The foot or ankle drops down when the leg is lifted to take a step. If you have foot drop you may trip and fall if your foot and ankle are not supported by a brace at all times. Without the brace the front of the foot may catch on raised objects such as a door threshold, steps, or carpet.

Objects on the floor that are more than 1/4 inch in vertical height can be a source of tripping and falling. Victims of foot drop need flooring that is smooth and consistent in elevation as much as possible. Floor elevation changes, such as door thresholds, should not be more than 1/2 inch in vertical height increase and the top 1/4 inch should be sloped no less than 1:2. See the diagram below for a representation of this installation.

Vertical Elevation Change for Flooring

Vertical Elevation Change for Flooring

Maximum Carpet Pile Height

Maximum Carpet Pile Height

Carpet can also be a source of tripping and falling for a person with foot drop. Carpet or carpet tile should be securely attached to the floor and should have a firm cushion, pad, or backing or no cushion or pad. Carpet or carpet tile should have a level loop, textured loop, level cut pile, or level cut/uncut pile texture. Pile height should be ½ inch (13 mm) maximum. The diagram on the right is an example of recommended carpet pile height.

Carpet to Tile Transition.jpg

Exposed edges of carpet should be fastened to floor surfaces and should have trim on the entire length of the exposed edge. Carpet installed adjacent to tile should be connected to the tile as shown in the diagram on the left.

A stable floor surface is one that remains unchanged by contaminants or applied force, so that when the contaminant or force is removed, the surface returns to its original condition. A firm surface resists deformation by either indentations or particles moving on its surface. A slip-resistant surface provides sufficient frictional counterforce to the forces exerted in walking to permit safe ambulation.

Sometimes home modifications can be as simple as replacing door thresholds or removing loose carpets or rugs. If you or someone you know suffers from foot drop, please call Richard at 615-752-0060 to discuss your needs for a home safety inspection and home modification. For more information about the services Richard provides please see Residential Accessibility.

Thank you.