Importance of early diagnosis in cases of foot drop due to leprosy
Leprosy is the most common treatable cause of neuropathy in the world. A number of new cases identified worldwide have probably not changed over last two decades. Foot drop is a fairly common disability in leprosy. An overall incidence of foot drop in leprosy is 2.5 per cent. In the management of preventable and correctable cause of neuropathy, due to leprosy, foot drop occupies an important place. At present we do not have any exact data concerning the possible recovery of foot drop due to leprosy with MDT for leprosy. The patients delay (time between onset of foot drop and patients consulting a medical doctor) is usually minimum. But ‘health-system delay’ (time between first consulting a medical doctor and receiving a diagnosis of leprosy) was average 9 months in previous study. In this study the average time between first consulting a medical doctor and receiving a diagnosis of leprosy is average 10 months. It can however be stated that a stable foot drop of not less than 6 months duration has no chances of recovery. In this study 7 cases of foot drop due to leprosy are analyzed regarding lag period (period between onset of foot drop and diagnosis) to the recovery of foot drop by MDT for leprosy. This study suggests that foot drop due to leprosy with less than 3 months of lag period between onset of foot drop and diagnosis has more chances of full recovery with MDT for leprosy.