Foot Drop - what we can do at the clinic to help

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

Foot drop is a common condition due to nerve damage where the anterior tibialis muscle is weak which causes the foot to fall at a lower position than normal, thus its name 'foot drop'. This condition can restrict and effect everyday activities therefore it is important to get it diagnosed and treated.


Foot drop can be caused by a range of different diseases and injuries. It is usually caused by lower or upper motor neuron diseases which can affect one foot or both feet. An interference at any central or peripheral location along the motor neural pathway can stop the muscles that helps lift the foot up. The most common causes are L5 radiculopathy and peroneal nerve injury.

  • Physical therapy such as strengthening exercises can be prescribed. The aim is to reduce muscle fiber atrophy (muscle wasting away), improve balance, preserve ankle mobility, and improve gait. For post nerve surgery, this is important to acquire central control and to promote reinnervation.

  • Interferential therapy has many benefits. It is different from TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) as interferential therapy travels deeper into the tissue and is more comfortable. It works by increasing muscle activity and coordination through nerve stimulation. In result, can relax and strengthen muscles that controls dorsiflexion which is beneficial in foot drop.

  • Custom foot orthoses (CFO) can provide additional medial longitudinal arch support, stability and shock absorption.

  • Ankle foot orthoses (AFO) can be very helpful for foot drop. A peroneus splint is can aid to improve everyday mobility with irreversible foot drop.

  • Footwear education is very important. Shoes that holds the ankle firmly will provide better stability. If an AFO or CFO therapy is chosen, it is vital to ensure that these devises are in shoes that can accommodate these devices. This will reduce the risk of blistering and other foot conditions.

  • A referral to a Neurologist for additional management / rule out other causes. If there is a suspected compression of the peroneal nerve, decompressive nerve surgery at the fibular head can be considered and performed with little risk. If there is a case of a permanent foot drop, there are other surgeries available which your surgeon will discuss with you.

Our treatment goal is to help you improve your mobility and strength so that you can manage everyday activities. This will aid in the prevention of falls, pain, and abnormal postures.

If you think or know you suffer from foot drop, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have more questions.
Contact our lovely team on (03) 8648 7678 or click below to make an appointment.

Foot Body Sole

82 Bridport Street

Albert Park 3206

Victoria, Australia

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