Fix Foot Drop and Restore Your Gait

woman walking on a beachFoot drop, or difficulty raising your foot at the ankle, can make daily activities far more difficult. If you have foot drop, you may suffer from a reduced quality of life and experience further pain in the back or hip. Board-certified surgeon Dr. Rahul Nath has successfully treated hundreds of patients with foot drop, and he can help you too. Contact us today to learn how!

Foot Drop Overview

Foot drop occurs when the ability to raise the foot at the ankle is lost. When the foot cannot properly lift at the ankle joint, this causes a floppy foot that affects the way you walk. Aside from walking difficulties, weakness and irritation may be experienced. Foot drop can be a temporary or permanent condition depending on the cause of the nerve damage. Most of the time, it is related to an injury of the peroneal nerve.

How Foot Drop Develops

Trauma or tumor anywhere along the peroneal nerve can lead to foot drop. This nerve is located just below the knee and is often aggravated by common activities such as kneeling, crossing the legs, or yoga. When the nerve is compressed for a length of time, pinched, or otherwise damaged, the nerve response to the foot is impaired which eventually inhibits the mobility of the ankle.

Foot drop is considered temporary when the activity causing aggravation of the peroneal nerve is ceased, and proper function is restored. If the activity was done repetitively and the condition developed over time, it is more likely to be a permanent condition that requires treatment to repair. Occasionally, other disorders and occurrences of stroke can also be responsible for causing foot drop.

Diagnosis of Foot Drop

An abnormal gait is the primary characteristic of foot drop. Evaluation will often show the tendency to drag toes across the floor. Sometimes significant bending of the knee while walking is noticed, as if climbing up a flight of stairs, to avoid the dragging toes. Any weakness or pain in the surrounding nerves will also be considered during diagnosis.

Surgical Treatment of Foot Drop

Cases of foot drop are most successfully treated when addressed within six months of the initial onset. Nerve transfer and nerve decompression surgery offer recovery of voluntary ankle movement. This will restore your gait to prevent walking abnormalities or the need for orthotics. In older cases, there are options such as tendon transfers or other ankle-stabilizing approaches that can improve mobility. Dr. Nath will determine the best course of treatment for you upon evaluation.

To have your foot drop evaluated by Dr. Nath, call our office at 713-592-9900 or fill out our contact form.