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Foot Drop

Foot drop is a term used to describe paralysis of the muscles that “pull the foot up.” This interferes with walking and often requires a brace.  Foot drop can result from a number of conditions, the most common being an injury to the 5th lumbar nerve root in the spine or an injury to the peroneal nerve near the knee.  Sometimes the cause is clear as after an accident or injury.  In other cases it can come on without warning or explanation.

It is critical to diagnose the type of injury and location of the injury that has resulted in a foot drop.  Advanced neurophysiological studies for identifying the answers to these questions are available at the Center for Neurophysiology and Restorative Neurology.  Once these questions are answered we can determine the nest course of treatment.  This may involve relieving pressure from a nerve at the level of the knee or the spine.  In more severe cases, nerve grafting or nerve transfers may be required.  Occassionally in long-standing cases a tendon transfer is the best intervention to recover the ability to pull the foot up.

For more information about the treatment of foot drop, please contact us at 619-543-5540, Dr. Brown