Foot drop can hamper your ability to walk correctly, which can have a cascading effect on your entire body if it’s not treated properly. At Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, Joseph R. Disabato, DPM, and Ryan M. Pivovar, DPM, offer effective solutions for foot drop to patients in Charlottesville and Culpeper, Virginia. To learn more, call one of the two locations or use the online scheduling tool.
Foot Drop Q & A
What is foot drop?
Foot drop isn’t a primary condition, but rather, a sign of something larger at play. With foot drop, you have difficulty lifting the front of your foot, which often leads to dragging your foot or stepping highly to avoid scraping your foot.
Foot drop can occur in one or both feet, depending upon the underlying cause.
What causes foot drop?
Foot drop is caused by weakness or paralysis in the muscles that are responsible for lifting your feet, which can be brought on by:
The peroneal nerve in your leg is responsible for the muscles that lift your foot, and if this nerve is damaged or compressed, it can lead to foot drop. Damage to this nerve can occur in an accident or during surgery, such as a hip or knee replacement. Compression of a nerve root in your spine can also lead to foot drop.
Nerve or muscle disorders
Diseases such as muscular dystrophy or polio can lead to problems with nerve or muscle function, which may cause foot drop.
Central nervous system disorders
If you have a problem in your brain or spinal cord, often on the heels of a stroke, you may develop foot drop.
Diabetics are especially prone to foot drop because of the disease’s impact on your peripheral nerves.
How is foot drop treated?
The first order of business for your doctor at Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates is to get to the root cause of your foot drop. Through a comprehensive evaluation, including nerve conduction studies and advanced imaging, your doctor locates the source of the problem, which determines treatment.
Some of the treatments for foot drop include:
- Physical therapy
- Braces or splints
- Nerve stimulation
Surgery is also an option if your problem is persistent and doesn’t respond to more conservative measures. Your doctor may try and repair your nerve or fuse your foot and ankle to prevent your foot from dropping.