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What Is Foot Drop? Foot Drop Causes, Exercises, and Treatment - Brace Direct

Understanding Foot Drop - Your Questions, Answered

Foot drop is a gait abnormality characterized by the inability to lift the front part of the foot, leading to a dragging of the toes along the ground during walking. This condition can be a symptom of various underlying health issues such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Cerebral Palsy (CP), neuropathy, and muscle or nerve damage or disorders. It significantly impacts mobility and increases the risk of tripping and falling. Understanding foot drop, its causes, and management options are crucial for those affected by this condition.

Is Foot Drop Permanent?

  • Foot drop can be either temporary or permanent, depending on its cause. Neurological conditions like MS may lead to a permanent foot drop, whereas nerve injuries from accidents or surgery might cause a temporary condition.

Can Foot Drop be Corrected?

How Does Drop Foot Effect You?
  • Foot drop can often be corrected or improved through physical therapy, braces, splints, and in some cases, surgery. The treatment approach depends on the underlying cause of the condition.

How Does Foot Drop Start?

  • Foot drop usually begins due to weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the front part of the foot. Causes range from acute nerve injury to chronic neurological disorders.

What Does Foot Drop Mean?

  • Foot drop indicates an underlying problem affecting the muscles and nerves responsible for foot dorsiflexion. It's often associated with neurological, muscular, or anatomical abnormalities.

What Does Foot Drop Look Like?

  • In foot drop, the toes drag along the ground while walking. This condition may force individuals to lift their knees higher than normal, known as a steppage gait, to prevent toe dragging.

How to Diagnose Foot Drop?

  • Diagnosing foot drop involves a physical examination to assess muscle strength and walking style, and may include imaging tests like MRI or nerve conduction studies.

How to Treat Foot Drop?

  • Treatment options for foot drop include physical therapy, orthotic devices like AFOs, braces and night splints, and in some cases, surgery. The specific approach depends on the cause and severity of the condition.
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How Does a Night Splint Help With Foot Drop?

  • A night splint is a device worn during sleep that keeps the foot in a dorsiflexed position. It helps maintain the proper foot angle, prevent muscle contracture, and aid in recovery. Explore foot drop splints here.

How Does an AFO Help With Foot Drop?

  • An Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) is a brace, often made of lightweight material, designed to support the ankle and foot. AFOs help maintain proper foot alignment, improve gait, and prevent toe dragging. Learn more about AFOs here.


Managing foot drop effectively requires an understanding of the condition and appropriate treatment strategies. With various supportive devices like AFOs, braces, and night splints available at Brace Direct, individuals with foot drop can find the right tools to improve their mobility and quality of life.

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