Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment for foot drop depends on the underlying cause. If the underlying cause is successfully treated, foot drop may improve or even disappear. If the underlying cause can't be treated, foot drop may be permanent.

Specific treatment for foot drop may include:

  • Braces or splints. A brace on your ankle and foot or splint that fits into your shoe can help hold your foot in a normal position.
  • Physical therapy. Exercises that strengthen your leg muscles and help you maintain the range of motion in your knee and ankle may improve gait problems associated with foot drop. Stretching exercises are particularly important to prevent the development of stiffness in the heel.
  • Nerve stimulation. Sometimes stimulating the nerve that lifts the foot improves foot drop.
  • Surgery. In cases where foot drop is relatively new, nerve surgery may be helpful. If foot drop is long-standing, your doctor may suggest surgery that fuses ankle or foot bones or a procedure that transfers a functioning tendon to a different position.
Nov. 10, 2011

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