Foot drop



Foot drop, also known as drop foot, is a condition that causes difficulty lifting the front part of the foot. It makes it difficult to clear the foot during walking, causing the person to drag it along, or “foot drop.”


  • Monoparetic or Unilateral Foot Drop: This type of foot drop affects one foot.
  • Biparetic or Bilateral Foot Drop: This type of foot drop affects both feet.


Foot drop is caused when a person loses the ability to lift the front part of the foot. This can be due to damage or disruption of nerve signals from the brain to the muscle that lifts the foot, or from the muscle to the brain. Common causes include stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig’s disease and sciatic nerve injury.


People with foot drop may be at risk for falls due to their difficulties with walking and balance. Additionally, people with foot drop may experience pain or discomfort in their feet, ankles, and calves.


Initial treatment for foot drop typically focuses on physical rehabilitation, such as exercises to strengthen the muscles of the foot and ankle. Additionally, physical therapy, such as electrical stimulation, may help with muscle strengthening and coordination.

Other treatment options may include ankle-foot orthoses (AFO), or braces, and foot drop splints. AFOs are designed to help keep the foot in a normal position while walking, while splints can help to lift the front of the foot while sleeping. In some cases, medications such as muscle relaxants may be necessary.

In severe cases of foot drop, surgery may be necessary. This may include decompressing nerves, inserting metal plates or rods in the foot to stabilize it, or implanting electrodes to stimulate the leg muscles.


If you experience any excessive weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving your foot or leg, it is important to contact a doctor. In some cases, early treatment can help to reduce the severity of the condition.