Foot drop makes it difficult to lift the front part of your foot, so it might drag on the floor when you walk. To counter this, you might raise your thigh when you walk, as if you were climbing stairs (steppage gait), to help your foot clear the floor. This odd gait might cause you to slap your foot down onto the floor with each step you take. In some cases, the skin on the top of your foot and toes may feel numb.
Foot drop typically affects only one foot. Depending on the underlying cause, however, it's possible for both feet to be affected.
When to see a doctor
If your toes drag the floor when you walk, consult your doctor.
Nov. 27, 2014
- Stewart JD. Foot drop: Where, why and what to do? Practical Neurology. 2008;8:158.
- NINDS foot drop information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/foot_drop/foot_drop.htm. Accessed Oct. 6, 2014.
- Daroff RB, et al. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Oct. 6, 2014.
- Sackley C, et al. Rehabilitation interventions for foot drop in neuromuscular disease (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003908.pub3/abstract. Accessed Oct. 6, 2014.
- Preventing falls and related fractures. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/bone/Osteoporosis/Fracture/prevent_falls.asp. Accessed Oct. 6. 2014.
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