What causes foot drop?

Foot drop is the result of weakness or Paralysis of the muscles that lift the front part of your foot. This can be caused by a number ofunderlying problems, which are described below.

Muscle weakness

Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited genetic conditions that cause gradual muscle weakness and can sometimes lead to foot drop.

Foot drop can also be caused by other muscle wasting conditions, such as spinal muscular atrophy or motor neurone disease .

Peripheral nerve problems or neuropathy

Foot drop is oftencaused bycompression (squashing) of the nervethat controls the muscles that lift the foot.

Sometimes, nerves aroundthe knee or lower spine can become trapped. The nerves in the leg canalso beinjured or damagedduring hip replacement or knee replacement surgery.

Foot drop can sometimes becaused by nerve damage linked to diabetes (known as a neuropathy).

Inherited conditions that cause peripheral nerve damage andmuscle weakness,such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease , can also sometimes lead to foot drop.

Brain and spinal cord disorders

Foot drop can also be caused by conditions that affect the brain or spinal cord, such as:

  • stroke
  • cerebral palsy
  • multiple sclerosis
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018