Foot drop, or drop foot, is the general term used for difficulty in lifting the front part of the foot. It is characterized by a dragging of the front of the foot, resulting in gait abnormalities. Usually occurring in only one foot, those with foot drop might overcompensate when they walk by lifting their thigh higher than normal and then slapping their foot down to propel themselves forward. This can cause further damage to the foot and nerves, making the condition even more difficult.
Foot drop is typically a symptom of a greater health issues in most cases, such as an underlying anatomical, neurological or muscular condition. It can be temporary or permanent, but almost always requires that the patient wears a brace to help hold the ankle and foot in the correct position.
Those who are at higher risk of developing foot drop include people who frequently cross their legs, kneel for extended periods of time, or have had to wear their leg in a cast. It is also prevalent in those with diabetes, Parkinson’s, a lower back condition, Multiple sclerosis, a stroke or tumour, or a previous injury.
If you think you might be suffering from foot drop, try this quick test at home: walk on your heels, keeping your toes up. If this proves to be difficult or impossible, the condition might be present, and it is imperative that you see your podiatrist right away. Contact our foot clinic for further diagnosis and treatment.