What is Foot Drop?

Foot Drop Patient at Orthopedic Associates of Southwest FloridaFoot drop is a weakness of the muscles on the front of the lower leg which results in the inability to lift the foot.

This causes significant difficulty with walking and can lead to tripping/falling and ultimately ankle sprains or fractures related to falls.

In addition, weakness of these muscles also make it difficult to slow the foot before making contact with the ground and results in the foot slapping the floor.

Etiology – Foot Drop Causes

At The Florida Center for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction, we find that stroke is one of the most common causes of foot drop in Southwest Florida. However, there are several other foot drop causes. They include:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic injury to the common peroneal nerve
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Pressure related injuries to common peroneal or sciatic nerves
  • Neuropathies

Foot Drop Symptoms

You may be experiencing foot drop symptoms if you have:

  • Weakness or inability to lift the foot
  • Steppage or slap foot gate ~ common of the foot drop symptoms, this involves exaggerated hip and knee flexion in order to clear the foot during walking and then loudly striking the ground with the ball of the foot.

Diagnostic Testing for Foot Drop

Nerve conduction study and electromyography are often ordered to help localize the origin of the cause of foot drop and to plan for surgery when indicated.

Surgery often involves tendon transfers and it is important to select a tendon/muscle that is unaffected by the underlying cause of foot drop. These tests will determine which tendons/muscles are functioning properly.


  • Foot Drop Treatment Ankle Foot OrthosesAnkle braces termed AFO’s (ankle foot orthoses)
  • Tendon Transfer Surgery
  • Arthrodesis, also known as,  joint fusion surgery (in extreme cases)
Are You or a Loved One Experiencing
Foot Drop Symptoms?

 Make an Appointment with Dr. Black for a consultation to discuss your options.
The Florida Center for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction
at Orthopedic Associates of Cape Coral