Foot Drop

Foot drop, also known as drop foot is characterized by the inability to lift the front of the foot.  Individuals tend to drag their foot and may have to raise their knee as though walking upstairs in order to walk without dragging their foot.  It is a sign of an underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical issue rather than a disease.  Even though foot drop may sometimes be temporary and generally only effects one foot you should consult your doctor to ascertain the underlying cause if you experience it to minimize any long term detrimental effects.


Most common causes include:

  • Nerve injury: Compression of a peripheral nerve in the leg
  • Nerve root injury in the lower (lumbar) back: Due to a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis or vertebrae fracture.
  • Muscle and nerve disorders: Include Parkinson’s disease, Motor neuron disease or Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke or tumor
  • Trauma to the foot or leg.
  • Prolonged kneeling, squatting or crossing of legs


  • Image tests: X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan and or MRI
  • Nerve tests: nerve conduction tests such as electromyography (EMG) are used to locate where the damage along the nerve is.


The treatment plan will be determined by the underlying cause of the foot drop and may include Braces or splinting, Physical therapy, Nerve Stimulation or Surgery.

Our neurosurgeons are trained to surgically repair or decompress a damaged nerve.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation appointment.