A physician will do a physical examination to determine the cause of foot drop, which may reveal:
- Loss of control over the muscles in your lower legs and feet.
- Muscle wasting in your leg or foot.
- Having trouble raising your feet and toes.
To determine the underlying reason for foot drop, the doctor may request any of the following tests:
- MRI scans, ultrasounds, or X-ray: These imaging tests may be used to check for damage or compression in your brain, spine, or legs.
- Blood tests: For instance, a blood sugar test can determine if you have neuropathy caused by diabetes.
- Nerve conduction tests: To look at how well your nerves work.
- Electromyography: This is to measure how your leg muscles use electricity.
Treatment for foot drop depends on what is causing it. In some cases, fixing foot drop means curing the reason. If the reason is a long-term illness, like MS or ALS, the foot drop may be permanent.
Some treatments include:
- Physical and occupational therapy: This may help you walk more comfortably by stretching and strengthening your muscles.
- Orthotics, splints, or braces: Used to assist your foot and ankle in maintaining its normal position.
In certain circumstances, surgery is required to alleviate pressure on the peroneal nerve or attempt to heal it.