Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Foot Weakness Overview

Another name for Foot Weakness is Foot Drop.

What is foot drop?
A person with foot drop is unable to raise the foot and toes toward the knee. Foot drop is caused by damage to the peroneal nerve, which controls the muscles that raise the foot toward the knee. The foot tends to drag on the ground when the person walks. Foot drop is caused by damage to the peroneal nerve, which controls the muscles that raise the foot toward the knee. Illnesses that cause peroneal nerve damage and foot drop include alcoholic neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, and peripheral neuropathy.

What are the symptoms of foot drop?
Symptoms of foot drop include foot numbness, leg weakness, foot dragging, foot slaps ground with each step, and inability to raise the foot upwards toward the knee.

How does the doctor treat foot drop?
Treatment for foot drop includes ankle foot splint, physical therapy, corticosteroids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Surgery may be required in some cases.

Continue to Foot Weakness Symptoms

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Foot Weakness References
  1. Bendszus M, Wessig C, Reiners K, Bartsch AJ, Solymosi L, Koltzenberg M. MR imaging in the differential diagnosis of neurogenic foot drop. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2003 Aug;24(7):1283-9. [12917113]
  2. Katirji B. Peroneal neuropathy. Neurol Clin. 1999 Aug;17(3):567-91, vii. [10393754]
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