Contact Us Menu

What is Drop Foot?

Drop foot refers to difficulty lifting the front part of the foot, such as when the front drags on the ground when walking. This can cause you to raise your thigh when you walk, as though climbing stairs, causing you to slap your foot down onto the floor with each step. The skin on the top of your foot and toes may feel numb.

The condition isn’t a disease but rather a sign of an underlying neurological, muscular, or anatomical issue. Drop foot is temporary, but it can be permanent, and you might need to wear a brace on your ankle and foot to hold it in place.

Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics

What Causes Drop Foot?

Drop foot causes include:

  • Nerve Injury: The most common cause of drop foot is a compressed nerve in your leg that controls the muscles that lift the foot. This nerve can be injured during hip or knee replacement surgery, which may result in drop foot.
  • Nerve Root Injury: A pinched nerve in the spine can cause drop foot, and people who have diabetes are more susceptible to nerve disorders associated with the condition.
  • Muscle or Nerve Disorders: Various forms of muscular dystrophy, polio, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease can cause drop foot due to nerve issues.
  • Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, or stroke may cause drop foot.

Activities that compress this nerve can increase your risk of foot drop:

  • Crossing your legs
  • Prolonged kneeling
  • Wearing a leg cast
Man swinging a tennis racket

How is Drop Foot Diagnosed and Treated?

Drop foot may be caused by bone overgrowth in the spinal canal. It can also be caused by a tumor or cyst pressing on the nerve in the knee or spine. The following tests can diagnose these issues:

  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies measure electrical activity in the muscles and nerves

Treatments for drop foot include:

  • A brace on your ankle and foot or a splint that fits into your shoe to hold your foot in a normal position
  • Exercises that strengthen your leg muscles and help you maintain the range of motion in your knee and ankle
  • Stretching exercises to prevent stiffness in the heel
  • Nerve stimulation

Dr. Bernstein may recommend nerve surgery if your drop foot is relatively new or severe. However, if your condition is long-standing, he may suggest surgery that fuses ankle or foot bones. Another option for treating drop foot is transferring a working tendon and attached muscle to a different part of the foot.

Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics

Why Choose Dr. Steven Bernstein for Drop Foot Treatment?

If you’re experiencing drop foot, you must choose an experienced surgeon you can trust to get you back on your feet and relieve your pain for good.

Dr. Steven Bernstein is board-certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and specializes in reconstructive foot and ankle surgeries. His background includes extensive training and experience in foot and ankle trauma and deformities, including reconstruction of the forefoot, rearfoot, and ankle deformities. Dr. Bernstein holds certifications from many professional associations, making him the best choice for drop foot treatment.

Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics

If you are suffering from back or neck pain, it is crucial for you to receive a professional diagnosis as soon as possible. Dr. Rovner is one of the best spine surgeons in NJ who has the experience and expertise necessary to help patients actualize successful outcomes with orthopedic spine surgery.

© Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics. All Rights Reserved. Web Design & Internet Marketing by Studio III

Privacy Policy

Contact Us