Select Page

Foot Drop – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Foot Drop – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Foot drop treatment | Dr. Vasudeva Juvvadi
Foot drop, also known as drop foot, is a condition that involves having difficulty lifting the front part of the foot. If you have foot drop, you may find that the front of your foot drags along the ground when you walk. This condition is not considered a disease but rather a symptom of an underlying muscular, neurological, or anatomical problem.
Foot drop can be temporary or permanent, and if you experience this condition, you may require the use of a brace on your ankle and foot to support the foot and hold it in position. Whatever may be the cause, for foot drop treatment, you should see a specialist doctor

Foot drop symptoms

Symptoms of foot drop include difficulty lifting the front part of the foot, causing it to drag on the floor when walking. This may result in steppage gait (an unusual way of walking). this may cause the foot to slap down onto the floor with each step. In some cases. you may also experience numbness in the skin on the top of the foot and toes.

Foot drop causes

Foot drop can affect one or both feet depending on the underlying cause. Some common causes of foot drop include nerve injury, muscle or nerve disorders such as muscular dystrophy or polio, and brain or spinal cord disorders like stroke or multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Knee injury can lead to nerve damage or compression of peroneal nerve. This nerve controls the muscles involved in lifting your foot. In rare cases, this nerve can be injured during a knee or hip replacement surgery.
Pinched nerve or nerve root injury in the spine can also cause foot drop. Nerve disorders are common in people who have diabetes.
If you experience foot drop or notice that your toes are dragging on the floor when you walk, it is important to consult a specialist orthopedic doctor. Activities like leg crossing, prolonged kneeling, or wearing a leg cast can increase the risk of foot drop. If you are at risk of a foot drop, it is essential to take preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of developing this condition.

Foot Drop Diagnosis

Foot drop may occur when a nerve is compressed by a mass, which could be an excessive growth of bone in the spinal canal, or a cyst or tumor pressing on the nerve in the knee or spine. To identify such problems, imaging tests can be helpful. X-rays can reveal soft tissue masses or bone lesions that may be the cause of symptoms. Ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create images of internal structures, can detect cysts or tumors on the nerve or show swelling from compression. A CT scan, which provides cross-sectional views of the body’s structures using X-rays taken from different angles, can also be used. MRI is a useful test that creates detailed images of bones and soft tissues using radio waves and a strong magnetic field, and is especially helpful in identifying soft tissue lesions that may be compressing a nerve.

Foot Drop Treatment

The treatment for foot drop will vary depending on the underlying cause. Early treatment may increase the chances of recovery. There are several treatments available for foot drop, including lightweight braces, shoe inserts (orthotics), physical therapy, and surgery.
Lightweight braces are the most common treatment for foot drop. They are used to provide support to the leg and help lift the foot while walking. Shoe inserts, also known as orthotics, may also be used to improve foot positioning and provide additional support.
Physical therapy is another treatment option for foot drop. It involves exercises and stretches designed to strengthen the foot and leg muscles, which can improve a person’s ability to walk. In some cases, electronic devices that stimulate the leg nerves during walking may also be recommended.
Surgery may be necessary in cases where foot drop is caused by nerve damage that can be repaired or decompressed. For permanent cases of foot drop, surgery may involve fusing the foot and ankle joint or transferring tendons from stronger muscles to improve gait and stability.

Bottom Line

It is essential to consult an experienced and expert orthopedic doctor to determine the exact cause and get the best treatment for foot drop based on individual needs and circumstances. If you have any additional concerns, then meet dr. Vasudeva Juvvadi – foot drop treatment specialist in Hyderabad for a detailed evaluation of your case.


Posted on

April 5, 2023