Foot drop, sometimes called drop foot, is a general term for difficulty lifting the front part of the foot.
If you have foot drop, the front of your foot might drag on the ground when you walk. This can cause you to raise your thigh when you walk, as though climbing stairs (steppage gait), to help your foot clear the floor. This unusual gait might cause you to slap your foot down onto the floor with each step.
Foot drop isn't a disease. Rather, foot drop is a sign of an underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical problem.
Foot drop can be temporary or permanent. Depending on the cause, foot drop can affect one or both feet.
Foot drop is caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles involved in lifting the front part of the foot.
Treatment for foot drop depends on the cause. If the cause is successfully treated, foot drop might improve or even disappear. If the cause can't be treated, foot drop can be permanent.
Treatment for foot drop might include:
Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) can help with foot drop by stimulating nerves to activate muscles so that the foot lifts up at the ankle. Not only does FES reduce trips and falls, it can also make walking faster and less effortful. Over time the muscles can even relearn how to lift the foot without the stimulator. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has declared FES as a safe and effective treatment for drop foot.