Foot drop is a muscular weakness or paralysis that makes it difficult to lift the front part of your foot and toes.

It's also sometimes called drop foot, and can cause you to drag your foot on the ground when you walk.

Foot drop is a sign of an underlying problem rather than a condition itself. This could be muscular, caused by nerve damage in the leg, or the result of a brain or spinal injury.

Foot drop usually only affects one foot, but both feet may be affected, depending on the cause. It can be temporary or permanent.

Source: NHS Choices UK1

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Foot: The distal extremity of the leg in vertebrates, consisting of the tarsus (Ankle); Metatarsus; phalanges; and the soft tissues surrounding these bones.2

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Foot: The structure found below the ankle joint required for locomotion.3

Symptoms Information for Foot

Foot drop describes the inability to raise the front part of the foot due to weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot. As a result, individuals with foot drop scuff their toes along the ground or bend their knees to lift their foot higher than usual to avoid the scuffing, which causes what is called a “steppage” gait.

Foot drop can be unilateral (affecting one foot) or bilateral (affecting both feet).

Source: NINDS (NIH)4

Diagnosis for Foot

Diagnosing foot drop

Foot drop is often diagnosed during a physical examination. Your GP will look at the way you walk and examine your leg muscles.

In some cases, imaging tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound scan or computerised tomography (CT) scan, may be required.

Nerve conduction tests may be recommended to help locate where the affected nerve is damaged.

Electromyography, where electrodes are inserted into the muscle fibres to record the muscles' electrical activity, may also be carried out at the same time.

Source: NHS Choices UK5

Categories for Foot

Category of Foot:

  • Lower Extremity Part

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  1. Source: NHS Choices UK: conditions/ foot-drop/ 
  2. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  3. Source: NCI Thesaurus
  4. Source: NINDS (NIH): disorders/ foot_drop/ foot_drop.htm
  5. Source: NHS Choices UK: conditions/ foot-drop/ 
  6. Source: NCI Thesaurus
  7. Source: GTR (NCBI/NIH): gtr/ conditions/ C0522224/ 

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.