Drop Foot, also referred to as the Peroneal Nerve Injury, is a neuromuscular disorder that affects a person’s ability to lift his/her foot at the ankle joint. The peroneal nerve branches out from the sciatic nerve (located in the lower back) and is responsible for providing sensation to the frontal and top part of the feet besides the sides of the legs. It stimulates the muscles in the legs which help in lifting the ankle and toes in upward direction. This nerve passes through the outer part of the legs and hencecan get easily injured. Drop Foot is considered to be a symptom of an underlying disease and it can greatly hamper a person’s ability to walk as well as increases the risk of tripping or falling down.


  • Spinal injury
  • Medical condition such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Multiple Sclerosis Parkinson’s Disease
  • Herniated disc Fracture or dislocation in the knee or hip joint
  • Hip replacement or knee surgery
  • Nerve compression
  • Diabetes
  • Weak muscles due to prolonged immobilization of the leg
  • Sitting in a cross legged position for too long
  • Polio
  • Sports injury


  • The toes cannot be lifted upwards (dorsiflexion)
  • Development of steppage gait – the person tends to lift the leg higher than normal while walking
  • Pain, weakness or numbness in the upper part of the foot or shin
  • Loss of foot functionality
  • Limping


  • A detailed physical check of the affected foot
  • Evaluation of the patient’s medical history
  • Neurological tests to assess loss of sensation and function
  • Observation of abnormality in gait X-ray and MRI Electromyography (EMG) to assess electrical conduction within the nerves and muscles
  • CT scans
  • Ultrasound to diagnose presence of cyst, tumor or any other abnormality that may put pressure on the nerves


  • Physical therapy to strengthen the leg muscles and improve gait
  • Use of specifically designed foot brace or splints that can be customized to fit within the patient’s shoe
  • Surgical decompression of the compressed nerve
  • Surgical fusion of the ankle and foot joint
  • Nerve grafting
  • Tendons may be surgically transferred from healthy muscles to improve the condition
  • Stimulation of the peroneal nerve may help improve the condition
  • Stretching exercises may help to reduce stiffness in the foot

For treatment of Drop Foot and other medical conditions, visit OrthoTexas.