Any age. Either foot. Drop foot can happen to anyone, anytime. Usually caused by an injury or a muscle or neurological disorder, keep reading for more on treatments to improve the condition or lead to a complete recovery.

Causes & Triggers

  • Muscle disorders, weakness or paralysis resulting from:
    • Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
    • Muscular dystrophy (MD)
    • Polio
  • Neurological (brain & spinal) disorders:
    • Cerebral palsy (CP)
    • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
    • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
    • Stroke
  • Peroneal nerve damage or other nerve injury caused by:
    • Athletics
    • Childbirth
    • Diabetes
    • Knee or hip replacement
    • Massive weight loss
    • Squatting or sitting cross-legged for extended periods of time

Signs & Symptoms

  • Gait changes:
    • Dragging toes while walking
    • Inability to lift front of foot
    • Intentionally swinging leg or lifting knee to avoid dragging toes

Tips & Treatments

  • Early treatment may improve the chances for recovery.
  • Walking ability may improve by wearing supportive leg braces.
  • Mild cases may benefit from over-the-counter shoe inserts or prescription orthotics.
  • Participating in physical therapy and/or electrical nerve stimulation can help strengthen foot and leg muscles.
  • Surgery may be required to improve stability or gait.