Watkins Medical Centre
Level 8, 225 Wickham Terrace,
Spring Hill QLD, 4000

All appointments
Phone: (07) 3831 7034

What is a foot drop ?

A foot drop is the term given to weakness of the muscles that cause the ankle to move the foot in an upwards direction towards the body.  This can have many causes. It  is usually caused by an interuption of the function of the L5 nerve root in the lumbar spine. Other causes can include an injury to a nerve around the knee (the Common Peroneal nerve).

Weakness of these muscles cause the foot to 'drop' and hang down when it is being swung forward in the non weight bearing phase of walking. There is  a characteristic need to lift the leg higher ( a high stepping gait) to prevent tripping over.

Usually foot drop recovers as most causes of interruption of nerve function are temporary.

Foot drop can be caused by disc herniations, or sometimes as a consequence of surgery around a nerve.

See also nerve damage